The illumination workshop in Scriptorium Berlin

Two-days illumination workshop hold by Grzegorz Barasinski in Scriptorium Berlin founded by Theosone

THE illuminated initial means a highly decorative letter as well as a gilded letter that appears as the first in the text. Actually, you often find the initials even in newspapers because a little larger letter in the beginning of the article is an initial too, even if not so adorned. Metaphorically, the illuminated initial means clarifying, throwing light on, explaining. From a technical point of view, it means using gold and other precious metal in order to enrich and to make more beautiful the letter, and it is strongly connected with brightness and glittering. This time I would like to put forward that we master the illumination skills by painting and gilding a grotesque.

What is a grotesque?
The book illumination may consist of an initial (indeed there are several types of initials, of course), line-fillers as well as borders. If on a page some amusing figures appear, we call them 'drolleries'. They might be for exemple rabbits riding a hores or fighting snails. The hybrid forms of creature are 'grotesque' and I believe they will be perfectly fit to the Scriptorium Berlin, and some are just like ready-made as a tatoo pattern. We will take the exemples from the famous manuscript located in British Library. The Luttrell Psalter, Add MS 42130, dates back 14th century and is still an incredible source of astonishing images. Furthermore, this awe-inspiring manuscript is not avaible solely for princes and bishops, as earlier it was, but nowadays we can enjoy it and admire page by page owing to Internet. And we will take advantage of this!

What will we do?
During the workshop the participants create a medieval style grotesque coming from the Lutrell Psalter with a gold accent. They are taught how to paint with tempera, i.e. a method of painting with pigments dispersed in an emulsion miscible with water, and how to use of gilding. If you like, you can also paint a letter and learn the Gothic letters according to the mentioned manuscript.

Fancy to prepare to the workshop?
There is no need to bring anything to the workshop or to be experienced at making illumination. You can really start from scratch! If you would like to prepare before the workshop, you can visit the page and choose something interesting for you.

About Grzegorz Barasiński
Ten years ago, he founded the Company Kaligraf. He runs the Calligrapher's Shop ( ) and the School of Calligraphy (Krakow, Warsaw) (, including the Summer Schools in Hebdów and in Wigry. He writes in Latin, Cyrillic and Hebrew alphabets. He wrote two books about calligraphy. Gratuated Jagiellonian University, he is a scientist of religions.

The workshop is held in English but the artist Grzegorz Barasiński can speak German, English, and Polish.

Good to know: anyone can start with this illumination workshop without knowing calligraphy or being good at paintings.

The price will be EUR 180,00 including materials and snacks.

If you want to take part in this workshop, write to Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.


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