Silver Brooch for Johannes Braunscweg

Now, this was a scroll assignment I begged for requested. It was actually one of two that I requested at that time, and with them, I had 5 assignments going simultaneously (to say it was stressful, is an understatement.) Luckily, they were spread out so I didn’t have to rush them all for one event and our amazing Tyger Signet accommodated me in allowing me the two requested assignments and obliging me in turning down a couple that I thought would be too much. (I may have taken them too if my partner wasn’t in the corner glaring at me for putting too much on my plate… always.)

Anyway, this one was for Johannes, who has been playing forever and was more than deserving of this award as he is an incredible artist and researcher and it always pushing himself to new heights.

I knew that I was going to use the Book of Kells** for inspiration because he has mentioned that he loved that manuscript and we bonded a bit over that (I also love that manuscript.) I also kind of went off the script a bit and added a gnome that was supposed to look a bit like the art he had been posting on social media lately. If I had to go back, I probably wouldn’t have added the gnome.

The not-so-good – I could work on practicing my knot work. There are really cool and interesting designs but if it’s not just right then… it shows. I also made this a non-traditional sized piece and I really should have tried to keep it to traditional mat sized. I don’t know if he framed it or not but since then I have bought mats to measure my pieces before I start.

The good: I was given a lot of words for this scroll. They are beautiful and amazing words by Matthew MacGyver but still a lot. Even thought it took me forever, I think the effect came out quite nice. This is the first hand that I learned and I like how it looks so tidy. I also like how the miniature of the recipient kind of looks like him and kind of looks like he’s from the actual manuscripts. I’ve really struggled with putting people on scrolls and I want to get good at it but it’s hard sometimes.



Materials used: Gouache, and gilding on bristol, iron gall ink by Ian the Green

** You can browse the whole book online at the Trinity College Library Dublin Digital Collections but for some reason it is giving me trouble linking it for you.


AoA for Thomas of Bhakail

It’s been awhile since I posted but I’m going to jump right into it. I’m going to post some of my older work and hopefully catch up quickly 🙂 thanks for your patience!

I was given this scroll assignment for someone I didn’t know, Thomas of Bhakail. It was to be due in March of 2018 (I’m sorry about my late blog post!) The write up I received was pretty thorough and described Thomas as the son of two scadians, he dresses Celtic like his father and he was written in for his service. I decided that since I didn’t know him well, I would reach out to his person-of-contact to seek more information. Luckily she responded and gave me even more information such as he likes celtic knotwork, often wears red and black, he enjoys board games, and he can always be found helping out whenever anyone needs a hand. I decided that a page from the Book of Kells would be appropriate for his persona and I would try to include some of his hobbies in the illuminations. I eventually honed in on some canon tables that I liked to inspire my scroll.

The not-so-good: The overall feeling of the page did not seem to replicate that way I wanted. The colors looked too clash-y to my eyes? It’s hard to tell if that’s because of modern eye or because I was not careful enough or if I tried to include certain color schemes because I knew he liked black and red but they came out looking unnatural. I would certainly work more carefully with the color scheme in the future. 

The good: I am pretty happy with how my calligraphy looked at this point. Of course, I’ve made improvements since then but I really like this hand and I think that if I can continue to work on it I can make the spacing of letters and words even more consistent and the shapes of the letters flow together to give a beautiful effect.


FB_IMG_1565883437702Materials: Iron Gall Ink (but Ian the Green), gouache, gold gilding, bristol paper

Source: Book of Kells (Canon pages)


Words by Olalla Tristana


Troll Scroll

Hey all!

Welcome to my first real post! I’m going to show some of my older projects first because I don’t have too much and it isn’t that overwhelming of a project.

The first scroll I ever did was inspired by a handsome lord who I was beginning to grow fond of. He was one of the many people I had met that year, and also one of the many I knew fighting in crown. I told him that I wasn’t sure who I was going to cheer for and he seemed offended that I would consider anybody else but him soooo I asked him to convince me he was worth it.

Well, he wrote to me the most magical argument which was quite inspiring and he ended it with “and… this never goes on a scroll.”

Obviously, this inspired me to learn how to put it onto a scroll so I could troll him. So, this is what I did and also how I begun my journey into the scribal arts.

book of kells

I  based the page off of the Book of Kells and I  learned a lot. I made the mistake of making the page a little too small (I guess this was a BIG book!) and the bottom of the page looks a little funny because it is not as detailed as the rest. I wanted to use real gold and felt bad using gold gauche but I was informed that was okay because shell gold would have been appropriate for this piece.

I got to explore knotwork. Some of the knotwork is copied exactly from the page, some of it I created myself, and some of the copied work was improvised because accidents happen. 😛

I’m leaving out the calligraphy for the privacy of my lord but trust me, the words are glorious!

Overall, I would say I am happy with my first scroll. I had a lot of fun creating it and giving it away.

I would love to hear your comments below! Thanks for reading!


embla signoff