Creating an Illuminated Letter

Busy 'illuminating'
Busy ‘illuminating’

This week we begun our study into the illuminated letter.  This is as a prelude to our artist study on the Limbourg brothers.  I shall be doing a full post on Friday, but today we made our own illuminated letters and had loads of fun.

Yesterday I had prepared them for this activity by reading through and letting them flick through some of our books.  The children paid particular attention to the various individual letters which were illuminated.  These were the books we had on hand:


Everyone, including me, decided to illuminate their own initials.  First we copied our letter from the illuminated alphabet book and then transferred it onto some extra thin copper sheets I had bought for just this purpose.  We then decorated them, using ideas we had found in our earlier research.  We used the corner of a plastic shape for any of the bigger designs:

L10 scraping her design using a plastic shape
L10 scraping her design using a plastic shape

And a tooth pick for the more delicate work:

C10 tooth picking her way to much detail
C10 tooth picking her way through all her design ideas

After we had all finished our designs we coloured them in using permanent pens, concentrating as much as possible on making the letter stand out:

T11 just beginning his colouring in
T11 just beginning his colouring in

This was such a fun relaxing thing to do on a Tuesday afternoon.  There was much chit-chat and banter going around.  A really, really chilled afternoon, which produced some enjoyable results.  The girls in particular were pleased and are going to pin their illuminated initials on the pin boards in their room:


I particularly liked working with the copper and I could literally feel the cogs going round inside my brain plotting and planning for using this medium in future projects (whether they call for the use of copper or not!)