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Calligraphy and Illumination

If you are interested in learning about the art of Calligraphy and Illumination then you’ll want to read further.

"News!  Hot off the quills tip!"

If you've wondered when your award scroll is being worked on?  Check out the Scribal Guilds newest resource to help keep you better informed about your scroll.

Introducing the Scribes' Database!

The Lochac College of Scribes is a group of Calligraphers and Illuminators throughout New Zealand and Australia which is a guild that provides various scribal services to the Kingdom of Lochac. 

If you are interested in developing your skills and expertise in this fine art check the Getting Started section and email your nearest Scribal Warden (College contact) for details and by all means look at the additional links and resources section.

Scribal Warden

Who are the local scribal wardens?

  • North Island (NZ) scribal warden is Svartr Ormsson
  • South Island (NZ) scribal warden is Currently Vacant
  • For Australian scribal wardens you can also search here.

What do scribal wardens do?

Generally wardens are tasked with advancing the scribal arts locally by:

  • co-ordinating calligraphy and illumination workshops or scriptoria,
  • assigning scrolls to scribes for completion on behalf of the provost of scribes,
  • generally advancing scribal knowledge.

For a more in depth look at the structure and activities check out the College website.

What does a College scribe do?

Initially you might want to peruse the Lochac Scribes Handbook 2012 which introduces relevant information useful for guild members, wardens and new scribes.  It summarises information on a variety of resources and techniques that can be applied to your own calligraphy and illumination.

Similar information is still available in relevant sections of the College website found here.

In addition to individual projects, scribes of the College produce scrolls such as award of arms, grant of arms, and patent of arms scrolls.  These scrolls are used as awards within the SCA to recognise the contribution a recipient has made within the Kingdom.

The College is involved in creating award documents (scrolls, etc…) that include heraldic display in the form of calligraphy, illumination, and heraldic devices, so also works in conjunction with the College of Heralds.

For examples of different scrolls produced by the College try here.
For examples of heraldic devices that are applied to scrolls try here.

Getting started

“In my 1st class involving calligraphy I was shown that even a dry twig could be fashioned into a writing implement and later I found that soot from a lamp can provide the basis for ink”.

You don’t have to be a member of the College to start calligraphy or illumination but getting in contact with your local scribal warden can help you find others who are practicing in your area.

The following list outlines resources that every calligrapher and illuminator will find useful.
***As this section of the web page develops it will include more on:***

  • Mediums: gold, ink, pigments, etc
  • Implements: Brushes, burnishing tools, quills, nibs, etc…
  • Surfaces: Papyrus, Vellum, parchment, paper, etc…
  • Techniques: Calligraphy, Illumination, etc…

In the meantime choose your preferred medium to work with and gather together various tools of the trade – most ‘how to’ books on calligraphy give good enough information to start you off, if you’re still not sure just ask.

Additionally and as time permits suggestions/articles for the following areas are also welcome.

  • Periods and Cultures
  • Access to practice scrolls
  • Private and group libraries and recommended reads

You can also join the scribes list -- to do so you just need to email the Provost of Scribes.

For material sources check out the additional links and resources section to assist you further.

Additional links and resources

The Scribes' Database - providing populace access to scrolls being worked on (or not) by the College of Scribes.

The Lochac Scribes flickr page.


Please note no endorsement of the following links is provided, implied or otherwise.


SCA merchants and suppliers of scribal materials:

  • Let us know if you want this spot

Non SCA links, resources and art supplies: