Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuestorial: Calligraphy

Calligraphy is a skill I always wanted to learn, but wasn't sure where to start. When I saw that Urban Bazaar was hosting a workshop for calligraphy, I knew I had to join!

The instructor, Dave Goggin, believes learning calligraphy is important in a world where we depend on electronics. It has a rich history in our culture and a tradition that deserves to be past down to future generations.

Urban Bazaar's workshop schedule!
Materials Needed:

  • Bottle of ink (Higgins Eternal non-waterproof ink is recommended)
  • Pen points (there are about 50 different kinds so starting with #99 is best!)
  • Off-axis pen holder
  • Paper that is very smooth and doesn't bleed
  • Cup of water
  • Mr. Dave Goggin, the master calligraphy instructor 
(If you take this workshop at Urban Bazaar, all these materials are provided!)

All setup and ready to go!
Step 1:

Learn how to hold your pen and practice without ink first. It seems so basic, but you almost have to "un-learn" how you usually hold a ballpoint pen. The muscles you focus on is in your forearm, not your wrist. This is where having an instructor comes in handy. He or she can assist you to make sure you are holding your pen at the correct angle and using the right muscles. It takes a lot of focus at first just to remind yourself not to use your wrist, move with your forearm, sit up straight and to use a "light touch"on the paper.

Not bad for a newbie
Step 2:

Dip your pen in your ink and insert half way. Every few mins you should dip your pen tip in water and reapply the ink. It is easier to use a couple of extra sheets of paper as padding underneath your top page. The tip of your pen should be flat on the paper. You'll notice that your pen point has a slight gap on the tip that helps you get thick and thin writing. 

We practiced with swirls and designs provided in the first session. Our instructor showed us the Bio-Mechincal Landscape Theory that shows you that exact area you have to work with on your paper (this is definitely a "show, not tell" kind of theory). You gain speed and confidence over time, and can move on to letters. 

Calligraphy instructor, Dave Goggins
Practice, practice, practice
Step 3:

Practice, practice, practice! Soon you'll have a new skill under your belt and the best thank you cards around. 

There is so much to learn about this skill and three levels available to take! Check out all the details for upcoming workshops at Urban Bazaar here

To learn more about the rules of calligraphy and the latest news, join Dave Goggin's newsletter, The Pointed Pen, here

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Our Team Captain about joining SFEtsy!

1 comment:

Frances Marin said...

I took his class last fall at Urban Bazaar and loved it! You're super good at it!

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