Having attended Master Ranthulfr Aspelundr’s classes at Double Wars and met some of the lovely scribes on this list, I just wanted to report back about what an interesting and enlightening experience it was.
Master Ranthulfr was a very engaging and fun person as well as awe-inspiringly knowledgeable and he was very happy to answer questions and offer advice. He gave classes on using and making pigments: he ground up some malachite for us to illustrate the process, gave advice on equipment and gave a workshop on making a rich green from verdigris mixed with Leek juice and a Crimson colour from Brazil Lake which was quite an alchemic experience. We raised gold using period gesso made up there and then (and Miniatum its synthetic equivalent) and experimented with garlic juice size to stick gold on top of paint.
Master Ranthulfr also gave several presentations, on how to make parchment and how to make pigment from natural ingredients. He demonstrated the technique of making and using glair and also the use of finely ground eggshells instead of chalk or marble dust. A workshop on making ink from oak galls was also held. Unfortunately I did not attend the final class which I understand was on bookbinding as I had to work on my entry for the Blank Scroll competition.
We were privileged to be able to look at and handle a copy of one of Master Ranthulfr’s commissions - a miniature book of hours in a 15th century style bound in leather and hand-gilded - where we could all marvel at his skill and the beauty of the work.
It was a lot to learn in a short space of time, but I feel very rejuvenated by the experience and keen to try out all the new things I have learned. Many grateful thanks to the Double Wars A&S co-ordinator for providing us with such an inspiring teacher.
Something to make a note of: Master Ranthulfr is working on a book about all the period writings and instructions regarding things like pigments and inks and scribing/illuminating in general. Definitely one to watch out for!