The Calligrapher's Life

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Flourishing for the Lettering Fanatic

Okay, if someone asked me three years ago what I was passionate about, I’d have to admit that I didn’t have a clue. Today, it’s a different story. Why? Because when it comes to calligraphy, I’ve become a fanatic.  I love to practice it, look at it, play with it and dream about tons of possibilities to create with it.

For example, this weekend, we had a Society of Calligraphy meeting that I had anticipated for over a week (thanks to some sparkling reviews a classmate gave of our guest speaker, Jane Shibata).

Jane Shibata is a Society of Calligraphy member and calligrapher whose name I’ve noticed on several calligraphy workshop flyers and I believe I’ve seen her work in a book or two. When I found out she planned to give tips on proper flourishing, I put this meeting on the top of my weekend “must-do” list…I was not disappointed.

This brief, yet fun workshop on flourishing guided us through simple techniques to gain an easier grasp on creating decorative lettering for any project in need of some flair.

We started the meeting with a review of our hand-out, which included flourish examples for pointed pen styles, like Copperplate and Spencerian, to broad edge style like the classic italic hand. Then, Ms. Shibata demonstrated a few examples in flourishing designs before we started practicing on our own.

The hand-out provided numerous examples to follow, so we spent nearly two hours playing with different pen nibs and colors to practice flourishes.

Before the meeting ended, I left with some simple tips on better flourishing and discovered some rules to live by. Beautiful flourishing requires plenty of practice, thoughtful planning and loads of patience to achieve a gorgeous, carefree appearance.

I’m starting to see a recurring theme with this art.


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