Calligraphy and Illumination

More news from our friends at North Bennet Street School :

Calligraphy and Illumination:
Boston and Beyond

Three Month Calligraphy and Illumination Intensive
Sep 12-Dec 9, 2011, 8:30am-2:30pm, with studio time until 4:30pm
Maryanne Grebenstein, Instructor
North Bennet Street School, Boston, MA

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that we once again offer our comprehensive course in calligraphy, manuscript illumination, and bookbinding at North Bennet Street School. Taught by master calligrapher Maryanne Grebenstein of The Abbey Studio, this course will cover in-depth calligraphy, layout and design, manuscript gilding, and the use of computers and calligraphy. The final project is creating a hand-lettered illuminated manuscript and binding it by hand.

The class begins with a thorough introduction to calligraphy, covering six lettering styles (five broad edged pen, one pointed pen), then moves on to layout and design – how to effectively use multiple styles of lettering on one piece, how to determine letter size, and how to utilize color. After that, work on letter drafting, drawing and painting letters for headings, logo design, and large lettering. Then work on manuscript gilding, utilizing gold leaf, gesso, and vellum. After gilding, class moves on to computers and calligraphy, learning how to convert hand lettered artwork into electronic media for utilization in computer graphics. Finally, create your illuminated manuscript, putting all of your skills together by designing and creating a hand-lettered manuscript and binding it into a book.

This class is designed for those with no prior experience as calligraphers or manuscript gilders; however, there will also be plenty to learn for those with more experience.

The tuition includes a materials fee for some supplies; students will be expected to provide most hand tools and materials. If you don’t own any calligraphy or bookbinding supplies, expect to spend approximately $800-$1100 on tools and materials for this course, including supplies for your illuminated manuscript.

Online registration is available at or call the school at 617-227-0155.


and Beyond Boston….

Illuminated Manuscript Trip
May 26-Jun 8, 2011

In partnership with Maryanne Grebenstein of The Abbey Studio we offer what promises to be one of our most exciting adventures. We will begin our trip in Paris, with accommodations in the Latin Quarter. This fun and lively section of the city in the 5th arrondissement is named for La Sorbonne, where Latin was the spoken language of the students during the middle ages. The neighborhood is teeming with restaurants, shops, and galleries and is home to one of the main reasons for our visit to Paris: Musée Cluny (also known as Musée National du Moyen Age). It’s an easy walk to la Sainte Chappelle, Notre Dame, Luxembourg Garden, the Louvre and many other wonderful sites. Our stay in Paris will include guided visits to Cluny and Marmottan, as well as a stop at Les Enluminures, a gallery specializing in Books of Hours.

From Paris we will head to Mont Saint Michel and Avranches. For many of you, no introduction to Mont Saint Michel is necessary. Located between Normandy and Brittany, it is well known as the monastery that becomes an island with the movement of the tides. The original structure was begun in the year 708 and has served as an abbey, a church, a prison, and a fortress at various times in its 13 centuries of existence. To this day, it remains one of the most important religious pilgrimage destinations. We will tour Mont Saint Michel and its scriptorium, where hundreds of manuscripts were created. Our accommodations will be in the lovely neighboring town of Avranches, home to the new Scriptorial d’Avranches, a museum devoted entirely to housing its collection of over 200 manuscripts created at Mont Saint Michel.

Next we will travel to London. Our visit to London will, we’re sure, prove to be one of the highlights of the trip. We will have a guided visit to the British Library, home to many famous manuscripts such as the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Sherborne missal and many, many others. We are very excited to tell you that we’ve added a visit to Lambeth Palace Library to our itinerary to see a special exhibition and attend a lecture by two superstar scholars of medieval and renaissance books, Dr. Christopher de Hamel and Dr. Michelle Brown. This is a very unique opportunity – the lecture has been arranged by CLAS (the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society, London) and we have a personal invitation extended by Patricia Lovett, the Chair of CLAS (and author of Calligraphy, Illumination & Heraldry), to attend. There will be a special exhibit called “Translating the Bible” as well as the lectures. Maryanne says, “I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. de Hamel in New York City last spring and I can assure you he is incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining.” He is the author of several books, including A History of Illuminated Manuscripts and Scribes and Illuminators. He is the former head of the Western Manuscripts department of Sotheby’s, London. You may have had the opportunity to hear Dr. Brown when she was in Baltimore lecturing at The Walters Art Museum as part of the St Johns Bible exhibition there a few years ago. She also has authored several books including The Historial Source Book for Scribes which she co-authored with Patricia Lovett, and is currently the Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library. This is a “not to be missed” opportunity that we know you will enjoy.

Our final destination will be the charming city of Dublin, home to Trinity College Library and the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells contains the four gospels and was written in about the year 800. We will have a guided visit to the Long Room and the Book of Kells, with plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere along the cobblestone streets within the walled campus of Trinity College. Located just a few blocks from Trinity College, we’ll find another one of Dublin’s treasures: the Chester Beatty Library, home to an extensive collection of illuminated manuscripts and other fascinating collections.

Our trip will be just shy of two weeks, leaving on Thursday, May 26 and returning on Wednesday, June 8. The cost breakdown follows and includes all hotel accommodations (and breakfast), all ground transportation, and all museum entry fees. It does not include airfare, which can be arranged through our agent or independently. Please read carefully the Terms and Conditions that follow the pricing. In order to hold your place, your non-refundable deposit of $1150 per person must be received by February 15, 2011.

Per Person, Double Occupancy: $3727 Per Person, Single Occupancy: $5204

Terms and Conditions: Deadline for deposit extended! Please call if you are interested in registering. A non-refundable deposit of $1150 is due with registration. The balance will be due by March 15, 2011. Please contact Claire Fruitman, Associate Director, at 617.227.0155 to register and process payment. Please contact Maryanne Grebenstein at The Abbey Studio at 781.740.9000 or with any questions regarding the itinerary. Travel insurance is highly recommended and is not included in the quoted price. Further information regarding travel insurance, and a confirmation of your participation in the trip will be sent to you upon receipt of deposit. Air fare is not included in the quoted price and must be purchased either through our agent or independently.


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