Pelican Medallion for Ollamh Lanea

by Bran Mydwynter

One of our challenges—and opportunities—as SCAdian artists is to translate historical artwork into forms which suit our in-Society requirements.

In May I was honored to design a medallion for Lanea inghean Uí Chiaragáin’s elevation to the Order of the Pelican. (After I designed it, Edgar Refskegg and Sinn Larensdotter made it happen, which was a delight. Collaboration improves many things.)

When I create projects for the SCA, I enjoy using what I’ve come to call an “applied art history” approach, marrying the academic discipline of art history with the intentional and thoughtful creation of a piece of custom artwork. This medallion was a chance to dive deeply into Scythian art, to derive a design for a very SCAdian product from extant sources which are anything but.

Along the way, I had the pleasure of thinking philosophically, critically, and realistically about the nature of the work we do when we, as artists in the SCA, inevitably perform material translations and contextual adaptations.

I wrote about it all on my portfolio site. And now I’m sharing it here, with the hope that others might be interested in the journey.

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