This is the professional Record of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators. As such, it contains details both of the Society’s Officers since its inception in 1921 and of its professional members, now called Fellows. It attempts to cover both past and present Fellows, even though some have later resigned or allowed their membership to lapse. It does not cover the calligraphic careers of its Lay Members, but does record Honorary Members who may not have been Fellows, and their significant contributions to the Society.The Society was initially quite small and consisted only of professional scribes and calligraphers, with just one Officer, but as it grew – and particularly when it accepted Lay Members, who were at that time mainly amateur calligraphers, in 1952 – several of the Officers were drawn from Lay Member volunteers. This was, however, never true of the role of Chairman: the Chairman has always been a professional.The current Fellows of the Society have all been elected to full professional membership by their peers on the quality of their work. In the early days of the Society they were known as ‘Members’: later (inaugurated in 1958 but backdated to 1952) as Craft Members, to distinguish them from the newly-formed Lay Membership. They were finally re-named Fellows in 1985.
The election process for new Fellows is described in the side panel: the Society welcomes several applications for Fellowship from the existing members each year. It remains a rigorous process, which because of this rigour has maintained both the high standards and the professional standing of a Fellow of the SSI over almost a century.
Inevitably, the Record is not complete. It was compiled in this format beginning in 2003, by which time some early Members of the Society had died, and some had ceased to maintain their membership (Fellowship is a not only a recognition of high standards by one’s peers, but also a category of membership of the SSI: it is therefore only applicable to existing members, and is not an independent qualification). Details of past Fellows are included where possible. If there are details which would help make this Record more complete, please do not hesitate to supply them to the compiler, below.
Election of Fellows
Fellows are elected on submission of work, and are considered by existing Fellows to have achieved a professional standard in all aspects of their work.
Candidates must have a proposer and seconder who are Fellows of the Society. It is essential that they are happy without persuasion to offer support. They must have seen all of a candidate’s work and will advise on which pieces to include in a submission. It is an advantage for them to have been involved in a candidate’s development over a period of time. At least one of them will be expected to attend the Fellowship election and speak on the candidate’s behalf. This includes submissions from overseas.
As a guide, Fellows will be considering the following:
- writing skills;
- knowledge of hands;
- layout and design;
- use of space and balance of elements;
- sensitivity and suitability of chosen hands to subject matter;
- presentation and use of materials;
- skills in gilding and decoration
- integrity of personal direction.