Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Scotland Adventure 2015 - Limited Edition Certificate

It needed to have quality. It needed to be unique. It needed to be something that folks would want to display.  I went with what is arguably one of the most iconic structures in the country, and it happens to lie near the end of the big east-to-west walk I plan to tackle - Eilean Donan Castle.

Relying on past training and experience in archaeological illustration, the tedious work in pen-and-ink stipple began.  The illustration is in acid-free ink, applied with a .01 pen, and wound up being many more hours than I ever intended to invest!  This was one of those "ooo, that would look cool!" situations, which typically conclude with great results but also typically put a pinch on time constraints.

I'm told that my technique in application is... ahem, unique. Most folks do the major outlines of the
structure and then tackle the details, but I started at one end, fully rendering that part of the structure, and then continued to build from left to right, fully rendering as I went.

Eilean Donan is the most recognized and most photographed castle in all of Scotland.  Gaelic for Donan's Isle, it stands sturdily on a tiny island on the edge of Loch Duich, a sea loch on Scotland's northwest coast, west of Kintail  and very near the Isle of Skye.  It may surprise many to know that it is of 20th century construction.  The castle was razed nearly to the ground and lay in ruin for a very long time.  The castle ruin was purchased by a MacRae in the early 20th century, and through research and very old plans and schematics, he was able to rebuild the old castle
very close to its original grandeur.  This castle has appeared in many major films - "Highlander", a James Bond film, and "Made of Honor", to name a few.

After several days, crossed eyes, and hundreds of thousands of ink dots later, a castle emerged.  The original will be matted and framed and hung in exhibition along with the miniatures and the other works that come from this project, but for now its image makes a fine feature on the supporter certificates.

The certificates are printed on a nice heavy parchment paper, which shows off an ink illustration
quite nicely.  To show the print number, my husband had the ingenious idea of using a compass graphic - so I set about creating an image with a blank center for such numbering.  Official certificates often have a nice foil seal. I thought that I would instead use a hand-painted thistle remarque on each, which seemed more appropriate.  Penning each supporter's name on his/her certificate was the next item. I tried a brush pen but it was sorely inadequate.  Mars black acrylic, thinned to ink consistency and applied with a quill shaped brush, has done the job quite nicely.  The certificate has been further enhanced with antique gold acrylic on the 'T' and the 'L' in 'Tapadh Leat, to produce an effect much like manuscript illumination in times long gone. Tapadh leat, by the way, is Scots-Gaelic for Thank you.

A certificate, soon to be on its way to its owner.  I'm using two
protective papers, four corner-mounts, and corrugated cardboard
to see each certificate safely to its new home.
With so much invested in the certificate's creation, I didn't want to leave delivery to chance.  I am hand-cutting corrugated cardboard for each mailing, to prevent creases and folds. The certificate is further protected by white printer paper, both on top and underneath.  I have also fashioned archival corner-mounts out of strips of paper, to securely anchor each certificate to its corrugated cardboard mount. Two probably would have sufficed, but I wanted to make extra certain and used such mounts on all four corners.

So far eight of these have been shipped, with no
certificate, with two of its four corner mounts.  two protective
papers yet to be included.
problems whatsoever upon delivery.  It is my hope that I may continue to send many more, including folks on what is shaping up to be an amazing adventure!  At this point I am looking at a full eight weeks wandering some magnificent country and gathering a tremendous amount of imagery and writing for the body of work and for the book.  Scotland's great northwest continues to grow as a focus, and Torridon is very much on the radar.  I'll tell you more about areas I dearly hope to visit with next week's post.

 Until next Tuesday!
Packaged up, fully protected and ready for shipping!

No comments: