It feels great to be running workshops for the Cultural Spring again.
I was honoured to be asked back after offering calligraphy sessions for the project earlier this year.
Four people had signed up ahead of the first session.
That certainly calmed the nerves as I put packs together for the budding calligraphers.
Once again, I’ve taken over the back room at St Mary with St Martin’s Church in Whiteleas, South Shields.
It’s a lovely space, with lots of natural light – always important for calligraphers.
Whiteleas is one of the 10 wards in South Tyneside and Sunderland being targeted by the Cultural Spring.
The project aims to bring the arts to areas that traditionally have low levels of participation.
The latest programme is packed full of activities, including photography, storytelling, songwriting, jewellery making, ceramics, dance and music.
Having run a 10-week calligraphy course in the autumn/winter programme, I have learned a lot in terms of how to structure the course.
So we spent the first session getting to grips with the calligraphy pens.
We also touched on letter height and some basic strokes, ready to learn the foundational hand.
As I demonstrated some simple exercises, everyone gathered around.
I tend to take my skills for granted, so I was shocked when they marvelled at a ‘+’ outline!
We walked on some vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines, followed by waves and curves.
The group took to the pens very well and I think they’ll soon get the hang of the script when we start going through the alphabet next week.
One of the participants, Gail Armstrong, is a fellow member of the Inspire Network and a life coach who is a fan of bullet journaling.
Clearly artistic, with beautiful handwriting, she came to the sessions to learn a more formal style of letting – and even brought her own kit!
She said afterwards: “Thank you Angela for the great first session.
“Friendly, relaxed and time for lots of practice. The two hours flew by!”
For more information about the workshops, click here.