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Anomaly
Calligraphy

Many thanks to all of you who cheer me on in my pursuit of Copperplate calligraphy. Herewith, some of my self-imposed homework, mistakes and all.

"Half of being clever..." from Owlflight, by Mercedes Lackey. Dr. Ph. Martin's Iridescent Calligraphy Colors (Silver) on Canson Mi-Teintes paper #140 Indigo Blue. Hunt 22 nib. Erasable guidelines drawn with soapstone. Prepared for G. Wade Johnson, 2006.

"Bugs thrive on poor housekeeping..." by Rick Hoselton.

"Bugs thrive on poor housekeeping..." by Rick Hoselton. Dr. Ph. Martin's Iridescent Calligraphy Colors (Silver) on Canson Mi-Teintes paper #425 Stygian Black. Hunt 22 nib. Guidelines drawn with soapstone did not erase well on this paper. Prepared for Rick Hoselton, 2006.

"And so it begins." Ambassador Kosh, Babylon 5.

"And so it begins." Ambassador Kosh, Babylon 5. Dr. Ph. Martin's Iridescent Calligraphy Colors (Silver) on Canson Mi-Teintes paper #140 Indigo Blue. Hunt 22 nib. Erasable guidelines drawn with soapstone. Prepared for G. Wade Johnson, 2006.

"If there's no problem..." by Rick Hoselton.

"If there's no problem..." by Rick Hoselton. Dr. Ph. Martin's Iridescent Calligraphy Colors (Silver) on Canson Mi-Teintes paper #425 Stygian Black. Hunt 22 nib. Guidelines drawn with soapstone did not erase well on this paper. Prepared for Rick Hoselton, 2006.

An envelope prepared for Candice Frembling and Richard Dykhuizen's wedding invitations, November 2005. (The name and address are fictitious, by the way.)

An envelope prepared for Candice Frembling and Richard Dykhuizen's wedding invitations, November 2005. (The name and address are fictitious, by the way.)  Dr. Ph. Martin's Iridescent Calligraphy Colors (2 parts Copper to 1 part Bronze).

An Irish Blessing - May those that love us, love us...

An Irish Blessing. May those that love us, love us.... Prepared for James Murdoch, June 2004. Hunt 22 nib. Higgins Eternal black ink on Neenah Classic Crest writing paper in Classic Natural White.

More Copperplate Examples

 

About Copperplate

The Copperplate hand flourished throughout Europe and the United States during the 16-, 17-, and 1800s. The Declaration of Independence, for example, was written in Copperplate.

Is Copperplate really calligraphy?

Although some purists claim that Copperplate isn't really "calligraphy" because it uses a pointed, flexible nib rather than a broad, chiseled nib, many people (including Eleanor Winters, pictured below) still consider it "beautiful writing" and worthy of study.

Debbie Campbell and Eleanor Winters

Here I am looking on as Eleanor Winters demonstrates the perfect G for me at her Introduction to Copperplate workshop in Houston, Texas, on Sunday, May 8, 2005. What a treat for Mother's Day!

"Can you teach me how to do Copperplate?"

I can try. Here's what helped me. First I took a class. (For beginners, I think the best format for a class is about five, two-to-three hour meetings about a week apart. That should get you through all of the minuscules and majuscules, with a little time left over for connections and spacing.) Next I worked my way through Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy, a teach-yourself book I can't recommend highly enough.

For on-going practice, I like to write my friends' favorite sayings or literary excerpts on fine paper and mail it to them. Also, addressing envelopes for weddings, holidays, etc. always forces me to improve my capitals. And, I try to attend additional workshops, enter the Graceful Envelope Contest, and give demos when I can. Finally, joining the Houston Calligraphy Guild has proven invaluable. For a summary of recommended tools, classes, etc., see some of my favorite Copperplate Calligraphy Resources. If you have a small group who's interested in classes, please drop me a line.

"Do you do wedding invitations?"

Yes, I like to address envelopes once or twice per year. I charge $2 per outer envelope, assuming that I can see my guidelines through your envelopes and that your return address is already printed on the envelopes.

Acknowledgements

Muchas gracias to G. Wade Johnson for developing the free, computer-generated Calligraphic Guidelines that help me on so many projects. Try 'em for yourself.

This section of my web site would not be complete without acknowledging my instructors Terry Hausner, Karla Hamilton, Sherry Good, Eleanor Winters, Jo Guffey, Amy Mueschke, Alice Morgan, and Fritzi Harry, along with all of the Houston Calligraphy Guild members who have shared their expertise and offered their encouragement. Most importantly, not many of these examples would have been more than a gleam in my eye without the support of my husband, G. Wade Johnson. Finally, I would like to thank those of you who play guinea pig to all of the envelopes, demos, and samples I "share" with you (whether you like it or not!).

Copyright 2004-2008 Debbie Campbell (debbie@anomaly.org)