Northshield Scroll Blank Challenge

The Official website for the Northshield Scroll Blank Challenge ends December 4, A.S 45 (2010)

Thank you for you interest in the Northshield Scroll Blank Challenge! Whether you are just looking to see what this is or if you are here as an enthusiastic participant we appreciate you taking the time to take a look. So enjoy! Be sure to let others know about this challenge.

What is the Northshield Scroll Blank Challenge?

The Northshield Scroll Blank Challenge was devised to rebuild the almost depleted supply of scroll blanks in the Kingdom of Northshield. This challenge benefits the Kingdom of Northshield and its populace. As you may be aware Award Scrolls are given out by Their Stellar Majesties to deserving recipients for a variety of activities. The Scroll Blank Challenge is to provide the Kingdom Signet with usable, pretty illuminated scrolls that simply need the calligraphy to be written in for the specific recipients. These are called scroll blanks.

Why do the Northshield Scroll Blank Challenge?

Scroll blanks are immensely useful. The people who make scrolls are called scribes. Not all scribes do both illumination and calligraphy. Having scroll blanks allows illuminator scribes to help out by doing what they enjoy and allowing the calligrapher scribes to be just as helpful in ensuring that award recipients get beautiful works of original art in every award that is given out.

Often completed scroll blanks are given to calligrapher scribes who will use them to make award scrolls in the future. Sometimes though, Their Majesties may see or hear something wonderful at an event and wish to give an award scroll to that person that day. In these cases, pre-made scroll blanks are invaluable. A calligrapher can combat scribe a scroll at the event site, often in much less time that it would take to do both the illumination and the calligraphy.

When is the Northshield Scroll Blank Challenge?

The deadline for this challenge is Boars Head on December 4, A.S. 45 (2010).

If you would like to make scroll blanks but for some reason can not do them during this challenge time the Kingdom Signet is always willing to accept scroll blanks anytime. All such help is gratefully appreciated!

Who can participate in this Scroll Blank Challenge?

Anyone who wants to! It doesn't matter how experienced or inexperienced you are at doing art or making scroll blanks. We hope that this web page will act as a resource to you for both this challenge and in the future. While the paintbrush was thrown down as a challenge between SCA groups, "group" is very loosely defined. Shires, villages, cantons, colleges, baronies, households, individuals and just about any other type of "group," you can think of that wishes to participate will all be considered as a group eligible to participate. The more people participating the more scroll blanks that will benefit the Kingdom of Northshield and that is the goal afterall!

So how does the Northshield Scroll Blank Challenge Work?

We would like to have as many scroll blanks as possible turned in at the Boar's Head event taking place December 4, A.S. 45 (2010). If you can't bring completed blanks yourself, they can be brought by someone else or even mailed.

Rules and Guidelines:

Scroll blanks should be made with the understanding that each and every one will eventually be made into an award and given by Their Majesties as such. Materials and media that are wonderful for helping to design and develop a scroll blank are not always appropriate for final products. With that in mind we head directly to the rules!

Participants are encouraged to:

- Make all scroll blanks in accordance with the Northshield Scribal Handbook and Standards.

- Use guache, watercolor, ink and any period materials

- Use gold or other metal leaf materials

- Use period illumination examples for inspiration

Scroll blanks with or made of the following will not be accepted for the Northshield Scroll Blank Challenge:

- Computer printouts

- Marker, colored pencils, crayons, chalk etc.

- Blanks with wording on them. (This in no way should discourage illuminated or historiated first letters).

- Computer paper

While those materials and such are great for helping determine how you wish to design your illumination they are not appropriate for the end scroll blank.

A quick note about the use of marker. It is an accepted practice to use ink to sometimes outline certain parts of illumination. A very thinly tipped marker (0.5 mm or smaller) is acceptable to use to do this.

We also encourage participants to use the back of each scroll blank to please:

- Follow the standards for court scrolls in Northshield. Not following the standards means that the scroll will not be accepted.

- Write the name and e-mail of each person who helped with the scroll blank if possible. That way should the recipient wish to thank those responsible for making their scroll they can.

- Write the materials used, including paper, paints, guilding materials and all other media. This educates the calligrapher who can make a choice as to what inks and pen nibs would be best to use. It also educates the end recipient and may help them make a decision as how best to display or frame their beautiful award scroll.

- If there was period inspiration used to make the scroll blank please include the time period and region as well as source or reference as well. This helps the calligrapher to determine what hand of calligraphy would be best to use on the scroll as not all hands of calligraphy match all time periods. Sometimes the time period and region of the recipient is known and then a scroll blank can be matched to the recipient better.

Please use a discrete portion of the back of the scroll blank to include this information. We aren't looking for full documentation here.

EXAMPLE: Lord John Doe & Lady Jane Doe e-mail: Arches Hot Press guache paints with gold leaf gilding. Based on Hunting Book of Gaston Phoebus 15th century France.

Also please write this information in pencil.

How will winners be determined?

We will be using a mostly objective point system to determine the winners.

Point Scoring:

* 1 point per scroll.

* 1 point for extra effort (i.e. gilding, detail work, challenging composition etc.)

* 1 point for "WOW!" factor.

In an effort to encourage the most participation and scroll blanks as possible we will be averaging the points earned by the number of scroll blanks turned in. This way smaller groups have as good a chance to win as larger groups. The group with the most average points will win. In the event of a tie, which is possible using this scoring system, the tiebreaker will be the group with the most "WOW! points overall.

How do you get "WOW!" points? By making the judges go "WOW!" Another way to look at it would be to make the judges say, "I want THAT SCROLL for an award."

Some examples of "wow" factor include but are not limited to, a very pretty scroll blank, using period materials, exquisite use of gold - guilding or paint, lots of detail work, embossed gilding, crisp & clean illumination and excellent use of space and color.

Gee, wouldn't it be nice for there to be Scroll Cases for all these Scroll Blanks?

If your skills are with cloth, needle and thread, you too can help but it isn't part of any challenge How to make a Scroll Case!

Helpful Links

Just the Rules Please!

Link to the:

Northshield Scribal Handbook

Northshield Scribal Standards

Just download it here.

Northshield Heraldic Images

Helpful advice for making scroll blanks

Making a Scroll Case

Contact Information:

Lady Annora of Dunsford



(608) 438-6530 please call only between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Lady Eile



(608) 244-9054 no calls after 9:00 p.m.

This page is not an official document of the SCA, and does not delineate SCA Policy