Thursday, May 08, 2014

Thalassia's Promissory Pelican

Photo by Jonathan Sidwell
It seems that we learn some of our best lessons from failure. This is a story of reaching for the stars and finding yourself just too short to reach.

We have a beautiful lady with a Greek persona who was to be elevated to the Order of the Pelican. A number of her friends that love her very much wanted to do something super special for her scroll, and I am sad to report that for the moment, at least, we have failed with an awesome project and had to punt with an ok project.

The idea was to make a piece of pottery, namely a Greek kylix. The lady for who the scroll is destined, Thalassia, is a wonderful hostess and really enjoys stuff that is useful- so we wished to create for her a scroll and piece of pottery that she could actually use while entertaining.

We wanted to illuminate it in the red figure style with images of Grecian life that reflect Thalassia's interests. A potter was secured and she tried so very hard, but the kylix just did not want to be. At nearly 12 inches in diameter, the pottery kept breaking in the kiln. The potter was heartbroken. Everyone involved with the project was just sad in general.

It is still our hope to find a potter who can make us a kylix, or that we can piece a piece of bisque that would work for our purposes. Somehow, we are going to make this happen. If you, gentle reader, do know a potter who can produce a 12" kylix bowl, handles and foot- please do feel free to drop me a line!

Now with the punting- We had about 8 days left before the elevation. Everyone was jammed up with projects and busy with a lengthy 7 week demo. We were exhausted and creatively tapped, but still we wanted to be able to hand our friend something. I think Finnguala came up with the idea of laying out the text in the shape of the urn. So, at a Ren Fest demo, this scroll was banged out. I took it home and finished the inking and calligraphy the next day.

Urn sketch: Mistress Finnguala

Text: Mistress Gwenllyan

Text layout: (soon to be Mistress) Milesenda

Calligraphy and inking: Mistress Maol

The finished product was simple, but elegant. Pretty in an understated way. We are still making that damned kylix, but for now- at least we were able to hand our lovely friend something, even if it wasn't what we were aiming for, precisely.

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