Tag Archives: Gold on Parchment

Gold on Parchment, exhibition at Cornelissen in London

Cornelissen_smIt was a great privilege to work with L Cornelissen & Son at 105 Great Russell Street in London (just along from the British Museum) to mount the very first exhibition they have had at the shop. They are on a very busy thoroughfare and most people visiting the British Museum go past their front door. The exhibition was in the window and so it could be seen even when the shop was closed. The shop itself is wonderful as can be seen on the right – and it really is almost impossible not to go inside! Kathy Pearlson from Cornelissen, who set up the exhibition, did a terrific job of making sure that every piece could be seen and that the exhibition looked wonderful.

image12The exhibition was arranged on behalf of the Heritage Crafts Association for London Craft Week 2016, echoing the theme of ‘paper’ for their first anniversary. Some of the best calligraphers and illuminators in the country were asked to submit one or two pieces of their work on vellum for the exhibition, and the response was terrific! For those who didn’t mange to see it, here are some of the pieces exhibited. The photographs were kindly taken by Yanko Tihov. On the right: Sam Somerville.





Tim Noad, on the right








image2Mary Noble (this piece is tiny!)






image21Ronnie Cruwys – also see her website ‘Drawing the Street‘, and again a small piece




Ann Hechle







image17Patricia Lovett, another small piece







image24Peter Thornton, small again







image23Peter Halliday (I am featuring this piece in my British Library book, The Art and History of Calligraphy, to be published in 2017).







image9Ewan Clayton


image5John Woodcock (another tiny piece)








image11Gemma Black







image10Jan Pickett







image13Jan Mehigan







image8Cathy Stables







image28Lin Kerr


Gold and Parchment in Sydney

photo copyThe highlight for me of our brief stay in Australia was the talk on Gold on Parchment that I gave at the State Library of New South Wales. The Australian Society of Calligraphers and the State Library had done a great job of advertising the talk. This (right) was in the Sydney daily paper. Although it was advertised as mainly for calligraphers, it was clear on the day that there were also people from the library itself, including conservators, and those interested in manuscripts and history.



State Library, NSWThe State Library is a beautifully light and airy modern building almost opposite the Botanical Gardens, right in the heart of the city of Sydney. There was a stunning exhibition of photography on display while we were there.

State Library NSW old building


On the day, though, the State Library realised that the room they had first allocated would be too small, and so they transferred the location for the talk to a larger room in the older library building. This was a wonderful red sandstone historical building looking out over the Botanical Gardens themselves, and a real landmark.

State Library, NSW

To get there we were taken through the library where there was a great mix of old and new, like this huge room lined with bookshelves and with a magnificent ceiling, yet with a modern glass staircase in the centre.


Gold on Parchment talk


The room was a large one, but it quickly filled, and in the end there were over 200 people with some standing at the back for the whole two-hour presentation!

Gold on Parchment in SydneyI was delighted that the short video of me cutting a quill, which I filmed the day before we left and then quickly imported into the Powerpoint presentation actually worked! There were interesting questions at the end, and I was delighted by the interest shown. Huge thanks are due to everyone involved in the State Library Events department (especially Samantha Hagan who kept very calm while we struggled to get the video clip up and working, and didn’t worry too much when we overran), and to the Australian Society of Calligraphers who were so welcoming and kind, especially Liz Firth who was my contact, and Bob Howe, the current President. I was even asked to do a repeat for the conservators, but sadly we were leaving the following day – perhaps next time!