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Now that is has been gifted, I get to post about the vigil book I made for Katheryn Fontayne’s elevation to the Order of the Laurel.

I knew right away that I wanted to use parchment over silk for the cover. I hemmed and hawed though at what to carve into it. In the end I remembered a comment Hugh had made the last time I used this parchment and kept the pierced design simple. He said he delighted in its simplicity and beauty. So I chose to punch a laurel wreath into the cover and let it speak for itself.

The cover is indigo dyed calf over bleached raw silk. The boards are Davey board, a descendant of paste boards made in period. The tapes are linen, as is the sewing thread. The paper is a heavier text weight that takes ink well and stands up to being used in a blank journal. The furniture (the four pegs on the cover) are brass.

Pierced parchment binding is an area I have very much wanted to do more of. I love the mudejar style, which combines needle piercings and thread work, but I also want to explore more cut work. I acquired a kit from Nancy Hulan at Pennsic one year and was hooked!

I simply must acknowledge this very helpful blog post from Francesca Galligan, Rare Books, Bodleian Library as I was starting out. It provided more detail after the kit whetted my appetite. One stunning example of cut work (which is a little out of SCA period but still OMG) is this manuscript in the Walters Art Museum. Here is but one page:

Lace Book of Marie de' Medici, Lace margins, Walters Manuscript W.494, Folio 5r

One day I will accomplish this!


Here are photos from the binding of Katheryn’s book.

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