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Re: [BKARTS] Telling of the Book Arts World



Sally you are the one jumping to the conclusions that if I say  something 
like I am inspired by my faith to produce this art, you are assuming  that I am 
excluding all other inspirations.   What is wrong with  someone being inspired 
by their faith! 
 
As far as quality you are assuming my Bible is not art, you  haven't seen it! 
 
Oh and I did not realize my Bible was  supposed to stop the war in Iraq!
 
Ok, Sally you obviously have not seen Bibles made by  individuals in the past 
few centuries and I am talking about Hand-Made  illuminated manuscripts of 
the Bible made AFTER the invention of the printing  press. Where people do it 
themselves, all by themselves.  They  are rare in each generation but they have 
been done.  They don't show up in  Mr. De Hamel's book, but I have been in 
contact with him and he is now aware of  them, people have been pointing them out 
to him ever since St Johns made that  wild claim to be the first in 500 years 
and he made the mistake of repeating  that claim in his book. Donald Jackson 
says he is the first person to do  this in 500 years since the invention of 
the printing press and you are quoting  his "history of Calligraphy?" Did you 
fall for the sales pitch?
 
  Probably the best and most recent example is the Ed  Bulley (sorry don't 
have the right spelling on his name) Bible in London at  Westminster Cathedral 
made from 1968 to 1983.  He did it all by  himself on vellum, the 
illuminations, the calligraphy even the  binding.   This is usually how people did this 
type of thing, all  by themselves and probably the reason you don't know about 
these Bibles  is they are found in local libraries or churches and the costs of 
making a  copy for copyright was not affordable until the invention of the  
scanner. His Bible will be on deposit in that cathedral for the next  thousand 
years as an example of Book Art from the 1970's, and people in the  future will 
see it and wonder about our times, whether you like it or  not!
 
The Book of Kells was made by many scribes and illuminators, I  think I made 
that clear as it was finished by someone else, but is clear that  there was 
one illuminator which did the great Gospel illuminations and  he did not finish 
them.  When you look at these manuscripts you can  tell who did what work, 
just by the styles and the handwriting. He did not  finish Matthew 1:1 Folio 29R. 
 Someone else finished it and you can easily  see the difference. Kells is an 
unfinished work. 
 
The Lindisfarne Gospels was made by one man is clearly a work  of art, and 
was recognized in his day as a work of Art. 
 
Stop reading books on the manuscripts and look at  them!
 
I think many artists here will be able to tell you the  difference between 
laying out something on a computer and doing the work from  scratch. 
 
The Saint John's bible is billed as the first  hand made illuminated 
manuscript of the bible to be made in 500 years or since  the invention of the 
Printing press. Hand made?  Donald Jackson designed a  font, then he scrolled it 
through the layout program as they added the  illuminations, then the scribes copy 
it exactly right down to the position  of every letter on the page. Each page 
will always be exactly the same, as  if one person wrote it all.  In previous 
manuscripts you can see the  difference in the writing between the different 
scribes, usually in Bibles in  the 13th century you would have 3  scribes 
taking a third of the  book. 
    The creativity was all designed ahead  of time on the template, so they 
cannot adapt and learn from the  experience of making the manuscript without 
having to match up the pages they  already drew.  Father Hollas the head of the 
Hill Manuscript library  at Saint John's and the man most responsible for 
Saint Johns adopting the  project, told me that I had the ability to change and 
adapt based on my feeling  of the scripture at the moment I write and that they 
did not have that  ability.  They have to go through committees.  
    It is a different way of doing this, that has  nothing to do with whether 
it is Art or not, it is a creative  difference. The process of making a bible 
by hand is an unique experience,  but if you take  a shortcut, you skip over 
parts of the journey.
 
My bible is not just a copy of the text. 
The  illuminations are all my own design, the choice of the calligraphy and 
how I lay  out the pages is all my own design.  I choose where the calligraphy 
is  placed on the page and what kind of calligraphy to use.  I  write when I 
am inspired and I design while I am inspired and everything is done  right 
there at the moment the pen touches the page in one sitting.  Sure  some pages 
will take weeks to complete, but I design it all right there when I  get to the 
page.    Every page is unique.   

There certainly was an art market in Books of Hours  particularly in Paris in 
the 13th and 14th and 15th centuries. They  also made Bibles at that time. 
Actually the book market in Paris it is  still there.  You need to get in 
contact with a good theological library  that has older manuscripts, particularly 
liturgical works, Books of Hours  and Psalters;  ask them about the Paris Book 
Market.  Given your  attitudes towards Christianity, why should you know about 
its book  market?
 
James

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