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the ancient and specialist art of
manuscript illumination

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Andrew is one of the few fully trained practitioners of this specialised art form working in the world today. He trained intensively in the highly unique skills needed to produce this authentic work

for three years at art school and with over 38 years professional experience, he brings a knowledge and expertise to this art that is rare.

He is a specialist in the selection of calf skin vellum and preparing it for writing, painting and illumination.  An expert in the application of gold leaf on gesso and other mediums he uses recipes that have their origins in the medieval period.  He also is a master at the application of shell gold.  Rather than use available commercial tablets of gold, he mixes a special recipe turning 23.5c gold powder into a fine paint, which when burnished with agate or hematite burnishers will "shine and reflect like a mirror". 

He also uses specially prepared goose and swan quills for writing alongside broad edges metal nibs with ground inks and other media. Occasionally, on extra special commissions, he uses egg tempera paints on his manuscript pages.  

Many of the techniques and materials date from the time of medieval scriptoriums. Craftspeople from those times would feel very much at home in his studio and might envy him the ease of paints in a tube he also uses but all these skills make the fine works he produces a living testament to a fine and historic tradition.

 

Andrew does not produce facsimiles or copies of medieval paintings but rather creates original works painted and illuminated that are reminiscent of styles of the masters of the medieval period .  He also applies the techniques to contemporary illuminated and heraldic works. Whilst some of his paintings nod towards the great painters and illuminators of the past, his work is original in design and concept.  He continues to study the techniques of his craft ancestors with the same hunger he had as a young student.

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