Calligraphy time-saving tools

Time is precious, right? And we never seem to have enough of it.

Balancing anything in life seems hard these days, especially when it comes to running a small – actually, make that micro – business like mine.

But I have discovered a few calligraphy hacks recently that have saved time when it comes to writing, whether it be workshop preparation, or working on commissions.


Using a rolling ruler

One of the banes of my life is ruling guidelines, but it’s a necessary evil!

calligraphy rolling rulerA simple tool to make the process easier is a rolling ruler, which glides down the page to produce horizontal lines, vertical lines and even helps measure angles.

This is perfect for calligraphy practice.

Of course, if you’re working on a commission, you have to rub these pencil lines out.

One of my many fears is that the ink will smudge – no matter how long you leave it to dry – and you will end up having to start all over again.

This is where my light pad comes in.


Investing in a light pad

calligraphy lightpad 3This handy gadget – popular with crafters of all types – was top of my wish-list at Christmas and my husband dutifully bought one for me.

I’ve found it really useful with longer pieces, such as poems, as I can place my guidelines under the paper I’m working on and still see them clearly.

It’s particularly handy when working with thicker paper stock.

This means no pencil lines on the finished piece and therefore no risk of smudging!

I can also work over the top of a draft layout, for example, once I’m ready to commit ink to paper.

They’re also portable and although mine is A3, you can get them in A4.

Quite a few of my workshop participants have one and bring them along to class.

The only thing I was disappointed about was that it didn’t come with a protective cover.

calligraphy lightpad 1With two children in the house and my dining room doubling up as a calligraphy studio, I didn’t want to run the risk of it getting damaged.

So I turned to Pier 74 and had a bespoke case made for it out of recycled materials.

Based at Newcastle’s Mushroom Works, Pier 74 uses traditional craft techniques to repurpose materials that would otherwise end up in landfill.

It was founded in 2016 by Angela Brown and Julie Coxon and I’d fallen in love with their work previously, at the Mushroom Works shop and as part of The Late Shows.

So I got in touch, visited the studio for a chat and had a made-to-measure case made out of grey wool felt fabric, with a yellow linen lining.


Using a laser level

calligraphy laser levelAnother, smaller gadget I’ve been pining for has been a laser level. (I know, I usually swoon over stationery, not tools!)

So I was over the moon to be gifted one from a lady who comes to one of my calligraphy classes, as her husband had ordered one too many for work.

It’s perfect for small items, like wedding place cards and envelope addressing.

I’ve just got to keep it out of my son’s way so he can’t use it as a laser beam trap for his Batman figures!


Do you have a creative time-saving tip or tool you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments below and I’ll probably add it to my shopping list!


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