Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Engrossed in Graduation

Once again I was delighted to be asked to design a diploma for the graduating class of the school my kids attended oh-so-long-ago, and to work with the parents on the illumination while the eighth graders were off on their class trip.  The Engrossing Saga I attended last fall was still very much with me, and I went for a kind of turn-of-the-twentieth century look with a twist: part color, part black-and-white.  

The idea is to keep it simple enough that the group can complete the painting in a three-to-four-hour crash course in engrossing.  The design was hand-drawn (Sickels alphabet), calligraphed (Johnstonian Italic), scanned and cleaned up in Photoshop (both twenty-first century luxuries), and inkjet-printed on New Diploma Parchment, whose praises I must join the chorus and sing!  I inscribed the names in Copperplate with Moon Palace Sumi, chose a gouache palette and mixed the colors.  For the gold we used Spectralite, which held up nicely to burnishing and tooling.  Outlining was done with a fine black Pitt pen, and leaf vein dots with a gold gel pen.




We settled into the classroom for a Sunday afternoon and several hours later...


...nineteen diplomas, ready for signatures!



It always amazes me to think that one could actually make a living as an engrosser back in the day!  If only I'd been born in the 1800s--and male, of course--this would have been the profession I aspired to.  Sigh.

10 comments:

  1. Wow, Wow and Wow!! Love the old fashioned look of them. You did great!!! Congratulations Jody. xo, Harvest

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    1. Thank you, Harvest! You taught me everything I know! XO J

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  2. Oh, I love this! You truly are one of the best engrossers I know! YOU could make a living at it!! :)

    xo~~

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    1. Dana, thank you, you are too kind!. I do seriously enjoy it, though, and wish there was more demand...

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  3. ps...I went to the Engrossing Saga - the 25th (or was it the 20th?) anniversary and could never produce anything like this!! It was so much fun. Is this photo from the Saga?

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    1. No, it's from last Sunday. Those are the parents of the graduates, sitting at their children's desks attempting to "color inside the lines" with gold paint and gouache! Love their intense concentration.

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  4. Gorgeous work Jody!!!!! Absolutely over the top! I think you have given Engrossing new life and purpose!!!!!!

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    1. Thanks, Heather, for your encouragement! It means a lot.

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  5. This is awesome on so many levels!! The design, lettering, engrossing - Absolutely Killer! And to be able to get a group of parents together and "a few hours later" produce these BEAUTIFUL certificates astounds me. (Quit your day job!!) :)

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    1. Thank you dear Jane! I'm tempted...

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