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Re: [BKARTS] Telling of the Book Arts World
Sally you are the one jumping to the conclusions that if I say something
like I am inspired by my faith to produce this art, you are assuming that I am
excluding all other inspirations. What is wrong with someone being inspired
by their faith!
As far as quality you are assuming my Bible is not art, you haven't seen it!
Oh and I did not realize my Bible was supposed to stop the war in Iraq!
Ok, Sally you obviously have not seen Bibles made by individuals in the past
few centuries and I am talking about Hand-Made illuminated manuscripts of
the Bible made AFTER the invention of the printing press. Where people do it
themselves, all by themselves. They are rare in each generation but they have
been done. They don't show up in Mr. De Hamel's book, but I have been in
contact with him and he is now aware of them, people have been pointing them out
to him ever since St Johns made that wild claim to be the first in 500 years
and he made the mistake of repeating that claim in his book. Donald Jackson
says he is the first person to do this in 500 years since the invention of
the printing press and you are quoting his "history of Calligraphy?" Did you
fall for the sales pitch?
Probably the best and most recent example is the Ed Bulley (sorry don't
have the right spelling on his name) Bible in London at Westminster Cathedral
made from 1968 to 1983. He did it all by himself on vellum, the
illuminations, the calligraphy even the binding. This is usually how people did this
type of thing, all by themselves and probably the reason you don't know about
these Bibles is they are found in local libraries or churches and the costs of
making a copy for copyright was not affordable until the invention of the
scanner. His Bible will be on deposit in that cathedral for the next thousand
years as an example of Book Art from the 1970's, and people in the future will
see it and wonder about our times, whether you like it or not!
The Book of Kells was made by many scribes and illuminators, I think I made
that clear as it was finished by someone else, but is clear that there was
one illuminator which did the great Gospel illuminations and he did not finish
them. When you look at these manuscripts you can tell who did what work,
just by the styles and the handwriting. He did not finish Matthew 1:1 Folio 29R.
Someone else finished it and you can easily see the difference. Kells is an
The Lindisfarne Gospels was made by one man is clearly a work of art, and
was recognized in his day as a work of Art.
Stop reading books on the manuscripts and look at them!
I think many artists here will be able to tell you the difference between
laying out something on a computer and doing the work from scratch.
The Saint John's bible is billed as the first hand made illuminated
manuscript of the bible to be made in 500 years or since the invention of the
Printing press. Hand made? Donald Jackson designed a font, then he scrolled it
through the layout program as they added the illuminations, then the scribes copy
it exactly right down to the position of every letter on the page. Each page
will always be exactly the same, as if one person wrote it all. In previous
manuscripts you can see the difference in the writing between the different
scribes, usually in Bibles in the 13th century you would have 3 scribes
taking a third of the book.
The creativity was all designed ahead of time on the template, so they
cannot adapt and learn from the experience of making the manuscript without
having to match up the pages they already drew. Father Hollas the head of the
Hill Manuscript library at Saint John's and the man most responsible for
Saint Johns adopting the project, told me that I had the ability to change and
adapt based on my feeling of the scripture at the moment I write and that they
did not have that ability. They have to go through committees.
It is a different way of doing this, that has nothing to do with whether
it is Art or not, it is a creative difference. The process of making a bible
by hand is an unique experience, but if you take a shortcut, you skip over
parts of the journey.
My bible is not just a copy of the text.
The illuminations are all my own design, the choice of the calligraphy and
how I lay out the pages is all my own design. I choose where the calligraphy
is placed on the page and what kind of calligraphy to use. I write when I
am inspired and I design while I am inspired and everything is done right
there at the moment the pen touches the page in one sitting. Sure some pages
will take weeks to complete, but I design it all right there when I get to the
page. Every page is unique.
There certainly was an art market in Books of Hours particularly in Paris in
the 13th and 14th and 15th centuries. They also made Bibles at that time.
Actually the book market in Paris it is still there. You need to get in
contact with a good theological library that has older manuscripts, particularly
liturgical works, Books of Hours and Psalters; ask them about the Paris Book
Market. Given your attitudes towards Christianity, why should you know about
its book market?
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