Tag Archives: lettering

Blackletter Capitals written with double markers


Written and filmed, singlehandedly, during a hot Friday afternoon while awaiting new members at the Luton Irish Forum Calligraphy Group. Quite a meditative exercise. Concentrating wholly on each stroke as it was made, but having to keep everything within the scope of the camera. There were difficulties with video angle and there are a few mistakes that I am sure the more experienced scribe will shudder to see, but all in all I was quite pleased with my afternoon’s work.
Only a few edits of the worst bits so the viewer has a good idea of the timescale, speed of writing etc.
I am wondering, as you probably will as you watch, especially if you have the sound turned up, who is walking purposefully up and down the room. I am used to hearing footsteps from the upper floor but watching this, I am sure there was someone in the room who, perhaps, didn’t wish to disturb me. If so, I must apologise if I seemed to be ignoring you. Come and tap me on the shoulder next time.

If you would like to join us, we meet on Tuesday evenings from 7.00-9.00 and Friday afternoons from 2.30-4.30.
We are a nice friendly bunch of scribes of mixed ability all learning from one-another. Whether you are an absolute beginner, or a scribe of long standing, please do pop in and have a look at what we are doing.

At the time of writing this, Gill and I, with the help of the Humanitas Shop In Hitchin are now running fortnightly Monday,  morning / evening sessions. Please speak to Donna re availability.

Blackletter scan

There will be more on Blackletter in due course.
Cheers.
Keep watching this space.

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Gilding can be fun.


Last Tuesday at Jewels calligraphy group, we were discussing methods of gilding on vellum using Roberson’s Gold Body and Transfer Gold Leaf. Though I have done a fair amount of gilding I wouldn’t call myself an expert in any way, but at the end of the day Julie wrote down the stages that I generally use.

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The whole place was in uproar as I read these words in an E.L. Wisty like voice. I, myself, could not get through the list without laughing so hard the tears ran down my face.

Here is a little clip of E.L. Wisty.

Lots of serious stuff on YouTube if you take the time to trawl through all the posts on gilding. but there is really no substitute for getting your sleeves rolled up and experiencing it for yourself.

I have just found this Pdf from John Neal’s, Book sellers re the use of Titanium Dioxide Gesso.
Very interesting.

Have fun.
Keep watching this space.

The Making of a Parade Banner.


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Having been lucky enough to have found Luton Irish Forum as a venue for our local calligraphy group, I was really happy to be asked to get involved with the St Patrick’s weekend celebrations. LIF commissioned local group, Olympian Productions  to stage a Father Ted Pageant entitled Craggy Island Local Priest Awards.  A banner was required for the parade and as a backdrop  for the stage.

My first thought was to materials, etc. The previous St Patrick’s weekend was a rather wet and windy affair so I needed everything to be weatherproof. Jackie at Jewels came up with some yellow polypropylene curtain blind material about 5 x 4 feet that looked as if it might be tough enough and would take permanent marker and acrylic paints .

To show how I go about this type of project it seemed a good idea to do most of the planning and marking out during group evenings at LIF. The first job was to rough out the actual text in Uncials on wallpaper with double markers to ascertain letter-size, then after marking in the x heights in pencil, a deep breath, and straight in with the double markers.

Making and using St Patrick's Day Banner

Then, at home, some Gold, Green, and white added.

Making and using St Patrick's Day Banner

Detail.

Making and using St Patrick's Day Banner

Next, A couple of 7 foot dowels were wrapped and glued in place.

Making and using St Patrick's Day Banner

A few judiciously placed holes to aid pulling through the air and the banner was ready for use. It came through the parade unscathed and was placed on the stage as a backdrop to a hilarious performance by Mrs Doyle, Fathers Ted, Jack, Dougal, various other priests and the Bishop.

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The production was well received by a huge crowd and earned an award for the best group effort.

Making and using St Patrick's Day Banner

I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the project and for being able to join in with so many other events over the weekend. The countdown has begun for next year. Gill and I are hoping the committee might ask us to contribute something.

Loads more pictures of the weekend’s activities

Keep watching this space.

My list of Calligraphy / Lettering Related Blogs


This is an experiment to find out what can be achieved with these lists. Please do try to add your blogs or favourites and let me know if you have any problems.

Cheers.

Dunstable Medieval Weekend with Brother William


Medieval Dunstable.Ye Scriptorium. Img.jpg

After a week of making up bookmarks, wall-plates etc. and framing of prints, we loaded the scriptorium into the car and headed off to wildest Medieval Dunstable. Only four miles down the road but eight hundred years on the time scale.

We were greeted at the entrance of Priory House by one of what seemed to be a whole battalion of immaculately turned out Army Cadets. We were shown to our tent by Lisa the event organiser and, helped by half a dozen Cadets, unloaded everything into a marquee that had been erected onto the rain-soaked grass. At that time, in the totally empty space which was to house us, The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service, The Dunstable History Society and The Manshead Archaeological  Society, were about six large, soaking wet tables. Three of these were quickly dried off for us  by the cadets and placed in what I thought would be the prime spot. I left Gill to arrange the stall while I went off to park the car. The idea was to have one table as a work bench, one for our wares, and another, spread with paper and scattered with double pencils and coloured felt tips, for anyone to try their hand at calligraphy. When I returned it was looking like this.

Medieval Dunstable. Our stall. img. jpg.

Then after setting up my writing slope and trying out the pens and coloured inks, I found that due to the humidity, the colours were feathering on the card and though I could get some quite pretty effects, it was not a good representation of the lettering arts. Luckily I found that gold and silver worked quite well, so by the time our first customers appeared I had my mind made up for me that the metallic inks  were the best alternative.

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Here I am with one of the first of many customers which became a steady stream throughout the day.

Lady Gillian at Medieval Dunstable. img. jpg.

Lady Gillian taking her shift.

Brother William and lady Gillian at Medieval Dunstable.img. jpg

A break in proceedings while all visitors were watching the battles or the jousts,  punctuated by the roar of cannon fire and the shouts of the combatants. These occurred at intervals during each day and were performed by the Medieval Siege Society. We were pleased to meet a number of the S0ciety members.

Gill gets in some practice and then has a wander round with the camera,

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and finds Trevor James of Beccles playing an assortment of hand made medieval musical instruments.

It was good to see so many people, both young and old, taking an interest in the calligraphy demonstrations and getting the hang of using double pencils.

Youngsters with double pencils.img. jpg.

Over the two days we used about 30 metres of lining paper and only had to scrap one sheet, because it had been covered in obscenities by one youngster who had been told “Anything you like” in answer to his question, “What shall I put on here?” He then ran off laughing. Gill was very quick to remove the offending piece before it was noticed by anyone else.

We used up all but one of the bookmarks and had only two or three wall-plates to take home with us. It was good also, that a few people liked the prints, both framed and unframed, enough to buy them.

It was a joy for us both to work with these budding scribes, most of whom were eager to blow a little magic into the bottle, because it “made the pen work” and then watch it swirling around in the ink. Truth be told, watching their faces, the adults also thought this might be true.

Brother William at Medieval Dunstable. img .jpg.

This young lady took lots of snaps. When I commented on her really tasty camera, she hugged it and laughed and said, “It is my baby”.

Brother William at Medieval Dunstable.img.jpg.

I was pleased so many friends came to say hello. Some of whom we had lost contact with.  It was really good to see you.  Gill, a Dunstablian, was recognised by a neighbour she had not seen since childhood, and people she used to work alongside at the L&D hospital. Heheh!  Fame at last.

Brother William at Medieval Dunstable. img.jpg

These two days have flown by. We have made another load of friends and contacts. There are promises of intended commissions, and invitations to similar events all over the country. The weather has been great in spite of the downpour the night before we arrived, and in spite of the “doom and gloom” forecast for the weekend.

Many thanks to Jean Yates, the Project Officer, and Dunstable Town Council for inviting us. To the Army Cadets for brightening up a really gloomy start, all the cheerful faces of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade who came to see us throughout the weekend, (luckily, it seems there were no major incidents for them to deal with).  And mostly to Lisa, the Event Organiser and her assistant, Lauren, for all you did for us before and during the event. You are a great team.

 

By the bye.

 

Dunstable War Memorial. WWII.  C.C Stenning

Just a few yards from where we were working.  On the war memorial, Stenning, C.C. Gill’s uncle, who lied about his age to join the RAF. Became a rear gunner and was shot down, aged 18. RIP.

Strangely enough, next year’s event, on the centenary of the 1st World War, will be remembering Dunstable during WW I. Those who know me well will have an idea of what or whom I shall be portraying, if, indeed, I am invited.

Keep Watching this space.

Cheers.   Bill.

Luton art ’12 Exhibition entries. (No3 The Night has aThousand Eyes)


Once again, I started this as a doodle, at Jewels on a Tuesday afternoon.

I had a canvas that was A3 size, or thereabouts and thought I might experiment with acrylics, gold leaf, pointed pen and blow-pipe. But first I needed to find a layout

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I really like the look of the second, pointed italic version, but will save that one for another occasion.  The roundly flowing lines of the Uncial seemed to be more what I was looking for.

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So, put a wash of a violet acrylic roughly on to the canvas, chalked on some guide lines and straight in with the silver acrylic.

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Then with the addition of some colour in the counter-spaces.

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A white gold moon and a few puffs of the blow-pipe later.

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One more coat of silver on the Uncials, a few more stars and a bit of cloud around the moon

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Just a couple of days before submission date, we went along to Zanart, Ezeframe to find something that might fit.  There were two or three frames, ready made, that would have done very nicely, but Gill, (Quality Control), spotted this moulding amongst the hundreds of samples in the showroom.  Busy as they were, the Zanart staff went into overdrive and made the frame while we waited.  Many thanks to you all.

Now I can relax. My three pieces are completed, framed, and delivered to Wardown Park Museum for judging. All I can do now, along with all the other entrants, is await the verdict. Good Luck to us all.

Keep watching this space.