Patricia works from her studio in Kent, England and has been awarded an MBE for her services to heritage crafts and calligraphy. She has written a number of books on calligraphy and illumination, and teaches and lectures all over the world. Australia, in particular Sydney, was lucky enough to have the good fortune to be able to hear Patricia speak at the State Library of New South Wales and a number of the members of Calligraphy Southscribes attended.
Here are a few jottings from that talk, Gold on Parchment, 1000 years of manuscripts.
(This talk was quite extensive and you should be aware that the notes taken were at speed and may not fully represent what Patricia was presenting. Confirmation of spelling was taken from credible websites).
The reasons we moved from scrolls to books –
Scrolls were difficult to control; Christians required identifiable alternatives to secular scripts and Jewish scripts.
In the painting – Paquio Proculo you can see both the scroll and the Caudex, a block of wood where the middle was hollowed out for wax, and a stylus used to write with.
Patricia then went on to illustrate the early examples of books; pictures of the Springmount blog tablets, Dublin; British Library Papyrus 782, Egypt 3rd Century – reputed to be the earliest codex – John 1 to 20; Codex Sinaiticus, this work was adapted from the scroll and contained 4 columns of text and the Codex Harleians (Harley Gospels) which shows the use of dense script.
The next picture in the talk was that of St Augustine’s Gospel, reputed to have been brought to England from Rome by St Augustine in 597. It is used at each of the enthronements of the new Archbishops of Canterbury.
Gregory the Great, seated at a writing desk with a dove whispering in his ear. It is said that when he was dictating his homilies on Ezechiel, a curtain was drawn between his secretary and himself. As Gregory remained silent for long periods of time, the servant made a hole in the curtain and looking through saw the dove with his beak in Gregory’s ear. When the dove withdrew his beak Gregory spoke and the secretary took down the words, when he was silent again the dove had replaced his beak in Gregory’s ear.