I was really happy to get this assignment (do you see a trend?) This time though, I was asked to take it before I had the chance to ask for myself. I’ve gotten to know Baroness Lillian through House Dark and also my partner, who is lifelong friends with her and fights for her in Crown Tournaments. Aside from that, I’ve had the pleasure of both seeing her fight and fighting alongside her in battle and one time accidently getting her challenged to a fight because of my drunken silliness in the bog (but that’s a story for another day!) She’s an incredibly impressive spear woman and in my opinion, incredibly deserving of this award!
So when I got this assignment, I wanted to get personal. I knew that I wanted to include images of a spearwoman because that’s what she was receiving the award for and I wanted to have marginalia spearing tuchux because … well there’s a story. It was due Birka 2019.
I ended up choosing The Romance of Alexander, a 14th century manuscript from England. This book had everything I wanted, including warriors with spears, bunnies (there is a story there too!), and a general aesthetic that I thought fit her well.
This piece also gave me the opportunity to try gold embossing which I had never tried before. Embossing is terrifying because once you start there is no going back. It ended up being easier than I expected with a bit of preplanning and I had fun doing it.
Materials: Gilding, gouache, and iron gall ink by Ian the Green, on Bristol
Words by Matthew MacGyver