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Gold has a special place in the Arts of the Book for the embellishment of the pages of manuscripts and their bindings during tthe Medieval and Early Modern periods.
While laid gold leaf techniques were used both in the East and the West, my focus has been on the methods of making and using Shell Gold - finely ground gold pigment intended to be mixed with a medium and applied with a brush.
Shell Gold was used extensively for the Illumination of manuscripts made in the Persianate world. It was more compatible with the prevailing use of paper (rather than vellum or parchment) for hand-made books, and it allowed for great refinement of technique, even lending itself to use as an ink for calligraphy.
In addition to pure 24 carat gold, coloured gold alloys were also used to make pigments, as well as pure silver.
For over 25 years I have been researching and teaching methods of making and using gold for illumination, using techniques that were developed during the 15th and sixteenth centuries.
"The Book of Gold" (link to the left) is my recent digital publication designed as an in-depth tutorial for anyone interested in making and using Shell Gold.
I am also happy to work with groups or individuals who would like an induction or workshop on making and using Shell Gold. If you would like more information, please get in touch via the Contact page on this site.