Scriptorium Workshop Struggles

Since I missed the first illuminated manuscript workshop, I was particularly daunted by the project ahead of me when I arrived on Monday. I had to condense the process of producing  an illuminated letter into one class time. It is safe to say that I would not have been accepted as a miniaturist in any sixteenth century scriptorium. I particularly enjoyed working with the gold leaf. Merely by adding small bits of it, the letter transformed completely. These luminescent patches scattered across the letter draw the eye in immediately. Still, the gold leaf was difficult to apply, and never stuck to the page in exactly the way I had intended. I have a deeper respect for the work of miniaturists having now gone through this process, only to produce one letter. This craft requires a level of patience and diligence that is nearly inconceivable to me. Catching a glimpse into the laborious process also made me think about the extent to which miniaturists devoted their whole lives to the craft. The scrupulous nature of the process demands vast spans of time and attention. How long would it have taken just to finish a single page?



(I didn’t get to use paints and had to finish outside of class, so I used markers and colored pencil only)

2 Replies to “Scriptorium Workshop Struggles”

  1. I really like your choice of colors. The dominance of the cool colors help the warm yellow and gold to really stand out. And I completely agree with you on the nightmare that it is to apply the gold leaf. But your placement of the gold drew my eye all along the letter. I like your historiated letter!

  2. I had a similar daunting feeling about the workshop, but I think your illuminated letter turned out really well! I liked your use of the gold leaf and yellow colored pencil to illuminate. I imagine it would have taken at least a week to finish a single page of a miniature because it is a slow process, but probably longer.

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