[Scriptoris] A forward of interest to scribally people

Jennifer Smith jds at randomgang.com
Mon Jan 24 11:13:12 PST 2011

Forwarding this from a friend out of kingdom:

Alas, this would be quite a hike for those of you in Ansteorra, but
note that they've put links towards the end of the announcement of
their videos of people cutting quills and reeds, making parchment,
sewing sheets together, doing calligraphy.
Also note that the professional calligrapher has a message at the
tale end of this email below all the links.

Two NYPL exhibits currently on view 'til February 27th, 2011 are of
note to medieval historians, art historians, religious scholars,
artists, and interfaith specialists.

Please forward this info to anyone who you think would be interested.

"Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam," at New York Public
Library's Stephen A. Schwartzman Building (42nd Street and Fifth
Avenue, NY, NY) is a must see exhibition of illuminated manuscripts
and incunabula in Gottesman Hall. Approximately 200 Jewish, Christian
and Islamic manuscripts are on display, some are quite rare, some are
well known masterpieces. All of the manuscripts displayed are from
the NYPL's collection.

The other exhibit, a well kept secret, is the "Three Faiths:
Scriptorium." This gem of a show, in the Wachenheim Gallery was
curated by American calligrapher/illuminator Karen Gorst. The
scriptorium is interactive encouraging young and old to become a
scribes for a day-  to try their hands at Hebrew, Arabic, Greek and
English. Lettering charts and pens are available for use on the
sixteen foot light table. On display are the tools and materials used
to create the manuscripts in the companion exhibit. These include a
partially scraped goat parchment and lunellum (viewers are invited to
touch the skin); over 15 different types parchment showing hair and
flesh side;  traditional pens made from reeds, quills and wood;
squirrel, boar and persian cat hair brushes; ingredients and recipes
for inks; gold leaf and gilding supplies; natural pigments such as
dragon's blood, woad and madder (over 100 colors) and their
unprocessed sources. Of special note are three videos made for this
exhibit featuring master scribes and illuminators at work. These are
glimpses of the timeless craftsmanship used to make Jewish, Christian
and Islamic manuscripts.

If you are unable to experience the Scriptorium in person, you can
still see parts of it online.

For the downloadable PDF of the Scriptorium Brochure:


NYPL YouTube video of Parchment Making and Ahar Process, Making
Kosher Giddin and Sewing a Torah with Giddin, Scoring lines on
Parchment and using a Mistari to make line on paper:


NYPL YouTube video of Hebrew, English, Arabic and Greek scribes in
action. This includes a few basic broadedge pen concepts to introduce
the beginner to calligraphy.:


NYPL YouTube video of Quill and Reed Cutting, Paint Making &
Manuscript Illumination (from start to finish)


NYPL Online manuscript exhibit:

click on ENTER
for some of the brochure text
click on THEMES
click on CONTEXTS

For Private Photos of the Scriptorium displays and the opening (Check
often. This is continuously being updated.)

Click the link to the scriptorium photo gallery

A Note from the Scriptorium curator:

It is my hope that you will share this info with friends, students
and colleagues. As a calligrapher/illuminator, I am often asked if I
am practicing a dying profession. It never occurred to me that it was
a real possibility that it would die. For 20+ years my goal has been
to simply let people know that the craft is alive and they can be
practitioners- hobbiest or professional.

To that end, this exhibit with a minimum of 300 school children per
week "becoming scribes for a day," has been a tremendous success. Th
teachers bring lettering charts back to the classroom and create
curriculum around the act of scribing. It is very exciting.

Between 600 and 1500 people participate in the Scriptorium each day
since the exhibit opened! Scriptorium participants are mostly between
8 and 75 years old. I have been pleasantly surprised by the range of
interests. Last week a "frat boy from Florida and soriety sister from
NY" were thrilled to learn how to correctly make the Greek letters.
They were even happier when they learned that they could take the
charts with them and direct their friends to the YouTube
instructional videos!

If you have questions about the exhibit or techniques, please feel
free to contact me.

Karen Gorst
Curator, "Three Faiths: Scriptorium"
Center for Book Arts

The Gorst Studio

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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