I’ve had a lovely mix of novice and more experienced calligraphers at my workshops this term.
Several members of the group came to me after completing a calligraphy course with the Workers’ Educational Association in South Shields.
Apparently the tutor checked me out and assured them they’d be in safe hands!
I hope they found that to be the case as I took them through the basics of calligraphy and introduced them to foundational hand.
It is the second time I have run the workshops for the Cultural Spring in South Tyneside, so I had much more of a structure this time around!
The first session was spent simply getting used to using a calligraphy pen – thanks to Manuscript Pen Company for donating the beginner’s calligraphy sets.
I decided to split the alphabet up into letter groups and make my own worksheets to show how each letter was built up using different strokes.
We spent a session on each letter group, followed by a session on Roman capitals and pangrams and finally, working on a piece of calligraphic art.
I was delighted to find that some of the group shared my love of Pinterest and were using it to seek inspiration for the lettering challenge.
They also introduced each other to Etsy and we swapped many tips about pens, nibs and inks.
It was a lovely atmosphere to be in, even during the times when it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop as everyone concentrated on their work.
Calligraphy mindfulness in action!
I’ll be running a third course in September and hopefully, more will follow after that, if the Cultural Spring is successful in securing further funding.
The arts participation project is due to end its three-year run in December.
Working in 10 council wards in Sunderland and South Tyneside, its aim was to improve access to the arts in traditionally hard-to-reach communities.
A bid has been submitted to the Arts Council to extend the programme for another three years, in 10 different council wards. (Read more about its future plans in a previous blog here.)
I really hope it gets the go-ahead.