Redoing Scroll Lining

It was time to redo the scroll lining.  The text block area was just fine so I didn’t need to redo the entire layout just the lines.  If you will recall from the previous entry the scroll’s lines were uneven and caused varying x heights to occur making the letters bigger and smaller.  So redoing the lines into a more uniform width was needed.

EDIT:  Wordpress has changed how they let bloggers deal with their pictures.  At the moment I don’t know how to make the pictures pop up in a new window so I am making them large sized instead.  I hope the details come through for you.  You can as always click on the picture to get a very large size.

I started by drawing the left most margin line

Whole sheet with just the left margin drawn in.

Whole sheet with just the left margin drawn in.

The paper is sitting on a cutting board which is sitting on my angled scribal desk.  I decided that marking up my wooden scribal desk was something I wanted to avoid.

A closer look at the left margin.

The left margin closer.  Notice, I am still using a lead/tin pencil.

The left margin closer. Notice, I am still using a lead/tin pencil.

I got out my divider and decided to take some comparison pictures with a compass and two different kinds of dividers.

Left to right - Compass - Divider with screw to keep the points in place - Divider without any means to keep the points in place.

Left to right – Compass – Divider with screw to keep the points in place – Divider without any means to keep the points in place.

The difference between a compass (far left) and dividers (middle and far right) is very easy to see though not as easy to describe.

Compass

Left side has graphite to draw the line.  Right side has a point to keep the compass in place.

Left side has graphite to draw the line. Right side has a point to keep the compass in place.

Divider:

Two points and no graphite.

Two points and no graphite.

This divider uses a screw and spring system to keep the divider at a constant distance.  If you turn the screw the points narrow toward one another or spread away from one another.  The spring at the top of the divider causes the two arms to constantly push away from one another. The screw knob keeps the arms from spreading and it controls how far apart the two arms are.

Second Divider:

As you can see there are no mechanical means by which this divider would keep the measurement.

As you can see there are no mechanical means by which this divider would keep the measurement.

This divider is a fine and wonderful tool.  But it is not the proper tool for the job of creating regular intervals over time.  The arms would slip apart and cause the text lines to become uneven again.

I took out a ruler with metric measurements and brought the points of the divider to 3 mm.

Exactly 3 mm.

Exactly 3 mm.

I then drew in the rest of the text boxes and now it is time to start poking holes in the paper.  I did three sheets at one time.

The first 3mm space is actually for the ascenders.  I won't be writing in this space.

The first 3mm space is actually for the ascenders. I won’t be writing in this space.

And walk the divider down the left margin line.  Simple concept.

Okay, here I go, down the left margin line.

Okay, here I go, down the left margin line.

Well it is simple concept to just go down the line with the dividers poking holes.

It is very easy to miss the line and then over correct and miss on the other side.

It is very easy to miss the line and then over correct and miss on the other side.

When using this method to line your writing area, keep in mind, you can’t erase holes.  Also, before you push the point into the paper just check to make sure you are on the line.  If you aren’t, put your point on the line.  Over correcting just makes more mistakes and if you keep your focus on the line, you will make fewer mistakes.

Not too shabby.

Not too shabby.

Like anything else, the more you do it, the better you become at it.

Here is what the sheet looks like before I put lines in.

Here is what the sheet looks like before I put lines in.

And time to start drawing in lines.

The side of the lead/tin pencil became rough and caught on my straight edge.  that is what caused the curve in the line (bowed line).

The side of the lead/tin pencil became rough and caught on my straight edge. that is what caused the curve in the line (bowed line).

I can correct that bowed lines by erasing it.  In theory I can use bread, preferably Rye Bread I am told, or I can scrape it later or I can ignore it.

So what does the entire sheet look like when it is done?

Full sheet with all the lines.

Full sheet with all the lines.

As you can (hopefully) see, these lines are much more uniform in width.  They should provide a much better experience writing on them and therefor reading lettering on them later.

The method of using a divider to prick lines has obvious advantages over the single pricker I did on the first two pages.  Eventually the scribe had a tool that worked much like a round pizza cutter with spikes coming off.  The spikes were at specific distances and the scribe just had to roll the tool down the sheet to prick the page.  No measuring each line, no having to walk a divider down the page, just roll it along.  Of course the disadvantage was that it only made lines in that width.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  If you have and suggestions or questions as always please feel free to leave them in the comments section.  If you wish to e-mail them to me I am available at this e-mail address.  And as always please feel free to rate this post.

3 responses to “Redoing Scroll Lining

    • In the middle ages poking holes through several sheets at the same time was used as a way to ensure uniform lining. Notice how the lines on the page start at the holes.

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