MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Students in a seminar on Medieval manuscripts seminar recently tried their hands at the art of illumination during a workshop at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. The class, taught by Eliza Garrison, associate professor of history of art and architecture, gave students a taste of the painstaking detail required to produce the beautiful manuscripts that date back hundreds of years.

Surrounded by parchment, pens and vials of walnut ink, the students selected a single letter to design. Under the direction of workshop leader Karen Gorst, they sanded, softened, traced, transferred, inked, applied gold leaf, and, finally, painted to complete their work.