About the artist Fiona Graham-Flynn
Fiona in her studio writing on an illuminated piece of
lthough I create various kinds of celtic art, I work mainly as a "Scribe"
- the ancient term for a Calligrapher and Illuminator. This means that unlike
most modern UK calligraphers, I also apply traditional decorative illustrations
to my handwritten scripts.
y individual calligraphy and artwork
consists of original designs based upon traditional celtic influences.
I try to keep as closely as possible to the
best traditional methods, using pigment colour on vellum, and gouache on various
handmade papers. Some of my commissions have a raised and flat gilding.
I write in five different main scripts and I tend to write with either steel
pens or quills made from swan feathers. My particular interest is in the
"Irish Half Uncial" script which I have spent many years perfecting.
orn in Scotland in 1952 (as Fiona Graham), celtic tradition
played an important part in
my upbringing and I was always aware of the wealth of my celtic heritage. But
although interested in art at school, I was never taught anything to do with
celtic arts and crafts while there. During childhood our family then moved to
south-east England, but many years later I was given a book entitled
"Celtic Art" by Scottish author George Bain - and it became like a Bible for
me. I was amazed at the way he had dedicated his life to the study of celtic
art and it awakened something inside me, for it was then that I truly started
my journey in celtic art.
oon afterwards I began to study not just Celtic designs but the scripts in
the illuminated Gospel Books of Kells and Lindisfarne. Then in 1981 I enrolled
part-time in a course of calligraphy at a local college and commenced
the work that I have now enjoyed for over twenty years.
After a few further years of experience I also qualified as a
calligraphy tutor and now give regular classes
of my own.
uring that time my interest also grew about finding ways of
applying celtic art to different working mediums, so I joined a
2 year course at Hammersmith College, London which resulted in a City
and Guilds qualification in Signwork in 1988.
Throughout the time I also had a variety of commissions, from simple
cards to full hides of illuminated vellum.
ne particular commission came after reading "The Art of Celtia", a book
by Courtney Davis. I had never seen such a vivid expression in colour of
celtic art before. It inspired me so much that I felt I had to contact him,
and at our first meeting in early 1995 he offered me the chance to collaborate
with him in a new book called "Celtic Ornament
- The Art Of The Scribe". Feeling very honoured I provided designs and also
wrote several chapters of the text, and saw my calligraphy reproduced in bookprint
for the first time. Since then I have contributed text and calligraphy to
several books for a number of different publishers.
rom the early 1990's I began to create additional celtic
designs on wooden items made with the help of
my husband Chris Flynn, who is a fine woodturner. Under the marketing
name of "Tigon Crafts" we now also make celtic wind-chimes, platters, bowls,
clocks etc. and sell to a range of craft shops from Scotland to Cornwall, as
well as locally on occasional event dates.
he "Tigon" logo is my own hand-drawn ink design based upon the pictish
symbol of a combined Crescent and V rod. Such symbols are found on carved
stones from the 7th to 9th centuries, mainly in north-east Scotland.
n 1999 we produced our first TIGON CRAFTS CATALOGUE, an
A5-sized booklet of 32 fully illustrated pages containing artwork
samples (including calligraphy and signwriting commissions) and further craft
products for sale including wooden photo frames, letter racks, incense and
aving developed a range of
wedding stationery products and services
on offer, I produced a separate 12-page WEDDING CALLIGRAPHY CATALOGUE
in 2004 itemising my personalised wedding support services and illustrating sample
scripts, invitations, table plans, wedding plaques and other personalised items
available for prospective couples.
n 2007 I produced a new WEDDING STATIONERY CATALOGUE (8 pages, size A5)
containing example colour reproductions of
place and table cards and
y catalogues can be requested by direct contact or
obtained from me at any of my fair and exhibition dates.
ltimately, the work I do and the range of individual items I create
are so varied that my site can only carry a small proportion of
the resulting craftwork. Nevertheless I hope you will enjoy viewing the
examples reproduced here as much as I have enjoyed originally creating them.
Fiona Graham-Flynn (Scribe)