Letters California Style 2015

The welcome banner

Whenever I meet a local calligraphy friend online, I always tell them to join the Society for Calligraphy. Not only will they get to take wonderful workshops year-round, they are also eligible to attend Letters California Style, the member conference that takes place every year on Presidents’ Day weekend.

Last year, I got a small taste of it with a mini workshop, and this year I was so excited to be fully immersed in the Letters experience! I got into Jane Shibata’s “Pointed Pen Variations” class, which was exactly what I wanted. After taking Jane’s workshop on the same subject two years ago, I have been practicing on my own, but really wanted to further refine my script. I was more than happy to learn from Jane again for four days!

Jane shares her work with us

We were given her exemplars and meticulous notes which were so very helpful as she showed us how to achieve details that make each letter beautiful. Jane’s pointed pen work is exquisite, and as she was doing demos for us, she made it look so very easy! Of course it’s from years of study and practice, and I found it so inspiring.

My practice sheet of some pointed pen variations

Jane encouraged us to try different variations, such as changing letter angle, varying certain elements, yet staying consistent throughout. I was so glad to have taken this class again, as I wanted to do well in traditional as well as modern variations of pointed pen scripts.

Shopping at Paper and Ink Arts!

One of my favorite things about Letters is being able to shop at Paper and Ink Arts‘ pop-up store! Ordering online is fine and all, but it sure is wonderful to be able to try out different inks, markers, and be able to hold them in my hand.

Another special treat waiting for us was a live performance of four of the teachers: Yukimi Annand, Ewan Clayton, Pamela Paulsrud, and Peter Thornton. This was my first time watching masters at work, improvising mark-making and coming up with letters conveying dynamic movement – and I really can’t describe how fun and wonderful it was to watch them! It was pure poetry in motion.

Pamela, Ewan, Yukimi, and Peter

Four days of fun came and went so very quickly – and we all go home with hearts filled with calligra-happiness and inspiration. I hope I will be back again next year!