These nibs in the Supreme Court Gardens of Perth symbolise the importance of pen and ink to record-keeping in the Victorian era.
Our workshop in Perth however, was a pencil workshop, beginning with people composing a short quotation in a square using what they had learnt from analysing Kilian’s piece. I loved watching the really quiet intense concentration in everyone’s posture as they worked out their designs.
This is how it is done: The 9cm square background is painted with dark goauche. It is coated in Wundasize or Roberson’s gold size. The soft-pressed transfer gold is applied to the square. Then (freehand, no lines) the letters are gently inscribed using an 6H or 8H pencil. If the gold is hard-pressed it is difficult to transfer and I never buy hard-pressed transfer gold. I think it is made for picture frames rather than gilding in calligraphy. I only use a pencil because lead is not scratchy and the 8H pen stays really sharp and barely makes a mark.
I experimented using PVA instead of the Roberson’s size, but the gold doesn’t come away when you inscribe it. If you mess up, you can just add more gold and scratch through it again and the repair doesn’t show up much. Of course the Kilian style of lettering can be used in many ways, but this was a neat project to take home and also reflects one of the ways that I have used his work as a launching pad (in the Lindisfarne Bible project). I learnt though that this type of work is better framed with glass as Roberson’s gold size stays “open” i.e. sticky and never really dries.
Do you think Patricia can ‘get away’ with the sideways A? I bet many people don’t even really notice, but just read it easily anyway. Which means she did! Look how many subtleties there are in the design. Also notice where the line had been delicately weighted. Later Patricia went on to develop her ideas further in this strip of words.