A couple of Sundays ago, I went along to my first modern calligraphy workshop held at the The Blacksmith & Toffee Maker pub in Angel. I’ve been pretty infatuated with this fluid and rounded form of hand lettering for a few years now (particularly around the time of our wedding when its revival had taken by storm across the US) and have been longing since, to find a way to learn it…..but classes back then just wasn’t easy to come by (or too expensive), and trying to teach yourself or even emulate the style wasn’t really cutting it for me…nor was it any fun!
Well, this summer, much to my delight, when I heard through the blogging grapevine that Quill London (an oh-so-fabulous online boutique that stocks some of the most divine stationery……you have been warned though!) were holding workshops in London, I couldn’t resist jumping on the bandwagon and finally invest in some time learning the skill properly.
The three-hour workshop, taught by the lovely and talented, Imogen Owen, covered all the fundamentals you need to know of modern copperplate calligraphy with plenty of time to practice all the shapes, strokes, alphabets…etc that you were being taught. Looking back, I’m still amazed at how much you learn in those three hours! Mind you, it does take A LOT of time and patience to get used to the pointed nib! Unlike italic and Gothic lettering, with its angled/bevelled nibs (which I did in fact, briefly dabble in back in high school), copperplate script is different in that the thick and thin style of the strokes are simply down to how you apply pressure onto the nib….for a newbie, perhaps not as simple! ;) And if you’re like me, you may want to keep your ‘perfectionist’ side at bay for the first couple of hours just so you don’t end up with the so-called “calligraphers claw”……and all the frown lines and funny faces that come with the sheer concentration! :D
Anyway, it really is all down to practice because you are essentially training yourself to write again (a lot beautifully this time!) The more you do, the more it becomes second nature to you….or at least, a lot smoother with a lot less scratching! ;) I haven’t done as many practice sessions since the class but with the little I did last week I can already see an improvement, particularly with those thick and thin strokes. Still a loooooooong way from ‘perfect’ but hopefully in time, and with heaps of practice, I’ll get there!
So, if you’ve had this on top of your to-do list for quite a while too, or you’re just looking for a delightful hobby or perhaps fancy a more creative social outing with a group of friends, then I would highly recommend these classes as they’re not only fun but affordable, condensed, and super informative….plus you get a starter pack, along with heaps of scrummy cakes and tea/coffee on the day! Classes are getting increasingly popular so for more information their next workshop dates or to book classes, hop on over to Quill London’s website. They do also offer limited ‘early bird’ tickets so put yourself onto their mailing list if you’d like to be informed of those upcoming dates first, which is what I did.
Well then, while you do that…..I’ll keep practising and keep you posted with any progress I make, which I hope will be a weekly thing. A massive thank you to Imogen for imparting all of her calligraphy wisdom (you must check out her beautiful stationery!) and to Lucy for hosting such a wonderful set up! I’m SO so glad I signed up!! I do also like to mention the three lovely ladies on my table that I had the pleasure to meet that afternoon, who made it all the more fun; Helen (food blogger at Look What We Ate Today), Jeni (oxford based planner and stylist, Vanilla Rose Weddings) and Viktoria (creative buyer at the fab homewares, accessories and gifts brand called Bombay Duck)……it’s always a bonus meeting genuinely lovely people from at such events and occasions!
Happy days! xx
Ps. thought this quote below was so apt for me……you can only guess what I was doing while writing it :)
[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]