- Series: Quarto Book
- Spiral-bound: 256 pages
- Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 1 edition (March 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0764158201
- ISBN-13: 978-0764158209
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 8.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Bible of Illuminated Letters: A Treasury of Decorative Calligraphy (Quarto Book) 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Illumination—the creation of elaborate, decorated letters and initials—reached its apogee in the monasteries of medieval Europe. Embellished with gold leaf, the illuminated letters of those early scribes seemed to reflect light, as though they were indeed “illuminated.” This traditional art is now attracting new enthusiasts.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Margaret Morgan is a professional calligrapher and an Associate of the Calligraphy & Lettering Arts Society. She regularly accepts both public and private commissions and conducts workshops for calligraphic societies. Although traditional formal calligraphy involving gilding, painting, and heraldry form an important part of her work, she increasingly enjoys the challenge of more experimental lettering. She is the author of two previously published books on calligraphy.
FOREWORD BY ROSEMARY BUCZEK
Rosemary Buczek is a Master Penman and served two terms as President of the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting (IAMPETH).
About the Author
Margaret Morgan is a professional calligrapher and an Associate of the Calligraphy & Lettering Arts Society. She regularly accepts both public and private commissions and conducts calligraphy workshops.
Rosemary Buczek is a Master Penman and served two terms as President of the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting (IAMPETH)
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Top customer reviews
The product description is a little deceiving, "Illuminated Letters presents step-by-step instructions for recreating illuminated alphabets from six historical periods, including Celtic, Gothic, and Romanesque. Diagrams for upper- and lower-case letters are accompanied by ideas for borders and decorations, and full instructions for gilding." Although the book is very helpful in describing different techniques, borders, and designs used for the different font styles, the book does not have step-by-step diagrams for ALL upper and lower case letters of the 6 fonts.
Besides not being a very good book for beginners, it is very well written, laid out, and illustrated. I would recommend having this book as it helps bring the historical essence to Calligraphy.
Period calligraphic alphabets are provided, but this is not a book on calligraphy. If you don't know how to do calligraphy for the period you wish to work with, you are advised to look elsewhere. I'm quite partial to Marc Drogun's Medieval Calligraphy.
The book has the sort of spiral binding that is covered by a curved cover. This lets it lie flat while keeping the metal spiral from snagging on things.
The book isn't perfect, in part because the focus is on how to make period capitals. For example, the chapter on the Celtic period does not discuss how to do knotwork. Most of the chapter focuses on how to make decorative capital letters. Only two pages are devoted to illustrations of motifs one might add to a Celtic text. Given how much of Celtic illumination was knotwork, this is a serious lack. The Gothic chapter skips the delightful bunnies and grotesques that appear in so many of the manuscripts. However, I still give the book four stars because what it has for materials and capital letters is so good.
This is a truly excellent book with great step-by step instructions provided for all the included information; instruction enhanced with good photographs. It is a well rounded discussion of the methods of illuminating an alphabet and detailed descriptions on generating your own illuminated page or manuscript. While some may disagree, I believe that with this book even novices will find all the information they need to begin and complete their own masterpieces of illumination.
If you are looking for a good guide on this subject AND have a little patience - Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is a master at illumination - this is great book to start with. Good luck and Enjoy!
Copious amounts of DETAILED but easy to understand information on things like: making your own egg tempera paint, working with vellum, ink choices, a step-by-step guide to gilding, techniques for lettering, nib and brush choice, lists of necessary tools, color theory/mixing/themes, how to transfer designs, creating borders and motifs, font libraries, and many examples of deliciously intricate letters shown large enough and with enough detail to allow you to create them yourself.
The techniques covered in this book are for everyone from beginners to experts. Mind you, creating "illuminated lettering" like some of the finest examples shown in this book is not an easy task. However, even just tracing or otherwise attempting to duplicate the basic look of these beautiful letters using standard ink and paint will surely create stunning results.
I have purchased many calligraphy related books but this and the companion "Calligrapher's Bible" are without a doubt the finest and offer the best value. These books make me realize that you can't find all the information you want for free on the internet. I will use and refer back to these books for many years to come. Bravo!