B is for book, obviously.

A couple of days after coming back from the manuscript day I tracked down some proper animal skin parchment, you can buy offcuts quite cheaply from the manufacturer. I did ask, and was hoping they would send me some pippins or bits with holes, but alas it was not be.

Instead I made a very small book (it’s about two inches high). Not being a calligrapher I tried googling the best inks to use on vellum and parchment, but unfortunately all google came up with was inks for the proprietary brands of paper known as vellum and parchment.

After much though I decided that sharpie works on everything. And I do like superfine sharpies, so it was a good excuse to treat myself to a rainbow set.

So B is for book.

I am ridiculously pleased with my miniature rendition of Van der Weyden’s Magdalene reading, because drawing small is just so not my thing – I’m usually a bit more impressionistic (which is a euphemism for messy and scrawly in my case). The ink showing through from the other pages is fine – it’s not because I used sharpie, it’s the nature of the parchment, which is quite translucent – this is evident form the Luttrell psalter.

The blue cushion upon which the book sits is leftover silk ribbon from my c17th jacket – damn stuff cost 8quid a metre, so I might as well use up the leftovers.

B is also for Bodleian.

which I managed to misspell, so I had to add a footnote explaining that scribal errors are authentic, because I don’t have much parchment. The drawing is my rendition of the library’s own logo.

B is also for bishop.

Seeing as how they were supposed to be able to read.

B is also for bottom.

Because there are lots of those.

And finally B is for bestiary.

I didn’t quite manage to make the elephant sky blue pink with yellow dots on, but at least it’s pink. (And yes, that is a poo emoji the heffalump has just deposited).

~ by opusanglicanum on August 16, 2017.

12 Responses to “B”

  1. It is a beautiful wee book. I particularly like the gloomy bishop; perhaps he is not pleased with his own bottom!

  2. That’s wonderful! You didn’t even have to choose which to use for B – you could use them all!

  3. That is gorgeous! Any room for the aftershot of the rabbit with the bow and arrow? Perhaps B for bugger, that bloody hurts!

    • I actually really struggled for a fifth b, it was going to be bat, and then someone said “theres a lovely bat in this bestiary” and I thought “doh! bestiary! I’m sooo stupid!”

      There are lots of bunnies hunting in ms though, so I needed to fit one in somewhere

  4. This is so amazing! You have no idea how much I’d like to see this in person (and hopefully not drool all over it…)

  5. What a charming little book! It looks like you had a lot of fun doing it. I love calligraphy. I’ve been doing it for about…40 years now? Yeah, about that. There are all kinds of inks that can be used on vellum. Part of the success rate has o do with the quality of the vellum and how much natural oils are still contained within the hides. Oils can create a bleed effect or act as a resist. Please let me know how well the Sharpies work out. I’d be very interested in how the Sharpie ink holds up on vellum. I’ve had it bleed through paper through time, and that was not a desirable result. So be aware of that. You may want to store your work with some hefty cardstock pages in between the pages to see if it does bleed from one page to the next.

    • it’s all rolled up round the frame at the moment, but I’ll try that once it’s off again. Vellum is quite different to paper though. I don’t do calligraphy at all,(I normally hate drawing, much prefer the needle) so this whole thing was an experiment for me. At least my handwriting is legible, unlike gareths (He says I would never have been allowed to do a phd because my handwriting is too readable, I think he got his on the basis that his writing is utterly illegible, I’m glad he send me emails rather than love letter) I had a lot of fun choosing pictures though

  6. Beauteous! Bothered a bit by lack of bounty: feel behooved to build more?

    Sheesh that was hard.

    • I think the bishop has a bounty bar hidden in his robe (It explains the size of his arse)

      my poor stepdad has to apologise about bounty bars every Christmas. she hates sell by dates, and my stepdad introduced the first ones on bounty bars when he used to work for mars, poor sod gets some stick for that

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