20th Archer, 1830
M. F. DuBuque, M. Vi.,
College of Glaziers,
Quarter of Masons, Polidon
My dear Florent,
We are well into the heart of winter, up here in the mountains. In the capitol, at this point, you may complain bitterly of having had to wear a greatcoat once or twice, perhaps even a scarf, in order to survive your daily walk along the river. I might sympathize, had I not been driven last week to the same extremity while indoors. (The attic over the carriage house at this studio is not so well insulated as one might hope. No antique glass, no matter how beautiful, which languishes there at the moment will be emerging into any of our projects until spring at the earliest.)
I am very pleased with your recommendation for the new leading from Mssrs. Barstow & Wells. The cost of having it brought across from Eld and all the way up to this altitude cannot be discounted. However, it is so much superior in its malleability that even apprentices can be assigned to use it without undue waste. Furthermore, I find that the normal dampening effect leading has on radiance cantrips is much reduced—I was able to conjur the effect of full eastern exposure out of a panel of Imperial Indigo just this morning.
But the main reason I write is that I am shorthanded. My people were more than adequately occupied when last I wrote you, but since then we have received a very ambitious commission from none other than the Marquis de Beaux-Iles. He intends to build a shrine to Juno; let us hope his wife is as impressed by the gesture of penitence as Juno’s priestesses are said to be. Alas, he is adamant that all five windows must be in place for the ceremony of consecration, on the anniversary of his nuptials on the 2nd Dolphin.
Moreover, the best of my apprentices has received an offer from a studio near the capital, with an offer of sponsorship to the Academy if she does well. Apparently her aunt here in town knows someone at Janine Huiscardin’s place in Elyse, which is great good fortune for my apprentice but a bit of a knock for me. I would have sponsored her to our guild myself, of course, but access to the Academy is not an opportunity I can provide, so I must in good conscience encourage her to go.
And if that were not enough, the most experienced woodworker in the house, a stout fellow I should have thought could withstand an avalanche, has taken sick; some mysterious ailment in the digestion.
So I throw myself on your mercy, and beg you to rifle through the sheaves of lists and records and circulars and correspondence with which your office is flooded. One name only, I request—some solitary soul who might be content with life in a provincial setting like Gillonais; someone with at least three years of associate work, if such a paragon can be found.