Monday, March 30, 2009

A Gentle Push Towards Illumination

In getting back to all things medieval in my life, I've increasingly found myself thinking "I should try my hand at illumination." In the past I've taught classes on herbal preparations and reproduction jewelry making, but I realized that I want to engage in something that really takes unique personal talent. Herbalism surely requires knowledge and research. Jewelry making does take some planning, patience and supplies. Then there's illumination. That take research, skills, planning, supplies, practice and some natural talent that's hard to duplicate. Since I've been drawing for most of my life and painting on and off since I was 10, I'm surprised I didn't pursue illumination earlier. I've taken a short class, read quite a bit on the topic, accumulated a few supplies but for whatever reason I've hesitated to really delve in fully.

So the universe decided to give me a big push this week. A good smack across the head really.

First I found the perfect box to keep all of my illumination supplies in. A lovely wooden sketch box with brass latches and a leather handle. The box had plenty little compartments inside and even a place to store a bristol paper pad. It was also 50% off. Sweet.

Then I unearthed all of the little brushes I knew I had but couldn't find.

Then I found an amazing on-line source for images of period illuminations. Some nice detail images of diapering and faces that excited me.

Finally, someone in my shire send out a message that she was parting with a bunch of illumination and calligraphy books (for FREE) ... and some illumination supplies (for very cheap).

I'm proud to say that I now own 50 vials of period pigments, some gum arabic powder, a brush dish, some pergamenta paper and 5 very great books all for an extremely reasonable sum.

Yes, universe, I can take a hint.

Above: Inside the illumination box. Everything fits so perfectly, it's destined.

Below: All of the new books.

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