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, March 20, 2015

Black Letter Variations Workshop

In the summer of 2014, I took a workshop from Julian Waters on Black Letter Variations. He is originally from England but now resides in the States. He studied under Hermann Zapf, an internationally well-known German calligrapher. Julian teaches all over the world, so I felt honored to be able to learn under him. The practice sheet you see above was my first sheet used in the workshop. We were just endeavoring to get the basic Black Letter letterforms straight up and down. 

We were given a detailed workbook that I know I will continue to use for help and inspiration.

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