I cannot decide which I like more - lettering or shopping for things I might need for lettering!
I ordered various things this week with which I will tempt my classes to part with their pennies, including some coloured card and paper. I can't really justify the activity of cutting little squares of each colour and lining them up, but it pleased me to do it, and the sight of the collection makes me smile, so it was definitely worth it!
The order was with Seawhites - what a great company! It's probably as well I don't live near Brighton or I'd be such a regular visitor to their factory shop I'd
In order to help my groups with creativity, and to perhaps set them up for projects over the summer if they want to, I've asked everyone to come up with a topic they'd like to work with. It has been very interesting and inspiring - 22 people have topics now - there are some repetitions but plenty of variety.
Here's a few I can remember : Mercator, Hippos, Seasonal food, Culpeper's remedies, Shipping forecast, history of Newark, Maypoles, Tai Chi, flowers in bridal bouquets, weddings, honey, inspirational quotes, blue (the colour, not the boy band!), Italy, worms (this was a change from her first idea of Henry VIII !).
Made me think I ought to have a project of my own, I was going to choose Northumberland, but have narrowed it down to Dunstanburgh castle which is one of my favourite places on earth!
I've gathered lots of info, and done a rough of a first piece - will put it on here when it's looking a little better.
I currently teach calligraphy to two lovely groups, one on a Thursday evening (Nottingham) and one on aFriday morning (Newark). You might think that calligraphy would be a quiet studious activity.... but no! Both groups are extremely lively with a huge amount of laughter, and I was actually fearful this morning that we were going to be asked to keep the noise down by a group meeting elsewhere in the hall complex!
Anyway - next week I am currently intending to get them started on flourishing, as there's a strong desire to be able to do it.... so I'd better remind myself! (Not being a great fan of the giant flourish). Did find this piece which was a practice for a wedding gift I make which I still like.
As well as big and complex pieces of calligraphy, I really enjoy small quirky pieces. For quite a while now I've made cat and dog cards that are well loved by any cat and dog lovers that see them.
They are calligraphy pieces, but funky and useful. The wording on the cards are all haikus - a Japanese structure for poems, with 3 lines, 17 syllables and no title. The overall poem should paint a picture for the reader, and, I believe a traditional haiku should indicate a season. Of course these are often haunting and beautiful, but why not have a bit of fun with the structure? I found a number of these in uncredited lists on the internet, and have added to the collection as inspired by my own cats and dog.
Today the big challenge was to get some of them printed, rather than doing each card by hand. I'm really pleased with the results - the individual cards look lovely, and the packs of notelets look (I think!) very desirable. I have so many designs that I've done 6 separate sets.
Then, I thought, well why not - have a go at putting them on Folksy. And (apart from not being able to load a shop banner yet) it was really easy!
Do have a look if you'd like to :
This weekend Jane and I took Mosaic Fairs (www.mosaicfairs.co.uk) to the Nottinghamshire County Show in Newark.
It's an incredible event - so much to see and do, from patting a llama to going on a helter skelter to watching a motorcycle "wall of death"! With so much to hold visitors' attention, we didn't sell much on our craft stand, but met some lovely people.
One of the main pastimes for the 2 days was to guess the tunes that were coming from the beautiful old steam carousel, situated next to our marquee. We expected there would be songs from the 1950s - and there were a few oldies, but these horses have a very modern repertoire.... we were very surprised to be enjoying tunes from Robbie Williams, Lady Gaga and Hot Chip, in a carousel style!
Here's a pleasing picture for a calligrapher! (For those of you not sure - it's the end of a bundle of empty pen holders.) Why so many, you may wonder.... well, I teach calligraphy classes in both Nottingham and Newark, and both classes seem to buy them by the dozen. Maybe I should explain that they are not "one-use-only"?!
Thinking of funny thoughts, I am doing a commission for a couple at the moment, writing out a poem for them. I sent them 2 roughs of the poem, one quite traditional and one more contemporary, asking for their preference. I received a very polite email saying they were really sorry but they weren't sure which was the contemporary one. I checked and realised I'd sent them two different photos of the same design... I did feel bad, but giggled a bit, at the thought of them trying desperately to spot the difference that made one of the designs contemporary!
Morning all! This weekend I had a lovely trip to London to attend the Society of Scribes and Illuminators' Lay Members Day (phew, that's a mouthful!)
As always it was a great day for calligraphers - exhibitions of work from those in their first year up to fellows of the society, plus demonstrations, and many stalls to tempt me to spend! Best of all is the crowd of calligraphers who attend - every year it takes me longer to get round the event as there are more people to say hello to.
In the afternoon there were presentations from Ian Garrett (talking about the work in the Lay Members' exhibition), and from Tim Noad (see earlier blog) who projected images of his stunning work, including the fabulous document for William and Kate, giving the Queen's consent for their marriage. The audience were transfixed, and rightly so!
The 3 best works from the Lay Members exhibition (as voted for by attendees at the day) were announced, and my friend and very skillful calligrapher Cathy Cooper was one of the 3. Her work below is brush lettering on linen - I can't decide if it's the perfection of the lettering or the imagination of the letter shapes that I like better.
Phew... I'm back! It has been a frantic few days of running our first ever craft fair stand, followed by technology nightmares (boring).
Anyway - the weekend at Calke Abbey Craft Fair was great. Myself and my business partner Jane ran our Mosaic Fairs stand for the first time. (www.mosaicfairs.co.uk). The other stall holders and organisers at the event were lovely, and looked after us well! Due to the venue and the weather being beautiful there were great crowds, so we had people streaming by for most of the 3 days. Our stand looked lovely (she says modestly!)was right next to the door which was a mixed blessing I think. The excitement came from the fact that it was so windy, and sometimes gusts whipped along the roof of the marquee and down the tent wall behind us - not ideal when you've shelving with £120 glass bowls on it...! Happily there were no breakages and many happy customers.
I will post some photos once the technology nightmares are completely solved.
Next stop for Mosaic Fairs is the Nottinghamshire County Show at Newark on 14 and 15 May - so thinking about how to make that event even better!
I'm Janet Smith, a calligrapher who loves to experiment with lettering and calligraphy.