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Illuminated Alphabets

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Patricia Carter

Patricia Carter has again created a stunning collection of decorative design ideas, this time to illuminate lettering. There are nine complete alphabets offered, including Parchment, Classical Collection and Entwined Roses.

Tags: Books
Author: Patricia Carter
Publisher: Search Press
1 review about Illuminated Alphabets


  • May 2, 2010
If you are interested in pretty things, and who is not, are into designs, calligraphy, art and quaint d├ęcor or just enjoy leafing though the work of an artist and illustrator who stands out from the pack, then this is a wonderful little book to own.

The author has provided over 100 illuminated letters including parchment, classical and harlequin designs. There are eight complete alphabets in this work (I realize that the product description here claims there are nine, but for the life of me I can only identify eight). These include:

Simple leaf
Ribbon and Flowers
Entwined Roses
Stylized Leaf

Now make no mistake, this is NOT a calligraphy book. You need to learn that particular art before you will be able to execute the designs here. There are many excellent books on the market which will help you along in this area, at least to excellent ones by this author that I know of. Anyway....

The art of illumination dates back to medieval times. It was lost for years and the revived during the Victorian Era. While it is not much used in the books of today (such a pity this is), it is still a study of worth. The absolute beauty of the various letters are small works of art within themselves. We run across this art form is "some books" but we see vestiges all around us.

The author of this book also gives us a history of this art form which is my only complaint about the book, i.e. she does not share enough information for my needs in this area but also includes sections on:

Materials and tools
Gilding Techniques
How to begin

Most of the alphabets in this work have a distinct floral and naturalist theme. Knowledge of graphics is essential but fortunately can be learned on your own with a bit of tenacity and desire. The author also covers the use of paper, vellum and parchment which in the case of parchment and vellum is difficult to find in most modern publication which makes this particular work all the more valuable.

I certainly make no claim to be any sort of "expert" in this field and as a matter of fact am a complete incompetent when it comes to the mastery of this art form. That is okay though. Even though much of my work turns out to look like a pack of ill coordinated raccoons ran amok with a box of crayons on an early mid-summer's eve, I still have a lot of fun trying; enjoying the effort and of learning. This book is a great help, if only for inspiration! It is wonderful to see the work of someone who has mastered the craft.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

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