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March 05, 2020
Calligraphy is not a new thing, it's actually been around for hundreds of years and means quite simply 'beautiful handwriting' from the Greek word kalligrafi however new 'Modern Calligraphy' is proving very popular as our workshops are demonstrating.
Learning a new skill or experience is very popular at the moment with everything from bread making to sewing and biro drawing to carpentry classes, there is a workshop for every topic and everybody and calligraphy is no exception. Modern calligraphy, or flourish calligraphy as its sometimes known, is making its mark which is more of an art form than pure writing. Modern calligraphy has been developed over the past few years as a very decorative typography that is proving very popular and regularly seen on wedding invites to greeting cards. Once you have mastered the basic format there are no rules and your style literally becomes your signature.
Modern calligraphy uses 6 or 7 different strokes which when put together as a group form a shape which becomes a letter and by connecting all these shapes together a word is formed. The richness of the swirls and curves and thick and thin connecting lines are for you to decide - there are no rules just guidelines. Done well, the end result looks amazing, done poorly, well there is no bad modern calligraphy - just some looks better than others.
At Penfax, we have been running a monthly Modern Calligraphy workshop for newly a year and they are proving very popular, delighted to say we have had repeat bookings! Not only will you learn some calligraphy skills but its also very therapeutic, spending a couple of 'me time' just well, writing out the alphabet a few times. Workshops are hosted by Hannah Gibbons who is a very talented self-taught calligrapher who also runs her own cake making business too. Workshops start with a simple pencil warm up drills and learn to form the shapes of the strokes. Once pencil drills are mastered you will move onto using the dip pen with a G nib fitted (this is a general nib which has very flexible tines). As always, practice is key and perseverance pays dividend, but once basic rules are followed the end results are very exciting, if not works of art. Everything is provided for the course and needless to say is tested by us.
The dip pen is a very simple writing instrument which took over from the quill and became very popular from the 1830's onward. By 1850, James Perry, Joseph Michell and Joseph & William Gillott were major manufacturers and were jointly producing 175 million pressed steel nibs a year from their bases in Birmingham, selling all over the world. Many of these manufacturers are still present today.
For best result practice is always best, and because it's so portable you can of course practice anywhere and anytime, literally when you get a moment to yourself. Writing's fun, if you take it seriously...
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