Monday, June 11, 2012

Writing from wings

[From Venus' transit across the sun. The tiny speck that we saw in the courtyard last week.] I kept meaning to share one of my favorite things from the illuminated Bible show at the NM History Museum:
All the script was written using quill pens hand-cut by the scribes. Only the largest flight feathers were used: goose quills for the main body of text, turkey and swan quills for heavier letterforms. Right-handed scribes prefer to use feathers from the left wing of the bird, while left-handed scribes prefer feathers from the right wing. When used on vellum, the quill responds to the hand and allows the ink to flow freely, yet produces fine hairlines at the end of strokes.

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