Category Archives: Workshops

Like riding a bicycle

If you still visit my little dusty, cobwebby corner of the internet, thank you. It’s been a while since I updated. Actually, it’s been a while since I touched my calligraphy tools. I still hold calligraphy near and dear to my heart, but I needed some time for other things – like my knitting, my garden, my health (mental & physical), my family, my cats, not to mention my full-time job. I was feeling overwhelmed in more ways than one, but during my time away, I really did miss calligraphy. I didn’t attend Letters California Style in 2023, but I did visit, had dinner with some lovely calligrafriends and dropped off my deposit for 2024. And suddenly here we are!

I didn’t practice at all – just dived into class cold turkey. I got my first choice, too – Romitalic with the fantastic Randall Hasson. When I read the class description: “A rounded, lyrical hand, with elements of traditional Italic and Roman forms,” I knew it was the perfect hand for me to learn and to get back into calligraphy.

I expected my hand to cramp up in pain, but I actually did okay! It took a while to warm up and get started, but with each letter, each word and each line, my muscle memory slowly came back, followed by sparks of mental notes from all my teachers in the past ten years of studying Italic. It really was like riding a bicycle – wobbly at first, but I somehow remembered how to do it. It was not perfect by any means, but I was pleased with how my practice sheets turned out.

Romitalic practice sheet of A-Z flower names. It took an entire day, but I did it!

It was great to catch up with friends and teachers as well as meet new ones. I’ve really missed being in the company of like-minded, letter-loving people! It was great to have Victor Kams join the Letters faculty this year, too. I met Victor at Rendez-vous in Montreal in 2019 and he’s such a rockstar calligrapher, so talented as well as humble and generous with his time and knowledge.

Victor Kams giving the captivated Letters audience a presentation of his work.

Three and a half days flew by just like that, and I had a fantastic time. Really enjoyed learning from Randall and with such enthusiastic and supportive classmates. So nice to learn, connect and share laughs. The love of Calligraphy brings us all together, no matter what generation we are.

Romitalic class at Letters California Style 2024. Great teacher and classmates!
[ L-R: Wendy, Jenny, me, Jan, Nina, Randy, Bill, Arlene, Adrienne, Tammy, Christine and Abigail ]

Really having fun with Romitalic. Now on to practice, practice and practice.

Chalkboard Lettering Demo

The chalkboard style flyer I created for the demo

After attending the fantastic Chalkboard lettering class with Cora Pearl at Letters California Style in February, I was asked by Society for Calligraphy‘s Membership Chair, David Mark, to do a free demo for new members of the guild. Cora very generously and graciously let me share some of her teaching material with the new members!

One of the new members, Mila, was very kind to provide our classroom space. We expected maybe 10 people in the class, but ended up with a total of 14! I was super nervous as I’ve never done a demo/teaching session before, and really wanted everyone to have a great experience. Looking at how hard everyone was working and how fast a few hours flew by, I think it was pretty successful. Thanks David, and Society for Calligraphy for the opportunity, and huge thanks again to Cora for the guidance!

What a great group!

The Passionate Pointed Brush

Julie Wildman (left) speaks to the class

I attended a wonderful Society for Calligraphy workshop over the weekend РThe Passionate Pointed Brush with Julie Wildman who was visiting us from Chicago! Julie has been working as a designer and artist for over 25 years.

The class took place on the campus of Cal State Long Beach. The classroom was nice and big, and we had so much room on big work tables!

My practice sheet, with name tag lettered by Julie

I have always loved the pointed brush. It’s definitely quite challenging because it is so different from using a steel nib. Julie shared some great exemplars with us, including her own, as well as work from pointed brush master calligraphers such as John Stevens, Yves Leterme, and Carl Rohrs. She also showed us letterform variations, such as the different ways to do each letter. I loved watching her do demo – she has such great control of the pointed brush and has such a light touch.

Continue reading