Saturday, 12 March 2011

Southern European and Curvaceous

Mike introduced us to the friendly, curvaceous and very southern European Rotunda hand at the February Scribes meeting in Sunderland. Rotunda script was particularly favoured in Spain and Italy over the more angular picket-fence style of the northern Gothic letters. It is more rounded and less compressed than its straight up and down northern cousins. When letters have a bowl such as 'o' or 'b' or 'd' the internal curves become sharper than in roundhand scripts and the straight strokes the bottom of the letter finishes with an upwards curve rather than diamond shaped feet.

Using examples from writing manuals by Antonio Tagliente and Juan de Yciar we wrote large letters with broad nibs to get the feel of this hand. Many scribes found this a comfortable hand to write and some of the work created during the workshop is shown here.

One remarkable thing we did learn was how to rotate our tittles when making letters like 'i' and 'j' which had a dash at the top. For further information about how to do this and also what a jot is please contact Mike.

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