Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Unrelated but inspirational

Hi everyone,

I don't know if this will be of any interest to you all - having seen the last episode yesterday, I realise that there's been a fascinating series about illuminated manuscripts on BBC4. Last night's focussed on Medieval and Tudor kings and how they used manuscripts to increase their power. The books in the programme are just awe inspiringly beautiful and they finish up with a little look around the Tudor room at the National Portrait Gallery (quite possibly one of the most wonderful rooms in a gallery in the world!)

I've not caught up with the previous episodes in the series yet, but you can see them all on the iPlayer. Here's a link to the BBC page for the series:

Which is where I've pinched this image from to tempt you.

Makes you want to drop everything and find out the gold leaf!

Bye for now,


  1. Yep saw it, and thought ...well, probably the same as you! Thought I'd get out the gold leaf stuff, which I haven't used for a while, and have a play :)) DD is an expert gilder and is usually horrified by my efforts, and by the £££'s worth of dust I send flying, but it's all good fun!

  2. It's a really good series. There's an exhibition of illuminated manuscripts too at the British Library, which I'm hoping to visit in February. To see them in real life would be amazing.

  3. ooohh...shiny!!! I will miss the BBC

    series, living here in the U.S., but how I do love gold leaf, illuminated manuscripts and iconography. Oh heck - anything with precious metal leaf in it just speaks to me. I am currently working on a large verre eglomise commission so am covered in 22kt. skewings. My kind of bling! I took a break from it to see what was new here.

    Have to say I was struck by the similarity of the layout and colors in the illuminated manuscript and the lovely thumbnail photo of the quilt (sorry - don't remember whose it is) under the blurb "Orientation at Minerva Arts Center". Is it just me, or do they sort of mirror each other?

    I so enjoy seeing what you all are doing..inspiration abounds in this group!

    Cleta - San Francisco, CA, USA

  4. Hi Cleta,

    I'd love to see your latest piece. Will it be appearing on a website or blog? If so, do email over the link! It's such a shame that the BBC shows aren't available on the iPlayer internationally. I think that some, sometimes, make their way onto PBS in the US, but I have no idea if there's a system for what or when! We do have some great art programmes on here in the UK it's a shame that you can't see them too.

    I'd spotted the similarities between the manuscript and the composition of Hilary's quilt. It's the colour that helps too don't you think - gorgeous lapis!

    Thank you for dropping by the blog.
    Talk to you soon,

  5. Hi everyone,
    Can I point out that gilding isn't unrelated to our theme? I once had a student who was a great fan of all things Japanese and spent time learning traditional crafts with masters and living in their homes. She brought back the most amazing silks with gilding on, the gold leaf was cut into tiny flakes and added individually, very beautiful and combined with the fine silk embroidery she also learned out there her textiles were absolutely mind blowing. Chinese gold work is exquisite too.

    Cleta, I can see the resemblance between the manuscript and Hilary's piece, maybe she should take up gold work....

  6. Hi Marie,

    Yes, Linda's used some gold leaf and gold paint on some of her crow paintings for the exhibition. We did some research and found some amazing gilt screens that have entirely gold backgrounds with painting on top. It could be very easy to get carried away...!