When Brigida Gold Falcon reached out to me for a scroll commission, and I got the details, I squee’d. A lot. You see, when I got started in the Society, I needed to work on clothing, and a friend of mine had a quiet place behind a table.
The herald’s table.
So, I sat between him and another herald (Master Mikhail, known also as the Voice of Calontir because of his gorgeous basso profundo that I’m pretty sure can be heard the next county over) and learned a lot about consulting heraldry and became interested in the other things that heralds do in the SCA.
It’s Nikolai’s fault that I got interested in heraldry as a thing, which means that it’s his fault that I became Principal Herald and a whole mess of other things.
The text was written by Sofya la Rus. Nikolai wrote her scroll text for her Herald Extraordinary, and it tickles me to no end that she got to write his.
The scroll is based on this one at the Walters, which is the right time period for Nikolai, but not quite the right location (he’s Kievan Rus, the scroll is Armenian). However, the birds, the angel, and the vinework I thought would work well enough. The text is in a Russian-appearing hand, but it is in English. If I had time, I would have probably had it translated, however, not enough time. It is inked using Noodler’s Antietam, which is my favourite red, and a Brause nib (I think I used my .075mm nib).
This scroll marks the first time I’ve done extended flat gilding. In the future, I’m probably not going to use pale gold (it looks silver in most of the photos, but I assure you, it’s gold. My wallet wept a bit after I purchased the book of leaf). I also had decent luck with using Jerry Tresser’s Pink Stuff, which can be purchased from John Neal Books. The rest of the scroll was painted with gouache, some Daniel Smith watercolour (the dark purple wings of the angel actually sparkle because of the amethyst in the paint), and my FineTec gold palette, which also has a pale gold the exact colour of the leaf that I had.
Because I was on a time crunch with this scroll, I didn’t put in quite the amount of detail as the extant. I did, however, replace a bird with a stoat (he has a stoat in his heraldry) and a gilded cross of Calatrava in the top section to better fill in the space. (the extant has text, and if I had thought about it, I would have started the scroll text there. Oh well.)
I am pleased to say that Brigida and I made him cry, and I am so thrilled to welcome him as a fellow Herald Extraordinary. I hear he is already working on his title. Congrats, Nikolai!