Illuminated letters with Graham Hodgson

After our recent field trip, my calligraphy students are back at their desks.

But there’s a different teacher at the front of the class!

I’ve handed the reins over to artist Graham Hodgson – for two weeks, anyway – for the illuminated lettering part of this term’s project.

Everyone has been working so hard to prepare for Graham’s sessions.

We’ve been getting to grips with uncial script over the last few weeks and choosing quotes to be turned into works of lettering art.

The group, which meets at Westoe Crown Community Hub in South Shields, successfully applied for Your Art funding from The Cultural Spring for the project.

The grant covered Graham’s tuition fee, as well as the cost of room hire, materials and transport for our field trip.

Everyone got stuck into Graham’s session – including my two children, who came along with me as their school was closed for the day.

It’s always interesting to see other workshop leaders in action, especially people like Graham, who have been teaching for a lot longer than I have!

It’s also amazing to watch him sketch away and hear the thought process as he works.

He started with a demonstration before chatting to everyone about their individual pieces and offering advice on illustration and composition.

Hopefully, I set them off on the right path by looking at some layouts beforehand!

The idea for the project came from the group, the bulk of which we worked out has been together for about two years now.

It started out as part of The Cultural Spring programme in Whiteleas and Biddick Hall and now runs independently.

They’re a very creative bunch, with talents including music, painting, card-making and upcyling, so it’s great to see them merge their existing artistic skills with their calligraphy, which is still fairly new to some.

I can’t wait to share what they have created.


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