Heralding: Lonely Tower’s Roll of Arms Project

Barony of the Lonely Tower’s Roll of Arms

You’ve seen these before in earlier posts, often in the background. It’s Lonely Tower’s Roll of ArmsAnyone in the Barony who has an SCA heraldic device has a painted picture of it here with your name on the back.

The oldest existing armorial is from the 13th century. They continued to be made up into the 17th century, well past the SCA time period.

I update the order and paint new devices to Lonely Tower’s Roll at least once a year, for our 12th Night Event. It easy to do. But the Roll is also displayed at any of our events on the Calontir Kingdom Calendar.

Sewing the fabric.

I first sew by machine enough 8.5 x 11-inch cloth rectangles for the arms I need to add. The pieces start out 9.5×12 inches. I sew a small hem on each side, turning 1/4 inch over and turning it a second time before sewing.

Calontir has a searchable online Armorial, as most Kingdom’s do, with images of people’s heraldic devices. Using it, I print out the images as close to 8.5×11 as I can.

With my light-pad and pencil, I trace the picture on the sewn cloth. I change the shape from the shield shape to a rectangle, adjusting the border and individual heraldic charges (separate images) as needed.

Drawn design
with initial painting.

Using acrylic craft paint, with some fabric media added to keep the paint softer when it’s dry, I paint the arms like the printed pictures. I start with the lighter colors, not caring much about staying in the lines.

When the light color is well dry I carefully paint a darker color. I continue until I’ve painted all the heraldic tinctures.

After drying I sometimes use a permanent black fine marker to add details. The black lines distinguish overlapping parts of charges such as wings, cart’s wheels, and others.

After the rectangles are dry I safety-pin them to our large panels. The curtain-like panels were sewn out of heavy white cotton cloth years ago. Narrow hems on each side and deeper ones at the top and bottom. The top hem accepts a dowel with a long cord tied to each end. The corded dowel allows you to hang the whole panel on a wall or in a window.

Finished painted device
and its printout.

Although I’ve seen other SCA groups organize their Roll of Arms according to the order the devices were passed by the SCA’s College of Arms, our Barony organizes the devices by the owner’s rank. After the Barony’s device is our founding Baron’s. The later Baronages follow it chronologically. Those never change, but are added to as we get a new Baron and Baroness. Then follow the devices of our members with approved arms by their rank. 

Each year, if not sooner, I change the order of the individual small banners. They are added or removed when 

  • Lonely Tower gets a new Baronage 
  • people get devices that didn’t have them before
  • a member receives a higher rank
  • people move into or away from here
  • a member becomes inactive

Maintaining Lonely Tower’s Roll of Arms is a small way to contribute to the local group that adds color and interest. At events, I see those walking by it stop and challenge each other to name the individual devices’ owners. It’s not an official competition. It’s just an SCA social thing you do.  

Related Prior Post:
How To Use Heraldry On SCA Scrolls 
Barony of the Lonely Tower Arts and Sciences’ Revel

Categories: Projects

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