Category Archives: Uncial

Our Calligraphy Group at the Luton Irish Forum, Four Year Anniversary

LIF new poster

It seems like only yesterday but I was reminded that it is four years today since Noelette, CO of Luton Irish Forum, gave us the chance to set up what might be the only Calligraphy Group in  Bedfordshire or perhaps even further afield. Since then many have come and gone but our little band has grown and continues to flourish (excuse the pun), with three more beginners just this week. It seems we have become a wee community of great friends among the greater community which is LIF.

We are never happier than when we have an ongoing project. Members always asking for another banner or some-such thing to work on. Here are a few projects we have  enjoyed sharing over this period.

Due to the nature of my blog editing software the pics may be a little out of order but you will see that we have had some great fun over the years. Thanks again to all at LIF, members past and present, not forgetting our late great friend and Fine Artist, the Hat Man, Richard Lees.


Happy St Patrick’s Day

Having been immersed in “Irishness”, (More about this in the next day or so), for the last few weeks and also being treated to such a wonderful weekend, I just had to put pencil to paper. So, here is my St Patrick’s Day Greeting to one and all.
Print it off, preferably in A3, and get the children to colour it in.

calligraphy,spiral,gaelic,happy st patrick's day,jpg,img

Keep watching this space.

Blowing my own trumpet.


The works I show here, were made for my own entertainment and first shown in my Facebook album “Just for Fun”.  They were given quite a good reception from those who saw them, so when I saw an invitation to enter the luton art’11 exhibition, I thought why not?  I had never previously entered an open exhibition even though Luton’s Annual art exhibition  has been a feature in the town way back since before I was born, which is a day or two!

So, on the submission date, off I went with my shortlist of three pieces, shown here lined up on the mantlepiece.  From left to right a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche and two versions of Aehd wishes for the cloths of heaven by WB Yeats.

You could have blown me down with a feather when I subsequently got notice that two of my pieces had been accepted.  Guess which………………………………..


If you live locally you can find out by going to have a look.  The exhibition is on until 26th February.  There is some lovely work on display.  Wardown Park  is a great setting so why not make a day of it?

If you can’t make it, keep watching this space.

Look out. The Boss is back! (Time to learn uncials)

Updated August 2016.

I might have left you pretty much to your own devices for the last month or so, but I have been pottering around in the background, spending an awful lot of time on facebook and making Bill’s Space known among all the calligraphy groups, of which, as the Bible would say, there are legion! I have joined in many discussions and even instigated a few, ranted about this, raved about that, generally making a nuisance of myself, but always making the point that for hundreds of people to join all these groups is great, but then to sit there looking out from their profile photograph and not joining in with anything is a great disservice to those who have spent a good deal of time and effort setting up and then maintaining these wonderful meeting places. Hehehe! I do go on, don’t I?

Back to this page. Since we set up, our visitor counter is now showing 2639 from 28 countries. Hello to you all, I hope we are keeping you busy and of course well entertained.

Our profile has altered slightly. i.e.  Bill’s Space was 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, 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. Let us see some of your work, it doesn’t have to be to any standard other than that which you have attained up ‘til now and you can always remove it later if you come up with something you feel is better, though it might be better to leave it in place to show what progress you have made.


The Calligradoodles videos have really taken off lately and feedback is beginning to come in from all over the world.  Number 0004,  UNCIALS, is now up and running



Uncial & Blackletter


Uncial worksheets


We shall soon have a look at Italics  and Old English Blackletter.

I have negotiated with teachers T.V. and you will see we now have a little video player with a few really interesting features.  ( UPDATE.  Since this post there have been changes. Teachers TV is now on line.  Have a look. )  You might also have noticed that the number of links has grown over the last week or two. Even if you are not looking for resources you will find some mind blowing material to get the old grey matter working.

For all the beginners I have been in contact with lately, I am really happy to be able to give a bit of guidance and support, so remember, I am right behind this screen if you have any problems. The best advice I can give in the meantime is practice, practice, practice, then a little more practice, and if that does not do the trick, practice some more. Usually the problem can be seen to be :-    x height= too many / not enough nib widths, or, too much / too little pen angle to the writing line. Trying to control ink flow with the paper flat on the desk is impossible, so a board at an angle of at least 20 degrees will help with this. Mine is usually at about 40 degrees, and, a little secret here, I use a light table when ever possible.  It is made of toughened glass and has a florescent tube underneath.  There are commercially made light boxes available.  I have various templates ready made, i.e. wedding albums, spirals, etc. I find that I can see the lines under all but the most heavyweight or darker coloured paper or card. My favourite is an A3 sheet marked out Landscape, with lines 1/8 of an inch apart. You will soon learn that you can use one, two, three, etc. lines to make an x height of 1/8, 1/4, 3/8 etc. so rather than draw lines to fit the size of your nib, you can choose a nib to fit the size of your lines. Layout wise this also makes it easier to incorporate different sized letters in the same piece. You may well ask why I marked my guideline sheet in landscape format. This is more versatile in that it can be used for both formats whereas a portrait sheet can not easily be used on a landscape piece. I can see some of you are getting confused, so I am going to leave you to get on with things and ‘speriment, but I promise I won’t leave it so long before I get in touch again.

Happy holidays. ( For some. )

Keep watching this space.