As I write this, Masscribes is preparing for a BIG PARTY, our 25th Anniversary Gala. While your invitation came from Jane Parillo and me, as co-presidents, it is Dan Mooney and Chris Roberts who are doing the hard work of actually planning and carrying off this splendid event. (I can say "splendid" because I know their plans.) I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their work celebrating our 25 years as a guild. More importantly, I appreciate them for stepping forward to be your next co-presidents of Masscribes, Inc.
k . Kerdo Gerry J
Jane and I will be handing over our virtual crowns to Chris and Dan on the evening of the Gala, so this is my final President's Pen. While that's kind of a sad thought, I'm really pleased about it. I've been President or Co-president for eight years. During that time we've had a lot of fun...workshops, exhibits, Gatherings and general meetings. At a time when other guilds have lost members and closed, Masscribes is growing and improving. But frankly, my ideas aren't as fresh as they were. Dan and Chris have new plans and thoughts for Masscribes, Ink (I know it's Inc, but I always wanted to write it that way). I feel the way the goose at the point of the V formation must feel when the flock flies south; a new goose...or gander, I suppose, moves into the lead spot and I can fall back, drafting on the air
current the flock creates while I catch my breath. I'll still be participating in guild activities but I don't have to be the responsible goose. That said, I would like to thank the many people who have served on our Board with me over the years, particularly Jane Parillo who is the person who invited me to join the board as secretary back in 1989 or so. Elissa Barr and Aimee Michaels, of course, C.A. Millner, Sharon Eisman, Amy Veaner, Robin Carroll, Linda Ohsberg, Dave Flattery, Sheila Delahanty, Kay Johnson, Kathy Joss, Megan Chapin, Jan Boyd, Cindy DeGrange, Laura Burton, Claire Spellman and Javier Alfonzo. Cindy Rudolph has helped in so many ways, though not officially on the Board, as have Mary Hart and so many others. I thank you all, and welcome our new 2012-2014 Board members: Chris Roberts and Dan Mooney- Co-presidents, Cindy Pendergast-Vicepresident, Elissa Barr-Secretary and Janet Fraone - Treasurer. Jane Parillo will continue as Newsletter editor, C.A. Millner and Sharon Eisman will co-chair the Exhibit Committee, Kay Johnson and Nita Padamsee will work together on the Workshop Committee, Anna Belkina will be our online librarian. Finally, Cindy DeGrange and Javier Alfonzo will keep our website up and interesting. Speaking of the website, go check out www. masscribes.org. Javier and Cindy have worked really hard to redesign it. There are all new, interactive features, public as well as private pages, member access to our newsletter, Inkspots, and what I think is the most exciting...your own personal mini website built into the Masscribes website. As a Masscribes member, you will have a profile and space to upload pictures to your gallery, with assistance if you need it. I feel that Jane and I are leaving Masscribes,Ink in an energetic and exciting new configuration, poised to continue our beautiful hands-on art through all kinds of electronic contacts. I'm wicked proud of our guild! Thanks for having me.
With a big smile,
�arol� Ro �
It's official – at this writing, the wonderfully successful 25th Anniversary gala has come and gone, Carole and I have turned in our tiaras, the holidays are now a distant past and we now are looking forward to the future, seeing Masscribes enter the next level of accomplishment. A new web site, a new way of viewing our newsletter on line – which, apparently is the way of things now. We will publish a hard copy once a year (and for those who do not have email access we will continue to accommodate with “real” copies in your hands). Frankly, I have been conflicted about going virtual , digital, whatever (keep in mind – I still use glue stick for my artwork prep for printing), but – given the time and money savings, I have to agree that we need to take this step. So, we are new and improved. Thank you Cindy Degrange and Javier Alfonzoyour knowledge, skill and enthusiasm will take us far. So – for this issue, please enjoy the gathering of articles and artwork accumulated over the past 9 months (yes, this issue is wicked late). We have a dazzling array of holiday cards, a little of this 'n' that, a beautifully lettered recipe (we do love our food too), some reviews, upcoming events, other artwork generously donated by you, our members. Keep 'em coming! Take care and be well!
�ember �ews! Congratulations To Dan Mooney whose beautiful historic maps will appear in the upcoming issue of Letter Arts Review. Also kudos to Gerry Jackson Kerdok who received Honorable Mention in the 2011 Graceful Envelope contest.
Masscribes Dates March 31 – Lorraine Bromley 1-day workshop "Watercolor Evolutions" April 1 – Potluck Brunch, Location TBA May 12 & 13 – Laurie Doctor "Sketchbooks and Watercolor" September 10 – General meeting with Holiday Card program Location TBA October 13-14 – 2 day workshop - subject TBA with Sharon Zeugin.
Paula H oward
By Cindy Pendergast COUTURE, LAVISH, ECCENTRIC, UNUSUAL and UNIQUE are some of the words used to describe the work in Dan Mooney’s recent project. He has been re-creating historical antique maps of Boston. We had the privilege of seeing these extraordinary works of art up close and personal at the Annual Masscribes Spring Brunch held on April 10th at Carole Roy’s home.
The brunch began as usual with all of us lettering artists gabbing about our latest projects while sampling the fantastic food each of us brought. There were new friends, old friends, Facebook friends and those we met at conference to catch up with. I was talking with a few others and eventually we made our way into Carole’s downstairs art room which had been transformed into a gallery for Dan Mooney’s maps. All talking ceased as we stepped into the room. It was filled (no exaggeration, there were at least nine) with these magnificent 24” x 36” ornate re-creations of historic maps of Boston. They were all hand lettered, hand colored and gilded in 23K gold. The detail was staggering. We immediately began to study each one while trying to guess what his process was. As each little group of friends entered the room we heard the same reaction, “Oh my goodness”, “How did he do that border”, “What gold did he use”, “Did he put the ink on first or the gold”, “What kind of paper is that” and so on. Finally, everyone gathered downstairs and we settled in to hear Dan explain it all. Dan shared that his appreciation of the beauty and skill
demonstrated on historic maps began while working as a young draftsman at a land surveying company in the Boston area. Copies of old Boston maps crossed his desk frequently and he was often asked to draft maps of land to be recorded at the Registry of Deeds. He admitted that he secretly longed to add color and gold to his maps. The recording standards set by the Registry of Deeds are very stringent however and he was limited to using black ink on double matt polyester film, also known as mylar. The only creative touch was maybe adding a fancy title block, compass rose or street name using his calligraphy skills. Later he and a friend started Colonial Land Surveying Company. All the maps produced were hand drawn and all the lettering was done in calligraphy. Drafting maps and creating calligraphic artwork were his daily routine. To help with the workload Dan hired calligraphers and taught them to draft! Dan showed us some of the record plans he had described as well as plans he drafted at Colonial Land Surveying. Black ink, purely functional. Everything changed when Dan’s brother Jim randomly suggested that he should take the old maps he finds at the registry and re-create them into works of art. The idea was born. The first map Dan re-created was the famous 1722 John Bonner
map of Boston. Full color, 23K gold gilded border, fancy Compass Rose, little ships and houses.....he was in heaven! Next he began to research and gather copies of other historic maps of Boston ranging from 1634 to 1842. One by one he lovingly labored to transform each map into a modern masterpiece while maintaining the integrity and historical accuracy of each one. This attention to detail throughout the project also allowed Dan to show in the most beautiful way how Boston evolved from a small village peninsula, with the Back Bay area non-existent and entirely under water, into a major city. One look at these maps and it is clear to see the convergence of Danâ€™s giftedness as a drafter, calligrapher and artist. Each map is a unique work of art.
Not only is the word â€œBostonâ€? drawn differently on each map along with a variety of borders, Dan also uses a variety of surfaces. These include Pergamenata which is similar to natural vellum, 300lb watercolor paper and the mylar from his drafting world. These different surfaces allow Dan to explore different color techniques. He explained that on the mylar the 23K gold goes on first and then the ink. Because there is a matt finish on the front and the back this allows Dan to hand color the map on the back with either archival watercolors or gouache. The effect is stunning. The black ink on the front stands out and the color showing through has a frosted effect. He went on to explain his techniques for each of the surfaces. Dan is currently interviewing galleries where he can show his work. After seeing the magnificent 23K gilding on the maps he was convinced to hold a gilding workshop in September! Details will be coming. By the way, Carole Roy and I had the privilege of working for Dan at Colonial Land Surveying in the position of drafter/calligrapher some years ago and we have been friends ever since. Dan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and this project can viewed at www.scribedan.com.
by Cindy Degrange The current technological universe welcomes Masscribes into its world! We’ve unveiled the new website and are up and running strong. There remain a few tweaks here and there, but overall the feedback is promising, our mailing list is growing and we’ve begun attracting new members. Twenty-five years strong, our guild is looking forward to continued growth in the next 25 years!
NEW FEATURES INCLUDE: For Hire Profiles - Calligraphers for hire now get to include a photo, bio, and showcase up to 4 portfolio pieces in addition to their skill set summary and contact information. There’s a small technological learning curve for members to update their profiles and upload their images, but most have taken on the challenge successfully and are happy to have full control of their offerings. We’ve included a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page in the members only section of the website and both Javier and I remain available to coach anyone through the process if needed. Member Profiles - The portfolio feature isn’t just for our professionals. Every member has the option to create their own profile to better connect with fellow members. For-hires are viewable by the public on our For Hire page. All other members are viewable by members only on the Community page. Here you can connect with other members, view any works they choose to upload, see their town and state to arrange for carpooling and study groups and finally match a name with a face! Members Only - The Community section is visible in the menu navigation bar only after you’re officially logged in. Our hope is that members will not be shy about their profiles and take full advantage of the opportunity to bond and share with fellow members. The system is set up to allow only confirmed members access to this portion of the website. While this doesn’t protect you from all crazies, it narrows the field to only our fellow crazies within the guild membership.
Connections - When logged in, you can click on the Community tab to see all members who've reg-
istered their profiles and "connect" with them. This is essentially a shortcut to finding & communicating with them whenever you'd like. It's a little like having your own illustrated address book within your profile. To connect, click on the member's profile --> click "Connections' --> Request Connection and then personalize a message in the pop-up box. Newsletter Archives - You can now access digital versions of Inkspots in the Community section. We’re continuing to update as we receive the files. NOTE: We’re looking for a volunteer or two to scan past issues for this section. If interested, please contact Cindy Degrange. (I could put my phone number or email address here, but now that you know about the Community section of the website, you can simply find me there!)
Classes - Member classes complete with photo & details are listed & updated regularly. This is one of the membership perks, so if you are currently teaching, send your information to cindy.degrange@ me.com for uploading! Self-updating Calendar - At the bottom of the home page you can quickly view upcoming workshops and events. This feature syncs automatically with our Google Calendar which is updated regularly by the Secretary, Elissa Barr.
Mailing List Sign-up - Part of the Masscribes mission is to educate and reach out to the public to help keep calligraphy alive and flourishing. Now interested parties can join a General Interest mailing list to keep apprised of new happenings in our corner of the calligraphy world without having to become a paid member. It allows for those with a
.org mild interest to test the waters before diving in and allows Masscribes to publicize exhibits and events to a tailored audience. This list is separate from our paid-member mailing list. Blog - We’ve included a blog to broadcast newsworthy events--member accomplishments, guild accomplishments, news updates from the calligraphy world, tips & hints, resources, etc. We’ll soon have several authors to keep the blog active & current. Send newsworthy info to the Communication Crew via the Contact page and we’ll be happy to blog about it! Either write your own guest blog post for submission or send a few bullet points with a photo and we’ll do the rest! Gallery - Click images to enlarge. We are further updating this feature to include artist credits. PayPal - Yee ha! You can now pay your dues online via the Membership Dues page. On this page we’ve also prorated the first year’s dues for brand new members. Renewing members must still renew on an annual basis.
Gatherings Page - There is no single person arranging gatherings. This section is only as good as the members are active. If we want to gather, we have to initiate. Anyone may coordinate a gathering at any time. Please see the website for an explanation and to get the ball rolling. We can’t wait to see what you come up with! Masscribes’ Library - In the Community section. You can view all of the books in the Masscribes Library, click on each image for more detail, and contact Annabel to arrange delivery! (Thank you, Annabel, for countless hours of cataloguing!!) Search Bar - To find anything and everything on the site. This is different from the “Search Users” feature on the For Hire and Community pages. Search Users (For Hire and Community pages) Allows you to sort search criteria such as town, skill sets, etc., when looking for particular professionals and members.
MUST-KNOWS: Log-in/Register - To have access to the Community section, you must login on the home page. First timers need to click the ‘Register’ link first to create their username and password. Once the treasurer confirms that you are indeed a registered and paid member, full access will be granted.
As you browse through the site you’ll discover other features and possibly an occasional glitch. Don’t be shy about alerting us to any issues, and definitely do not be shy about promoting yourself and connecting with other members! We’ve designed the site to be a promotional tool for our members, a goto resource for potential clients and an educational resource center for all letter enthusiasts. To keep it running as such, we need input and activity from our guild members. We hope to hear from you and to learn more about you in the Community Profiles!
The Journe� continues! – by Kay Johnson "Escribas" That's our new name for the Calligraphy Study Group in Southern Rhode Island, meaning "Scribe" in Espanol. Once we were "4 Women of Words" but we are no longer 4 in group members (we are 6), and we are no longer women only (we have Javier!) After our first project, "Mystery," in which we rendered that word in many various forms, we moved onto our second endeavor - to exhibit a group piece in the "Poetic License" exhibit through the Portsmouth Arts Collaborative. The theme was right up our alley , so we put our heads together, discussing various poems and quotations. We recalled a beautiful poem by Antonio Machado that we learned in Laurie Doctor's class. Because the poet was Spanish, we decided to do the poem in both English and Spanish, with each calligrapher designing and penning one verse.
The Wind One Brilliant Day by Antonio Machado The wind, one brilliant day, called to my soul with an fragrance of jasmine. "In return for the aroma of my jasmine, I'd like all the aroma of your roses." "I have no roses; all the flowers in my garden are dead." "Well then, I'll take the withered petals, and the yellow leaves and the waters of the fountain." The wind left. And I wept. And I said to myself: "What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?" Our process involved several steps, both collaboratively and individually. We envisioned the piece hanging from a tree branch in long vertical strips. Meeting together one Saturday we spread out a huge roll of watercolor paper and each one of us drew background markings. These ranged from wide sweeping brush marks to small squiggles in a variety of tools. Then we cut the large paper into six long skinny strips, approximately 11" X 52". We chose a palate of three colors - deep yellow, green and burgundy, and of course, black. Our only parameters were to script our individual verses in English and Spanish using any or all of the colors. When we gathered with our finished pieces we were astonished and delighted that they all seem to fit together with a common style as we each allowed our verse to speak through our brushes and pens. We attached a slim wood strip on top and bottom to hold the pieces straight, strung jute along the top and hung the pieces from a large branch. (See photograph.) Although we loved each individual piece of art, this was proof that the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. Our piece was completed, accepted for the exhibit - and a bonus - we were awarded an "Honorable Mention!" But the real joy was in the journey. Now, we're thinking hard about what to do next. Any ideas?
Peter Thornton workshop – by Jan Boyd Oct 8 & 9, 2011 – Norwood Sportsman’s Club Working just in pencil? Really? This workshop was designed to encourage us look at letterforms, spaces (inside letters, between letters, between words, between lines) and weights – in an effort to understand texture. Starting with skeletal Roman caps, we began to look at letterforms by analyzing their size, form, weight, movement, color and texture. With an HB pencil we did a few lines of text, then changed to a 2H, then a 2B, then back to a 2H, but narrowing the forms while keeping the height the same, then adding a slight angle to all the letters. The column that developed as we worked began to have a very interesting texture. Still working in pencil, we moved on to pressurizing the letters, then adding a very slight curve to the straight lines to begin modernizing the hand. Varying the vertical space, the size of the letters and the density of the pencil added new variations in texture. One exercise had us doing caps at ¼”, the next line at 1/8”, the next at 1/16” and finally at 1/32” – still legible with a 2H pencil. The smaller the letters, the more space needed between lines and the shorter the individual lines needed to be for
legibility. Further exercises had us adding weight to the finished letters. Our final project was making a ruling pen. Peter supplied the thin metal and showed us how it is cut and affixed to a pencil to make an amazing and versatile tool. We had a chance to do some lettering with walnut ink with the pens we’d made – and then, brandishing the ruling pen with great skill, Peter made each of us a cover for the books of samples we’d created over the weekend. His lettering versatility and talent were wonderful to watch as he created a different look for every person in the class summarizing by demonstration, as we watched the letters and spacing develop, all the lessons he’d taught during the weekend. He started and finished the workshop reminding us of his personal quote:
“Writing is meant to be read. Calligraphy is meant to be looked at and felt.”
Graceful Envelopes Contest winners on exhibit If your travels take you to Washington, DC, take time to view the 2011 winners of the Graceful Envelope Contest, now on display in the lobby of the National Association of Letter Carriers headquarters at 1st and C Streets NW, a few blocks from Union Station. In addition, you can view them anytime online at www. calligraphersguild.org/envwinners2011.html . This year's theme, TIME FLIES, was inspired by the 35th anniversary of the Washington Calligraphers Guild, which since 2001 has administered the contest. This year entrants were urged to design an envelope that "explores good times, quality time, the times of our lives, time travel, or any other idea you have time to develop." All entries were required to travel through the Postal Service, but the jurors said they had no problem ignoring the postmarks, etc. Congratulations again to those singled out as winners and honorable mentions and to everyone who participated. You are a talented and creative group! Lorraine Swerdloff – Contest administrator for the Washington Calligraphers Guild
INKSPOTS VOLUME 25 • ISSUE 1 • WINTER 2012
We will explore techniques for drawing, writing and watercolor in your sketchbook. All you need is the urge to want to notate, in- scribe, make marks or color. The materials will include fine point pens, graphite, watercolor, walnut and sumi ink. Each student will bring a sketch- book that holds rag paper sutiable for watercolor, etc. All levels of experience are welcome. Date: May 12 & 13, 2012 Registration: Kay Johnson email@example.com Laurie Doctor for questions: 502.550.8774 firstname.lastname@example.org www.lauriedoctor.com
2012 CALL FOR ENTRIES: Calligraphers and artists from around the world are invited to participate in the 18th annual Graceful Envelope Contest, conducted by the Washington (DC) Calligraphers Guild under the sponsorship of the National Association of Letter Carriers. The contest is open to all ages, with two separate categories for children. There is no entry fee. This year's theme: "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
The complete Call for Entries is posted on the Washington Calligraphers Guild website at: www.calligraphersguild.org/envelope.html
ARTICLE & ARTWORK CONTRIBUTIONS Javier Alfonzo Kathleen Borkowski Jan Boyd Lorraine Bromley Kathryn Cyr Cindy Degrange Dave Flattery Mary Hart Paula Howard Gerry Jackson Kerdok Norma MacKenzie Dan Mooney Linda Ohsberg Jane Parillo Cindy Pendergast Christine Richard Chris Roberts Carole Roy Cindy Rudolph MASSCRIBES BOARD MEMBERS Co-Presidents Dan Mooney & Chris Roberts Vice President Cindy Pendergast Secretary Elissa Bar Treasurer Janet Fraone Exhibit Chairs C.A. Millner & Sharon Eisman Workshop Chairs Kay Johnson & Nita Padamsee Newsletter Editor Jane Parillo Newsletter Designer Javier Alfonzo Website Designers Javier Alfonzo & Cindy Degrange Library Archivist Anna Belkina
The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Masscribes, Inc. For permission to republish any materials from Inkspots, please contact the editor. Contributors hold copyright of text and artwork. Unsigned material is copyright of Masscribes 2003. We reserve the right to edit material where necessary on the basis of space, accuracy, timeliness, consistency, etc
MASSCRIBES, INC. P.O. BOX 67132 CHESTNUT HILL, MA 02467 617-227-0772 www.masscribes.org