the book of the still

wire bound book with gold name plate
As I wrote in an earlier post I’m very drawn to “close reading “ of physically present objects after a long working life in the virtual world.

I’ve been slowly creating my own Book of Hours, a collage of picture, text, painting, and gold leaf.

Recently I’ve been hand-writing in it, with quills or copper-plate dip-pens.  This is a strange pleasure, particularly the risk of mistakes, which I’m not used to.

Book with hand-written poem 'the bright field' by RS Thomas

The paper and the nib or quill also force a certain style of writing – the ink doesn’t flow otherwise.

I love that the style comes from the material – David Cronenburg said that’s how he makes films, too,  in a recent interview about cosmopolis….

So I’m going back to practicing writing, using, for example, a 1560 source of “flourishes” which is part of an Italian discourse on hawking, a great example of creative digression which I hope to emulate.
Hand-written capitals with flourishes

6 responses to “the book of the still

  1. Carys, you need that Penguin calliagraphy book we used to have – and I have a wonderful catalogue of ‘Penmanship’ – a V and A exhibition which I must lend to you.There’s something very satisfying about that scratchy smoothness of the nib on proper thich paper. RGS


    • That sounds great! One of my favourites is Elizabeth I’s acerbic reply to a bishop (I think: it starts “proud prelate”) with fantastic flourishes showing just how commandingly angry she was! I can’t remember where I saw it unfortunately – probably before the days of home scanning!


  2. Pingback: text threads | carys davies porcelain·

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