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Messages - Estefa

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@TeresaS Thanks for your kind words! My publisher is still evaluating options for an English edition … but I guess the English speaking market is a bit saturated with calligraphy books, so maybe it will not happen.

Thanks a lot, @Erica McPhee – my book is now also available in Japanese :). But sadly not (yet?) in English …

I also recommend @sybillevz’s wonderful website, where she has collected links to virtually hundreds of historical copybooks (with short introducting explanations), and is also a fantastic ressource for accurately redrawn letter variations (for a fee). There are also several articles regarding the development of the English Roundhand and Co. … sorry, it’s not a book though!

2022 Exchanges / Re: My Flower Power Exchange 2022
« on: May 29, 2022, 09:36:23 AM »
They are so beautiful, @Erica McPhee :)!! I'm treasuring mine for sure!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Writing on gold leaf
« on: February 17, 2022, 07:59:33 AM »
… I totally agree with @jeanwilson that she should provide you with a practice piece to test your method and technique!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Writing on gold leaf
« on: February 17, 2022, 05:37:13 AM »
What an amazing project, @Aries M ! It reminds me of religious icons like found in the orthodox christian traditions. I have seen many icons in churches in Crete that involved backgrounds of gold leaf with lettering / calligraphy on top of it. That is very different from the technique of first applying the gold base like done in Western christian manuscripts for initials (like others said). But this is usually done for one, often big and elaborate initial, not for bigger amounts of text. I don’t know how the calligraphy is applied on the gold in the case of the Greek or Russian icons, but I am pretty sure it is done after laying the gold.

In the German section about icons on Wikipedia I also found this technical order: 1) Choosing and preparing the wood, 2) Applying a base on the wood so that it can take colour and / or gold leaf, 3) Drawing of the outlines, 4) Gilding of the parts that should be gold, 5) Painting of the icon, 5) Applying of details etc., lettering on gold or colour, 6) Varnishing the icon.

There were more steps involved, but that is the basic sequence. There are still today icons made in the traditional technique. Sadly, I don’t know and a quick search hasn’t told me how the lettering on gold is done exactly. I suspect oil or tempera paint with a brush (so that the gold is not destroyed with a hard writing tool).

I guess getting in touch with a Greek or other Orthodox icon painter would answer this fascinating question best …

I found this lady on IG:

She has some examples of writing on gold, and she mentions using egg tempera. Maybe scroll through her feed to find out something!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Female scribes through history
« on: January 19, 2022, 02:12:25 AM »
I’m going to miss it too. @K-2 – travelling just for something like that just doesn‘t work at the moment :(.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Female scribes through history
« on: January 18, 2022, 10:48:26 AM »
There is currently an exhibition in Köln (Cologne?) about female scribes in medieval times … I’ve ordered the exhibition catalogue and will let you know if it’s worth buying!

Tools & Supplies / Re: Fountain Pen Help
« on: January 14, 2022, 02:05:56 AM »
I agree that this is probably a giveaway or gift from the uni Köln, one of the oldest and most affluent public unis in Germany. From the branding it doesn’t look very old – the sigil from 1388 would have been prettier :)!

I guess a standard cartridge from Pelikan or Lamy should do the trick, as these are the most available ones in Germany (also for school children fountain pens – they start at age 7).

The nib looks a bit bent, but more exquisite than a school kid’s pen! This should be easy to fix – good luck!

Tools & Supplies / Re: Looking For White Ink Recommendations
« on: October 18, 2021, 07:16:55 AM »
I also second good old BPW – I always pre-mix it in a separate container / empty old ink jar or similar – with water and a tad gum arabic and put a small amount in a dinky dip or similar – so it’s basically a ready-to-go ink on my desk that I can simply dip. It goes a long way without needing to add more ink – I even add some drops of water when it gets too thick.

What a wonderful story!!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Gouache opacity
« on: August 10, 2021, 06:03:57 PM »
In my opinion, having some traces of the process isn’t necessarily a bad thing ;). In many historical examples guide lines are even an integral part of the design. But that’s beside the point, sorry …

What I like to use for mixing pastel shades is actually Dr. Martin’s Bleed Proof White plus gouache for the actual color – it’s much more opaque and flows better than white gouache :). In case you don’t know that, it’s quite thick and needs to be thinned, like gouache, and you can also add some gum arabic in case it dries a bit brittle.

Good luck, I agree with @Erica McPhee regarding your letter!

Show & Tell / Re: Caroline minuscule
« on: June 09, 2021, 05:16:49 AM »
I like this original Caroline Minuscule actually a lot more than Johnston’s Foundational Hand – I find that a bit dull and mechanical ;D … your example is very wonderful :).

Introductions / Re: Hello from Japan
« on: April 02, 2021, 07:30:46 AM »
Hi Yumiko, welcome in this forum! It’s a good place to connect and learn with and from other calligraphy enthusiasts :)! And you sound really very dedicated – I’m also looking forward to see some of your work!

Erica has compiled a very extensive series of lectures about Copperplate calligraphy right here on the forum!:

If you look for "flourishing" in the search box, you will also find a lot of discussions on this topic. A very good book is by Bill Hildebrandt: »Calligraphic Flourishing: A New Approach to Ancient Art«. It analyzes text flourishing types very systematically and across genres or styles, and encourages self-study (no instant gratification guaranteed, though!).

How long will you need to learn it? That depends a lot on how many time you’ll devote to it and how much is "translatable" from your Arabic calligraphy skill – maybe a lot, maybe not? As I never learned Arabic calligraphy, I can’t tell. But there are indeed European masters from the 16th century that claim that text flourishing comes from the Arabic, or was influenced by it at least!

For a more modern approach to ornamental flourishing, Schin Loong (also here in the forum) made a book about it flourishing: Schin Loong: »Calligraphic Drawing. A how-to guide and gallery exploring the art of the flourish«. It introduces you to figurative flourishing in a nonchalant and very hands-on way, and the basic rules are the same – wether for figurative or for text flourishing.

I hope that helps!

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