I love Calligraphy. When did the art of learning beautiful handwriting start to vanish? With all the typing, texts and keyboarding handwriting has almost become a thing of the past. You can pick any font you want on your computer- fancy, scrolled- even one called “Jennifer’s Handwriting” so why bother hand writing anything? Why there’s even talk of removing learning “script” from the curriculum of elementary school. A terrible thing indeed- no more Palmer Method and improving your penmanship. One word- SAD.
My love affair with calligraphy started when I was in high school. One girl I knew had an aunt who was the art teacher there and this aunt had taught her how to write letters with real ink from an ink pot, and a special calligraphy pen- like in the old days before ballpoints were invented. I absolutely LOVED the idea of it, and I wanted to learn this special drawn alphabet created with this cool pen and ink. I stored the idea of doing this for future consideration.
One summer, when I was in Georgia visiting a boyfriend who was studying piano tuning. I had nothing to do during the days while he was in school, so I used to wander downtown and visit the shops. I found a charming little bookstore and taking my time looking at all the books in every isle, I found a kind of workbook titled “Calligraphy, the Art of Beautiful Handwriting”. It was filled with calligraphy practice sheets, different kinds of alphabets and detailed instructions on how to hold the pen in just the right way to create the thinness and thickness of the drawn lines. Thumbing through it I was fascinated, remembering my friend and how I had wanted to learn this art. I bought it on the spot. Next stop was the little art supply store on the corner where I purchased an ink pen, a little pot of black ink, a pad of parchment paper and some graph paper to learn to size the letters correctly.
I was hooked. I did nothing else for a long time, eventually picking up books with new kinds of alphabets to learn and graduating from the little pot of ink to a cartridge type of ink pen. I made gifts for my friends inscribing poems, songs, prayers and even was hired to create a couple of wedding invitations. Calligraphy became second nature- I knew dozens of alphabet designs and used them without thinking.
Years later, I was hired to teach calligraphy for a continuing education class and I happily shared my love affair with my adult students. To this day, I still pull out my pens when to make greeting cards and address envelopes. The love affair continues.