Tag Archives: lettering

The Left-handed Calligrapher.

I have noticed, recently that the search engines are sending  to Bill’s Space  a number of  people with  queries  about Calligraphy for the left-handed  scribe.

There is now a Facebook group specially for you. Also a general group for Lefthanders

Here I have begun a collection of links, videos and articles of interest to the left-hander, hoping it will make life easier if they can find  hints, tips and encouragement all in one place.  New posts will be added as I find them.  If the reader knows of any others, I would be pleased to hear of them and will add them to the list.  Please feel free also to add your experiences, ups and downs etc., via the comments box

First, Lessons for left-handed calligraphers  from Iampeth

And a very interesting and informative post from SCRIBESCRIBBLING, another WP blog.

Left-hand calligraphy sets, books, etc.
Calligraphy and the left-handed scribe  Taken from Iampeth

Just for a giggle

MaxMind   If you are left-handed – do not despair!
Left Hand Calligraphy from Wishful Inking


Gaynor Goffe. CLAS page for the Left Handed Calligrapher


Keep watching this space.

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.

The Cola Pen. Recognition at last?

Some of my ” Lager Pens ”

Many of us have experimented with the ” Cola Pen “.  Some with better results than others.  Many have been put off, mainly because they feel there is some magic formula that has to be used in the cutting and shaping of the tool, and then in the actual use of a ” nib ” which is totally different from any other they have used, and with which they might  attempt to create their latest masterpiece.

I heard a whisper today.  I am not able to divulge the source. That one major soft drink manufacturer has been following our experiments, and has hinted they might like to target the worldwide calligraphic community by making not just a drink we would enjoy, but one that might make things easier for us all to create the ” Cola pen ” of our dreams.

In consultation with some of the greatest living exponents of gestural calligraphy, their designers have come up with some ten different pen designs which might be printed on a series of cans, along with comprehensive instructions as to their use .  Perhaps, they might also run a competition for the submissions of those who have fashioned their pens from the instructions given, using the hints and tips  of the designers of each pen.

There is no indication of a launch date as yet, nor of the country to be targeted for first production.  I, for one, will be looking forward to this enterprise, and will be lobbying all drinks manufacturers to make sure the UK is first on the list.  I am sure I might buy a can or two, whether or not the contents are to my liking.  Just as long as the calligraphy that ensues is as good as it says on the tin.

See also Getting Started for more on the cola pen.

Cheers one and all.

Keep watching this space.

PEACE. A work in progress.

Walking through the studio on Christmas day, deep snow and everything frozen outside.  A sudden beam of bright sunlight lit up this piece that I have been adding to over the last few months. I knew at that moment that I must use this image to usher in the new year.  The work is words of peace in many languages repeatedly woven through this quote by Adlai E. Stevenson.

We travel together, passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil, all committed, for our safety, to its security and peace. Preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and the love we give our fragile craft.

I post it here on the last day of 2010 in the hope that mankind will collectively see the light, and that we and our children will at last see a world where war, suffering, torture, famine, disease, pollution, usury, and all the other ills of the present day will become just another distant blot in the history books. Let us hope we can prove that another of Mr Stevenson’s thoughts is unfounded :-

Man is a strange animal. He generally cannot read the handwriting on the wall until his back is up against it.

Gill and I wish you all a Happy, Peaceful and Inspirational New Year, and pray  that you are able to find that  ” Peace which passeth all understanding “.

ITALIC WORKSHEETS. With thanks to Richard Crookes. Updated May 11th ’11

Some time ago, you might remember, I mentioned that one of my friends might just happen to come up with a lesson on Italics and save me the trouble.

He heh.  Today he has graciously given his consent for me to show these pages he put together for a recent workshop he conducted in Thailand.  What a lovely job he has made of them.

If you would like to see more of Richard’s work, and download these worksheets, have a look at his Website.  Also he has Videos on YouTube.  Here is one to compliment these pages.

Many thanks Richard.  More power to your elbow.


At last, Calligradoodles -0005 Italic minuscule.

Over all,  I am quite pleased, apart from one or two wayward ascenders.  Bear in mind that the x height here is one and a half inches ie five nib widths.

I have tried to give an indication of the rhythm generated by the italic script. Though the music is added after the video is published. it does seem to fit in quite nicely.

I hope you enjoy it and that it is some help.

UPDATE 11th May ’11

Once you have got your teeth into italics you will need some capitals. These are my version. It has taken some years to reach this stage. I strongly recommend that the beginner first studies Richard’s example before adding flourishes/swashes.

These are eight nibwidths in height. That is two and a half inches. You will note that the minuscule x height was five nibwidths / one and a half inches. Whatever you do with Initial capitals, the capitals within a body of script look more balanced and seem slightly weightier if kept to approximately half the height again of the minuscule.

Once again there are one or two letters here that have gone slightly awry. Rather than stopping to rub them out, thus spoiling the rhythm, I have again elected to carry on and show the whole sequence, warts and all.

You might also like to have a look at Lloyd Reynolds’ epic series.

If you have any questions regarding this lesson or any of the others, please ask them in the comment box. Others might like to see the answer too.

Keep watching this space.


Calligradoodles_0003 How to write a Roman alphabet with double pencil.