Back in the Duddon Valley, enjoying the cool weather–cooler than Barcelona! Verdant vistas & wildlife, not all too swift to photograph…
Keith arrived before me, and finding his view of the garden blighted by some heavy commercial sacks of (I think) clay pond liner, erected a random piece of plywood as a sight-screen and then added found objects & text to make it into an installation, also serving as a draft for a future project or two:
Ultimatelly he collected me from Liverpool John Lennon Airport (no sign at all of John there–unlike Saint-Exupéry Airport in Lyon which is rich in Petit Prince images…).
& then the students arrived: Ingrid! Ingrid Cox! Who is now Ingrid Cox-Lockhart, gets exclamation points because it has been so many years since we have seen her. She began her calligraphic studies with us in 1991 at Saint-Antoine-l’Abbaye at the age of 16, and followed them up in 1992 & 1997. So it is quite a thrill to see her again, all the way from Switzerland where she now lives.
Peter Stanley was here last year, & we are very happy to see him again! Perhaps it is a feature of Laya Point that people who attend once want to return. For Miquel Centellas, it is his third year at Laya Point. Some people just cannot be kept away. And Liz Goyder also came for the third time–she already had a workshop course scheduled elsewhere for the week, but made time to spend the weekend at Laya Point working on Italic with the rest of us.
New students this session were Christa Puch Nielsen from Denmark, already a friend of Miquel’s from their attendance at courses taught in Denmark by our one-time student, now teacher, Oriol Miró. & Flora Bicalho, one of this year’s WWOOFer’s at Laya Point.
Oh, yes: & a Cuckoo! A huge cuckoo being attended to by it’s tiny adoptive mother (too fast moving to catch in a photo).
(Below) Technical difficulties caused by extemporaneous plumbing…Does it need to be that complicated (& ugly?). I tried to fix it with a mild dose of calligraphy, and to show off those antlers (undoubtedly found in the forest, as seen in a vegetarian study centre).As usual, there are people who really take advantage of every available moment on a calligraphy “retreat”. The lighting at Laya Point is amazing, and so is the enthusiasm!
This summer’s chefs–led by Flora more than anyone–did an outstanding job of keeping us nourished in the scriptorium, with delicious vegetarian fare, often homegrown, harvested from the permaculture garden.
Our first subject was Elizabethan italic, and we began working with a letter from Elizabeth I herself, aged 20, to her young brother, King Edward VI (reproduced in Elizabeth I, Her Life in Letters by Felix Pryor, University of California Press, 2003), copying her formal italic. Everyone enjoyed the charming orthography and the long ſ [s]. Here below by Miquel, Ingrid, & Christa (if I’ve got them all correctly attributed).
We also addressed Spanish italic, with the startling scripts of José Casanovas:
I think that’s Ingrid’s, Casanovas’s own (of course) & Miquel’s–please correct me if I’m wrong. The original document is from the annals of the village of Cañete la Real, Málaga.
Italic of all sorts, naturally leads to an interest in exploring Italian Italic–Christa & Miquel worked on Bennardino Cataneo’s variations on the Italic script…
Unusually, on this occasion, Italic seemed to lead to pointed, flexible-pen scripts, and some anglaise/“Copperplate” type scripts were approached by popular demand!
Very serious scribes at work. Always on time, rain or shine…coming down the hill early in the rainy Duddon Valley morning, from their lodging above. That’s dedication!
Exhibition day–Pete, Miquel, Christa…+ Keith who worked on a project all week, & Ingrid’s one-woman show magically photoshopped in because she had to leave a day early:
After studying the historical and modern italic, Ingrid’s branching out to study pointed, flexible-pen writing produced one project in both italic and “Copperplate”:
Let’s have a closer look at Pete’s broadside showing the elevation of the Camino de Santiago, quite a project from learning the script to producing the work in just 6 days.
Miquel worked on perfecting his italic, & mixed in a little “Copperplate” as well.
Rhapsody in Yellow turned out to be Ingrid’s magnum opus for the week…
Christa also devoted herself to perfecting her italic, and to striking a particularly Danish note, as she should.
& Keith participated in the class by producing a work including a lot of italic, as well as some intriguing illustration.
Even though Liz visited for a very short time, she still managed to produce a very nice project indeed! & to make absolutely the best adaptation of Elizabeth I’s signature for the label on the other side of the bottle.
Some young visiters & their canine associates: Alice, Geeca, Headly, Eric….can it have been chilly, that everyone has a throw on their lap? Also engaged in artistic pursuits.
The penultimate class of the ultimate Summer at Laya Point:
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