illumination examples


It was seeing the wonderful gold and colour in a medieval manuscript some twenty years ago that kindled Sally Mae’s love of illumination. She wanted to become an illuminator and learn the skills necessary to achieve that amazing work.

Much of her work is inspired by medieval illuminations as she has developed a huge interest in the early illuminators and calligraphers.

Her passion is for ‘raised and burnished gilding’, a method using a plaster based medium on which to lay loose leaf gold. It gives a wonderful shinny mirror effect. It is a specialist skill and one that she has spent much time perfecting so she is now pleased to take on any commission that requires raised gold.

Gilding, however, is not all about ‘raised and burnished gold’, there are other methods that give a flat surface finish to the gold. Using shell gold for small areas and transfer gold on PVA based mediums a modern and contemporary finish can be achieved.

A few years ago Sally mae made two DVD’s as teaching tools, primarily for those who were unable to attend classes. These have become popular with many who have already learnt some of the techniques and wish to expand their knowledge.

‘Gilding for Calligraphers’ is 130 minutes and covers: preparing and stretching vellum, raised and burnished gilding and painting a miniature. ‘Modern Gilding for Calligraphers’ is 60 minutes and covers: curing and cutting quills, using gum ammoniac and modern sizes to lay gold on various surfaces.