Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Calligraphy Class - Basic Italic

I used to teach calligraphy quite frequently, but hadn't done so for awhile. So it was a pleasure to start again with my first class last night.

I've always enjoyed teaching calligraphy. Partly because I really enjoy calligraphy, but also because the people who come to learn are usually such neat people. It certainly is true of this class.

This class is a basic Italic class. I will be teaching it again for the four Thursdays in February. For anyone in the Cochrane or Calgary area of Alberta who might want to join us for that class, check out the details at Basic Italic Class.

Calligraphy Lessons for Copperplate, Ornamental Script & More

I love the look of copperplate and ornamental script. I've done some, but it's been awhile.

Today I discovered a new resource for online lessons for these scripts and more. That lead to several others.

So head on over to the Ornamental Script page on the website and check out the details and links. There's enough lessons there to keep anyone happy for a good long while!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Creative Year

What did you create this past year? Was it a productive year for you? Are you looking forward to more for the new year?

One of the creative things I did this year was to start this website. I've enjoyed the process of researching and finding all kinds of interesting links and projects to explore.

Almost more for my own information, I started the pages on uses for calligraphy and wedding uses for calligraphy. Have I ever been amazed at how many things are now on those lists.

One of my favorite finds was discovering the old manuscript sites. What an amazing wealth of letters and designs to explore there. I've spent way more hours than I should have writing out letters and drawing designs that I liked for my own resource book.

I'm thinking about starting a separate blog just for new letters for you to enjoy and use. I won't promise anything just yet - we'll see how things go.

Here's hoping the past year was a productive and creative one - and wishing you an even more creative and productive year ahead.

Happy New Year!

Latest Webpages Added

I've just added several more webpages that you will want to check out.

Another manuscript source at Codices Palatini Germanici - this one with over 800 manuscripts.

The first commissioned Bible in calligraphy in hundreds of years - The Saint John's Bible

Something to inspire you to write and mail someone a letter - Mail & Envelope Art

And something a bit different - Graffiti & Calligraphy


Saturday, December 12, 2009

More Manuscript Resources & A Video

I've just added several more new pages to the website. Check out these two manuscript resources:

Manuscripta Mediaevalia - Germany
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University
And then check out this video with a master calligrapher and font designer:
Hermann Zaph 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Get Your Dose of a Daily Drop Cap

I  recently found a blog called Daily Drop Cap. Every working day this typographer and illustrator adds another gorgeous capital letter to her blog.

And what's more, she invites you to use these caps in your own blog - as I did in this post.

This is a classy black and white one, but you should see some of the color ones she has - amazing!

So head on over to Daily Drop Cap and check it out.


A Change of Plans

When I started the Dancing Pen Calligraphy website earlier this year (2009), my goal was to create a newsletter to send out at regular intervals. However I am finding that doing a full newsletter is more than I can manage at this point.

This past year my husband's kidneys decided to quit working. That has meant months and months of medical and financial issues to deal with. So it's been a tough year in a lot of ways.

But doing this website has been one of those sanity-keepers for me. Something creative that I could work on and get my mind off of other things for awhile. While things seem to have settled down to a routine now and we're doing okay for the time being, I still find it hard to commit to doing the full newsletter I had planned.

So, instead of doing the newsletter, I am simply going to add posts to this blog as I find things of interest to share with you. I'll still have it set up so you can sign up for the newsletter, but that will just be so that I can send out notices now and again that there is new information on the blog.

This might even be the better route to go, as this way I am more likely to pass along the good stuff that I am discovering.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Create Your Own Calligraphy Resource

Several years ago I started a calligraphy journal to collect ideas that appealed to me. (You can see samples from that journal at Calligraphy Ideas Journal.)

Several posts back I mentioned a website I had discovered with loads of old manuscripts. After checking out a few of them I decided this was way too good to just look at, so I started creating my own resource from that. Any manuscript that had lettering or ideas that I liked, I made copies of those letters or ideas. I don't mean printing off copies - I mean I drew out the letters for myself.

I've checked out nearly one hundred of the manuscripts so far and it has been a pleasure. The ideas just keep amazing and delighting me. I found myself wondering what those scribes might have thought if someone had told them that hundreds of years later thousands of people from all over the world would be looking at and admiring their work. Makes you wonder if some of ours may show up years down the road too. Who knows?

I also now have a great resource for lettering ideas and styles in a binder where I can quickly flip through to find ideas for any projects I might be working on. That's a lot easier than trying to remember which one of the hundreds of manuscripts a particular letter idea might have come from.
Here's one project I did for a client recently where the capital letter at the beginning of the quote was one I designed from letters I had found in one of the manuscripts.

There's also something about copying out these letter forms that gets it into your brain. You begin to have a whole new series of lettering styles to choose from - as well ideas you can use to develop your own alphabets.

I'd really encourage you to start your own calligraphy journals or resource binders. It can be a pleasure for yourself to see what you can do, and chances are others will enjoy seeing that too.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Odyssey 2010 Calligraphy Conference

Going to a calligraphy conference can be a real treat - you get to learn all kinds of wonderful things - and you also get to meet a lot of really neat people.

If that's down your alley, you might want to check out the Odyssey 2010 Calligraphy Conference.

I've had the privilege of learning from some of the instructors listed, so I know this will be a great experience.

Envelope Glue

If you make your own envelopes for calligraphy, some glue for your envelope flaps just might come in handy, right?

I gave you a long list of folded envelope ideas in the last post, but sometimes you want an envelope you can seal.

So head on over to Envelope Glue for a glue recipe you can make for yourself.