"Old Skill, New Style"

Learning a new craft is often confusing at first. However, a benefit of learning calligraphy is that it’s based on something you've practiced since you were a kid: the alphabet! Calligraphy (beautiful or decorative penmanship) is a great creative outlet -- one that you can pick up pretty easily but practice for a lifetime. 

You may want to learn calligraphy so that you can address your own wedding invitations or illustrate your vows. You may have been told that you have great handwriting and wish to experiment with new materials. Or you might think you have horrible handwriting, and you hope that slowing down with a new pen will help you write more clearly. (You don’t have horrible handwriting. All handwriting is awesome.)

There’s nothing like a handwritten note. Putting pen to paper helps us express ourselves, it shows that we care, and it results in a tangible keepsake. There are so many ways to write beautifully, so I hope you’ll join me as we discuss them over the course of this column!

Before I go, here’s your first lesson: In most forms of modern calligraphy, the letters are enhanced with a thicker downstroke and a thinner upstroke. Meaning, you’ll apply more pressure and pigment as your pen moves downward, and you’ll lighten up this pressure as you gently push your pen upwards. Think fettuccine on the way down, and angel hair on the way up. You can use a pointed dip pen, brush marker, or a paintbrush to get this line variation. Or, you can “fake it” with a regular pen, by thickening your downward marks. Pictured above are some basic practice strokes to get you started.

February 25, 2016 by Kristen Ashley

Calligraphy & Lettering Club

I am super excited to announce that we have started a Calligraphy & Lettering Club here at the shop. It will meet on the first Thursday night of every month, and will consist of a couple learning sessions followed by a free practice / skill share time.

You can sign-up for the classes HERE.  Space will be limited to 12 students per class.

And you can purchase your beginner's kit HERE. We'll have it ready for you when you come to class.

Here's how the evenings will go:

From 6:00 - 7:00 pm I will give a beginner's class, where we talk about the materials, tools, and basic strokes of modern calligraphy. This is a great opportunity for folks who have never tried calligraphy, as well as any of you who would like a refresher. This will be $15 if you bring your own materials or $35 for those who want to beginner's kit (purchased separately).

From 7:00 - 7:30 I will teach an intermediate skill, new material, or alphabet set. There will be a new topic covered each month, and requests are always welcome. I think for April 2nd's Club I will introduce a few alphabet specimens for us to try, and for May 7th's Club I'll show you how to use masking fluid. (This is a transparent fluid that you can use like ink, which will repel a watercolor wash when brushed over it, leaving your lettering in the original paper color. Think awesome place cards, gift tags, and greeting cards.) Then on June 4th, we'll dive into addressing envelopes! These will be $10 mini classes.

Afterwards, from 7:30 - 9:00 everyone is welcomed to hang out in the workshop and practice the new skills they've learned. Share your tips and tricks with each other, and we'll all get better and better. Come just for this and it's free! 

I hope you all can make it, but if Thursday nights don't work for you, let me know and we can start a second club.

Here's to becoming awesome at calligraphy in 2015!


PS: Hashtag your work #classiccitycalligraphyclub to share with the group.

March 18, 2015 by Kristen Ashley MacCarthy