The Calligrapher's Life

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First Class

After several months of waiting, I finally experienced my first calligraphy class instructed by Barbara Close. On several occasions, Rosie explained what to expect from the class, so it wasn’t shocking to arrive early and find the class almost filled to capacity.

However, I knew it was popular; but I had no idea how popular.

The crowded classroom did not bother me in the least. Actually, I felt privileged to experience this course since it’s been booked-up for many years.

Embracing class felt easier than I anticipated. For months, I convinced myself Copperplate would be too difficult to learn on my own. As an unexpected surprise, Ms. Close started acquainting us with the pointed pen (normally used for Copperplate calligraphy). I’m so grateful, she didn’t start advanced Copperplate writing, or I would have panicked.

An exercise called “Zen Tangles” helped us practice proper stroke techniques which took the mystery out of this elegant hand (letter style). At first, my strokes were fine, but then we started practicing the actual alphabet. To create the right slant for the letter, I needed a special nib and pen holder.

Luckily, Rosie saved the day and offered one of her Copperplate nibs. Once I used the nib, it was apparent how different the letters appeared and how smooth the ink flowed from my pen.

While practicing calligraphy in class, the moment felt peaceful and relaxing, as though I were home.  I’m excited to see what’s in store for this week.

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