Can you believe it? I celebrated my two year anniversary within the last week and now I am posting my 100th blog post. Hard for me to believe that I have had anything worthwhile to say and that I would be saying it for so long. Of course not every post has been great or wonderful or even merely good. This blog has shown me a couple of things though. There is a want if not a need for this kind of scribal blog both in and outside the SCA. And most importantly, I stand on the shoulders of others, not all by myself. I knew that before but in passing on what I know, I remembered a lot of people from whom I learned it.
This blog post then is not about me, it is about them The people who helped me grow as a scribe, as a scadian and as a person. The list is very long and frankly no matter how well I do it, it will be incomplete. I apologize for that now. If you have been in my life in any way since I began down this path, you have in some way contributed to making me who I am today.
First I want to thank Mistress Magdalena von der Plesse and her husband The Honorable Lord Peter the Goldsmith. They were the first people to take me into their home and share with me the joy of calligraphy and illumination. They got this ADHD guy to sit down, sit still and LOVE the scribal arts. They taught me, they encouraged me and they helped me in ways I knew at the time and in ways that I am still discovering to this day. Magdalena eventually took me on as her apprentice at Border Skirmish. Both of these truly wonderful and giving people shaped who I am today as a scribe, a scadian and as a person. I could write volumes about how good they are as people, as instructors and as scribes. I’ll save you from that and instead put it in my memoirs shoudl I ever write them.
Mistress Jocelyn of Lutterworth, my former apprentice sister, she who showed me the way by walking it where I could see it. Jocelyn inspired me and pushed me without really ever knowing it just by being her and by doing her arts. Rarely have I seen better illumination and decoration than hers and her calligraphy is truly fantastic. I watched her in competitions, on projects, as the Midlands Signet, at events, in her home, at practice and in so many other circumstances. Her common sense and honest approach were wonderful. And seeing how she saw things opened up my eyes to perspectives I had not known before and by training I look for a variety of perspectives. For that first session of making ink which has grown to be so much more than merely a novelty experience.
Master Llewelyn ap Tiernon, my “Foster,” Laurel, who knows less than me about my scribal arts but so very much more about being a peer, a good person and living life well. Our relationship started off poorly when a meeting I was to attend for event planning was cancelled, moved or something and I was not let know and so I drove an hour to be there when no one else was. I wrote what I hoped to be a rather tongue in cheek note letting it be known that I was there but nobody else was. He apologized and never missed including me again. So much so that he asked, knowing that my Laurel was out of Kingdom, if I would be willing to foster to him. I was. Our relationship now of course is well past “foster” and is a relationship I treasure.
Mistress Mary Buchanan, my first Dragon Signet and probably the least intimidating person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing in the SCA. She encouraged me, helped judge the first Middle Kingdom Scroll Blank challenge, encouraged me in my instruction of others and for some reason continues to say nice things about me despite knowing me better now than when she first met me.
Mistress Ellen of the Scholars, who gave me my first period material to work with. A muslin bag filled with pounce. I still have it and still use it regularly and that was 8 years ago. She also sells my iron gall ink. But more than that Ellen has such a wonderful “Tish, tosh of course you can do that,” manner about her that simply will not let you stop in the middle of getting something wrong. It is a matter of fact, encouraging and done with such insight and clarity you just can’t help but try it again and wow it worked, wow I did that every single time. A wealth of information she has never been at a loss for answer to any questions I have ever asked her.
Mistress Sarafina Sinclaire, was there at the first Calligraphy and Illumination activity night I attended at Peter and Mags. She showed me that even if something isn’t your first love in the SCA, you can still enjoy it and do a good job at it. No need or desire to do anything but just do it and enjoy it. A very common sense open hearted person who has no problem saying, “That’s just crazy!” and speaking clearly and kindly about how something might be improved and working right there with others to help it along.
Mistress Angelique D’ Herrison, Backlog Signet extraordinaire, of the SCA Middle Kingdom. Taught me that being dependable in the SCA is one of the most appreciated qualities one can have.
Lord Vicenzo Fabriani, who taught me that observations of others, even those who don’t do that thing, can really be useful, insightful and helpful. So just because they don’t know how to do it, they really can see what is working and what is not. Thank you again for telling me about how wonderful the AMES lettering guide is at Pennsic 35. It is because of you telling me how your lady used it that I use one now.
Mistress Isabel Mounsdoghtir, for your tokens at my first Laurel Sponsor A&S tournament and your poking and insight since then.
Master RanthulfR AsparlundR, for teaching me how to make parchment, supporting an event I ran and many different pieces of advice and geeking out over the years.
The Honorable Lord Justice McArtain, for supporting the Scroll Blank and Scroll Case Challenges when they first got going, For coming up with suggestions and talking scribal.
The Jaravellir Scribal Guild, who accepted me without any to do and were co-creators of the first Scroll Blank and Scroll Case challenge.
Warder Adahm MacAoidh, member of the Company of the Bronze Ring the terminal level Fencing Order for the Middle Kingdom, for helping me say the same things I’ve always said in ways that ensure the message sent, is the message received.
Master Johannes von Narrenstein, your kindness and help have been truly wonderful, ride sharing to learn how to make parchment and creating the Calf to Codex Project.
To the recipients of awards given by the crown who took the time to thank the scribe who made their scroll, thank you all very much. I truly believe that many people do not understand how much that means to the scribe(s) who made it.
Lady Hroswitha von Lippe, my wife, to you my foremost thanks and appreciation and love for putting up with and more importantly supporting my scribal habit, taking extra time with our daughter so I could finish projects, helping with decoration (painting) some scrolls, keeping me from going too crazy, for marrying me and for loving me despite my many faults.
This thank you list as I said above is incomplete. Please, even if you are not mentioned by name above, know that I truly appreciate the contribution you made to my life and my scribal path. Nobody can learn in a vacuum. I know full well that I stand on the shoulders of those who came before and who are still here today. I progress with thanks to all who have contributed to make me who and what I am today.
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH