Stop, Decision time!

The time has come for hard choices and difficult decisions. I’ve got a couple of things to ask you, dear readers, regarding artistic decisions on a couple of my projects. The first has to do with the Quenya Text book Project, which I intend to be for the public, so I thought I’d ask the public for some help. The other questions are about a project I’m working on for personal fulfillment.

Quenya Textbook

Ok here it is: there are two components of the first part of the textbook; the introduction of the individual tengwar or letters; and exercises using those tengwar. I have a couple ideas regarding the layout of both of these and I thought I would share and ask your advice. Here is the first, the letters:

Quenya letters(1545x2000)

There are two options regarding layout, vertical and horizontal, you can see horizontal on the top and vertical on the bottom. I have to say I prefer vertical, but if you disagree please let me know!  Regarding the second component, the exercises, I am really only having trouble with one thing, but let me show it to you first:Quenya Exercises (1545x2000)

How much space should be between the exercises? More space, as between lines one and two; or less space, as between two and three? What do you think? Let me know in the comments. Try to ignore the rest of the typewriting on these pages, I was figuring out some stuff for yet another project!

One Ring Inscription

This is my personal project. The One Ring from the Lord of the Rings story is one of the most singularly evil artifact in all of Middle-Earth. As such I find it hard to understand why someone would want to own a replica of it, let alone have it as a wedding ring, as I have seen on the internet. Tolkien shares this confusion, saying in one letter:

I had a similar disappointment when a drinking goblet arrived (from a fan) which proved to be of steel

engraved with the terrible words seen on the Ring. I of course have never drunk from it, but use it for

tobacco ash.

Letter 343, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien pp. 466.

So I thought it would be a good idea to make a piece with the inscription and a suitable warning from Gandalf. So I wrote out part of the Inscription and gave it a nice border:

My first go at the one ring inscription.

My first go at the one ring inscription.

I liked this one quite a bit, but then I thought a little more about the inscription and it’s translation according to Gandalf:

“The letters are Elvish, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Mordor, which I will not utter here. But this in the Common Tongue is what is said, close enough:

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

It is only two lines of a verse long known in Elven-lore:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,

Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,

Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,

One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

One Ring to Bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

And then comes the quote I am going to use:Gandalf Quote (2000x1545)

The whole idea of the One Ring, and the poem that goes with it, is that its purpose is to bring together all the other rings and bind them under Sauron’s power. So what if I incorporated the other rings into the border of the inscription? I practiced drawing them out a bit:

My first attempt at the other rings

My first attempt at the other rings

Ehh, not so good. So I tried again, this time with the whole inscription:

Take Two: The other rings

Take Two: The other rings

Better, but it still seemed a bit hokey to me, not quite up to par with my admittedly pretty high standards; they still didn’t look quite right. So I modified the linking rings and made them more stylized and did them in red to match the rest of the border:

Take Three: The other rings

Take Three: The other rings

The scanner didn’t quite do it justice, the rings on the bottom and the ones on the top were really done in the same ink. Anyway I am pretty sure this is the one I am going to go with for the final version. But I still really like the first one I did. If I did use the first one I would make the diamond in the middle of the border into the Eye of Sauron alá Tolkien’s original artwork:

lotr2 (662x1019)lotr1 (728x1024)


One last thing. There are two lines in the Ring inscription. Should I have one line above the Gandalf quote and one below or have both lines of the inscription above and the Gandalf quote below?

In Summary

There are four basic questions. Two with the Quenya text book and two with the Ring Inscription.

Quenya Textbook Questions:

Should the layout for the letter presentation be vertical or horizontal?

Should the spacing between exercises be greater or lesser?

Ring Inscription Questions:

Should I go with design option number 1: Straight up red borders, or with design option number 2: Borders with the rings?

Should I put the Gandalf quote between the ring inscriptions or below both ring inscriptions?

I can see the pros of all sides and am having a hard time deciding, so what do you think? Please let me know.


Probably on Thursday, or maybe Friday, I will have a tutorial of how I aged my paper by staining it with coffee. I am going to use these aged pages with the Quenya textbook and I thought I’d show you how I made them. So keep your eye out for that sometime later this week!


2 thoughts on “Stop, Decision time!

  1. Pingback: How I Aged Paper 500 Years in 5 Days: A Photographic Journey | My Modern Quill

  2. Pingback: Learning Tengwar | My Modern Quill

Questions? Comments? Wanna say "That's awesome!" Now's your chance

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: