Tag Archives: Education

Luton Calligraphy Workshops. Week 1


Link to INTRODUCTION

It was good to see so many people showing an interest and turning out on such a freezing cold day. I know that some had some experience, but most had no idea what they were letting themselves in for. They each received a starter pack with the instructions, “On pain of death, do not write on these guideline sheets”. “Why not?” you may ask. Well, with care these sheets will last a lifetime. Once written on, unless you have unlimited access to a copier or PC with a printer, they are gone.

In the pack were …. A3, Roundhand and Roman alphabets. 1 inch lines, a double page spread of 1/8 inch lines. A4, a sheet of 1/8 inch lines with various combinations of letter sizes that can be used using the same guideline sheet, and a simple spacing guide, “the balloon is going up”.

New roundhand alphabet.double pencils.img.jpg New Roman Alphabet.double pencils.img.jpg. Template. 1 inch guidelines. A3.calligraphy.img.jpg.  Template.1/8" guidelines. A3. double page spread.img.jpg. A4 Template combinations using 1/8" guidelines.img.jpg. The balloon is going up.a lesson in spacing.Bill Grant.img.jpg.

…….. and a set of double pencils.

First, with a sheet of decorators lining paper spread across two tables, a very brief  (we are here to learn how to do, rather than why) history of the scripts we were going to be using in this session, from Greek, to Roman Capitals, Roman Cursive, leaving Uncials for another day, through Alcuin’s involvement with the Carolingian and Humanist scripts, to Edward Johnston’s study of his foundational hand with which we begin  today. Incidentally, Johnston’s book, Writing & Illuminating & Lettering is available, free, to download or read online.

Perhaps I should have used Jeffrey’s video to illustrate.

Or

From Alpha to Omega, and A to Z and then a 30 foot roll of humanist minuscules with an x height of 12 inches spread before them the participants were invited to join in with their double pencils. Then, when I thought I had them on the ropes, I allowed a weary but cheery group to take a seat and with their 1 inch guidelines, begin the first lesson in earnest.

Update. This video was filmed at Luton Irish Forum Calligraphy Group on 1st October 2013 by Peter Moss.

 

Calligraphy workshop day 1.jpg.

 

First tracing from the guide sheet and then freehand using the 1 inch lines and referring to Calligradoodles 0002, cups of tea and lots of chat, time was flying and skills increasing. Roman Capitals (Lesson Two) will have to wait ’til  next time but has been set as “gentle” homework as our next meeting is two weeks from now.

A very quick look at what we shall be playing with over the next four sessions,

plus, at some point we are hoping to do a live filming of Old English Blackletter Caps and minuscules as they are demonstrated. It looks as if we are going to be kept very busy indeed.

I know that some of the class are unable, due to previous engagements, work etc to attend each session, but if you follow the blog and practise whenever you can, you should be able to keep up with events.

With Thanks to Luton Culture and the Museum staff for putting up with us, and  JEWELS for their generously discounted materials.

Don’t forget. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to use the comments box.

More help and support at Calligraphy at Bill’s Space Mk II on Facebook.

Looking forward to next time.

Link to WEEK 2

Keep watching this space, and P,P,P.

Welcome to Bill’s Space.


 <img source="pic.jpg" alt="My logo, lettering ."</img>.

Bill’s Space is aimed  at  anyone who has a love of calligraphy, or lettering. Especially beginners and those who  are  having trouble getting started.  Featuring videos and worksheets, links and articles, all with a bias toward art, calligraphy, lettering, and teacher’s resources, and updated as new material comes to my notice.

A Jack of All Trades. Always aspiring to become a master of lettering, I learned a basic italic hand at school, and became a regular at the local library calligraphy section. It took some years to find a local evening class but once there I found myself able to help fellow students with their struggles. Shortly after this I became a tutor myself at evening classes and also started a local church group.

Back in the eighties my work was exhibited in Luton Library.

For 6 years I was privileged to lead a Calligraphy Workshop/Retreat at Belmont Abbey, Hereford.
Any scribe will tell you that people wrongly assume that if you can put letters on paper you will be able to paint them onto almost anything. Brushwork, though, is a completely different technique to master. Luckily I was able to join a 1 year full-time C&G signwriting course and then worked for some time as a signwriter, but I never lost my love of penmanship.
I hope I can help you on your journey.

UPDATE
Bill’s Space was originally set up to promote good lettering. It has now metamorphosed into an all round meeting point for artists, calligraphers and teachers, worldwide, to relax while they search for that little something different to put in their resources locker. Recently a new group, CALLIGRAPHY at Bill’s Space Mk II, has been set up on Facebook to run alongside the original site. Whether you are a beginner or have years of experience come and join in the fun. The more experienced scribe is encouraged to give help and assistance where needed.

A click on this image will take you to a comprehensive catalogue of tools and materials

I recommend that beginners go straight to Getting Started in Calligraphy where you will find a comprehensive guide on what you need to get started and links to the various lessons.

If you are looking for inspiration a browse through the links pages might just give you the nudge you need.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me through the contact box here-under.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit. Please come again and tell your friends.

For embedded links to all my pictures, prices for commissions etc.,  don’t forget to visit my website, Calligraphy by Bill Grant .

Keep watching this space.

Cheers.

If you would like to donate a few pennies to help with the upkeep of Bill’s Space, please click on the button to link with Paypal.  Many thanks.

JEWELS. Another knot in my golden thread?


Isn’t it strange, how sometimes, something catches the eye and demands your attention?

An unexpected treasure.

Walking through the shopping precinct in Houghton Regis, a small town between Luton and Dunstable, that Gill and I rarely visit, I noticed a shop window full of old reconditioned sewing machines.  It was not the machinery that had attracted me but the various display cards that accompanied them which were all written in a very distinctive hand.  Then I realised it was not just sewing machines for sale but a whole range of art and craft materials, and what scribe can stop themselves from entering what they see as an Aladdin’s cave?

Just a glimpse.

Cutting a very long story short.  I found that the cards in the window were written by Julie Kent, a co- student of the calligraphy class I had attended in Dunstable College, some thirty-ish years ago.  Though we have both taught and practised our art in the same area for all this time, we had never come into contact again.

Now, it seems that Julie, in partnership with Les, runs this emporium as an outreach for a local church and offers facilities for children’s groups, various classes, arts/crafts, and yes you’ve guessed it, CALLIGRAPHY WORKSHOPS .

Subsequently I have returned on two occasions during calligraphy sessions and having met the participants and seen some of their work, I must say I am impressed, not only with the standard of work achieved, but with the enthusiasm, commitment and friendliness of all involved, and the TEA!  Hot, strong and sweet!  Oh! and each time I have walked away with a bag full of goodies.  Brand names at very reasonable prices.  I can’t wait to get to grips with the Fabriano papers.

Some of the works created by Julie’s group.

On top of all this, Julie continues to take commissions. Not only for calligraphy but also her beautiful watercolour paintings.

Some of Julie’s pieces .

Congratulations to all you hard-working folk at JEWELS ARTS and CRAFTS CENTRE, Bedford Square, Houghton Regis.  You are doing a wonderful job.

I hope you have enjoyed this foray into deepest Bedfordshire.  I hope it will be a reminder to us all to keep our eyes open for those little gems that are literally on our doorsteps.

A link to my subsequent Calligraphy Workshop at Jewels.

Keep watching this space.

Calligraphy, Lettering featured in videos. Updated 15th October 2012


Regular visitors will be aware of the many videos and other educational tidbits that are hidden away in links here at Bill’s Space.  Recently I have happened across a few that really deserve to be a feature in their own right, so every now and then I will post something that really ” gets me going ” as it were.                 This first one was pointed out to me by Angela, one of my Fb friends, herself a teacher, calligrapher, artist.  Thanks Angela.  This is a great example of the enthusiasm of the teacher which is obviously rubbing off on the children in this workshop.

This next, is an example of the plethora of videos produced by the BBC and freely distributed on YouTube.

I have recently posted links to BBC iPlayer videos and have been disappointed to hear that many non UK viewers were unable to see them.  I am hoping that this one will open up new posibilities.  See related videos.

This one was pointed out to me by Heather.

A Visit to the Vatican Library.

An educational philosophy encompassing all creative subjects backs up the teaching of handwriting in France.

Lettercutting in slate

Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address.  2005

Making Manuscripts

Donald Jackson.

Claudio Gil

Vitalik Vsh

https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=125397007481220

 

 

文字書く人たち from Japan Letter Arts Forum on Vimeo.

TIME TO GET TO WORK. Updated March 2013


Lesson No 1. Roundhand

We are going to begin with a Roundhand alphabet, also known as the humanist or foundational hand, as formulated by Edward Johnston in his book, Writing & Illuminating & lettering.

This is a beautiful example of what we aim to achieve.

REMEMBER. 2 clicks on each image to magnify to huge proportions.

There are FREE downloadable worksheets   Best viewed as a slide show to begin with.

And do have a look at Richard’s worksheets for even more insight into  this fascinating journey.

And a video, probably best viewed full-screen, to show how it’s done.

The same demonstration with a commentary but on a massive scale.

Calligraphy.roundhand alphabet.double pencil.img.jpg

You don’t have to use double pencil;  if you would rather use a pen, go ahead, but you will find if you use my method to start with, you will be able to see clearly how the strokes are made and how they join up.  Any mistakes are glaringly obvious.  There are 2 or 3 instances on the video that are not quite right – I wonder if you will notice.

Just remember to use 4 nib-widths for the lower case o-height and to leave space for the ascenders and descenders.  For example, if the o-height is 1”, then the whole letter needs 3 lines and 3”.  Your nib needs to be kept at approximately 30 degrees to the writing line except when writing w, x, y and z – here it is better to change to 45 degrees.  Even when practising it is a good idea to try and get the spacing right.  This can only be done by eye, but a good guide is to remember that OO are close, O l are further apart and l  l further still.

You may ask, “Why start with this alphabet and not Blackletter or Italic?” All I can say is, trust me.  If you can do a reasonable version of what is set out here, plus  Roman Capitals which comes next, all other hands are a doddle, ha ha!

 

I have set out here not to teach fancy lettering, but good lettering.  A page of well-made and well-spaced letters is a thing of great beauty and something to which we should all aspire.

People say, “I wish I could write like that”. “You must have a gift.”

I wasn’t born with this ability:  my gift is, having seen this beauty on the written page, to actually want to sit for hours and try to emulate those scribes of yore, and yes, all the beautiful work that is being done today.

You can write like that if you really want to practice, practice, practice.  I am still practicing.

See also Luton Calligraphy Workshops

Keep watching this space …