Monthly Archives: March 2013

A Pointed Pen Afternoon

Pointed Pen Practice

I spent all afternoon at my desk practicing Casual Pointed Pen. This is the first time I sat down to concentrate and practice since the workshop with Jane Shibata a week ago. After trying out different penholders and nibs, I think I found a combination I like. I’m also just using Higgins Eternal ink. Next time I will try gouache.

Menu from the Pie Hole LA

After feeling a little more confident, I decided to write the Pie Day menu (March 14th) from one of my favorite eateries in Downtown LA, The Pie Hole. I was pleased with how it turned out, so I posted the photo via Twitter and got a response from them. It totally made my day!

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Casual Pointed Pen with Jane Shibata

Casual Pointed Pen, a to z

Mike Kecseg’s Casual Pointed Pen from a to z

I braved traffic from the LA Marathon and drove out to Santa Monica to attend Jane Shibata’s Casual Pointed Pen mini-workshop last Sunday. It was my first time attending a workshop coordinated by the Westside Regional of the Society for Calligraphy and it was definitely worth the drive cross-town.

The Community Room was nice and bright, with great natural light. There is a small park nearby that offered a nice quiet atmosphere for a Sunday afternoon. I was really looking forward to the Casual Pointed Pen class with Jane because I wanted to try a more casual script with the pointed pen after having learned Copperplate and Spencerian.

Jane Shibata's Casual Pointed Pen Workshop

Jane Shibata talks about Casual Pointed Pen

Casual Pointed Pen Workshop

Jane gets ready to show us the letterforms

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Copperplate with Pat Blair

Getting ready to start the Copperplate workshop

Getting ready to start the Copperplate workshop. Pat is standing in the far right.

I had a wonderful opportunity over the weekend to visit beautiful San Diego, which is about a 2-hour drive south of Los Angeles, to attend a two-day workshop with Pat Blair, Master Penman & Chief Calligrapher of the White House. The  San Diego Fellow Calligraphers invited her to teach the workshop, and extended the opportunity to members of the Society for Calligraphy. I heard about it through my teacher in mid-January and emailed Rose Smutko, SDFC’s Board of Directors Workshop Chair, to ask for more information. Lo and behold, she told me there were only two spots left! I signed up as soon as I could – how could I miss the chance to spend two days doing nothing but copperplate with a room of calligraphy enthusiasts, and most of all, with Pat Blair!

Starting with the basics

Starting with the basics

We began Day One by doing the basic strokes for miniscule (lowercase) letters. It’s been a while since I really did Copperplate, so it was great to warm up and get re-acquainted with the beauty of this classic style of pointed pen calligraphy. Pat would demonstrate the letters in groups that are similar, then have us practice on our own while she walked around to give us individual attention and feedback. She is a wonderful teacher who explained everything very clearly and showed us a lot of great tips.

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