What a delight to write in the centuries old Copperplate hand! It speaks such elegance and beauty, don’t you think? It is my favorite hand because it feels like dancing across the paper………pressure on the down stroke, pause, …lift slightly,… no pressure at all on the upstroke. Pause at the top, …begin downward movement with gradually increasing pressure. Stop if a straight tip is needed, or lighten up and round the descender tail as the stroke flows effortlessly upward. Continue, adding flourishes as they fit the spaces, ….Dance, Pen, dance!
Select your stationery with pen and ink in mind if you are hiring a calligrapher. Some paper surfaces do not enable certain pen nibs and inks. If there is a certain script you desire, take a sample to your calligrapher to verify that it matches the tools required to write that “hand.” And plan on choosing a w-i-d-e envelope for your invitations if you are inviting many people who live in locations with l-o-n-g names, such as Washington, D.C. Formal addresses necessitate additional space to spell out everything.
Today a woman brought me a small certificate that had been presented without the name and date being filled in. She had purchased a lovely silver frame, and wanted the name written artistically. Cindy had shopped at Michael’s for a calligraphy pen, only to realize that there is more to hand lettering than just having a certain tool. Then she contacted the Yellow pages listings, but each of these brought only frustration. She reported wasting her time talking to businesses that handle commercial accounts, require a minimum of $30, or provide machine fonts, not hand written words.
Her hunt continued for a reasonably priced calligrapher. When a paper goods store provided my name from their file, Cindy got her happy ending. She exchanged a five dollar bill for the result she envisioned. Cindy left my studio pleased with a framable award.
Saint Louis Calligraphy Guild members welcomed logo and font designer Julian Waters for a weekend of italic exploration. A Friday night lecture introduced us to much of Julian’s extensive portfolio of hand lettered calligraphic art.
Two full days of instruction in improving our italic hands followed.
Technology allowed us to see minute twists of his pen on a large screen display as Julian Waters demonstrated his calligraphic skill.