Another group of lovely people started the day early at the end of May 2018 to spend three days learning the traditional skills and techniques of the mediæval illuminator. Usually the group is limited to eight, but someone was coming from the Middle East and so the group was actually nine – it still allowed for intensive personal tuition.
Everything is supplied and work stations are set up for each individual.
We focused on gesso first, gilding gesso which had already been laid for practice of the techniques, then making gesso and considering the role of each constituent ingredient. Gesso had already been made for the each person to use straightaway, so at the end of the course participants had a good amount of gesso to take home with them to do more miniatures.
Gesso is best laid with a quill, so next, the group cut their own quills from swan feathers. Everyone did very well with sharp quill knives cutting good quills which they took home with them after laying their gesso.
Then it was on to laying gesso on vellum.
The next morning, gold leaf was laid on the carefully prepared gesso.
This is highly skilled and takes some time.
Before painting the ‘best’ piece, another miniature was gilded and painted as a practice piece. This meant that the final miniature was as good as it could be.
Adding colour to the gold really brings the image alive.
Everyone went home with two miniatures on vellum, the practice one and the carefully gilded and painted best piece.
Comments from the group:
It has been the best course I have been on so far, not only for the quality of the course but for your immense kindness and generosity.
You are a very generous teacher. I feel that I have learnt a lot. Everything was very clear and to the point, and you were very kind to answer all the questions with more detail than I expected.
Excellent! Would do it all over again without a second thought! Natural talent in teaching! Thank you so much.
An amazing experience – moments to cherish. Left feeling very motivated and very relaxed after 3 days of total absorption in another world.
Detailed, clear and very supportive teaching. Fantastic to hear so much of the background without it being a lecture.
SUPERB! The best possible introduction to these arts – miniatures and gilding – and the practical support makes this course EXCEPTIONAL!
I loved how any question, even ones with minimal relation to the course content, were welcome and thorough explanations or commentary were given. Support, even if the results were less than what we’d envisioned, was enthusiastic and honest, but left us with hope for future efforts.
FABULOUS COURSE – will highly recommend this to my students.
It has been fantastic to learn so much about the skills needed and how to create illuminated artworks. Would highly recommend courses with Patricia.