Carolingian: A Fresh Look
Sheila's Studio, Fairfield, PA
9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m
Level: Any, but not recommended for basic beginners.
Note from Workshops Chair: Our Guild has the good fortune to have Sheila, our founding President and well-known
teacher, offering instruction from her own home and well-equipped studio. This workshop gives each of you a refresher or a first
effort at this versatile hand.
Carolingian was the first truly formal minuscule, developed in 9th century France. Modern varieties of Carolingian
were not popular with calligraphers until the last quarter of the 20th Century. We will take a fresh look at the possibilities
of Carolingian as a text hand, modernizing from a variety of historical versions.
As Carolingian scripts were written very small, we will look closely at the historical roots and structure, using magnifiers,
and at projected enlargements. Then we will analyze and copy a historical personal favorite, both larger and at actual size,
then modernize it to make it work well as a hand for writing text – rather like designing a typeface, but in this case in
a very short time! The bonus is that by exploring this process we will also learn how to modernize any historical hand.
Finally we will work on simple matching Uncial and Uncial/Roman hybrid capitals.
My adaptation of this hand for my manuscript of "Under Milk Wood" in the early 1960's will be helpful to study, but not
as your main exemplar, the aim being to develop your own version from historical sources as I did.
This workshop will be held in Sheila's large home teaching-studio. She will provide a portable desk and board, lamp,
water pots, baby wipes for inky fingers, chair with cushions. Also available is a microwave, stove, fridge, coffee, tea and
munchies. Bring lunch.
• Speedball C1 and C2 nibs (N09) and a Mitchell 3.5 (N04) and reservoir (N07)
• Non-waterproof ink (I08, I70)
• Gouache (WNG331, WNG335, WNG337, WNG512, WNGDP-S) or stick ink (IS19, IS29, IS08) that does not bleed into the layout paper you use and will retain sharpness in very small writing. Everyone can grind stick ink as I have many stones and sticks
• Magnifying glass or head magnifier (S656)
• A binder with about 20 sleeves for exemplars.
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