[Scriptoris] Champion/Prize Scrolls or Historical Reproduction/Interpretations

Chiara Francesca chiara at io.com
Fri Sep 29 12:12:22 PDT 2006

I know first hand what Serena outlines here.

I always create what I like to call 'replicas' of a period piece.
(My favorite style being the work of Joris Hoefnagel in the Flemish
and Hungarian style, http://scribe.ansteorra.org/17chiara.html, the
collection known as Mira calligraphiae monumenta.) I will do the
text in the hand that is in the original along with the art that is
from the same original.

When I did a display only of my work I had more written commentary
and visitors that the display that was in the competiton next to me.
When asked why I was not competing I asked them back, did your read
the text. They would pause and smile then laught out loud. It was
not an SCA scroll. :)

This alone told me what good work it was. It would have passed
nearly every one's criteria since no one bothered to read it until I
revealed that they needed to. :)


On Fri, September 29, 2006 10:01 am, Diane Rudin said:
> --- Hillary Greenslade <hillaryrg at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> What are your thoughts on entering scrolls for branch and kingdom
>> competitions?
>> Or for something where the event is more a display, such as
>> Laurel's Prize Tourney, or a body of work display?
> All of the facts about to be stated apply to Ansteorra.  Mileage in
> other kingdoms *will* vary--GREATLY!
> It is established fact that, for the last decade at least, SCA-type
> "hybrid" documents that combine a legal document with an illuminated
> manuscript page will not score well at scored Ansteorran kingdom
> competitions, and possibly at branch competitions as well, if the
> kingdom forms are being used.
> It is also a fact that some judges will be much more harsh than
> others about this.  This is not meant to scare people, just to
> prepare them for the reality of high-level competition.  That's why
> we try to get more than one judge on a piece, and from a different
> "school of thought".
> There seems to be less stigma attached to entering them as part of a
> display, although a higher level of authenticity is expected at
> Laurels' Prize.
> The most positive venue for SCA-type "hybrids" of late seems to be
> populace-vote competitions, and displays specifically of SCA
> "scrolls".
>> Should your scroll entry be in the format of an SCA Prize or
>> Champion scroll (such as a King's
>> Champion scroll with Ansteorran Award Texts)?
>> Or should it be in the format of a historical reproduction or
>> interpretation, not necessarily SCA
>> in theme; possibly using a period poem, song or even SCA bardic
>> work as the text, instead of duplicating a historical text?
> Depends on the venue.  At the highest competitive levels, it should
> be the latter.  Getting into greater detail, you need to document
> not
> just the elements, but the combination and context of those
> elements.
> For instance, a bard writes a Canterbury-style original piece.  The
> best possible presentation of this piece will be in a script and
> illumination context in which Canterbury tales appeared in
> period--Ellesmere Chaucer, printed folio, etc.  It will not be as
> well-served if it is done with "Celtic" knotwork illumination and a
> Romanesque script.
> (As a side note, when entering such a piece, please be very careful
> about what you write on the "entry" line.  If you write "Canterbury
> tale", they're going to judge the poetry, not the calligraphy.
> Always remember to be very, very specific about what you want
> judged!
>  Context will always be taken into account, as described above, but
> if you want your calligraphy judged knowlegeably, say "15th-century
> calligraphy" instead of "calligraphed poem" or "calligraphy".  The
> former will get you a poetry judge and the latter could get you a
> Celt who knows nothing about 15th-century batarde.)
> Songs are tougher, as period musical notation is so different.  It
> would be cool to see one done right.
> I usually reserve my highest scores for something that is not an
> exact copy, but would be indistinguishable if shuffled into a stack
> of other, period documents of the same purpose, time, and place (but
> no fake "aging", please--brown ink was almost certainly originally
> black, so go ahead and use black ink).  This is mostly because
> that's
> my personal interpretation of "creative" in the SCA context--making
> new things in a period way, using period materials, techniques, and
> philosophies.  I happen to think that's harder to achieve than an
> exact copy.  Put another way, it's copying the way copying was done
> in period, not the modern idea of a photocopy.
> In that vein, I, for one, would rather see more of the sort of thing
> that I believe Oriana did recently, of doing a piece of illumination
> for the commemorative, rather than a "scroll".  (Sara, correct me if
> I'm wrong; wasn't that the purpose of the piece Oriana entered in
> Kingdom A&S this last February?)  That is really closer to what
> would
> have been done in period, anyway.  People who won competitions got
> prizes, not documents.  (Although they wouldn't have gotten
> illuminated pages, either, it's closer to being a prize than a
> document, IMO.)
> Of course, there's another, very period outlet for people who want
> to
> put illumination on a document--achievements!  We're working on
> updating those texts, which will be available as a separate
> document.
>  Achievement documents weren't as heavily illuminated in period as
> your average SCA document, but did have some illumination on them,
> at
> least in England.  Also, heraldic painting really isn't as difficult
> as people make it out to be; you just need access to good source
> material (NOT Victorian!), and basic rules of layout and balance.
> Finally, there IS illumination on certain period English legal
> documents; it's just that it was very strictly regulated as to
> layout
> and content.  [Yes, yes, I know what I used to say; those who have
> been paying attention over the years will have noted that I have
> altered my stance on this matter little by little over the years as
> I
> have done more extensive research, and as more source material has
> become available.  The "illuminated manuscript" approach is *still*
> not one that I can support with available evidence.]
> One note: I would never do an exact replica of the text of a period
> legal document.  That's called "forgery", and it's illegal.
> As examples, here are some projects that I'm looking at for Kingdom
> A&S someday, or have done already:
> -- a Book-of-Hours page or pages, where the text goes with the
> illumination (in other words, the illumination with the Matins text
> is Matins illumination and not, say, calendar or penetential psalms
> or Lauds or Office of the Dead or....)
> -- letters patent with historically-based text, script, and
> decoration
> -- a secular illuminated manuscript page, from a time and place
> where
> there is a definite difference between the illumination & scripts
> being used in secular, as opposed to sacred, texts (like Renaissance
> Italy)
> -- achievement documents with historically-based text, script,
> heraldic art, and decoration
> -- something Greek, on papyrus
> -- reconstructing a complete Book of Hours, right down to text
> (which
> varied lots by time and place), iconography, etc. (this would be
> entered as an artifact-supported research project entry rather than
> as a static arts entry)  [this is the really, really long-term
> really, really nutty project]
> --Serena Lascelles
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