Well - it's been a bit quiet on the blog front for a few days! I've been down to Devon for a family wedding, to possibly the most fantastic venue this country can offer. and the weather - day before wedding - fog, day after wedding - overcast, day of wedding - wall to wall sunshine.
The beautiful bride is my niece Hannah, plus her new husband Sheon. The amazing venue is the Tunnels Beaches, Ilfracombe (www.tunnelsbeaches.co.uk). The day was perfect!
I love the mix of activities calligraphy brings to me! Last week I spent half a day at Capital One, one of the biggest employers in Nottingham.
It was their "Vision Day" - they were making some big announcements to their staff, but as they couldn't get all 800 people in together at once they laid on all sorts of activities to entertain everyone while waiting to go in for the announcement - not every organisation would do this!
Everyone was really friendly and most people were very keen to have a go. Most got to grips with the pens and the simple letter shapes - and only two people misspelt their own names while having a go!
Although the table looks beautifully tidy in the photo it was soon a sea of pens, paper and card creations.
I may have been busy, but take my hat off to the lady next to me from Razzle Dazzle pot painting - people were queuing round the block to paint a coaster!
If you're visiting Nottingham I'd recommend checking out their shop - click here
Sometimes it's completely clean (not often), sometimes it bears the rubble of half a dozen projects. Today it's looking quite sensible as I work on a piece - or maybe set of pieces - on my topic of Dunstanburgh castle.
As a leftie I have my paint (which I put in my pen with a brush) on my right, But if I'm using ink where I dip my pen, it's on my left (the wooden pot on the shelf over the radiator). And yet still I manage to drip paint/ink on my work (occasionally) and on my lap (often) !
Well - it was a fun 4 days at the Patchings Festival. I was one of the craftspeople on the Mosaic Fairs stand, and I spent a good deal of time demonstrating calligraphy. I did finish the piece I posted in the last blog - in fact I finished it a day early so I had to start something new on the last day.
I will post pictures when they appear out of the post-show pile of rubble.
For anyone local to Nottingham you will know it rained and it rained and it RAINED on the last day, which sadly reduced the number of visitors, plus the brave few who were there were cold and damp and less inclined to have lengthy chats about calligraphy!
That said, I met some lovely people and have, potentially, a few interesting pieces of work to follow.
The rain saved its greatest efforts for when we were packing up - even though we could get the van close, it was about 30 trips to get everything in - the three of us were soaked! I've had things drying all over the house today.
I suppose it's a good test for us, as it might well be raining AND freezing cold when we're doing the Christmas fairs. Jane who works with me on the stands is v-e-r-y prone to the cold - I may well have to wrap her in bubble w
Well - it's the end of day 2, and I can't believe what fun I've had chatting to so many people who were interested in the calligraphy I was doing on our Mosaic Fairs stand. Considering how few calligraphy classes there are these days, there are many people who are closet-calligraphers.
The photos show our stand from several angles, plus my lovely friend Jane with whom I run the stall - she's done all the work while I sit and chat!
The piece I'm working on is half-uncial, the words being from Sacred Elephant by Heathcote Williams, simply because I love the words. Now day 2 is over I've nearly completed the piece (that was NOT my plan!) so I'm going to have to come up with something else for days 3 and 4.
Satuy was the last workshop of the (academic) year for Nottingham Calligraphers, and how lovely to have 17 people attending. It might have been the lure of a shared lunch together, but I think it was mainly that Horace Staniland was running the workshop. Horace must be one of our favourite tutors - the time always flies by and the output is beautiful - thanks Horace!
Then we all brought along our envelopes as we have received so far in our envelope exchanges - oh my word - how much creativity!
All the details for exhibitors at Patchings Festival arrived this week. It seems really well organised... if only I felt the same.... still - it's a week to go yet.
They've given us a great location in the middle of the mixed media marquee - the stand is open on both sides which is great, but is giving us some challenges as we now have 48 feet of selling space (great!) but are going to have to be tidy behind the stand because it will be visible to the public (a major challenge!)
Really looking forward to some great conversations with craft enthusiasts, and also hoping to make plenty of sales of our beautiful items.
If you're visiting Patchings please come and say hello.
Don't forget tickets are cheaper if you order them in advance... and you know you'll need every penny you can find for "essential purchases" ;-) once you're there.
Can't say much yet but have been asked to do a commission for something that will be part of my client proposing to his girlfriend - isn't that a splendid use of calligraphy?
I'll wait and check that she said yes, and then will post some snippets - it's very personal so you won't get to see much!
Here's the outside of a rough of one of the letters - there are 7 in total.
The client was keen to have the letters more aged, so I had fun experimenting and seeking help from wise friends/
Aging the paper was interesting - tea, coffee, brown ink all do a great job, but then the writing going on top tends to bleed. I did this using acrylic - but it's so watery you wouldn't know. And then it dries waterproof, so the writing on top is very sharp.
And aging ribbon.... well I can tell you that satin ribbon is very resistant to the aging process - maybe someone should make a face cream out of it! I finally aged it using a wax candle rubbed along it, plus brown ink.
I'm Janet Smith, a calligrapher who loves to experiment with lettering and calligraphy.