I have been collecting scribal toys since I started doing calligraphy in 2005 (AS 40 for those counting) I have my fair share that is true. I was fortunate enough to have some extra money to put into my scribal toy box. So now, I have new toys to play with!
Yes, I have stuff now that are period (like) tools and materials. Obviously I don’t have a 600 year old scribal desk. I have one that is about 4 years old made in period fashion to do period stuff. It is a 45 degree portable desk with doors and drawers in the back. I have goose feathers to make quills. I have a lead/tin stylus to draw lines with and of course I make my own ink. I have other sundry things. I mean I’ve been at this for more than 7 years now. I’m not rich, I’m not really even all that middle class. So I’ve been very careful and opportunistic to get scribal supplies and tools at very good rates. Always wise to do for your hobby even if you are independently wealthy.
My calligraphy is not suddenly going to be awesome because I have period tools and materials. In fact, because I am so used to modern dip pens, paper, writing on a flat-ish surface, my calligraphy at first went downhill. Is that because period materials and tools are lower quality and suck? Absolutely not. It is because I am using new tools and materials and that means developing new techniques and procedures. It wouldn’t matter if I had switched to period tools and materials or had switched to super state of the art modern tools. My calligraphy was going to suffer until I got a handle on the new way (to me) of doing things.
I look forward to playing with my new scribal toys. I really do. I also understand that I need to become proficient with them and to give myself permission to not be a rock star with my calligraphy while I’m re-learning how to do things. No, I do not give myself permission to suck. No I do not give myself permission to relax about trying to have awesome calligraphy. Both of those things would defeat the purpose and create bad habits and a long recovery time for my calligraphy. Instead I will give myself permission to have a learning curve. That is all.
And when I come out the other side, I will have learned something. Hopefully a lot of somethings. And that after all is what the SCA is really about. Learning by doing.