Calligraphy tips for left-handed writers

There are a few lefties coming along to my next calligraphy workshop.

And I’m not talking about their politics, I’m talking about the hand they write with.

goffe calligraphy 1

Gaynor Goffe

Fun fact – 10 per cent of the world’s population write with their left hand.

But I’ve only ever taught right-handers, so I’ve been doing some research.

There are many left-handed calligraphers getting along with their lettering just fine, including Gaynor Goffe.

I remember several people being surprised she was left-handed when she led a workshop for the Northumbrian Scribes a couple of years ago.

(You can read my blog post about it here.)

Gaynor shares her tips for other left-handers on the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society website here.

I’m sure I’ll be referring to it in my lesson planning.

Understandably, the greatest problem left-handed calligraphers experience is getting the pen angle right.

To combat this, they have to hold the pen a different way, move their paper around, or use special left oblique nibs.

The Lamy Safari (left) and Joy

The first thing I’ve done is take advantage of Manuscript Pen Company’s nib exchange service.

I use the company’s beginner’s calligraphy set for my workshops, which come with three standard nibs.

But they can be swapped for left-handed nibs for free using the service.

The majority of Lamy Fountain Pens, including the Safari and Joy ranges I reviewed for The Pen Shop last year, also have a left-handed nib option.

I’ve got plenty of family members to test these nibs and techniques out on.

Both my parents and my sister write with their left hand, so they can be my guinea pigs!

Fortunately, I’ll be teaching uncial script, which has a fairly flat pen angle and therefore poses less of a problem for left-handed calligraphers.

To find out more about the workshop, at Hawthorn Arts in South Shields, read my blog about it here.

I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to join us!

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