It is always a great relief when a book is published and rough drafts that have been worked on for so many months or even years all come to fruition. This is exactly how I feel about my latest book – Illumination: Gold and Colour. This is just about everything I know about using metallic pigments, powders and leaves, colour, the traditional materials of vellum and parchment, as well as quills, gesso and egg tempera painting along the way.
The book, with a preface by Professor Michelle Brown, has 162 pages, is lavishly illustrated, and costs £15 + p+p. Here is a sneaky peak inside.
It is available from my website here; I shall be delighted to write a name calligraphically in each copy. To buy the book please contact me and I’ll send you details of how to pay, and how much the postage will be. I don’t use Paypal nor take credit/debit cards, so if you would prefer to pay in this way, then L Cornelissen and Son are also selling the book (in this case I won’t be able to write in a name). Contact them here. The book complements my Illumination DVD.
Chapters include a brief history of manuscript production, tools, materials, techniques and projects. I felt it very important to include projects which are very simple and cheap to do (gold leaf is expensive!). So there are lots of ideas for making simple items with cheap gold and colour which even children could do.
There are also step-by-step ‘instruction boxes’ which make it easy to find out how to do various processes, but also ‘ingredients’ lists and numbered steps to follow them through. These are coloured and boxed so they are clear to see and find in the book.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a book about Illumination if vellum, parchment and quills weren’t throroughly explained and considered. So the differences between parchment and vellum are explained, how to prepare skin for writing and painting is here, how to stretch vellum over board in easy step-by-step stages is also covered, so are curing and cutting feathers into quills, and how to prepare pigments and mix them for egg tempera painting.
The projects include simple and easy, those more complicated such as writing on vellum with colour and shell gold, right up to mediæval miniature gilding and painting, and also how to plan and make a presentation scroll on vellum using traditional skills which is based on an actual commission.
Wonderful fun atmosphere, made something I always thought was so difficult easy.
Patricia was very professional and enthusiastic.
Wonderful and enthusiastic.
Excellent. Very encouraging to all students.
I could see the improvement in my work and my confidence.
I have achieved a long-held ambition, and, thanks to Patricia and the relaxed atmosphere she created, I have amazed myself.
Excellent course, would love to come on another.
Every day has been excellent and I have achieved more than I thought I was capable of. Thanks for everything.
It was a privilege to have attended.
Have you ever wanted to find out how to cut a quill, use vellum, make and use gesso, attach leaf gold and paint a mediæval letter? This is your chance!
I am running a three-day course next year, Saturday 23rd, Sunday 24th and Monday 25th May 2015 to do just that. Before the course we shall select the letter online that you would like to produce, based on those in mediæval manuscripts, so that when you arrive in Sevenoaks, no time will be lost. You’ll cut a quill to lay gesso, prepare vellum, make and lay gesso (and take some home), find out how to prepare gesso for the gold to attach successfully, and carry out the painting all with expert tuition. In fact, you’ll do the painting process twice so that your second one will be as good as you can do. And you’ll take home your quill and two letters – your practice one and your final one.
Courses are held in the studio at my home in Sevenoaks, with ample parking. You need to bring nothing with you (apart from a magnifying glass and additional light if you prefer) as all the tools and materials are supplied. So, too, is tea, coffee and home-made cakes and biscuits, and also a light lunch, most of which is also home-made.
Classes are kept deliberately small so that you get almost one-to-one tuition, and, because everything is provided including manuscript vellum and real gold leaf, the course is rather expensive. However, places do fill very quickly, so if you are interested, please get in touch with me as soon as you can. I’ll send you details when you express an interest by e-mail. Use the one on this website, or at the end of my online newsletter.