A knight's Tale- Max's scroll




One of the things I love to do on scrolls is tell stories. I guess I've never been overly concerned with making the scrolls as period as I can get them it's more like trying to get them as personal as I can. It's easier to do when you know the person or when the person's family are involved and can send you LOTS of photos to work from.. Maximilian von Brandenberg's knight scroll was like that.

Max and his wife, Margerite von Buchholtz,  were instrumental in helping us get our footing in this kingdom, finding a place and settling in a bit. Our first major event, Nibelungen Krieg war, as some of the Americans called it,  ( at the lovely old camping site) saw us camping in a small 2 man dome tent which we were asked to hide behind the more period pavilions which ended up being broken into. Precious precious SCA things were stolen and that was the beginning of wanting to get a bigger, more period tent. Luckily for us Max and Margerite had put up their stunning spoke and hub tent across from us and were extraordinarily kind about showing us inside. It was a big OMG moment. After this both M&M and Master Terafan became people who showed us, and the rest of the folks from the then very young group of Aventiure, a great deal of kindness when there wasn't much kindness going around.It was a delight then, to be asked to do his knighting scroll and try to repay a little of the kindnesses they gave.

This scroll tells a story, it tells Max's story. Being called before court, sitting vigil, being knighted and then hanging out with his lovely wife. These are the standard miniatures of the actual ceremony but if you look in the margins you'll see the smaller stories, the quiet, behind the scenes tales. The lovely Margerite in a favourite dress, Stella chasing him out of her kitchen with a pot, shoes, Terafan in his unmistakable yellow and purple, Lucy and of course the pavilion. Tiny little moments that made the scroll his because the moment he saw them he knew what they said and it made him smile.

The text is in German because Max was the 1st German knight. I thought it would be nice for them to also have it in English so I made a second small scroll with just the english translation.

In creating ( and actually posting daily - it's my personal 30 day challenge to try and post about my past work. telling the stories and remembering, since this is more for me than the universe at large i haven't spammed the universe about it much)  I have come to realize that for me, making scrolls has not really got a lot to do with anything historical. I don't so much care about the being 100%  period aspect. I care very much about the art aspect and the personalizing part. I'm not really a medieval scholar ( nor do I care to be - I've done my time in the post secondary school system, 10 years to be exact).  I am just an artist. I've studied art history, specialized in Renaissance art in as much as anyone can at the bachelor level and then later went on to actually study fine art as well. But as I look at the collection of work I've been posting I see that, while I definitely strive to create something that looks and feels period, it's not my primary goal. I work towards bettering my skills in the actual artistic arena rather than study only period techniques although that being said it's nearly impossible not to learn some period how-to's along the way. And this is also not to say I don't admire those who do go all in, because I do admire them a great deal but I choose a different path.

I picked up gilding fairly early on and found a technique that worked for me, I use modern gouache and water colour paints because they are the easiest to obtain, the least fuss and I know what I am getting. I also used egg tempura paints and that was a fun experiment but they stink.I don't use acrylics. I like steel nib dip pens and I buy my oak.gall ink from an art shop. When I first started as a scribe I loathed calligraphy and swore I'd never do it but that changed over time and I now find I enjoy it even though it's still a struggle. Being a scribe has not come easily and some aspects of it are still a lot like fighting a small war with my lack of skill and limited knowledge but each step is one step closer to the goal of being a better artist.  One of my goals with scrolls is to tell stories because we all have stories and it's nice to see them come to life in pictures. Max's scroll was exactly this. Would I do anything different about this scroll today? Probably, I see a number of things that no longer sit well with my eye but at the time it was one of the best pieces I had ever done.

Gouche and watercolour on  A3 sized Fabriano print maker's paper, gold leaf ( probably 23KT transfer) on gum arabic and sugar gesso, with oak-gall black ink and W&N red.

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