02 November 2008

First Effort

I bought my husband a calligraphy set as an early anniversary present (the anniversary isn't for two weeks yet), so naturally the first thing I did was steal it back and experiment with it.

I had a little experience with calligraphy in eighth-grade art class, plus experiments on my own in the past with felt-tip calligraphy pens and fountain pens, but this was my first time using a proper pen that I actually had to dip into the ink. I am rather proud of myself that there are no splotches. I chose to copy the chant Resurrexi (introit for Easter Sunday) from St. Gall manuscript 339 (the whole manuscript is online, so it was easy to get). It is a famous 10th-11th century codex, and was the first manuscript published in facsimile in the Paléographie musicale.

The initial letter is traced, and the rest is free-hand. I only had black ink, so everything in red was done with an ordinary red pen--the same one I use to correct undergrad exams, in fact. The set that I bought seems to have been intended for rather large lettering, and the only tip small enough for the neumes was one of the pointy ones, rather than one with a flat end, so the neumes don't have the nice variable thickness as in the original manuscript. Also, I couldn't see the lines of the paper that I had under the vellum well enough, so my lettering is very crooked and not nice and even like the original scribe's. I will probably get better at that if I practice, though. Here are my effort and the original (click to see them larger):

No comments: