Have you noticed how as soon as we get a modern alternative we seem to, almost instantly, start looking back?
Music is a great example from vinyl to cassette to compact disc to MP3 and now back to the coolest thing is to own a record player and buy your music on vinyl…back to getting home and reading the cover whilst listening….
I was just listening to the radio and they announced that the printed word is outselling the ebooks, great news! I love books, I did buy a Kindle and it’s convenient but no where near as satisfying a read. My daughter’s friend has just had a second book published and I’m very proud to have two books on my shelf written by someone I know…not quite the same to have them on an ebook!
My husband is a keen photographer and although he has a digital camera he likes the effects that only film will give you and says that there are processing businesses being resurrected…things really do go around and around…
Hand-writing and the art of calligraphy seems to be having a resurgence in popularity (thank goodness), I’ve called this blog calligraphy but really it’s a modern version of calligraphy that I’m talking about, more flowing and less formal but beautiful none-the-less.
There are loads of artists who base all their work on the written word, a lovely friend recently gave me a work of art which had a good life philosophy most beautifully written on it in relief, the watercolour has been painted over the lettering, when the paint is dry the letters are revealed… it’s pretty special.
This link is just one artist who uses handwriting in her work and I follow her on Instagram
Last year I ran a one-off ‘Draw a cartoon face – Lunch & Learn session’ at my workplace. It was a very small class but it was enjoyable to do and I think those who attended enjoyed it.
This year I was approached again and asked if I would do something – luckily I had just seen a Facebook post about a friend attending a calligraphy class and almost without thinking I said I’d do one on that.
I’m not an expert by any means but have used calligraphy pens for as long as I can remember, in my first job in an Art & Craft shop I did all the signwriting for a while, even painting on the shop window! I always make my own cards including Christmas ones and it’s so much easier if you can write the greeting in a fancy kind of way, makes the card look more professional.
So to do the class I ordered some calligraphy ‘Chisel’ point felt pens and printed out sheets from the internet for them to practise on…there are loads out there. If you have a Pinterest account there are plenty for free download.
Of course there are kits and books and the pens are in stationers and art shops everywhere.
(As I advised the class – felt pens are great and easy to use but they don’t last long, I use a calligraphy pen by Rotring and I’ve had it for about 30 years – it’s never clogged! I can recommend it if you decide to take up this lovely hobby).
There were only 8 in the class which was great, the hour sped by and although ‘the holding your pen at 45 degree angle’ takes some getting used to by the end of the hour they all had produced some lovely writing.
One said that it was quite mindful, as you really need to concentrate and it is completely absorbing. Health benefits too – what more can one ask?
My basic tips are:-
* practise on a sheet of scrap paper first just to check you’ve got hold of the pen in the right way, do a line of vvvvvvvvvvv the down line is thick and the up is thin (I still do this at the start of using a calligraphy pen – only a quick vvvv and you know you’ve got it right)
* if you don’t usually do joined up handwriting then just add a little flick at the end of your letters to make them appear joined to the next
* to see the effect of the thin and thick lines you may find that writing your letters a bit larger than you usually do will be beneficial
Lastly – have a good practise and then just write with your calligraphy pen, if you’ve got the angle right you should soon get to see your writing takes on that italic style.
It really is all about practising, when you’re concentrating too hard on each letter you can also forget to spell, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spelled birthday ‘bithday’ – extremely annoying so copy or write lightly in pencil and go over it.
As a little test to see how quickly you can get this skill the class all wrote their names on a sheet of paper at the start of the class and then again at the end. There was a marked difference in even that short time.
If you haven’t tried it…you should.
Oh I know the computer can put your words into wonderful fonts but nothing beats a hand-written message.