Tim Noad's stunning work
On Friday the press published pictures of the consent document that Queen Elizabeth II has to sign in order for William and Kate's wedding to go ahead. This picture is taken from the Telegraph
The press don't mention the calligrapher, Tim Noad, who will have poured hours of work into this stunning piece.
Let's hope Kate and William are impressed - they ought to be, because if nothing else, their marriage is null and void without it!
As promised, here's a little of the calligraphy piece for the Newark Mayor to send to William and Kate. It's hard to convey in a photo but the gold gouache does have a nice shine to it.
Not typically wanting to blame my tools, this paper has to be one of the worst I've ever worked on. It has a very hard, almost waxy surface which repels ink. Where the Newark emblem had been printed, it was even worse. I fear it is sold as "calligraphy paper" because it has that mottled parchment look to it.
Anyway, I treated the surface to some pounce (grey dusty material that can improve slick writing surfaces), and wrote with no reservoir on the pen, literally piling wet ink onto it for every stroke. Quite nerve wracking as I only had 3 sheets with the emblem on!
I was asked today to do the piece of calligraphy which will be sent from the Mayor of Newark to William and Kate to send good wishes.
Slightly tight deadlines, but luckily I've a spot of time this week, so should all be fine.
Makes you wonder really, how many of the well wishing cards and gifts that will be sent to the couple will ever be seen by them - there must be hours of work go into creating some amazing items. Perhaps there will be an exhibition of some of their gifts - that would be good.
I've seen a book called "Knit your own royal wedding" - I really hope that someone has done so - that would be a sight!
Anyway - focus Janet! The calligraphy is in gold (paint) which I rarely write in- it's a treat to being doing something sparkly for a change! I will of course share with you how it's looking
Had a nice commission to do this week - making Thank you cards for someone to issue to people they value in their business. I think they turned out rather well - and my client seemed pleased which is always lovely.
Just a thought....
I wonder if other calligraphers are used to work coming in very close to the required deadline? I suppose it's because it is "just lettering" - I don't think people would expect a watercolour painting to be turned round in a matter of days.
Zoe Beach , Gwen Vine
Well - Saturday is the last day for the Newark Calligraphy Group's exhibition. I visited this week, and it was still looking good (although I understand some of the pieces have done their very best to escape from their frames.... stronger tape for next time!!)
I hope everyone that would have wanted to visit has known about - I feel like I've mentioned it hundreds of times, but I suppose it's hard to over-market these things!
No pieces sold, as far as I know, which is a shame as the gallery take no commission, so they're at the best prices.
Both of the pieces shown had lovely comments - and make a cheery splash of colour too!
On Saturday I'm at a workshop with Angela Dalleywater, where she will be teaching us tricks for laying out pieces with words plus their translation into another language.
As pre-work for the day, we had to write out some Latin words. I'm meant to be dusting down my italic, as I'm teaching at my Nottingham calligraphy class AND my Newark calligraphy class starting in a few weeks.... so thought I'd use italic. Well - it looks OK, but then I took it into Photoshop and inverted it (black to white and vice versa) - it's magic! Makes it look much lovelier than it deserves!
Depending on how it goes, I m-a-y share the output from Saturday....
Let's face the truth - I'm much more skilled at shopping for calligraphy products than knuckling down and using them - eventually I'll have bought so much paper I won't be able to open the door to my studio!
I was doing quite well, but was introduced to Seawhite's products - www.seawhite.co.uk and www.artesaver.co.uk. Honestly - if you're weak willed in the face of art products, DO NOT visit these sites! I have placed an order, and yes, the service is great, the prices are great and the products are great.
So now I'm thinking.... hmmmm..... teaching starting at the end of April - surely I can justify placing an order for my classes....
I saw that Seawhites have a factory shop - it's a very good thing that it's a long way from Nottingham!
I'm not entirely sure calligraphy and sunshine is a great mix..... I did manage to take some writing outside today (and feel so lucky that I have a job where I can do that) - but perhaps my concentration wasn't the best!
I then did some lesson planning which was a little more productive. I'm teaching next week for Mark Warner holidays at Thoresby Hall which should be interesting - 3 hours to get across some basics, make sure the attendees leave with something they're pleased with, and all have some fun.
Then I've summer terms to teach, plus I need to do the promotional material for September teaching.... wow - there goes summer!
Doing something new at Art Of Calligraphy too, with new materials, so looking forward to that!
Here's the beautiful magnolia tree and tulips that are the view from my drawing board - I love Spring!
I think family trees are probably my favourite calligraphy challenge. They're personal, they're interesting, they have a lot of words on them, and they're a huge challenge for how to lay them out.
I've learnt a great deal from the ones I've done - not only how to make a tree look good on a page, but for example, the fact that the change of year number used to happen at the end of March, meaning for example that February 1740 came later than June 1740 - wierd!
It's always a privilege to work on someone's family tree, because I have some idea of how much work it takes, and of course - it's family!
It's tricky getting commissions for family trees because those who are actively researching are, quite rightly, aware that there tree is ever changing, and they hope they're only a day away from making a big find that will give them heaps more information. And because of that, it's hard to commit to a moment to have it all preserved on paper.
That said, of course information can be added at a later date, and there are interesting ways of presenting the tree (e.g. separate giant pages in a folder) that mean that even large changes can be accommodated in the future.
So ....if you're a frequenter of ancestry.com or similar, and have found interesting information about your ancestors, why not think about having it beautifully preserved and presented?
Even though I'm meant to be focussing on calligraphy items for the craft fair at Calke Abbey on 30th April, I'm easily distracted! Make 2 little concertina books with a funny little poem about logs and how they'll burn (thanks Mum for sending me the words). In the end I'm not that pleased with the colours - I did my trials on a darker blue paper where the writing looked better. Ho hum - I do know how important it is to trial on the paper to be used for the final piece, and yet still don't always do it.
Still - they're cute little books - and maybe someone will want to buy one at Calke.
I'm Janet Smith, a calligrapher who loves to experiment with lettering and calligraphy.