Cultural Spring: Calligraphy Workshops

I’ve been fretting about it for months, but now my calligraphy workshops for the Cultural Spring are underway, I’m starting to wonder what I was worried about!

Fearing no-one would turn up, I even packed a magazine alongside my calligraphy materials when I headed off to St Mary with St Martin Church in Whiteleas, South Shields, for the first session.

I was relieved when retired teacher Tony walked through the door, followed by mother and daughter duo Danielle and Leah and Maureen, who is a member of the church. Cultural Spring intern Georgia also joined us for the first session.

Tony said he had been keen to give calligraphy a try for a while and has even been looking up videos on YouTube. Danielle, meanwhile, has signed up for a number of Cultural Spring workshops – to keep her hands busy, she says, as she’s just quit smoking!

I did a little welcome pack, inspired by the one I received from Bumble & Bloom Media when I attended a marketing workshop last year, in which I introduced myself and the Cultural Spring and what we would be doing over the next 10 weeks.

We’re starting with foundational calligraphy hand and after watching a demonstration by me, the group couldn’t wait to get going with the calligraphy pens from Manuscript Pen Company, although we did practice our outlines in pencil first, just to get a feel for the lettering.

Over the comings weeks they’ll be getting to grips with capitals and lower case, lettering size and hopefully creating something special for Valentine’s Day, before moving on to another calligraphy script – possibly uncial with a celtic vibe for St Patrick’s Day.

I’ve taken part in some Cultural Spring activities myself, including the 10-week challenge with 64 Million Artists and the Alice in Sunderland design competition, and I think it’s a fantastic project that will undoubtedly improve access to the arts.

I’m delighted to be involved and I’d like to think that I have sparked a little interest in calligraphy, particularly as everyone was keen to continue their practice at home. I’ll be expecting perfect outlines at the next session!

  • The calligraphy workshops are running every Thursday, from 10am to noon, at St Mary with St Martin Church, Hogarth Road, South Shields, until March 24. Simply come along, or get in touch via e-mail or telephone 07956 148 937.


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