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NEWSLETTER ISSUE #51, November 2011
Charlotte Whiteley (email@example.com) Linda Yaychuk Ria Lewis Jane Taylor Alane Lalonde Denise Rothney Gwyneth Evans Muriel Heggie Judy Lowood Front— Linda Yaychuk Back - Bernice Sutton Headings - Times New Roman 26pt Copy Cat
Copy deadline for next newsletter submissions is January 15, 2012
Inside this issue:
Regular monthly meetings are held on the Second Tuesday of each month from 9am to 12:00pm (no meeting in July and August) Island Savings Centre (Exceptions are Dec. and June) 2687 James Street Duncan, BC
Executive Meetings are held on the First Tuesday of each month at Marilyn Lundstrom’s home from 9am to noon All members are welcome!
Membership in the Warmland Calligraphers guild includes three newsletters usually published in February, May and October. Annual membership dues are C$20 for Canadian residents and US $20 for US/ International Warmland Calligraphers of the Cowichan Valley (the Guild) is a non-profit group formed to facilitate the exchange of information between calligraphers, and to promote interest in and appreciation of calligraphy as an art form within the community. Membership is open to calligraphers at all levels of expertise as well as those with a love of beautiful writing. Contents of this newsletter are copyrighted by the authors/ artists. Requests for permission to reprint any part must be made through the Editor. The views of contributors are not necessarily those of the Editor or of the Guild. Members are invited to submit concise pieces for publication as well as to alert the Editor to conferences, papers, speeches and other matters of interest to our readers. The Editor reserves the right to make editorial changes in material accepted for publication. These include such revisions or additions deemed necessary to ensure correctness of grammar and spelling, clarification of obscurities, brevity and conformity to the newsletter style. P.O. Box 2, Duncan, B C, V9L 3X1 Canada
General Guild Information
President’s Message, Front and Back Cover Artist and Editor’s Message
May Program and Galleria
Peter Thornton Workshop– Playful Caps
Peter Thornton Workshop– Layout and Design
Words, Words, Words
September Program and Galleria
Cowichan Exhibition, Our Friends
Betty Locke and a Steve Jobs Perspective Bulletin Board
Janet Peters goes to Iampeth
What I Did on My Summer Vacation
Anne McDonald Remembered
Georgia Angelopoulos Workshop - Irish Half Uncial
Jottings From The Library
Note to Members only: A copy of the full newsletter, in colour, is posted on our members only website. Only a partial newsletter is posted on Public site.
President’s Message Our newsletter is completed. A great amount of thanks for this goes to Charlotte and her team. Training sessions and a production manual produced by Charlotte were a great help in seeing this project through. A great number of our members are using their talents teaching
either for Elder College or for the classes offered by the Community Centre. Our Guild meetings have been benefiting from this expertise as well as from those who have been off to conferences or special courses. Janet Peters’ September program was full of enthusiasm for what she
learned in Phoenix this summer much to everyone's enjoyment. Keep the Loft Show and Sale in February in mind when you are taking courses or working on your calligraphy. It will be here before we know it.
Front Cover by Linda Yaychuk I felt honoured and a bit intimidated when I was asked to do a cover for our newsletter. I like to work on Cryptograms in my spare
time. One evening I decoded this quote and realized how perfect it was for a cover. Although it applies to many things it perfectly describes
the feelings one gets when completing a piece that you are pleased with.
Back Cover by Bernice Sutton Bernice tells us she was reading an article recently in Canadian Geographic. It was about the wolf and how they play an important part in the balance of nature. The article talked about how they have been reintroduced into National Parks of USA and Canada and explained how elk herd escalations in particular have been kept in check. These numbers have been monitored by park officials noting the kills of both young and old elk
by the wolves. The wolves don’t appear to go after the small rodents and animals. The balance of nature is a fragile thing. Wolves have certainly opened up food opportunities for foxes, raptors and other rodent hunters. This was her inspiration. To read more about this program go to: www.canadiangeographic.ca/wildlife-nature/ articles/images/grey-wolf-the –ripple-effect….
Editor’s Message Autumn is in the air. I always find this to be a reflective time for me. For awhile I have been looking at the newsletter production and wondering how we can be more efficient and less stressful! Let’s face it, everyone has challenges and commitments outside of the calligraphy guild. I have to say I am very happy to see the support after an appeal was made for creating a newsletter team. We have a great team of enthusiastic, all be it a little frightened writers, photo editors, readers, distributors and reporters. Our team is made up of guild members with and without computer skills. Let me introduce you to our team. Holding the reigns as writers
into Publisher are Linda Yaychuk and Ria Lewis. Photo editing and associated tasks will be done by Jane Taylor and Alane Lalonde. Denise Rothney and Gwyneth Evans will be proof readers and Gwyneth will write the “WORDS” column. Muriel Heggie and Judy Lowood will handle the distribution tasks. Lucy Hylkema will
do program write-ups and is working on a new approach to expose writeups. We welcome anyone who would like to jump on the bandwagon or newsletter team. So…..…...on that note I say we look forward to bringing you a quality newsletter. In the meantime you may see some changes and omissions but we are confident that we will be bringing you a publication we can all enjoy. I have been asked why we don’t include photo crediting and this has been addressed and a new format in article writing will be rolled out soon. In the meantime get out often and enjoy the crisp air and glorious fall colours.
May Program Submitted by Jane Taylor
Our May program featured the B-nib and was presented by Marilyn Lundstrom. The B nib has the exact same numbering as C- nibs, however its appearance is very different. Rather than a chiselled point, it has a flat, round disc on the end. This circle must sit flat on your paper so that it creates a lovely round circle. The nib creates a nicely rounded top and bottom on a straight stroke. Unlike many other nibs there are no thin and thick lines; they are all the same width. A “circle” is
created in one of two ways. Start at 11:00 o’clock position and go counter clockwise around to complete a full circle or start at 11:00 and go counter clockwise to 5:00, then begin at 11:00 and go clockwise to 5:00 to complete the circle. To create a nice smooth edge you need to have lots of ink on your pen. The nib runs smoothly over your paper when working properly. It is quite an easy alphabet to draw and you can create many different effects. At our table we agreed it was a fun alphabet, and quite easy to learn. We thought it suited more casual text and Gwyneth Evans thought it lent itself well to nursery rhymes. It was fun to create interesting text bouncing the letters around the page. Many of the letters have ‘little feet’, better known as serifs on them . Unlike many alphabets there is no prescribed height for the letters. Trudy Kungold Amman
pointed out that it was fun to try varying the height of the crossbar on letters such as A, H, E,F or to elongate a crossbar of E,F to add interest. This nib is often used with the monoline alphabet. The 23rd edition of the Speedball Textbook pages 1619 provides a good reference. The alphabet is similar to the typewriter text. Marilyn pointed out that it was used on News Now - channel 23 and had been used for a long time in Thrifty’s publications. She said it was really quite a common hand when you started to look for it.
Participants enjoy the experience
Submitted By Charlotte Whiteley
This May Galleria challenged the calligrapher to create a piece using only a single letter of the alphabet. This letter is to be repeated using variations from different hands and size. The discussion was lead by Marilyn Boechler . There were nine pieces submitted. Marilyn said what struck her was the wonderful variety. Most of the participants enjoyed this exercise.
Shirley Johnson said this was a very fun project. Her only comment was she would have liked to do the piece with more white around the Big ‘R’. The background was gouache and she played with the chalk sticks to add texture.
May Galleria…. continued
Judy Lowood played with the resist to create a background of ‘L’s and did watercolour washes. She enjoyed researching the many variations of the letter ‘L’.
Ida Marie Threadkell was inspired from a cross stitch piece she saw in a magazine. The letter she featured was the ‘A’ which is shown in the vases, flowers and leaves. She used different thicknesses of felt pens and watercolour in the flowers. Ida Marie said “it’s clever but is it calligraphy?” The room said YES!
Betty Locke handed in her homework before heading out to the high seas. Her single letter was given plenty of texture with the addition of small A’s inside. A single letter becomes a work of art. Betty took the letter outside the borders.
Marion Craig surprised us with a piece unlike any we have seen before. It is a play on the ‘R’ and the sound “UR”. She turned the R on its face and the bowl of the ‘R’ becomes the “U” . Marilyn liked how she brought the work outside the frame.
May Galleria cont’d
Pat Wheatley gives us “beeline”. Her drawn letters are filled in with more ‘b’s to give added texture. She used water colour pencils as well as regular crayon and was saying she didn’t care for the effect of added water to this. Marilyn reminded Pat that she needs to use more paper
Marilyn Boechler gave us some words of advice to be patient and let your ink dry, and that smudges can be covered up. She noted that she should have made more smudge covers. The colour between was all hand painted in-between the letters.
Trudy Kungold Amman plays with paper casting and pointed pen. The ’K’s around the casting are done with walnut ink of different densities. She always provides us with an art lesson. She was going through some of the library books and says she liked the textures when you overlap letters and vary the tones.
Linda Yaychuk always has a great story to tell us about her process. For this piece she created many layers and played with the use of fixative. She found that after so many layers, some of the ink and colour she was adding was beading and not sticking well. Her piece was inspired from a card making magazine she gets.
Peter Thornton Playful Capitals
Submitted by Mary Nelson Our workshop with Peter Thornton began with an introduction or review of Roman caps. It was pointed out a number of times that these Roman caps and variations are deceptively simple. While describing the letterforms, Peter passed along words of wisdom for we calligraphic students. He reminded us to use six
existed in letterforms as human hands created them. The printing press introduced uniformity and a perfect letter every time and so quite unconsciously became the “high alter” of calligraphy. But our uniqueness is what gives “warmth and colour” to our work. Each of us creates our own version of a hand. He also reminded us that no one comes to calligraphy for a quick ego boost and so allowed us only one negative statement per day. A way out of the negative is to add “yet” to the statement. “I can’t do this… yet!”
Hans van der Werff and Linda Yaychuk
Marion Craig gets down to task
lines in the formation of roman caps, two diagonals, a vertical, a horizontal, and two curves. We practiced in pencil using the pressure and release method to introduce interest into the
Peter has a theory to do with the perfection we expect from our writing. It comes from the introduction of the printing press. Before that time variety
Peter wrote on everyone’s pages and made us all a cover for the booklet we put together using our notes from the two days. The Chinese accountant’s method served us all well and we left with the admonition that rules are our friends, not our dictators and to burden our letters with affection not perfection. We’ll remember the letter is subservient to the word and that each letter can be captured in a wide variety of stances. Playfully invent your own. The workshop was especially meaningful as we began the workshop on my birthday and Marilyn Silver surprised us with a birthday cake. Thanks Marilyn.
Pat Wheatley and Marilyn Silver share ideas
forms by putting pressure at the top and bottom of the stroke, with lighter pressure between.
our neighbour sees it he or she sees it for what it is. Armed worth these words of encouragement we tackled the full ¾ and ½ letter sizes.
Many thanks go to Peter for an engaging and exciting workshop.
Day 2 was playing with letter shapes and sizes
He reminded us that the reason that we can’t take a compliment about our work may be that when we look at it we see if for what it isn’t, and when
Shirley Johnson and Lucy Hylkema were the noisy table. You wouldn't guess that from this picture would you?.
Peter Thornton Layout and Design for the Terrified Submitted by Charlotte Whiteley
This was day three of the workshops given by Peter Thornton. Peter led us through a myriad of design possibilities in a relaxed playful atmosphere. It was reminiscent of elementary school where we cut and pasted and coloured and played. The results were as varied as the participants. On this day we did not get out pens and bottles of ink. Just our scissors, glue, rulers and pencils were on our tables to be put to use. Handouts were provided with quotes printed on these in different hands and sizes. Peter had prepared booklets where he gives examples of basic contrasts. Participants were encouraged, using the information and hand-outs provided by Peter, to create their own booklets. The class was challenged to look at various designs and decide which
of the contrasts we might be seeing. The three images shown above are of the very same text or poem. This challenge was to show ourselves how by changing the emphasis on justification, focal point, text placement and other design elements, you can get very different images and
The editor apologizes for the quality of these images. If they appear lighter than desired it is because of the poor quality paper they were created on. Editing for detail sacrifices quality.
emote various feelings. The three images below are of the second poem Can you guess which is which? It was a fun and informative day with Peter.
Words Words Words Of Monks, Books, and a Cat Submitted by Gwyneth Evans In late September some lucky Warmlanders undertook a course in the Half Uncial or Insular Majuscule hand, in which the Book of Kells was written, over 12 centuries ago, in approximately 800 AD (see Linda Yachuk’s article in this issue on the course, given by Georgia Angelopoulos). Often called the most beautiful book in the world, the Book of Kells is one of a group of spectacularly-illuminated manuscripts produced in the “insulae” or islands of Great Britain during the so-called Dark Ages. Hand-produced (obviously) by monks working in scriptoria or writing rooms in their monasteries, these manuscripts were usually transcriptions of a Latin translation of the four Gospels of the New Testament. The production of these books was obviously a work of love, and also a work of art – in some cases, such as the books of Kells, Lindisfarne, Durrow and others, very great works of art in which the beautifully-written text is enhanced by skillfully-executed and symbolic decoration. In the Book of Kells, an initial capital letter on each page is elaborated with a rich design, including Celtic knot work and containing many fantastic creatures and faces. In some pages, including the famous “carpet” page, the visual patterning takes over from the text altogether, in an overwhelming expression of the artist’s delight in God’s creation and his own creative powers. Sadly, many of these wonderful manuscripts were lost, during raids by the pagan Vikings to whom the books meant nothing, and even during the Middle Ages when old vellum pages were sometimes scraped to provide a writing surface for a later scribe, and sometimes even used to stiffen the bindings of other books. The holy islands of Lindisfarne and Iona, off the
northern coasts of England and Scotland, were great centres of writing in which Anglo-Saxon and Irish monks interchanged knowledge, but both were burnt and destroyed by the Vikings. In Ireland, high round stone towers afforded some protection, but still the survival of the manuscripts was chancy. Not surprisingly considering the effort and artistry involved in the manuscripts, some were considered to have supernatural power, as holy objects, and miracles were attributed to them. The Celtic and Ango-Saxon scribes who produced these early books were not only men of artistic skill and a religious calling, but at times very earthy and human. Occasional jottings in the margins of the hand-copied books complain about how cold and cramped the scribe’s fingers are, or how irritating it is that scholars may go to hell, “While he that never read a line Doth in eternal glory shine.” (trans. Robin Flower) One of the most engaging secular or non-religious bits of writing surviving from this very early period is a ninthcentury poem written in Irish by a monk-scholar about his white cat, Pangur Ban. Robin Flower’s translation begins: “I and Pangur Ban, my cat, ‘Tis a like task we are at; Hunting mice is his delight, Hunting words I sit all night.” Pangur’s skillful pursuit of mice is humorously compared to the scholar’s pursuit of wisdom, his longing to turn “darkness into light.” This early Irish poem was also translated by W.H. Auden, and set to music by the American composer Samuel Barber in his Hermit Songs. On the ChiRho page of the Book of Kells, white cats also pursue mice – clearly a subject of interest to the monk-artists. The life of these Irish monks, working on their exquisite manuscripts while threatened by Viking invasions, has been animated in a very unusual and
delightful film called The Secret of Kells (2009). Brendan, a young boy living in a round-towered monastery, is fascinated by the work of Aidan, a fine calligrapher who has fled from the destruction of Iona and saved from it an illuminated manuscript. Trying to help Aidan work on the book, and learn some of his skills, Brendan faces dangers in the pagan forest and from attacking Vikings. He is aided, however, by his little white cat whose name, not surprisingly, is Pangur Ban. Made with children in mind, The Secret of Kells is of interest to artists and calligraphers as well because of its inventive use of the design elements found in the Irish illuminations, which swirl about the screen and take on a new kind of life. The intricacy and variety of the designs, and their symbolism, are at the heart of the film. The respect, too, which the filmmakers and their characters feel for the book and the artistry that produced it, under arduous conditions, is as satisfying as it is rare in our own time when books seem to be yielding to Kindles and digital reproduction – a new incarnation of the Vikings?!. Editors note: Gwyneth Evans is a retired English Professor, beautiful harp musician and active member of the WCCV guild. We look forward to more of her “Words, Words, Words” contributions.
September Program, with Janet Peters illustrations using a pointed pen. I had told Linda that I would be required to do a workshop as a "thank-you" for bursary monies, and would she be agreeable to me sharing what I had learned from her and using some of her material in conjunction with her book which we had in our library system. She said she would be honoured and added that I could contact her if I needed further information.
Janet Peters presented skills for the September program and demonstrates proper nib position in a Michael Sull oblique (offset) nib holder with adjustable brass flange
Thank you go to Janet for these details and demos. Recently back from the conference in Phoenix, and having loved a class I took with Linda Schneider on Ornate Pictorial Calligraphy, I wanted to share with the guild some easy, fun
In class, I showed the importance of having the pen point in line with the axis of the penholder and talked about iron gall inks producing finer hairlines than Higgins Eternal. I also demonstrated a simple flourish which is used extensively in Linda's illustrations - if the paper is turned and one writes vertically, these flourishes can be easily written if one imagines one is writing the numeral '8,' remembering pressure and release.
Janet Peters demonstrates proper finger position on nib holder.
I got the sense that everyone enjoyed these illustrations, so easy to do once you get the hang of that flourish. The only other mark to think about, and the one to be done first, is a lightly pencilled outline of whatever it is that you want to fill with the flourishes; i.e. a simple Christmas tree, basically a triangle; or a cake, round or square (or This finger position is shown too high here.
whatever!!!). After that it is creative licence, you do your little embellishments to make it all come alive, and erase any pencil marks. If you feel you cannot draw, then buy some graphite paper and trace what you choose for your subject - it really is very, very easy.
Close-up of proper nib alignment. This is the brass flange nib that Janet mentions above.
Thorough details for name tags.
If you are not able to lay your hands on her book, Google Linda Schneider to get a sense of her beautiful, fascinating artwork.
Warm-up exercises were done first.
TIP: For cards – keep original and photocopy then colour in.
Suggestion-shorten trunks and add gifts under the trees.
These illustrations are from Janet’s morning class with Linda. The progression of exercises started with simple to complicated flowers, then the girls, the trees and then the cake. The profile of the lady was final piece of the class. Pretty nice work Janet!
September Galleria Submitted by Jane Taylor This month the September Galleria challenged the guild members to create a piece using “pig” for the theme. Members didn’t disappoint and there was a good variety. Betty Locke lead the galleria and provided suggestions and humour in her usual style. More pieces are featured on the following pages………...
Anne Atkinson is working on an ATC book using “Miss Piggy” quotes. She will attach it to one of the three pigs.
Barbara Qualley’s piece caught Betty’s eye due to differences created with flexible pen. The ink used seemed to be glowing. Barb said she used Chung Hwa sumi ink, a favourite of Martin Jackson.
Marion Craig received a round of applause from the guild members. Marion did the writing first and then used very careful cutting to create the scene. Quote was written in 1933. Betty thought it sounded like a ‘barroom ballad’. She was charmed by the piece and felt it was an excellent job of collage.
Linda Yachuk explained this is a special type of poetry. You start with the word pig and change one letter each time and end up with the word cow. Linda was unhappy with the way the lines are going. Betty suggested using more paper and breaking poem down into lines the way it should be read. Also suggested ‘NOW he’s a COW’ be written straight across. Beautiful drawings.
Judy Lowood (Above) This hand was inspired by Gwen Weaver. Betty liked the simplistic pig drawing in the background. You almost don’t see it – very effective. Right Betty was attracted to this piece by Pat Wheatley by the background and lovely preparation of paper. Pat wrote the piece in uncial hand. There is a beautiful compactness to the lettering. Piece itself has lots of space. Well done. Very, very lovely.
Ida Ma describ drawin who ca the bea in Ida M flexible created fork, kn
Susan Miller used a Winston Churchill quote. Betty commented on the lovely contrast between the lettering of the quote and the address – great flexible lettering.
Betty stated that this piece by Gwyneth Evans was beautifully written in uncial and that it was a wonderful turn of events to see it used in this way. There was discussion about the possibility of making the first letter larger, but it is also very effective done subtly.
Marion Kelbrick This hand is called rustic. Marion shortened the body and created a ‘fine new hand’. It was suggested that a great big question mark at the end might add to the piece.
Betty Locke made this limerick up herself. She used the line of daisies in the middle of her piece to cover up a mistake. Daisies were cut out of extra paper. Drawings were done on top of the wash.
arie Threadkell bed her simplistic pig ngs as ‘art for people an’t draw’. Betty liked autiful darks and lights Marie’s use of a e pen. Ida Marie d her own stamp of a nife and spoon.
Cowichan Exhibition Submitted by Donna Cameron
We had another excellent year at the fair. There were over 100 entries in the Fine Arts Division, as compared to 75 last year. Word must be out about the great new venue! I know I love being involved in this huge community event. Some of my volunteers say they spend their whole time talking to one friend after another who comes by. It’s wonderful. Some of the winners were: . Calligraphy - Betty Locke in first place, Joyce Gammie second and Marilyn Boechler third.
In the Theme Class, which was Trees of the Valley, Lenore LeMay came first with a beautiful hand made book, illustrating a poem about trees. Beverly Koski came in second with John Carreck in third place. Printmaking - Beverly Koski first with Mary Oscar coming in second Acrylics - Amie Roman first Watercolours - Robert Henderson first Acrylics - Doreen Green came first with a scene of boys playing outdoor hockey. Pen and Ink - Mayumi Ogihara came first with another fine drawing of the head of a woman
Marilyn Boechler’s entry for the Theme category at Cowichan Exhibition 2011.
with butterflies in the air around her. This piece won the Outstanding Exhibit Award and People’s Choice Award. She also won these same awards last year with a beautiful drawing of a girl with green eyes and exotic ferns surrounding her. This was a wonderful show and I would encourage everyone to think about participating next year, when the theme will be “Bounty of the Valley”.
Calligraphy entries for the Cowichan Exhibition 2011 clockwise from top left First—Betty Locke, exhibitor Pat Wheatley, Second—Joyce Gammie and Third—Marilyn Boechler
BettyBetty’s Locke’s entry in the “Theme” category Locke’s THEM E
Lenore LeMay’s Trees of the Cowichan Valley wins the “Theme Entry”. Lenore won four first in the exhibition for her calligraphy and her quilting
More About Our Friends On June 14th members of the guild gathered to mark the end of a year with a potluck and social at the home of member Barbara Qualley. Weather cooperated by not raining. Thanks again to Stew and Barbara for hosting this annual event. Check out the Warmland website for great potluck recipes.
In case you missed it, this summer over 30 pieces of Calligraphy Art were hung in the Library in the Island Savings Centre. The pieces were on display for the month of July. Thanks to all those members who participated.
Happy Birthday Marjorie Christmas
Joyce Gammie’s winning entry “Wisdom Begins In Wonder” in the “Paper Caper” category
Marjorie was a member in the early years of the guild. She was a fine silk painter and her favourite hand was Copperplate. Everyone enjoyed her enthusiasm and participation. Recently Marjorie celebrated her 90 years with family and a huge number of friends from her many areas of interest.
Thank You Steve Jobs I was just sent this wonderful piece by Sadie Hudspith about a graduation address Steve Jobs gave to Reeds College. I thought these two paragraphs were absolutely right on and should be included in the newsletter as it tells so much about that man and his appreciation for what calligraphy offered him. It is appropriate at this time of his recent death. Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy
Submitted by Betty Locke
class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating. None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced
fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
(Editors addition: Anyone who would like to read more regarding this address to the graduates can contact Betty Locke.)
This is a very abridged version for now.
Update: Book Binding Workshop Cancelled Upcoming: Teeny Tiny Show: Please see Pat Wheatley for details Debbie Thompson Wilson workshop, Nov 14, 15 and 16 – subject will be announced. Christmas Party: Tuesday, December 13th starting at 10:30. Hosted by Barbara Qualley. More details will follow so stay tuned. Barbara Close will be coming at the end of February –subject TBA. February Loft Show: Start thinking about your pieces.
Betty Locke created this delightful piece in celebration of the Royal Wedding of Kate and William.
Janet Peters Goes to Iampethâ€™s 62nd Conference Submitted by Janet Peters Sincere thanks to my two guilds, Warmland and Fairbank, for their generous bursaries towards my attendance at IAMPETH's 62nd Conference last July in Phoenix, Arizona. The International Association of Master Penmen, Educators, Teachers of Handwriting has a current membership of over 700. Their website at www.iampeth.com is brimming with information and well worth a visit. One of the aims of this Association is to help novices and experts alike to improve their lettering and artistic skills, and the conferences are excellent opportunities where this can be achieved at minimal cost because of the generosity of the teachers volunteering their time as well as paying for their own travel and accommodation expenses. My cost of $200 covered membership and fees for the four and a half days of classes, the opening banquet, a large binder containing ALL of the handouts from ALL of the instructors, as well as delicious coffee for mid-morning breaks. On July 11, the day before the conference, I flew with Westjet to Phoenix, transferring in Calgary. Ahead of time I had been informed to contact the hotel upon my arrival at the airport for shuttle service, which I did, and then made my way to the pickup area. Boy, was it hot outside! Finally the air-conditioned bus arrived. Three ladies hopped onto the bus and struck up a conversation, the first question being had they brought their inks with them. Instantly I had three friends. I had checked out the Biltmore Embassy Suites online last March when I was contemplating attending the conference and noted the tworoom suites, but never dreamt for a moment that I would be renting one at
the price offered of $129 a night. What a lovely surprise. During peak season these go for $600 a night. The suite included a large living room with couch, armchair, coffee tables, as well as a bookshelf, desk and comfortable steno chair, a mini kitchen, a kingsized room for a king-sized bed, a decent bathroom, and large flat screen TVs in both rooms. Complementary buffet-style breakfast and afternoon 'Happy Hour' was icing on the cake, not to mention the shuttle bus service. During the first afternoon there was an opportunity to talk with the pros (Michael Sull, Bob Hurford, Dr. Joe Vitolo, Bill Kemp, and Jake Weidmann) about our pens, nibs, papers, et cetera. I had my two Speedball oblique pen holders and another which was giving me some grief. They have probably told this to hundreds of students, their only use is as a stir stick! There were many attendees watching demos, listening to the whys and wherefores of having the proper tools, and yes, yes, yes, I ended up buying two of Michael Sull's beautifully designed oblique pen holders. He spent time making adjustments to the brass flanges so that the very tips of my newly purchased Nikko G and T. Ihikawa Zebra nibs would be in line with the long axis of the staff of the pens. This technical detail is shown under "Nibs" on their website. Having the nib at the right angle has helped me gain much more control over my lettering. Brenda Broadbent of Paper & Ink Arts was the vendor at this conference, and she brought in a ton of product. I had pre-ordered some items for my classes, so her store was my next stop, as well as collecting my IAMPETH binder. Upon opening my IAMPETH bag, I found my name, beautifully penned, and several stickers to be applied to my name pouch, one of which read "CANADA," which pleased me no end. I attracted much interest ... "From Canada, eh?" Aside from Heather Held, one of the
instructors, there was one other attendee from my country, a lady I had met in class at Island Magic in 2007. After the opening banquet, we were invited to attend the Healey Exhibition. If only I had the space to tell you how the exhibits have made their way to this Association for scanning so that everyone, in about a year's time, will have the opportunity to study the works of the masters of penmanship from more than a century ago. Do read Michael Sull's article concerning how this collection was unearthed: www.iampeth.com/ healy_collection/ Healey_Collection.pdf Day 1, an all-day class, was with Dr. Joseph M. Vitolo - Engrosser's Script (Copperplate), which was full, ranging from novices upwards. Kathy Milici and Jake Weidmann (both instructors at the conference) were there the whole day to help anyone who cared to raise their hand. It was during this session that I began to think of this Association as family. All of the instructors work as professional calligraphers, yet were willing to give up a week or more of their employment to help wherever help was needed when they, themselves, were not teaching. He told us to call him "Joe," rather than his official title. He has worked doggedly to produce countless videos designed to aid anyone interested in this art of penmanship. He told us there are no secrets, it is purely the "drawing of letters" and the "P" word! Check the website for guidelines which you can download - I should say which you MUST USE if you want to practice! He uses vintage nibs, often scouring e-Bay for deals. For the beginner, he favoured the NIKKO G and Zebra nibs, as well as the Brause EF66, Esterbook 357 and the Gillotts. He recommends McCaffery inks for pointed pen work because it is of the proper consistency to produce the necessary fine hairlines.
Joe constantly reminded us to rotate our paper so our pen points were in line with the slant angles on the guideline sheets; to keep a vigilant watch on letterforms (remembering the "oval"); to slow down and be focussed; to practice larger in order to see our mistakes; to turn work upside down to analyze slant angles; to go in and build up on letters; to ensure the nib is well coated with ink, including the little hole in the middle of the nib, and to maintain nib cleanliness. I noted many had a small jar next to their inkpots containing water and a sea sponge for this purpose - also, if there had been a slight pause in writing, they touched the pen point onto the sponge to refresh the nib rather than dipping into ink. Jake Weidmann, 25, the youngest ever to be inducted as a master penman, shared with us a useful tip: When the ink runs out in the middle of a letter, continue the stroke to make the mark on your paper, then dip pen and fill in and join up. From this point on all classes were half-day sessions. The morning of Day 2 was spent with Michael Sull - Beginner Spencerian. He gave an in-depth history on Platt Rogers Spencer, a visionary inspired by Nature and all that it encompasses: Movement, curvature, variability, and contrast. As I am limited by space, I suggest that those interested in this beautiful form of handwriting consult Learning to Write Spencerian Script as well as Vol. II, Spencerian & Ornamental Penmanship, both authored by Michael Sull. DVD's are available - check John Neal and Pen & Ink Arts for more information. In brief form, this is what I noted in his lecture: Prior to the mid 19th Century, Copperplate was taught in America. Spencer developed his system of writing, which meant proper posture, holding the pen correctly, and spacing between the letters were just as important as correct letterform. During the 20th century the country was introduced to the Palmer method. To write well, Spencerian requires whole arm movement, and the forearm should be parallel to table height. Bend from hips to write, and don't
arch back. Place paper directly in front of you as you write. Write from left for about 1 1/2 inches, then shift paper to the left. Rotate paper as necessary for correct angle. Nibs: Michael favours the Nikko G provides great hairlines/shading. The T. Ihikawa Zebra is sharper, little more flexible. As it is sharp, you need to work on smooth paper. The Leonardt Principal, Gillott 303, Hunt 22 are extremely flexible, very sharp not really a beginner's nib. The Hunt 22 does not last too long. Brause EF66 is a nice nib, but doesn't hold much ink. Vintage pen points made during penmanship era should be flexible and not so sharp they dig into paper. The Esterbrook 357 is nice/ sharp. The right tip of the nib should be the leading edge. When writing, clean nib every 10 minutes or so by wiping with a damp towel, then dip into a small pot of water. Nib hygiene is crucial! (The previous day I noted Kathy Milici, sitting at an angle in front of me, cleaning her nib throughout the day). Ink: McCaffery's Penman's Ink or Old World Ink, reproductions of iron-gall inks used a century ago. Inks must allow for hairlines and spread of nib when laying down crisp, smooth forms. Fountain pen ink should not be used, it is made from dyes. Moon Palace is thick, too dark, and water should be added. Walnut ink works well, is light fugitive, and good for practice. Higgins Eternal is thick and not so good for fine hairlines. Paper: Regular lined pad paper for practice or inkjet or laser photocopy paper. Colour copy paper is very smooth and works well. Clairefontaine and Rhodra, French products, lined and unlined, apparently is "penmanship heaven"! 100% cotton paper is translucent, great for use with guideline sheets. Resume paper available from Office Supply also recommended. (I purchased Borden & Riley #37 Layout Bond while at the conference and found it to be an excellent paper).
Use two or three pieces of paper as a cushion when writing - never write on top of a pad of paper, and boards should slant no more than 10%. Our binder contained a wealth of information from Michael, along with photocopied lined practice sheets. Under "Lessons" on the IAMPETH site there is a section for Guide Sheets. I counted over 20 that can be downloaded for practice work. Michael is dedicated to his life's work, that of promoting Spencerian Handwriting. He is the epitome of a fine gentleman, and ready to help whenever asked. This October marks his 25th anniversary as the founder and host of the Spencerian Saga at Geneva-on-the-Lake in North-Eastern Ohio, where Spencer lived, worked and taught for a quarter of a century. His latest endeavours are centred upon ensuring school-aged children throughout America are taught cursive, and has recently published American Cursive Handwriting.
My afternoon class was with Marian Gault on Blackletter-Textura. Marian was slow and meticulous in her teaching of this hand. As I had taken a class with Betty Locke in late 2010, this was like a mini refresher for me on the basic forms. There were a few hiccups with the technical apparatus that afternoon, and often we were unable to hear Marian, who is a gracious, softly-spoken lady at the best of times. However, we were able to follow along with the aid of the
overhead projector system. Marian is a brilliant artist who works in all mediums and can manipulate a broad edged pen as easily as a pointed pen. Blackletter, in its many different forms, fits perfectly with pointed pen, as you will see from a photo I took on the night of the Healey Exhibit. The desk featured below (circa 1909) is in its original state from the Zanerian College of Penmanship, courtesy of Zaner-Bloser.
Day 3: Barbara Close demonstrated Contemporary Pointed Pen & Exciting Florals. This was a fun class, but over far too quickly. I am happy to hear she will be here to teach next February. I floundered a bit when painting with my watercolours as they sunk into the paper and I was stuck with the results. A lesson learned. The paper was great for pen and ink! In the PM the instructors took part in a Round Robin, and this was our opportunity to try out fun techniques and watch some demonstrate their penmanship. In another area small groups were gathered where information and questions were answered by "technical" volunteers, as well as instructors, on the challenging advent of calligraphy meeting technology. I have not mentioned how much most of us enjoyed Happy Hour! It was a time where we could catch up, meet new members, and relax over a glass or two of choice of beverage and munch on fresh veggies and other treats. Most evenings small groups would get together and go for supper to one of the many fine restaurants across the street at the Biltmore
Shopping Mall or, if we felt a bit lazy, we relaxed in the Omaha Steakhouse in the hotel. There was no shortage of company - calligraphers have to be the friendliest of people. Day 4: Linda Schneider "wowed" me in this class, Ornate Pictorial Calligraphy. I had borrowed her book Designing Faces, Figures, Florals and More a couple of times from our library and had been fascinated by her work, so was excited to see her listed in the faculty. Linda is a sweetie, she shared so much with us (including Hershey Kisses), and we all loved her. She had us tear our paper into small pieces, thus enabling us to easily rotate as we worked with our pointed pens. Another class that was way too short. Linda is second vice-chair, so in 2014 the conference will take place in the Seattle area, close to her hometown. In the afternoon I was with Michael Sull again, this class entitled Spencerian Monogram Design. Obviously one needs to have a degree of competency in either Spencerian or Ornamental Penmanship to be able to create the flourishes required to produce appealing designs - practice, that's all it is! In designing monograms, dimension can be achieved by the addition of colour as well as gilding. Designing monograms is not spontaneous, but composed, meaning a lot of drafting takes place using quarter-inch graph paper, coloured pencils (red, green and blue) to represent each letter, tracing paper cut into pieces measuring approximately 4 x 6 inches to be used as overlays for each letter until a final layout is achieved, and a myriad of supplies which most of us have in our stash. When Michael is commissioned to design a monogram for a family, he uses the initial of the family's surname for the middle letter, the lady's initial on the left and the gentleman's on the right. Many examples of his designs were in our handout, all exhibiting the magical oval shape that Spencer based his handwriting upon more than a century ago. Michael demonstrated, using a system of dots, the incorporation of imaginary ovals into
his designs. I have to confess I am not ready to tackle ornamental monograms at this point! The Silent Auction took place on Friday night, and everything sold, raising approximately $3,400 for the Association. I "won" a decorated paste paper book made by Donna Sabolovic, featuring beautiful flowers and quotations. I love it! Day 5: Saturday morning, the last class, Spencerian Ladies Hand with Bob Hurford. This style of ornamental penmanship is a "dainty version," as the title suggests, and one I want to study after mastering Copperplate and Contemporary Pointed Pen; many goals to be met, no doubt about that. This hand concentrates on fine lines and less on shading, and is written faster for that reason. Traditionally this hand was written with a straight penholder, but an oblique works well. Bob uses a straight penholder, he says it works for him. He is a wonderful teacher, has a wealth of knowledge, a great sense of humour, and is most candid. For many years he was editor of The Penman's Journal. At the present time he serves as the Association's official photographer. He has contributed much to the Association, not the least of which is his article on nibs which I mentioned previously. I concur with his comments in The Penman's Journal, 2003: "Good penmanship has the power to identify the penman or woman as someone special. Even good handwriting rendered with a ballpoint pen or pencil will set one apart from the crowd. The dramatic lines and shades, products of pointed or broad dip pens, will set a writer even further above the crowd." The closing ceremonies took place on Saturday night during the banquet, along with the induction of Jacob Weidmann into the Master Penman Society of IAMPETH. Jake's parents and sister were in attendance; how proud his family must have been, especially after a letter was read by Rick Muffler, penned by The First Lady, Michelle Obama, congratulating Jake on his achievements at such a young age. Do I want to attend next year's conference? You betcha!
What I Did on My Summer Vacation under 11's), or any of Cheryl Moote's books. Look in the children's' section of your local library. Her suggestion was when starting on a new pursuit children's' books are written in easy how-to stages to help you make a start. Editorâ€™s Note: Susan shared more of her trip at the guildâ€™s September meeting. Before we left for our river cruise I asked York Scribes if we could exchange newsletters when we were in York UK. They did one better and put me in contact with Margaret Beech. She is more of a book artist now than calligrapher but her talent is limitless. And wouldn't you know it; she knows all about Betty Locke and loves her work! We managed to arrange a meeting at the Harlequin for morning coffees. We exchanged newsletters. Margaret was such a delight and although our meeting was brief, I was thrilled to meet and chat with another Calligrapher. Here are a few photos of my meeting with Margaret Beech. She makes such beautiful book creations. She "cuts" paper with surgical precision and brought a sample of her latest book art to our meeting. I forget exactly what she calls this type of accordian folded book but I hope you can see with the pictures. Her website/blog is amazing . Go to http://beeches13.skyrock.com During the course of our River Cruise trip I saw various examples of scripts, mostly Blackletter or gothic as most of our cruise was in Germany... ah, sweet memories fill my mind. Margaret offered to share some worksheets for easy books - no measuring. She suggested the following books: Shereen La Plantz 'Cover to Cover', Paul Johnson's 'A book of one's own' (written for junior school teachers to make books with
by Susan Miller
Anne McDonald 1932-2011
Anne McDonald was a beautiful calligrapher, a stunning beauty, and good friend. She was someone with a wonderful sense of humour. She was a kind and loving wife and mother. She was these things and more to people whose lives were fortunate enough to be touched by this lady. She showed us how to laugh and fight when confronted with adversity. But Anne has gone Home. We will miss you Anne. Your friends.
Irish Half Uncial with Georgia Angelopoulos as well as the bottom to create a heavy texture. They are made up of lower case and capital letters and are only three to five pen widths high with short ascenders and descenders. As well as teaching letter formation Georgia was a fountain of information when it came to techniques. When beginning a vertical text with an `A' or two letter word make it a part of your piece rather than isolating it at the top. Submitted by Linda Yaychuk The workshop on the Irish Half Uncial Hand proved to be very informative in so many ways. Georgia is quite interested in the history of calligraphy and gave us a bit of background on the script. Six to seven hundred A.D. was the Golden Age of the Half Uncial Hand. Writing centres developed in Wales and England. Roman script and hands from as far away as North Africa were introduced to the script as the scribes
balance (or lack of ) of your piece. Georgia also gave us a few tips on fixing mistakes. If you make one that can't be fixed or is wacky, try repeating it in your piece.
Your composition can be linked to the text with decoration such as using the Celtic Knot to wander around or through your piece. When you completely surround your piece with a border it starts to look like the page of a book so only use pieces of borders here or there. Use coloured Gesso inside of rounded letters. You can use this technique to guide the eye through the piece. Keep contrasts to a minimum within your work.
Gwyneth Evans enjoys this hand and finds it relates so much to literature. Her article on Words Words Words links to this hand.
When dealing with a long word go down a half a pen size to accommodate it in a piece. Don't be afraid to change the size of your pen even within a word. Play with stems of letters. Make the stem in one pen size and the rest of the letter in another. travelled through northern Europe. The Book of Kells and The Lindisfarne Gospels are two major pieces that were created during this period.
When underwriting one hand with another weave your ascenders and descenders into the lines above and below to ease the isolation of the lines.
The Half Uncial is a slow ceremonial hand. The words are close together and some letters are joined at the top
A neat trick is to use a piece of coloured Mylar. Placing it over your work allows you to see the values and
If you write the wrong letter print the correct version on top of it and eliminate the excess by erasing or scraping it away. For a larger error go around the mistake on a bevelled slant with a sharp knife, pick away the excess and erase any left over bits. Burnish the surface. Place an extra piece of your background paper behind the scraped area and burnish from behind your work. In this way you can replace some of the texture of the corrected area. Our two days with Georgia were filled with tidbits of information as well as numerous enjoyable experiences. If you have a chance to attend one of her workshops in the future
Jottings From The Library Firstly, congratulations to Lorraine Douglas. Letter Arts Review, Vol. 24, No. 2 lists her 'Enso Panel" as having been accepted as a juried piece. Bravo, Lorraine!!! Six new items are in our library, four of which are DVDs. Will this technology take over printed matter … guess we will find out over the next few years. I know most of you prefer hard copy, but I feel DVDs have their merits, not the least of which is viewing hands-on techniques. Books: Betty Locke provided the following on Yves Leterme's 2011 publication, Thoughtful Gestures, "...wonderfully describes his continuing creative calligraphic journey. Having studied with Yves twice recently, it confirmed the elements of what he teaches. The snippets of his lively "formal" work done for clients are magnificent in their impact. Forms which appear "free" have roots in deep thought. The last quotation in the book, "If you don't know where you're going, all roads lead there." is very significant as he discusses the relaxed process used in his current "painterly" pieces." In August I took a paste papermaking workshop with the Fairbank Calligraphy Society. Another attendee had Print & Stamp Lab: 52 Ideas for Handmade Upcycled Print Tools by Traci Bunkers on hand and told me there were no secrets to her artwork, (which was beautiful), that many of her tools were based upon this book. I decided to buy it and donate it as a thank-you for Phoenix. DVDs: Another donation by Barb Qualley, a DVD by Herman Zapf, The World of Alphabets. This man is a master calligrapher, a genius; his work is captivating. Following Peter Thornton's workshops, we purchased his DVD Alphabetically Speaking as the book is no longer in print. The format he had saved to the DVD was 'pdf', and so I
Submitted by Janet Peters, Librarian
decided to have it printed for our library. If you would like a copy, they are available from The Cowichan Press for $14 plus tax. Out of the two, I prefer the DVD as the artwork is crystal clear. An excellent resource with a wealth of information and examples, and a great follow-up for all of us who took his class last spring.
More than Just Letters, Royal City Calligraphy Guild, Spring 2011 details an eight-month workshop where 15 members worked on The Medieval Book, Start to Finish. Three instructors, including Debbie Thompson Wilson, participated and taught. See the many photographs showing their work.
Finally, two DVDs by Rosemary Buczek, Drawing and Painting The Magical Acanthus Leaf and Gilding and Painting The Illuminated Letter, both superior in quality and content. If your interest lies in medieval art studies, these will be of great benefit. The feedback I am receiving is that Rosemary demonstrates everything in fine detail and her instructions are easy to follow.
For those interested in ATCs, check out the class given by Carman Galloway, as well as a class by Lois Sander, "Creature Feature," where thumbs were pressed into ink pads and then transferred onto paper, forming a head, and they then added facial features and more. I want to try this fun project.
Recent Newsletters: The September Fairbank Calligraphy Society Newsletter features the Paste Paper Adventures workshop along with recipes. Our Betty gave a presentation last spring, and various pieces of her artwork appear in this issue. There was no May newsletter due to editor Alice Young, a graphic artist, overdoing things because of work deadlines; she says her "shoulder screamed "NO." (We all need to be watchful when it comes to pushing ourselves). It has taken almost five months for her shoulder to recover. Wishing you all the best, Alice. The Broad Edge, Issues 69 and 70 were mailed over the summer. In #69 there is information on a gilding class taken with Reggie Ezell at ABC Red Deer 2010, and a tip about sanitizing quills before attempting to make one. Layering Techniques is covered by Jo Yearsley, and there is a write-up on Peter Thornton's workshop Textures. Issue 70 features Zentangles created by members at a class, details on making an Origami Accordian Mini Book, a manuscript analysis, and more tips on Gilding with Reggie Ezell from above-mentioned class. I often check their blog: http://alphabeas.blogspot.com/
Uniquely Ours, Write on Calligraphers, August 2011, covers their 29th annual Letters of Joy conference in a coloured insert, and there is a photo of our own Laura who looks like she is having a great time! Bow Valley Calligraphy Guild, Issue 118, May 2011. I like their new format; if you haven't checked out the big change, you will be in for a surprise. This issue contains Tips and Tools and Tricks; a wonderful colour spread showing snazzy aprons, and letters they designed in a workshop led by Barbara Close. Georgia Angelopoulos taught a class, Italic with Zest and Grace; well worth reading. Their publication, the Loop, is intended to relay current and timely information to BVCG members, library reviews, tips and hints, and workshop registrations and info. In an effort to encourage all members to get cracking with their Christmas Cards, a beautiful poster was mailed with the Loop showing many cards produced in 2010 by their members. I will make sure to hang this at our next meeting for all to see. Edmonton Calligraphic Society, May 2011, features a class given by our Betty on the Batarde Alphabet, and calligraphy in Mexico’s Yucatan by Gail Fournier.
WARMLAND CALLIGRAPHERS OF THE COWICHAN VALLEY NEWSLETTER ISSUE #51, November 2011
Warmland Calligraphers Newsletter