November 11, 2014
I've created a new Bookshelf section for the blog. The books listed in this post have updated reviews there, and additional books will be added to that page over time. The remainder of this page has been left as it was posted on October 9th, 2013.
I've written about some of the tools and materials that I use in my projects. Before I get to work on posts about technique, I'd like to write about and review my favorite calligraphy books. As verbose as I know I am, I'm not planning on writing enough to replace a good book on calligraphy. I started with calligraphy books to learn the basics, and I recommend anyone else do the same because of the history, practice techniques and script ductus (or is that ducti?) they contain. My musings in this blog are an attempt to share what I've learned from experience, experimentation, mentors and other artists, and are intended to add to what the books teach.
Please note that when I talk about calligraphy books I mean books that include instruction on how to pen each script. I have many other books in my library that contain only images and history of manuscripts and other period documents. I would recommend that any SCA scribe expand their library to include such reference books as well, as they will help you learn more history and a Medieval aesthetic. It is quite possible to be an SCA calligrapher without doing so, instead using the "generic" versions of each Medieval or Renaissance script as detailed in a good calligraphy book.
If you are starting as an East Kingdom scribe in the SCA, make sure to first visit the Signet's website and download a copy of the EK Scribes Handbook. While it primarily focuses on wording, artwork and specific award information, it does have details on tools, inks, paper, books, and other resources. Besides the fact that it's free, it also includes a wealth of knowledge you need to be an EK scribe.
And now, on to the books...