A UIS Class Becomes A Medieval Scriptorium!

The date on the board said 2017, but in the Grade 5 class, it seemed we were in year 900! As part of their exploration of life in medieval monasteries, the students enjoyed a visit from a calligraphy expert, Lucia’s father, who shared his passion, creating an atmosphere of interest and discovery. Numerous questions arose as our visitor showed early manuscript samples, papyrus, and even the animal hides early monks wrote on, in their scriptoriums. We also learned how early inks were made with natural materials, and how even today, a precious blue marine colour is created using the lapis lazuli stone. When our chance to try came, Lucia’s dad demonstrated basic strokes, and led us from writing with a wooden bar on a very large piece of paper, to using a dip calligraphy pen with ink. What looked very easy when he did it, revealed itself to be an art which requires much patience and practice. The experience helped us to put ourselves into the shoes of the monks long ago who laboured tirelessly to produce intricate illuminated manuscripts. Thank you, Lucia’s parents, for sharing your time, art, and passion with us.