An elvish love gift

Do you remember our friend Ismael Seidel a.k.a. Erulastano from the previous post in this series? After sharing his great love story now, as promised, we’ll bring you the making of of that gift he gave to his beloved Eruenvinyantë! In his own words, here is how it was done:

By Ismael Seidel

It all began with a poem, as said before. A few days after I wrote it, I thought: “I need to see how it fits in Quenya” – which Rafaela presented me. At the start I didn’t plan to make a book, but I knew that in some way I’d give her the poem as a gift.

One day, I started to draw a sketch of her. Later I wrote some tengwar on it, my name, her name and my poor Quenya translation of the 1st verse of my poem. Then I tried a little bit more with the second verse and experimented using computer fonts. Once again I hadn’t liked the results, mainly because I felt Tengwar should be more natural than a computer generated image. I was really interested in handwriting the whole thing, so I started researching calligraphy material and found out pretty cheap stuff. An art teacher advised me about the ink and then I bought 8 different colors to start my project.

I bought three nibs as well. A thin one called pointed nib and two others called broad nibs. The latter ones were hard to find here, but I got lucky as a great friend of mine bought that to me as she lives in larger city. Funny fact is that Rafaela was with me when I got those nibs (and she knew nothing about it)

In my first tryouts, I couldn’t get it right. Common paper wouldn’t work at all. The solution was parchment paper.

That’s when the idea of making it a book took place! Sadly I also decided a delivery date and by then my translation wasn’t good as it should be. The first three pages had an awful translation and I’m aware now I need to improve my skills and keep studying more and more. Anyway, back to the book…

From now on, let’s illustrate more. Check the gallery below:

Some of the materials I used to write and cut…

…to go from step 1 to 3

The Making of

This is such a huge project! There are so many details that could be told and discussed about each image! Instead of writing all of them here (a massive task I found out at the end) I’ll open the comments below to anyone curious about the making and the details of the process. I invite Ismael as well to keep track of the comments so he helps answer any question that may arise.

Additionally you can find much more detailed info in his Facebook albums here.

Thank you for sharing this beauty with us, Ismael…the talent of your fingers!



Filed under Art, Elvish, Poem, Quenya, Tengwar

10 responses to “An elvish love gift

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  3. João Costa

    Ismael também sou brasileiro e achei muito legal seu trabalho imenso! Ficou ótimo e o perfeito presente para sua namorada. Podia fazer outros projetos do tipo com outras pessoas para te ajudar. Parabéns!

  4. Pingback: An elvish love poem | quenya101

  5. this is an amazing work, Ismael you’r a genius. thanks for sharing your history and your passion for the Quenya =)

  6. Su

    For Ismael: This is beautiful! How long did it take to create the book, poems, everything? What brand were the inks? Sorry to be so inquisitive, I’ve been wanting to make my journal and this really inspired me to consider using inks! I love the way you incorporated Quenya into EVERY aspect of the gift….it’s so well thought out and executed, cheers!

    Anyways, this is lovely, im totally inspired!

    • Hi! Nice to see that my gift to Rafaela had inspired you!

      Answering your questions, it took about 6 months for the whole thing (since the poem until give my gift to her). At first I had just wrote the poem and idealized that I should give it to her as a gift. But I was not sure about how I should do that. Then I started trying to learn Quenya, and as Rafaela who introduced me this beautiful language I thought “Why shouldn’t I write the poem in Quenya?” Then I started just to translate and publish some computer images to her with parts of the poem. The idea for the book came to me only few months after. But in the process I learn a very big lesson! It need much more time to really learn Quenya! The first verses are very bad translated! And until now I found a bunch of errors all over the poem. There is still some parts to finish. But it was worth it!!!!

      About the ink, I used a really cheap ink: China Ink (here in Brazil is known as “nanquim”). They were the tip that the art teacher gave to me. I was very worried about the inks for calligraphy, but nankin gave to me pretty good results! The picture with the inks are after I changed the flask to be more easy to pick up the ink with the nibs. The inks had came in flasks like this one (here in Brazil):

      Sorry if I wrote a too long text! I hope to had answered all your questions! Any question more is very welcome!


  7. I’ll be happy to keep track of the comments and answer any questions! And again thank you for the publication!

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