On Sunday, October 30, the Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy saw the illumination workshop by Norwegian calligraphy artist Bas Vlam.
Despite the unfriendly weather, a good few of those wishing to spend their day in artistic environment and learn to create original illuminated capitals, gathered in the museum.
Bas Vlam has been enthusiastically researching medieval Biblical manuscripts for a long time now, and has gained an extensive experience in calligraphy and illumination in this very style. This experience as well as his passionate dedication to calligraphy were what Bas endeavoured to translate to the workshop participants. And he failed not – both adults and children enjoyed watching him working, listened to his ironic comments and advice, and plodded away with inspiration at their own capitals. No language barrier was a problem: as the artist approached each participant to give comments on their work, he seemed to engage very naturally.
Over the course of his workshop Bas managed to demonstrate a number of capitals decoration options that he found in English manuscripts of the 10th-13th centuries, commenting in the meantime what decorative elements used to be the most specific for each particular type of decoration. Along the way he also shared some tricks of the trade on choice and proper combination of colours, the most convenient tools, discreet correction of blotches and turning errors into benefits, finding a sensible middle between copying the acknowledged casts of others' trade and following your own imagination.
The artist was so generous in sharing knowledge and so contagious in his enthusiasm that no one was willing to leave even after two hours that went too quickly – instead all participants were happy to stay to get Bas sign postcards and take a picture to remember.
We hope you enjoyed this Sunday in the museum and spent quality time – look forward to seeing you at our future events!