[Scriptoris] The Evil Side of Scribal Escalation...

tgnst tgnst at swbell.net
Thu Sep 11 19:24:34 PDT 2003

It has been my experience that our people tend to be collectors... not just
of artwork as artwork, but as the product of the 'Artist' who created it.
I am very fond of the bits and pieces of people I've collected over the
years...Serena did my Court Barony, Kief my Michael 1 Gauntlet Scroll, I
have a titled Bard Scroll that Gunhilda did. I always look on the back for
who painted my charters and try to find them and thank them. My heart swells
beyond the confines of my bosom when I see someone get a charter I've worked
It transcribes <g> into the other arts, People fiercely proud of their
'Tarl' knife or genuine adventuring hat, Having several bottles of Damaris
mead aging on the shelf, memories of participating in a camp site prepared
personal feast won at auction and cooked in front of us by Gunthar,
My new Oxlade chairs, my wooden ladle a Christmas gift from Bjorn, a hand
turned wood goblet Pepin made me just because I made other people things all
the time, my glass beads made by Caitlin, Mara, Telari, and Amaline! Carved
chairs from Master Edward d'Orleans, a  jewelry chest carved and inlaid with
silver by HL Regin under Edwards eye...And all the wonderful things it has
been my lot to be steward of...
Oranges or Apples, if you are working and people want your work, rejoice, if
people care enough to arrange a public acknowledgment rejoice, and if nobody
is pounding on your door but you're enjoying the hell out of your art,
rejoice still! Art for art sake is still cool even if there aren't any
gallery showings in your future <g>.
Strive not against any other Artists, learn from them, teach them, and
realize that no one is a finished product, and all art is a work in
Give each project the best you have, and take your failures and successes
with it and apply them to the next thing. Measure you by you.
I make a lousy Serena, a bad Lasair, and a tacky Aislyn, and they are
perfect examples of a Serena, Lasair, and Aislyn, I'm the best dang 'Stacia
there is...
Kids, just get out there and dance! I did. I've missed more than one move,
and I've set one or two out, but I still dance, but boy haven't I had a
time, :-)...'Stacia
----- Original Message -----
From: "Diane Rudin" <serena1570 at yahoo.com>
To: "Scribes within Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <scriptoris at ansteorra.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2003 2:45 PM
Subject: [Scriptoris] The Evil Side of Scribal Escalation...

> ...or, You Don't Have To Be A Laurel To Do An Original Document
> by Serena Lascelles
> Nicolaea wrote, in response to one of my innumerable rants of the past two
> days:
> > The standard of what is expected for an original seems to have increased
> > a point where it is difficult to  commit to a commision or request when
> > know that another scribe out there would do a better (more elaborate)
job of
> > it, if the person waited for them to be free.  As the artist, you don't
> > the recipient to be disappointed that thier scroll isn't as "cool" as
> > they saw presented to Count Whosits in court.  And as the recipient,
> > you want to be the first one to get the "simpler" original?   We have
> > scribed ourselves into a corner, in a way.
> Gather 'round, children, and I will tell you tales of Long Ago.
> Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Ansteorra, a shy young girl calling
> Serena Lasair (no, I am not making this up!) was asked by her shire's
> steward to create some prize commemoratives for an upcoming event.  As she
> dabbled in the art of scribing years before, she accepted.  While working
> them at the event, she spilled a bottle of ink all over her clothes.  Her
> silk sash, symbol of her membership in the Ansteorran College of Bards,
> ruined.  That ink soaked through seven layers of fabric to stain her skin.
> a drop of ink landed on the document that she was working on.
> She changed clothes, and kept on working.
> A year later, after doing several pieces for local events, Serena ferch
> Ceridwen of Mercia was called upon by her King and Queen to assist in
> out award documents for court that evening.  It was 105 degrees in the
> and there was no wind.  Better yet, they were short by three AoAs, so each
> the three volunteers, of which Serena was one, made an original document
on the
> spot, using spare sheets of royal stationery.  As the relative cool of
> approached, their Majesties arrived to sign the award documents.  His
> who knew nothing of how to handle a dip pen, the only pen available,
> ink across over a dozen documents.  Serena and Desiree turned those ink
> into roses, children, acanthus leaves, Ansteorran stars, and whatever else
> could think of.
> Four months later she became, by the hands of that same Crown, Lady
Serena, and
> also received a Sable Thistle for, according to her Majesty, "the
> things she can do with the ink blots his Majesty leaves all over the
> By this time, she was interested in doing original works for the kingdom.
> created, as her first attempts at this, two Court Baronial charters, and a
> Pelican charter, over the next two years, as well as designing three
> charters and one grant-level charter for pre-printing use.
> To cut this story short (and to reduce the Scribal Horror Story factor), I
> a half-dozen originals, including one achievement document, over the
course of
> about four years.  When my hands began hurting, I couldn't stop myself.
> the surgery, I had to stop, with over a dozen people on my commissions
> The ideas are still there, boiling around in my mind.  I'm going to have
to go
> through a lot of frustrating re-training, to make myself not hold the
> with a death grip, but I'm now resolved to do it.  Because the discussions
> the last two days have driven home to me that scribal work was my artistic
> true love".  I had more passion and energy to do that work than any work
> than research.  I *must* get that back.
> But that's not the point I'm making here.
> No one in Ansteorra has an original scroll created by Mistress Serena
> Lascelles.
> There are people who have things by Serena, by Lady Serena, by HL Serena.
> There are people who have things that Serena did that would, by today's
> standards, go directly into the trash can.
> When I began doing originals for upper-level awards, I was up against the
> creations of Master Cynric, Mistress Zinaida, Mistress Rose.  Their work
> me look like the beginner I was.  And you know what?  *Being a beginner is
> okay.*  We've all been there.  *You can't become an expert without first
> a beginner.*  *Someone* will end up with your beginner's work.  And you
> what else?  *They'll love it.*  They'll be proud of it long after you've
> so much better that you're embarassed to have that early work shown off.
> I know.  I'm *married* to the owner of one of my early efforts, and the
best I
> can muster to say about it is, "It was the best I could do at the time."
> Meanwhile, my husband has to show it to everyone who is foolish enough to
> foot in this house.  He's inordinately proud of it, and it's totally
> embarassing.  It's nowhere near as good as the letters patent that
Margaret and
> Lasair made for my when I was elevated to the Laurel.
> And then I remind myself that there is no greater moment for the teacher
> that point at which the student surpasses the teacher.  I am blessed to
have an
> example of that hanging on my wall.
> Yes, the quality level at the top keeps getting better and better.  I
> *understand* about being intimidated.  Heck, a big part of what's holding
> back from trying calligraphy again is the knowlege that, in the beginning,
> be *terrible*.  But I'm going to do it.  And people will be happy to have
> results.
> Because in the end, they really do care more about the love that is shown
> the act of creation than whether or not it was perfect.
> --Serena
> ==========
> "On the whole, though I never arrived at the perfection I had been so
> of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavor, a
> and a happier man than I otherwise should have been had I not attempted
> --Benjamin Franklin
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