I have ‘tried’ my hand at calligraphy a couple of times recently, and by tried I mean I’ve copied some lettering from Pinterest using a Biro. With all these lovely fonts all over the web, I’ve been wanting to give them a try for quite some time, but my inexperience doesn’t exactly add up to anything that remotely looks usable. So when I saw local Calligrapher, Joyce at Artsynibs was hosting a workshop in Manchester I asked her if I could come along.
So a couple of Saturdays ago I drove into the city centre and entered The Foundation Coffee House (which by the way is a really cool, quirky place to enjoy a beverage or two) and found my hand-labeled notebook signifying my desk for the morning.
There were eleven of us altogether, all from different professional backgrounds and all complete beginners or at least having very little experience. Joyce provided us all with a ream of supplies – notepad, calligraphy pens and even walnut ink in a little pot. It took me back to bygone times of writing everything with a quill. Thank goodness for modern day instruments, though, as I soon discovered my calligraphy wasn’t exactly up to scratch!
We began by Joyce giving us a little introduction to the tools she had provided and then quickly delved into the practical side. Joyce had pre-written sheets for us to go through, with different strokes and then letters to practice. Being a left-hander, it was a challenge to get the grip, brush stroke and therefore lettering exactly right and after some lame attempts Joyce down-graded me to the brush pen rather than a water brush. I only wish she’d realise my lack of potential to begin with as it was so much easier to get the right pressure this way!
Joyce is an excellent teacher and if you’ve seen any of her work you’ll know what a fantastic calligrapher she is. She took plenty of time to explain and demonstrate each part to us and for those of us who were a bit on the slow hand picking it up she had patience and didn’t make us rush through.
Personally I really enjoyed the chance to get out of the house on my own and speak to other grown-ups. It’s a rare opportunity to find myself having conversations other than about Blaze and The Monster Machines or battles over skirts vs pinafores before I’ve even had my first cup of tea. And I learnt a new skill and gained lots of tools to take home and practice some more. Look out blogging world, you may see some beautiful crafted lettering coming from me sometime soon. Or a piece of paper with a few blotches on. As they say, practice makes perfect!
*I was invited to attend the workshop by Joyce FOC in return for this review. However all opinions are my own.