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!

Saturday, April 12, 2014


I have a commission from a bride to make a chalkboard out of an old sign (above picture) she gave me, then letter on it. This is exciting for me as this will be my first time to go through the process.

I talked with two calligrapher friends who had made chalkboard signs as well as researched the topic. I bought chalkboard paint from Michaels and a foam roller.  I taped the edges of the frame of this sign so that it would prevent the paint from landing there. Then I rolled on the paint, one thin coat, and let it dry the specified time. Once dry, I painted over it a second time and let it dry.

Once the chalkboard paint is done, you "prime" it by rubbing white chalk all over the paint. Once you wipe that off with a dry cloth, it is ready to be lettered upon with either regular chalk or chalk markers.

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