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, March 21, 2015

Handmade Quill

I took a yearlong class from Reggie Ezell called "26 Seeds, a Year to Grow." For one of the last sessions, he brought quills for every student that he had cut for us. I had never used a quill before. I dipped the tip into some blue pigment I had made, then started lettering in Italic. It was an experience like none other. The quill glided over the paper, making the letters seem effortless, and I thought I heard The Hallelujah Chorus softly singing in the background. If you have never written with a handmade quill, I encourage you to leap tall buildings in a single bound to do so.

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