Last weekend I taught "Italic for all seasons" to a delightful group of people at the Trecastell Hotel on Anglesey.
The group had a very successful mix of those brand new to calligraphy and those with more skills.
I tried something new this time - instead of growing confidence by using pencils followed by felt tip or cartridge calligraphy pens, I gave everyone a good metal nib in a holder, and that was the tool everyone used from the start.
It was a great success! I think it was helped by the fact that I had tested every pen so I knew they were OK, but the main success was that no-one had time to build up anxieties about what might or might not work - they went for it and made quality marks with the pens right from the start.
And because we were straight into using the best tools, we had lots of time to play with variations - of materials, letter shapes, tools - all sorts!
When people left, of course they took with them the pen that they knew had created their beautiful lettering, along with a mini portfolio of their notes and their best work.
All this in a room overlooking the sea (almost IN the sea in fact) in a hotel where we were well fed and spoilt. Even the weather - in contrast to almost everywhere else - was lovely (although I'll admit I can take no credit for that!)
I had delightful comments back from people:
"just wanted to thank you again for the wonderful calligraphy course last weekend"
"good to come home with a portfolio of work and pen & ink - no excuse!"
"I have wasted no time in getting the pens out again. It was just what I needed to get me going"
"thank you again for a very good weekend"
If you're thinking "maybe I'd like to give this a try" I am running courses in September and October. The September one is Calligraphy in books - we will have fun learning a calligraphic hand AND making some little books to write in - all guided step by step, I think you'll be amazed at what you can create.
The October course is Calligraphy for Christmas - think reds and greens and hopefully some real gold too.
There are more details for the courses HERE - do please contact me if there's anything you'd like to know.
I would be delighted to create a gift certificate (by hand of course) if you wanted to treat someone to a weekend of fun.
I'm Janet Smith, a calligrapher who loves to experiment with lettering and calligraphy.