Sunday, August 19, 2012

Calligraphy and making cards

The art of writing is fascinating and truly a blessing. I have always admired calligraphy, even as a child. My uncle does beautiful calligraphy, and I thank him for showing me the beauty of calligraphy.


I have spent some time trying to learn calligraphy and picked up a variety of books to learn this skill.  I found The Complete Idiot's guide to Calligraphy very helpful.  It is detailed and has all the information we need. This book is organized in a simple, easy to read/ understand way.  The book has lots of tips and helpful practice pages.  I like the 1,2,3 arrows that direct us to which way we should move the pen.



We can put the skills we learn from this book to make beautiful artwork, cards and use it in many other creative projects. The book shows how we can incorporate calligraphy into our projects such as making bookmarks, wedding invitations and attaching tassels with embroidery thread etc.  To learn calligraphy we don't need to have artistic talents or good handwriting, we just need practice.  



People have spent time learning and using this skill of calligraphy in ancient art of gold embossing, illumination, bookmaking, handwriting etc...  The book mentions about the art of Japanese calligraphy or Shodo and about scrolls where the calligraphers write quickly without altering or touching the letters afterwards.   The Japanese symbols are adapted from the 4th century Chinese writing Kanji, {which means characters from China} uses a brush technique.  In Japan and many other cultures calligraphy is about mind, spirit and technique.

I used the formal italic script to write in this card, which is not joined like cursive.
A few things about Calligraphy that I learned from the book
  • Calligraphy comes from the Greek word Kallos, which means beautiful and Graphein meaning to write.  
  • The writing in calligraphy is slightly slanted to eliminate the need to constantly lift the pen nib.
  • Writing on a slanted board without hunching over helps to form this writing.
  • To start off, we can use 2mm wide carpenter pencil. Keep the eye and paper 10" apart.  Sit straight with the feet on the ground.  Hold the pen normally 1/2" from the end of the pen.  The nib should point in the same direction and should be in a 50 degree angle from the writing surface.  If it comfortable for you then it is better to keep the little finger extended for stability.
  • When framing calligraphy choose simple frames that have wide margin space.
Learning how to use the tools correctly is important to do this craft well. The book explains how to use the nib, the type of inks and paper.  
  • Felt tip pens are not as good, but I used a pen I got from Walmart which was for calligraphy. The book suggests using flexible nibs for easy strokes and acid free paper.  
  • Don't use paper that becomes yellow fast i.e. newspaper has lots of acid.  Good papers have a watermark when it is held to light.  If the paper is too slippery rub it with a soft eraser.
The books suggests for us to keep our calligraphic work simple, uncluttered and eye-catching.  There are tips on how we can make our own pens using bamboo canes, dried stem, possible sticks, foam felt, make up sponge or quill with feather.  It also explains how to make rubber stamps using plastic erasers to emboss or deboss letters. There is information on how we can cut out 3D decorations. Details about drawing with double pencils, using gold paint to fill between the lines and adding ribbons to scrolls.  


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4 comments:

  1. slam dear,
    I really like your post & enjoy this..
    calligraphy is one of my favorite job to do..its always fun to work with. You have wrote very well..
    Eid Mubarak dear..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Assalamu Alaikum!
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    Eid Saeed!

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    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the recommendation! I want to get into Calligraphy and they have this book at my local library! I'm excited!

    ReplyDelete
  4. They look so pretty, the art of writing letters.

    ReplyDelete

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