My workshops are proving popular at the moment.

Maybe the new year kick-started a creative streak in people?

I was invited back to Hawthorn Arts in South Shields at the weekend to stage a second masterclass.

The first one was held in November last year and was very well received.

This one was actually oversubscribed!

I worked with Hawthorn Arts director and lead artist Graham Hodgson to devise a session that would complement his follow-up illustration class.

Some of the participants came from existing classes at Hawthorn Arts, but they were all beginners when it came to calligraphy.

We started with some pen exercises to get people used to a broad-edged nib.

Then we got down to practising the uncial alphabet with the aim of writing a few lines from Wordsworth’s ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’.

Those continuing with the illustration class will create an illuminated letter for it.

 

I love how everyone quickly develops a love for certain letters and dislike for others – and is quick to share their preferences with the rest of the class!

And there’s always a few ‘a-ha’ moments when the penny drops, like slightly adjusting the angle of the nib to get the stroke right.

I’ve had some lovely feedback so far and I’m sure people will continue practising at home.

I now have a dedicated workshops page on my website, where you can find my latest classes.

You can also sign up to my mailing list to make sure you don’t miss out on future dates.

My next workshop is at the Customs House in South Shields on Saturday, May 20, where I’ll be giving an introduction to calligraphy as part of its gallery learning programme.

In the meantime, I’ll have a spot at the Cultural Spring Open Day at Low Simonside Community centre in Jarrow on Saturday, February 25.

I’m hoping to announce some new venues soon, so watch this space!

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