I grew up in Raleigh at a time when the nuns taught at Our Lady Of Lourdes. They lived out back of the school and wore those imposing yet Holy Habits that commanded your adoration, attention, and, quite frankly, your fear. So, when they asked you to "sit up straight" with your "feet flat on the floor" and compose your letters properly according to the Palmer Method of Handwriting, you did just that! I believe it was at that impressionable age that I became infatuated with the formation of letters. When I was introduced to calligraphy in 1978, it was no wonder I fell in love with this beautiful art form. My first taste of the calligraphic world lasted no longer than one hour. The instructor turned a piece of chalk on its edge to form calligraphic works of art from A to Z on the chalkboard. That was that! But it was all I needed to fire the embers that had been sparked in elementary school. Watching the slow, rhythmical shaping of those letters was like listening to classical music. It was not until 1997 that I enrolled in my first formal calligraphy class. Boy, were my eyes opened! I knew I had a lifelong road of learning ahead of me. It's been 38 years since that white piece of chalk was laid on its side. I am still learning. Come learn with me!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Uncial Exemplar

I am getting ready to start teaching Uncial next week so I needed to make an exemplar. You are thinking to yourself...how hard could that be? Well, probably not hard at all for some. But for me (and I consider myself a teacher-in-learning at all times), that meant I needed to get out all of my books, open them all to their Uncial pages, and start reading.

After I read them all, then I had to compare all of the exemplars in each book. What "A" do I like best? How will I put the 26 letterforms into easily learned groups?

Once that was accomplished, then I needed to do a little bit of practicing, just to get the flow of the hand, the ink, the feel of the paper.

The final exemplar is written after all of that!

So, here it is. Come learn with me!


  1. Uncial is my favorite and I sympatize with the letterform choices that must be made. I, too, am still learning, ever improving, never perfecting.

    Portland, Texas

  2. Michaela,
    Thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate it! Those of us who love the art of calligraphic writing can certainly sympathize and empathize! But we love it, don't we!