new mini-challenge at Realm of Venus that will run next month. The theme is "Idle Hands." You have the month of October to make an item that would be held in or worn on the hands. The winner will be the prettiest and most period. I love the concept, its so very different from the "do as much as you can in 4 months" marathon that is the IRCC. Is it sad that I already know exactly what I want to make?
I really like the last set of pictures we took when doing my dress where I am holding my rosary and the little book of selections from The Hastings Book of Hours. It made me wish I had a better book. So many of the period portraits have the sitter holding a book in their hands. So, I've decided to make a book of hours.
I was lucky enough to get to look at Randy Asplund's 3" high illuminated book of the life of Jeanne d'Arc made using entirely period techniques at Southern Regional Collegium a couple of years ago and have wanted to do something similar ever since. I am NOWHERE even in the realm of his awe inspiring talent and dedication, but hope I can make something nice as a first attempt. I've had a couple of classes in bookbinding and have made a few journals, but nothing of this magnitude.
I'm going to concentrate on the bookbinding itself and decorative binding primarily. I found a really interesting article examining fifteenth-century bookbinding structure and comparing the differences (or lack thereof) of printed books and hand copied ones. I need to work through this bibliography as well. I'm really intrigued by the cartolai, Florentine workshops of booksellers. There was a significant amount of decoration of printed texts coming out of their workshops (Randy's Joan is actually printed text as well.) I'm totally on board with illuminating printed books. To be honest, my calligraphy is atrocious but I really enjoy painting. There's also the question of time. I want to make sure I have the time to really do what I want. I'm deeply in love with this Italian tooled leather cameo binding from around 1529 and want to do something similar. I'd almost decided to just bind a blank journal, but I think I'd like some text. That's still provisional since I know trying to do illumination to already bound pages is not going to be much fun. There also might be a book curse, even though they had fallen a bit by the wayside by this time. They're just so full of awesome. Also, I'm teaching a class on "How to keep track of your stuff: book curses, book plates, and decorative bindings" at kingdom collegium in November so it will be nice to have a visual aid.