The ‘Great Bible’

20th May 2017 was the 800th anniversary of the second Battle of Lincoln. Said to be one of the most decisive battles in English history it secured the future of the Plantagenet dynasty. It has been celebrated in the city by a host of events, not least of which is a fasc read more

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Manuscript illumination courses

Manuscript illumination courses

My March workshop at the Heritage Skills Centre, Lincoln Castle, booked up so quickly that several new dates have been added – and several new workshops.             New Manuscript Illumination Course Dates. I will be running my introductory course on May 7th and September 17th. The booking link for the May workshop is here. The course is designed to be a ‘taster’ session, starting with the use of...

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Mining for Ochre at Clearwell Caves

Mining for Ochre at Clearwell Caves

We were down in the beautiful Forest of Dean earlier this year and came, quite unexpectedly, across Clearwell Caves. The sign outside stated that the caves were mined for pigments and iron ore, so we just had to go and have a look!     It is said that colours have been mined there for 4000 years. Since the 13th century, Clearwell Caves have been the sole territory of Freeminers – males born within the hundred of St Briavels,...

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Making Verdigris Paint

Making Verdigris Paint

It’s been a long time coming but I finally got round to turning my home-grown verdigris pigment into paint. Cennino Cennini, writing in fifteenth century Florence, says about verdigris: ‘It is very green by itself. And is manufactured by alchemy, from copper and vinegar’. Which is just what I did. You can see the start of this experiment here. But then came Cennini’s phrase: ‘It is beautiful, but it does not...

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Demonstration – Extracting Pigment from Rocks and Roots

Demonstration – Extracting Pigment from Rocks and Roots

Just a quick post to let you know that I’ll be doing a (potentially messy!) practical demonstration for the Fine Art Trade Guild on extracting pigment from rocks, roots and berries at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry in July – booking details are here if you fancy coming along. I’ve only got an hour, so there will be a limit as to what I can show, but I have some interesting rocks to break up (the lower one is...

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