Tolkien Calligraphy Project

Sarah B sends along this sample of her amazing work, a Tolkien Calligraphy Project.

Greetings Tolkien fans!

I would like to inform you of a project I am working on. I am currently creating a copy of the Lord of the Rings trilogy using illuminated Celtic calligraphy. The material I am using is 11X17 neutral parchment and will be approximately 2500 pages. I wrote to the Tolkien Estate and was granted exclusive permission to do this project. It must be noted that this work is in no way intended for publication or reproduction; it is merely an artistic expression of my fondness for these beautiful books.

I first began by practicing the calligraphy for over two months. The practice was essential, because the calligraphy had to become as natural as my own handwriting in order to complete a project of this size. I encountered many challenges as I began concerning measurements, style and format of each page. After many trials, I finally decided to write the majority of the text in black ink and the words appearing in italics in blue ink. This includes poems, Elvish and songs appearing in the books. The inscription on the ring will be the only text appearing in red ink. At this time, I am in the process of copying all of the text and then going back to add the illumination and illustration. It is my goal to have all three books completed in 2 ½ years. I work approximately 2 hours each day and complete a minimum of five pages per week.

This project continues to bring me great joy, as well as a little frustration here and there, and I have been honored by the interest shown by the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Society and I will be happy to provide updates concerning my progress as long as people are interested. The pages I have provided are glimpses of what will appear in the finished project. I have included a completed page from the prologue as well as a page of Elvish and poetry. On a full page, there are large margins to allow for binding and illustration. It is my hope that this endeavor inspires others to pursue the dying art of illuminated manuscripts.

Sincerely, Sarah B.