The Calligrapher's Life

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Day of Practice

As a homework assignment, we were required to complete a card with Copperplate writing inside and to include artwork on the front and back cover. 

After spending an hour on homework last night, I took a good look at it and I knew it could be better. Although it’s my first shot at creating a thoughtfully designed card in Copperplate, I gave myself credit for a less than perfect outcome.

But, when I brought the card to class and compared it with the seasoned calligraphers around me, I cringed. Again I thought to myself, how long will it take for me to get that good?

At the beginning of class, our instructor requested that students with their completed homework share it with the class by placing it on the front table for all to see. For a brief moment, I considered her offer and then lost my nerve.

Even though the card cover looked appealing with a marbleized effect on paper, I lost confidence in my Copperplate work. With a rushed project and a poor paper choice (allowed ink to bleed), the card looked like the work of a novice.

Our class was easy-going all morning. The ABC adult school offered an open house and craft fair during class time, so I took the opportunity to practice my calligraphy skills. Several people walked in and out of classrooms viewing student related work and offered their lovely compliments while gazing at hanging artwork. Surprisingly, we also had a visit from the mayor of Cerritos! He and his staff were obviously impressed with our patience for practicing this wonderful art form and showered our instructor with compliments.

Of course, the highlight of my day involved a one-on-one critique of my work by Ms. Close. After discussing my weaknesses, I realized how much direction I really needed.

From now on, concentrating on letter form and a steady stroke will help create a much better letter and probably less frustration.

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