Text: Foundation

When commencing the study of the art of illumination it is extremely important that it should be approached from the proper standpoint. It is to be feared that this has not always been the case. The lure of the bright gold and colours has often led both teacher and taught astray, and the proper use of the pen in writing has been almost entirely neglected. Instead of allowing the tool to have its own way, it has been forced to form laborious shapes that are not suited to its construction at all. The decoration, it is to be feared, has been looked upon as a sort of spice to be added as a finishing touch, instead of being a vital growth springing naturally from the writing. Until it be viewed from this standpoint, no real progress can be made. If a building is to be soundly constructed, the first thing to see to is that the foundations are well laid. The same principle applies in this case. The decoration, if it is to be living and real, must have a starting-point for growth. The student should see that this is a sure foundation and not a tottering, shaky structure. Well-formed writing should be the first consideration. (Farnsworth 23)