St Ives Medieval Faire 2016

The incredible St Ives Medieval Faire has come around again - this is the third year running and has been getting bigger and better every year.  Jousting, melee, tournaments, birds of prey, archery, medieval village life, brave knights, fair maidens, magnificent horses, juggling, feasting... Total immersion in medieval history!  This year some workshops were also offered and I grabbed the chance to learn about the beautiful art of 'illumination', along with some fellow enthusiasts (including one re-enactor who was helping at the Faire with the trebuchet!).

Artist/Illuminator Tania Crossingham helped us to create our very own illuminated letter, complete with authentic design and paint colours and actual gold-leaf gilding.  I was thrilled to be able to learn about this precise and gorgeous art form, which includes the skills of drawing, design, painting, ink and pen work and working with gold leaf.

Tania showed us some of her own exquisite work which was intricate and breathtaking - a real inspiration.  Our own efforts were enthusiastic, if not as fine and controlled, but I'm sure practice makes perfect!  Definitely an incentive to do more.

 Almost finished creating my first ever illuminated letter!  Needs some tidying up.

Almost finished creating my first ever illuminated letter!  Needs some tidying up.

 The finished letter, which is still a little 'rough around the edges'...  A finer brush would have helped.

The finished letter, which is still a little 'rough around the edges'...  A finer brush would have helped.

 Here's how the expert does it - a detail of some of Tania's beautiful illumination work - part of a 'scatter border'.

Here's how the expert does it - a detail of some of Tania's beautiful illumination work - part of a 'scatter border'.

 Tania Crossingham at work at the Faire.

Tania Crossingham at work at the Faire.

 One of the brave and talented knights with his squire and handsome steed, taking part in the Jousting at St Ives Medieval Faire.

One of the brave and talented knights with his squire and handsome steed, taking part in the Jousting at St Ives Medieval Faire.