The second I was asked to do this particular scroll, I knew EXACTLY the inspiration that was pulling me forward. It took me a day or two before I could say yes because I honestly had to weigh my ability against what I was hoping to accomplish. I finally decided that when it comes to friends, any amount of time is well worth my while.
The inspiration that I went with was Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, circa around 1500.
I have always wanted to make this particular scroll, having been a fan of the bright and vibrant colors as well as the abstract manner in which it is depicted.
I only planned to do the top half of the manuscript and have the words take up the same amount of space. So the white space on the left that would be left is where the maunche symbol and the signatures would go.
The original is from Italy, where Kataryn's persona is from, although the words are in greek. So I nixed the manuscript writing and went for a bastarda script instead.
For the words, I went to my favorite source of beautiful poetry: Lord Tristan le Chanticler.
He decided on a sonnet and took a lot of time carefully wording it along the lines of the age long debate of the rose vs the holly.
The words read as such:
"Shall we appeach young excellence as passing like the rose?
That bursts in color early, woos, wanes, and leaves us wanting?
We oft prefer the holly that endures through winters daunting.
A frock's one dance leaves much to chance, as time yet onward flows,
But mason's ton is bulwark when every blossom goes.
Then is the seamstress’ hand but ephemera and flaunting?
Like a bud of vain display, void of virtue vaunting?
Or a lasting green that shades suns sheen in natural repose?
Scrutiny of her art reveals this choice is false diversion:
Each careful cut is jewel craft, as long the hours take her,
As chipping at a ruby yields a permanent conversion.
So cast perhaps the dress aside: the true stone is its maker.
This We gather to Us, as a great career is launched,
And with this gem crown We now Our Order of the Maunche.
Done by the hand of Their Royal Majesties of the Laurel Kingdom of the East
Brennan Rex and Caoilfhionn Regina for Lady Kataryn Mercer
at Their King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Championship
in the Barony of Barren Sands this Sixth day of February A.S. L."
With the words created, it was time to work on the manuscript. I wanted it to be as close to the original as possible, so I decided to create a see through overlay to place over the picture of the manuscript and then create a grid work on my paper and work from there. This is what I came up with:
I decided to make the dress after one that I particularly like on her and instead of putting a sphinx on her lap, I placed a cat there instead since she does have and likes cats.
Now it was time to get to work. This is the first time I have ever taken daily photos of my progress, but that is because it took the full two weeks of around 6-8 hours a day of work to complete. But by the time I was finished, I was very happy and felt that it certainly was a scroll that would fit her persona and the inspiration that she is.
Here is the final product: