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Issue #13

March, 2012

THE B I RM ING HAM C ALLI G R A P HY G U I LD ’S N E WS LE T TE R www.birminghamcalligraphy.org

Looking forward to Barbara Close’s workshop March 17-18. Barbara (left) is pictured with Maggie Naylor (right) at a previous workshop. Barbara is a welcomed guest in Birmingham!

December 10th dawned bright and sunny as many of our guild members met at Eve London’s beautiful home in Mountain Brook for our annual Holiday Brunch! We were greeted warmly by Eve’s sister in law Susan Jackson and her friend (Camie Griffin) with yummy warm drinks and coffee and soon wandered inside to visit with our dear friends. The centerpiece of Eve’s decorations was a gorgeous large real Christmas tree. It truly made the house smell and look wonderful. Our hostess treated us to a lovely breakfast casserole as well as a scrumptious cheese grits casserole and the most wonderful lemon bars you ever put in your mouth! I was feeling very cozy and warm inside when we began to distribute all the hand made cards to all the participants of the holiday card exchange. Eve had made up some of the cutest little hand stamped paper bags to hold our cards and had them all tagged with our names to make distribution easier. She had even cut out the stamps for the ornament decorations on the cards! What a creative and talented lady! The cards themselves were really something special! Everyone had outdone themselves and really created some very fine and very artistic holiday cards to share. There were some left over from those who had made extras so it was suggested that a local hospital or nursing home might enjoy reaping the benefits of our collective talent. Elsa Penso volunteered to take them to a couple of places and told me later that they were very much appreciated. Our holiday brunch is always festive and fun and this year fulfilled all that and more. Seeing both old and new friends, some who came long distances to attend, is a very special part of the holidays to me and I look forward with great anticipation to this event every year! ( a few of the cards exchaged are pictured to the right)

Mark Your Calendars Upcoming Events: 2012 March 3 - Workday - MBBE –Greeting Cards designs based on Zentangles, taught by Leah Dueffer March 17-18 Barbara Close Workshop Flowing into Watercolor and Italic Variations www.bcdezigns.com April 9 - Night Meeting - MBBE May 5 - Workday - EOL Library-9-12 Deb Warnat- Watercolors


May 19-20 Kathy Milici Workshop Divine Flourishing and Decorated Letters www.24karetdesigns.com


June 11 - Night Meeting - Library July 14-15 Heather Held MBBE Flourishing and Enchanted Letters

Welcome New Members of the Birmingham Calligraphy Guild! Rachael Ashbaker - Vestavia, AL Marie Castigliola - Pascagoula, MS Juandolyn Fleming - Hoover, AL Claire Frascogna - Madison, MS Emily Gray - Birmingham, AL Betsy Greener - Jackson, MS Victoria Lansford - Atlanta, GA Hayley Marsh - Birmingham, AL Amber Martin - Weaver, AL Dwilette McFarland - Vicksburg, MS Sharon O’Steen - Fort Walton Beach, FL Martha Stillwell - Weaver, AL Debbie Willis - Pascagoula, MS Robin Willson - Birmingham, AL We welcome you and encourage to participate in programs and workshops Join the latest craze of Zentangles! Come to the workday this Saturday (Mar.3) and learn what Zentangles are and how to make them! Let Leah know if you can make it! leah_dueffer@yahoo.com

July 28 - Workday - Library August 25 - Orientation Fair - Library October 13-14- Annie Cicale Workshop www.cicaleletteringdesign.com December 15 - Christmas Brunch / Card Exchange...(need hostess)


If you are participating in the card exchange- don’t forget to send your envelope each month. It is always fun to get something in your mailbox!

Registration Packets have been mailed for the 63rd Annual IAMPETH Convention taking place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin August 6-12, 2012. IAMPETH stands for International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting. Don’t let the name scare you! It is a great event with several beginner classes being taught by the finest calligraphers in the world! www.iampeth.com (The logo was designed by Heather Held who is headed our way for a workshop July 14-15)

Nibbler Bits

Betty Bland, pictured above with her family in 2006, our friend and calligrapher/artist died Friday, February 24th after complications from a fall on Jan. 1, 2012. She was a student of Travis Jones and a founding member of our guild. She combined her education in art with her love of lettering and produced many showings in hospitals and the Vestavia Hills Art Association. I had seen her art displayed at the Birmingham Public Library before I was involved with calligraphy. I was delighted to find her in my first class and appreciated her sweetness in the way she encouraged me by lending me supplies and even teaching me how to cut a double mat for framing. She will be missed in the art community and her church. -Gloria Nelson

On Monday, February 13, Sharron Adams, our Vice President and one of BCG founding members, presented our program. Sharron, the mother of President Melinda Sapp, shared her expertise and talent of the Italic Hand, as well as the ampersand, in demonstrating these important strokes.  She recommended a book that she uses by Lloyd Reynolds, Italic Lettering, Calligraphy and Handwriting Exercise Book.  However long you have worked there is always more room to learn. Thank you Sharron. Also, thanks to Elsa Penso, our hospitality chair, for the refreshments. I encourage everyone to attend these wonderful and free programs.

The Washington Calligraphy Guild’s theme for its Graceful Envelope Contest is “D-liver D-letter D-sooner D-better”

That familiar message — built around the letter D — has been taken to heart by the nation’s letter carriers, who D-liver 170 billion pieces of mail each year. With that letter in mind, your challenge this year is to create a Graceful Envelope around something that begins with D. You could choose Daisies or Dragons, Dentistry or Dancing, Dreaming or Discoveries — any “D” word your heart D-sires. We look forward to receiving your D-signs (D-sooner D-better, but at least by the postmark deadline of Monday, April 30, 2012). Address the envelope artistically to:

The Graceful Envelope Contest
Washington Calligraphers Guild
P.O. Box 3688
Merrifield, VA 22116

We as a guild are always striving to keep its members involved with workshops, workdays and meetings. If you have a suggestion of what you would like to see or do at these events: please contact Melinda Sapp sappmom@yahoo.com

Notice to Guild about displaying art in May and demonstrating at a Farmer’s Market in May The guild has been invited to have a

booth at the Eastlake Arts District Farmers’ Market which

begins in May. It is located on the Eastlake United Methodist Church, 2nd AV S and 78 Street. The market is every Saturday morning from May to second Saturday of October. There is no charge for the booth. If you sell anything, 10% of sale goes to the non-profit organization PEER, Inc.(an economic and empowerment community non-profit). This would be a good opportunity to show and sell our work. Please email Louise if you are interested in displaying your work or helping with showing children the art of calligraphy. I was thinking that we will begin by participating the first two weekends in May just to see how it goes.

I will need a commitment of at least 3 people for May 12 and September 29 to demonstrate (and as many others who want to display work) before I will ask them to reserve a table for us. We will need 2 or more tables depending on the interest. Let me know if you want to help teach children (hands on quick lettering experience) or if you just want to bring some work to show and sell. This is the first time in years that we will be participating in this kind of show. We have always had this as a guild obligation objective. Passing on calligraphic skills seems more important than ever in this culture. Please plan to be a part of this. Please email Louise loumeredith@bellsouth.net Let me know ASAP!!!!

Workshop report

With laptops and/or notepads in hand, fifteen BCG members assembled on January 14th at the Emmet O’Neal Library to learn how Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 could be used to tweak their calligraphy for professional printing or for use on cards or other projects. As we followed Eve’s excellent instructions and looked at the large projected image of her computer screen, we were introduced to the Photoshop Elements function keys and were soon selecting objects from Eve’s worksheets and pasting and resizing them in a new document. The group reconvened on January 28th ready to tackle the intricacies of creating a document with several layers. We learned how to select an ornamental frame and several letters and insert each of these objects into separate layers of a new document. Eve then showed us how to duplicate, delete, name, lock, link, and rearrange layers, and we experienced the magic of erasing the background of a layer. Eve and Melinda also discussed the intricacies of scanning one’s work. During the final class on February 4th, Eve taught us how to straighten and center individual lines of a project, to change a color, to merge and flatten layers, to save our work in various formats, and to insert a copyright symbol and watermark. At the very end of the session, Melinda demonstrated how the program can be used to refine one’s lettering in a project. I know all who attended this workshop join me in thanking Eve for sharing her expertise and for being so patient and in thanking Melinda for her helpful tips and for the detailed instruction sheet which she gave to each participant.

3 Hands “Actually I have 3 hands that I use with some skill, several more that work pretty well and a couple that I like but can’t use yet.” What’s that? In Cool “Hand” Luke, Paul Newman’s prison guard said, “What we have here I a failure to communicate.” The noun “hand” is used any number of ways, and they may have little to do with the actual appendage we usually expect to find at the end of our arm. One is related to folding handkerchiefs and neckties. Another relates to the texture and weave of fabrics. Yet a third refers to an employee or hired person. But in the calligrapher’s world a hand is a specific way of writing by arranging strokes made with a writing tool and a medium on some kind of surface in a specific pattern or ductus that yields letters which can then be combined in words, sentences, etc. We have all grown up in the USA learning manuscript printing and cursive exactly that way. Combinations of stick and circles made on lined paper with a fat number 2 pencil. Does that sound familiar? A “hand” has recognizable characteristics regardless of the language used. Historically a hand was developed by local scribes in the language and setting where they lived. Rules were followed so that there was uniformity that didn’t hinder the primary goal of communication. Imaginative and talented people took their work to a beautiful art form. In different locales a hand from one area was often adapted in another area, and it was imprinted with changes reflecting a different time or place. Admired and widely used, this “new hand” eventually would acquire its own set of rules and patterns to facilitate reproduction by other lettering artists. The Italic hand developed in a series of permutations over centuries from earlier alphabets like Rustica and the elegant carved Roman capitals. Scribes used a cursive, hand-written form of the carved capitals. These written capitals traveled with the literate men of the day, mostly priests and monks and other Catholic missionaries to Ireland and England. There they took on completely unique and recognizable forms of their own in the half-uncial, uncial hands that in turn reflected the writing style within monasteries where sacred scriptures were laboriously and beautifully copied. Training new scribes meant new rules were applied to keep the “new” forms recognizable and cohesive. Meanwhile back in Italy, the scribes of the Roman Catholic Church took off in a completely different direction. The letters themselves grew more slanted; probably to increase the speed with which papal documents as well as scriptures could be produced. Italian scriveners used the carved capitals’ proportions, but like the lower case, they were slanted and compressed. The addition of flag-like serifs on ascending and descending strokes became so popular that this incarnation of Italics became known as Chancery Cursive, Chancery Italic: Italic written in the Pope’s Chancery. This process didn’t stop centuries ago. Today’s calligraphic community is churning out variations of “known hands” all the time. Mike Kecseg’s lively pointed pen Italics is one of these. Moreover typesets, now digital “fonts”, are continually being created from the written hand of live scribes! These, like Mike’s version, still reflects faithfully the “bones” of their venerable ancestor. They are slanted somewhere between 5 and 14 degrees, they have letter forms based on the lower case “o”. Decorative serifs range from the “tick” serif (that possibly originated with the wiggle of the scribe’s reed or quill at the beginning of a stroke to get the ink flowing) to elaborate “swashes” inspired by the flags on the Chancery hand. The average layman with any knowledge of today’s computers will mash the “I” on their toolbar to “Italicize” a font. When this is done it usually sets the typed words apart for a specific reason or effect. It seems harder to recognize this same compressed, slanted printing when done by hand, especially with swashes or other decorative strokes. Ms Average Person calls this hand writing “Calligraphy”. Calligraphers call it the Italic hand. “I’m just sayin’ . . .” S. Adams


Gourmet Cheese Grits

Susan Jackson made these grits for the Christmas Brunch and the recipe was requested my many attendees. It is from the JLB’s Cookbook Food For Thought on page 59. Enjoy! 1 quart of milk 1/2 cup of butter 1 cup uncooked grits 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 tsp white ground pepper 1 egg 1/3 cup of butter 4 oz grated Gruyere cheese 1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese Bring milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Add 1/2 cup butter and grits. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is the consistency of oatmeal (about 5 minutes). Remove grits from heat. Add salt, pepper and egg, beating until well combined. Add 1/3 cup of butter and Gruyere cheese. Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour. Officers of the Birmingham Calligraphy Guild (Les Elumineurs*) President- Melinda Sapp Vice President-Sharron Adams Treasurer/Membership- Ann Steves Recording Secretary- Accepting volunteers Workshop ChairsMelinda Sapp and Shandra Smith Email Communications: Leah Dueffer Web Site/ Historian: Mary Ann Morrow Hospitality: Elsa Penso-Allen Newsletter: Eve London Exhibits/Publicity: Louise Meredith

* founded 1987

LEMON SQUARES (recipe by Ina Garten) For the crust: 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 cups flour 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt For the filling: 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature 3 cups granulated sugar 2 tablespoons gratedlemon zest (4 to 6 lemons) 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 cup flour Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a wellfloured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill. Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on. For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature. Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

The Birmingham Calligraphy Guild welcomes both amateurs and advanced calligraphers. All you need is an interest in hand lettering. If you would like to join: Contact Ann Steves p47ams@yahoo.com Dues are $25.00 to Birmingham Calligraphy Guild (September 1- August 31) Mail your dues to: Ann Steves 5637 Hampton Road Birmingham, AL 35210 205-956-5493

Profile for Birmingham Calligraphy

March 2012  

Birmingham Calligraphy Guild Newsletter

March 2012  

Birmingham Calligraphy Guild Newsletter