[Scriptoris] Monks and the weather
eshc at earthlink.net
Wed Sep 8 23:01:13 PDT 2010
You are welcome. My pleasure.
Re-doing is an excellent choice. It also shows you have good
character, and you care about others. Not to sound patronizing, but I
am proud of you. (I'm a grandma, and grandmas can say things like
that. It's a privilege that comes..... if you can survive that long!!!!)
Did you know that slanting the board your work is being done on will
minimize the ache in your shoulders? Check out the extreme slants the
monks used in the scriptoriums. They couldn't take a coffee and
doughnut break every 45 minutes to refresh their muscles.
(My personal experience is that scribing for long hours without a
break decreases the beauty of the strokes the scribe is making, and
the work starts looking sloppy. I've watched the mundane pros. They
take breaks. Good lesson for me.)
You ought to read some of the marginalia the monks used to scrawl in
the margins about how cold it was and how their body ached. One Irish
monk was stating all the negatives about how bad the storms were and
how he was responding to the work schedule, but ended on an up-beat
note that he was grateful to God for the cold and the storms, because
the Vikings didn't raid the area in that kind of weather!
The reasons for the various degrees to slant a board are (1) the
weather, plus (2) the moisture in the surface on which they were
working, not to mention (3) how viscous the ink was. Tinkering with
all of that made for less ink blobs and having to do less scraping.
Note that scalpel-looking thing in their left hand. That's not only
the the quill sharpener, it's also their "eraser." They weren't
beyond scraping, either.
It was another matter for a Jewish scribe, called a "sofer." Let's
say they screwed up on a name of the Deity; the whole, enormous sheet
was declared invalid and had to be re-done, even if it was on the
last line. No scraping on that mistake. They had to really watch what
they were doing if they were right handed---the words were written
from right to left. At the end of scribing, every letter was
counted, and every line was compared. No mistakes. Talk about having
to stay focused?
Mistakes by monks were sometimes hilariously "corrected." Say a word
or phrase was left out. I've seen marginalia of monks and a crane,
lifting the forgotten word up from the bottom of the page to where it
should have been written, with all sorts of monk bystanders pointing
and giving directions about what they wanted done.
Meanwhile, back at the scriptorium: In wet weather, the barometric
pressure is lower, and ink tends to come off the pen faster,
especially if the board is flat, giving gravity a field day. Moral
to the tale? Find the slant that's right for the conditions in which
you are having to work and the products you are using.
[ In my pre-SCA days, I paid a lot of money to learn that trick. It's
your for free..... a fall rainy season present for a fellow
scribe..... and some who just like doodling around..... ; - ) ]
Hope I get to see your works sometime....
On Sep 8, 2010, at 10:28 AM, David Brown wrote:
> Thanks for all the advice but I think my decision is to just do it
> over again. I
> would not want to hang it on my wall as a repair or any ot
> From: Elaine <eshc at earthlink.net>
> To: "Scribes within Ansteorra - SCA, Inc."
> <scriptoris at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Sent: Wed, September 8, 2010 8:44:53 AM
> Subject: [Scriptoris] Repair vs. re-do
> There might be, if the damaged area is, say in a foliate area. If
> it is out
> there in the Wide Open Plains, it won't look well. I, personally,
> would just do
> it over. On the other side, ask yourself, would you want to get an
> award that
> has been pieced together?
> Best of luck,
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