I used to dream a lot of places I had lived or visited, but one city would have streets in another - this one is a place I go to a lot, with elements from both Heidelberg and Bisbee - which I suppose makes it Heidelbisbee.
Todays work was accomplished at the Cochise College Library in Sierra Vista. I know - making manuscripts in libraries is a strange pastime, but I am used to it. I made my first full length illuminated manuscript (a tiny volume about Pan) entirely at the beautiful giant wooden tables at the Boston Public Library back in the early 90’s. The table I worked at today was nowhere near as classy as the BPL ones - it was a tiny, cheap formica topped table, which nevertheless served me well. Unlike the Sierra Vista Public Library, there is no Cafe in the Cochise College facility, but the light is excellent, the tables sturdy, the staff friendly, there are numerous electrical outlets, and free wifi. What more can a moocher of an illuminator ask for in a makeshift studio? The leaves I worked on today won’t go into any bound volumes. I decided to try out a few new papers, and this particular type was way too porous, so there are stains on the back of the sheet, which means there is no place in my bound volumes for this. Maybe I’ll pop it into a frame. I was approached as I worked on the text by someone who was impressed that I can write in Latin - I did not have the heart to tell them that in fact the text on this leaf is just made up words, essentially placeholder text. I was trying out my new Ames scale for lining pages, and wanted to do something more calligraphic than my usual tiny block letters. I also explained to this curious onlooker that the letters are not, as he thought, a traditional Celtic style - these are what I call “letters without a ductus” because there is no internal consistency. Its a lazy kind of lettering, not committed to any style or script.