Teaching Services Page
Randy Asplund

All images are Randy Asplund

Randy Asplund teaching medieval manuscript arts
     Since the mid 1980's, Randy has been studying the techniques and art of making illuminated manuscripts in the authentic manner used by artists of the middle ages. Going back to the writings and actual artifacts of these masters, he has developed the knowledge to a depth that few other teachers can offer. Combined with years of experience making such works,  he brings a unique perspective to the working methods of medieval artists.

     Randy is available to give lecture/demos, and he has several PowerPoint Presentations available for these lectures. He is also available for running extended workshops when the time can be arranged. The usual lecture or demo runs about one hour for a general review.  A more detailed overview of the entire process of making illuminated manuscript books can run 2 hours or more, or extend into a complete workshop.

     He can bring reproduction tools, authentic materials including gold, pigments and the raw materials from which colors and inks were made before 1500 AD. More specific sessions can bearranged, including a hands on experience making paints from raw materials. 
Classes can be custom designed for your specific needs..


Randy presenting at the William L. Clements Library

Randy Presenting at the
William L. Clements Library for the Miniature Book Society
     Randy has made a collection of reproduction tools, including a writing slope, waxed tablets (pugilare), handmade brushes, reed and quill pens, bronze styli, and has an amazing assortment of medieval pigments and the raw materials they are made from. Many of these objects are seen in the picture above. Randy brings them to lectures and demos where he actually makes medieval paints right before the student's eyes.

Randy Asplund Lecture at the Detroit Atrist Market

Presentation at the Detroit Artiss Market

     In addition to participating as a guest speaker at conventions each year since the beginning of his career, Randy has enjoyed giving classes, workshops and presentations in galleries, museum docent training, libraries, the International Medieval Congress, book/art festivals,  home school camp, elementary and secondary school settings, university classes and for private organizations.

Teaching Middle School Arts

     Randy earned a BFA from the University of Michigan in 1984, with a concentration on painting and drawing. He graduated cum laude, and also acquired a teaching certificate for grades K-12. His formal education gave way to work in the field of free-lance illustration, but Randy never gave up on the teaching. Here Randy is teaching 7th & 8th Grade students at Ann Arbor's Greenhills School.

Making Medieval Parchment

Medieval Parchment making workshop: September 2011
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     Randy has been participating as a guest speaker at conventions each year since the beginning of his career, and is also known all around the world online as a source for authentic information about medieval manuscript production. He is currently engaged in writing a very comprehensive illustrated book on how Illuminated Manuscript Books were made in the middle ages. He has also written several articles and created heavily illustrated pamphlets showing him making parchment, making paints, showing the various raw source materials pigments are made from, and listing colors alongside color samples. Selections are used as visual aids in his classes.

Click here to see An Exhibit of The Technology of Making Medieval Illuminated Manuscript Books and Paintings
At The University of Michigan, Slusser Gallery, January, 2008

    Here are examples of some pamphlets that Randy uses as teaching aids. There are several more showing tools, methods, and including a color chart and a set of pictures of the plant, animal, and mineral sources of color.