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Parchment, Calligraphy, and Contemporary Palimpsests
Parchment, Calligraphy, and Contemporary Palimpsests

Sat, Aug 13



Parchment, Calligraphy, and Contemporary Palimpsests

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Date + Time

Aug 13, 2022, 10:00 AM – Aug 14, 2022, 4:00 PM

Cleveland, 1754 E 47th St, Cleveland, OH 44103, USA


In this two-day workshop, students will use calligraphy and visual imagery to create their own contemporary palimpsests on parchment (stretched and dried animal skin).

For thousands of years, humans have used parchment to record written information. The material was so rare and valuable that scribes often used it more than once. The word “palimpsest”—which comes from the Greek word palimpsēstos meaning “scraped again”—originally described an early form of recycling in which an old document was

erased to make room for a new one when parchment was scarce. Lucky for us, palimpsesting didn’t rid the parchment completely of the original writing, which can often be distinguished visually or via imaging technologies. Colloquially, the word palimpsest refers to anything that has multiple layers: people, history, etc.

Instructor Bio:

Madison Bennett is lettering artist and bookmaker from Cleveland, OH. She is a third-year MFA Candidate in Book Arts at the University of Iowa Center for the Book., where she explores calligraphy, parchment-making, and contemporary palimpsests. Following graduation, she will continue her research on the origins of ultrathin medieval parchment.

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