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
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.
|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
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.
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!).