Marguerite came up with the words and her process is here. It told the story of Robert's adventures at Mudthaw in a very lovely way. I am in wonder of her writing ability. During that time a couple of us worked on the research for an appropriate Scottish manuscript. I enlisted the help of Aildreda who was able to pull some images, most of them were without any illumination, because the Protestants of the time period had basically shut down all production of manuscripts unless it was purely text. But we continued to dig and came up with several sources that might work.
In the interest of sharing with people some of our finds in case they want to go in this direction, the links are as follows:
We decided to chose the first one and Cezilia got working immediately on the layout and commenced with the calligraphy. The manuscript that we chose was done between 1485-1509. It was a roll containing prayers in Latin and English to the Arma Christi, the Virgin and seven saints. The particular illumination that I found compelling was the unframed representation of the nails of the Passion, in burnished gold, piercing the Sacred Heart, the feet and hands of Christ, and the Crown of Thorns. This looked like swords to me, and well because Robert is mundanely a carpenter, the nail thing was neat and could easily frame the badge of the Silver Rapier. So what I started with as the exemplar is on the left, and what we ended up with at the end is on the right.
First was sketching out the design and inking it in. The recipient's animal spirits are spiders, bats and I wanted to include the Northern Army star since he is in the Northern Army Rapier division.
And the teeny, tiny Northern Star.
Close up of the Illuminated letters, and I begun to do many things in this scroll in threes. It started to become very symbolic, three swords, three letters, three spiders, and still something was missing....
Close up of the main illumination.
And as sometimes happens, I start getting into the painting and forget to actually take pictures. I laid down the Mosaic Gold which is an actual replica of pigment that was used during period. I used the last of my lapis lazuli pigment and the green was a Holbein Green with some permanent white. The blue and green are colors of one of the houses that Robert belongs to, which is Lochleven, and the blue and white is for Sharc Pit.
I know what was missing - three sheep! So three sheep of different sizes were put in the illuminated letters. This harkened back to the tale of St. Robert and the stories that were told, one about who would care for the sheep?
So on to the next project.