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Issue 11 - Broad Strokes in Calligraphy

“Broad Strokes in Calligraphy” features artists who blend historic broad pen hands with contemporary pointed pen scripts to create stunning compositions. We also share the work of three internationally-renowned calligraphers who have interpreted Romans, Foundational, Blackletter, and Uncial with pointed pen, creating exciting styles you will want to add to your repertoire.

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Meet our Cover Artist – Susan Lui is a Singapore-based calligrapher and instructor who is versatile in numerous styles such as Copperplate, Spencerian, Italic, Uncial, and Gothicized Italic. She is known for her soft transitions in ink color from one letter to the next, and often employs gilding and illumination in her designs.

Broad Nib for Beginners – Tamer Ghoneim – L‌earning broad nib calligraphy styles can open the door to an incredible variety of calligraphic creativity. The broad nib pen can write traditional calligraphic text in a wide variety of styles, but it can also be adapted to create new and innovative lettering and abstract art.

Versatility of Pointed Pen Uncial with Barbara Close – Uncial was designed by scribes centuries ago as a tightly-spaced broad-pen hand to fit as many words as possible on expensive vellum and parchment. Barbara Close, a world-renowned calligrapher and instructor, provides her own spin on Uncial using pointed pen and endless creativity.

Elegance of Pointed Pen Romans & Foundational with Harvest Crittenden – Romans and Foundational are historic scripts traditionally drawn with broad pen or flat brush, but when interpreted with pointed pen they achieve a contemporary, elegant look. Studying and training in historic hands is well worth a calligrapher’s time, as it will provide a firm foundation for learning other calligraphy hands.

Dancing Angles of Pointed Pen Blackletter – Mike Kecseg – Historic broad pen blackletter is characterized by thick vertical strokes, compressed spaces, and pointed arches similar to Gothic architecture. Using pointed pen to interpret blackletter takes some dexterity and an understanding of what your pointed nib can do, but you will be rewarded with beautiful texture and interest as the letters dance across the page.

Blending Modern & Historic Styles – Alice Ballerini, Ashok Giri, Monika Fellman, & Nina Mareta – These featured artists are talented calligraphers who combine broad pen and pointed pen lettering in many of their designs. Some started out as self-taught artists who enjoyed the challenge of figuring out how to blend these techniques to create their unique styles.

Air Mail Ephemera – Erica McPhee – A‌s soon as I saw the gorgeous, vintage-with-a-modern-twist Airmail Sets from LAPaperlover on Etsy, I wanted to learn more about the artist, Esmeralda Jönsson. Her shop is full of well designed, elegantly created, and downright fun ephemera.

Ferris Wheel Press – Makers of Iconic Stationery – Ferris Wheel Press’s mission is to make the world “fall in love with writing again.” I love their sentiment that they “help dreamers pick up their pen so that the heart and hand can be reacquainted.”

Handy Helper – Gum Arabic – Maureen Vickery & Cindy Haller – Gum Arabic is an art supply staple you’ll want to have on hand in your calligraphy studio. Available in both liquid and powder forms, you can use it to mix custom inks and help both bottled inks and gouache flow better for pointed pen work.

The Making of the Letter E: A Logo & its Lessons –  Kathy Milici – Have you ever wanted to say no to a ‌large project or commission but didn’t know how? This was the beginning of my journey into one of the most difficult but successful commissions I have ever completed in my 40+ year career as a calligrapher.

TUTORIAL – Mixing Colors on Broad Nibs – Susan Lui – One of my favorite ink techniques is mixing colors directly on my nib so the colors softly transition from one to another.

TUTORIAL – The Art Deco Rose Card was inspired by a workshop I took from Lynn Ayres in early 2021. Lynn had studied Art Deco with Gemma Black, and shared what she learned about the characteristics of this style and how to use the Speedball B nib to draw an alphabet and a rose design that complements it.

TUTORIAL – Tiny Treasures – The “Fritzi-Lope” & Accordion Book – What better way to use your stash of paper and craft supplies than to assemble charming handmade books and envelopes for easy, fun gifts?

The Power of a Mission Statement – Kathy Milici – A‌ mission statement can ‌guide you to make the right decisions, whether it’s for your business, charity, calligraphy guild, or personal life. We’ll examine why it’s an important tool and how to write your own.

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