Making Heraldry Stencils on an Epilog Laser
stencils of acrylic and Lexan can easily be created on the Epilog Laser
Heraldry and Lasers
I kind of stumbled into the creation of this hub. I was looking at my collection of books on Heraldry, and realised that much of the design, especially the dividing lines and the non-animal escutcheon additions in heraldry, could easily be created with stencils.
Rules of Heraldry
There are specific rules of Heraldry, made to ensure that each coat of arms is different, and bold enough to be seen and distinguished at a great distance. At the time Heraldry was created, many people were illiterate, and even if they could read, they wouldn't be able to read a name tag at a great distance. Heraldry was used as a means to let someone else know the identity of the person in armor who was bearing that specific shield. Because of this, heraldric shields had to be simple, and unique.
The rules of Heraldry were set up to make it possible for someone to have a simple but unique shield "readable" from a distance, even by the illiterate.
Another thing I wish to say about this is that there are hundreds, if not thousands of charges that can be put on a shield, and this set of stencils only covers a very small number of them. If I was to make the set comprehensive, I would need about a hundred times as much Lexan!
1. At the simplest, a shield must contain one charge, or item on a contrasting field, or be subdivided. A plain field with no charge is not allowed.
2. There are specific colors, and specific metal tints. The colors are black(sable), brown, red(gules), orange, green(vert), blue(azure), and violet(perpure).
There are also two metals: White, or Silver(Argent), and Yellow, or Gold(Or.) A metal cannot be put next to another metal, and a color cannot be placed next to another color. The only exception to this is in the city coat of arms of Jerusalem, that is Argent and Or. This special exception was granted because it was the Holy City.
3. The son of a man with a coat of arms must have some clear difference with that of his Father, such as an additional mark, or a coat of arms bearing both his Father's and Mother's arms side by side. A person who has titled nobility on both sides of their family going back several generations is supposed to be able to subdivide their shield and show up to sixteen different coats of arms, but I have only put four to six different sizes of each charge, which would not make any shield showing more than four different family escutcheons readable. Smaller items lose detail and are difficult to cut cleanly.
4.A woman with a title, able to bear arms, such as a crown princess, displays her coat of arms on a lozenge, or large diamond shape (see template number four).
5. A helmet is put on the top of the shield indicating rank. Lower rank shields show a helmet turned to one side, and closed. Mid rank would be closed, but facing the viewer, and upper rank would be open, facing the viewer, and having a face inside. A city coat of arms has a mauerkrone, or wall crown, surmounting the shield. This is crenellated like a castle wall. I have included one in the stencils in template three.
Examples of Heraldry stencils and their use.
Heraldic devices have a long history in Europe and Japan, and have been used to make an easily visible device connected to one family or organization. The use of heraldry has also been extended to symbolize military organizations and cities, as well as nations. I designed these stencils so that many people could easily use them to design coats of arms which may not be official ones, but serve to indicate a group, organization, or individual clearly and distinctly.