Thursday, July 16, 2015

Master of Defense Scroll

Several months ago, the lovely and talented Bethany of Windermere asked me to collaborate with her on one of Artemisia's Master of Defense premiers. The obvious answer was of course YES!

I was told that he wanted the piece to be based on this "Fechtbook." I'm afraid I know nothing about its source, so I just used this image when it came to doing the calligraphy.

I very quickly learned how incredibly a Roman hand is - Be it Trajan or New Roman. Everything must be uniform, straight, and clean. And all those serifs? They are a blasted nightmare. I don't think I've ever struggled with a hand the way I struggled to emanate this piece. Suffice it to say that I never got it quite to my preferred level of quality, but got it to a point that I hoped I wouldn't embarrass myself.

I actually like that the u's are v's, even though it can make reading it a bit difficult at times.

When I completed the calligraphy and decorative cadel swashy doodad (my favorite part of the piece), I passed it back to Bethany, who unfortunately had an explosion of life. She passed the piece over to the lovely Adele Blanked / Adeliz Fergusson who did the illumination. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Vigil Book

Adventures in bookbinding! I must admit this is a new obsession for me. When His Excellency, Don Aaron Carter was included as one of the three Premier members of the Order of the Masters of Defense for Artemisia, I was thrilled. Aaron is an amazing man! My dear husband raised my hand for me, offering me to do his vigil book. I'm still really shy about this skill as I'm so new to it, but when he said yes, I did a happy dance.

Aaron's device is green and has wagon wheels on it, so I was not surprised when he asked for the book to be green. I managed to find some vintage wagon wheel buttons to incorporate into the design as well.

As I don't tool leather (...yet, she says cautiously), I was extremely happy to find a piece green goat skin suitable to bind the book.

The paper is a higher quality standard copy paper. 32lb, if I recall correctly, with a nice creamy texture. My quest to find a high quality paper that doesn't have annoying watermarks continues.

I hand folded the signatures, hand punched the binding holes, and hand stitched the signatures together with waxed linen thread.

My father made me a book press, which I then used to shape the spine into a curve. After that, I glued on a silk ribbon for a bookmark, headbands, and used cotton muslin as a spine cover thingy... I'm not sure the technical term for this bit is. Time to crack open my books again!

I then attached book board (an ugly, undocumented process), and carefully stretched the goat skin over the book board. Mid-way through this process, I sewed on the button, glued in a strap, and finished the cover with a deep sigh of relief that my strap/button plan worked.

The end papers are a white embossed pearlescent scrapbook paper that I decided were perfect based on the fact that Aaron's elevation garb was to be all white satin, dripping in pearls. A touch of foreshadowing, if you will.