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callig-beg-msg - 3/12/96


Hints for beginning calligraphers.


NOTE: See also the files: 4-newcomers-msg, calligraphy-msg, callig-suppl-msg, paper-msg, parchment-msg, scrpt-develop-art, quills-msg, Easy-Gilding-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: Peter Valentine <valenti at primenet.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Beginner Calligraphy Materials

Date: 8 May 1995 19:45:10 GMT


I have started trying my hand at calligraphy & illustration recently,

and was wondering if there are some good resources that I can use to

ensure that I am heading down the right path.  


A couple of initial queries:


First, monograms, are we expected/allowed to place monograms on our

works as they do today?


The indication from modern calligrapy if that most if not all

calligraphers assemble the components of their favorite fonts and then

basically develop a unique lettering style, again another form of

signature.  Is this practice discouraged in favor of accurately

reproducing period styles?  Are variations within a period style



Wolfgang von Hesse

Baroney March of Mons Tonitras, Atenveldt



From: markgodwig at aol.com (MarkGodwig)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Beginner Calligraphy

Date: 14 May 1995 15:14:14 -0400

Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)


jerryn at crl.com (Kati Norris) writes:

   I have taken up calligraphy and would like to get better at it.  My

   problem is I end up gripping the pen so tightly that my hand starts

   to cramp up.  Any suggestions?


     Well, the easy and cheap advice is to relax.  Once you get into the

Zen aspect of it, calligraphy can be surprisingly relaxing.  But first you

need to figure this out.  Just try to remember to breathe. As for not

strangling the pen, it helps to bear in mind that there needn't be much

physical effort in writing.  With a good pen and ink, the ink flows out

easily from merely pressing the pen lightly against the writing surface.

Broad-nib calligraphy therefore requires less force from the hand than

might copperplate calligraphy, in which the downward force determines the

width of the line, or in the common mundane practice of writing with a

pencil, in which darkness of line is largely a function of pressing (and

gripping) hard.  You have to unlearn some of the pencil habits.

     On the easier but more expensive end, you might wish to consider what

you are using to support your writing.  Are you doing calligraphy at the

kitchen table?  This can get uncomfortable for the back and neck in a very

short while.  A very good lap desk can be had for $50, and some with fewer

bells & whistles can be found for less.  The better ones, which have

built-in sliding rulers etc. are recommended to aid you in writing guide

lines.  For even faster guide lines, combine a ruler with an Ames

Lettering Guide, a handy little tool available in art or drafting supply

stores at a low enough price that I'm surprised they don't give them away

as prizes inside specially marked boxes of Frosted Scribal Flakes.

     If you have the money and the space, a drafting table is also a

useful thing to own.  Pitch it steeply enough that the cats don't sit on

it, and it can be a useful reminder to finish that scroll that's been

sitting there for the past few days/weeks/whatever.


Godwig Eadfrithing         Jararvellir, Northshield, Middle Kingdom

Mark Gordon                Madison, WI, USA



From: sclark at blues.epas.utoronto.ca (Susan Carroll-Clark)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Beginner Calligraphy Materials

Date: 9 May 1995 23:15:54 GMT

Organization: University of Toronto -- EPAS



        Here's a slightly different perspective.  The beginning calligrapher

should ask his/herself  "what do I want out of my calligraphy"?  There are

two basic responses.  One is "I want to learn to letter beautifully

for SCA and modern purposes, and have it look essentially "medieval".  For

this, Drogin and many of the modern manuals should provide ample hunting

ground.  The second is "I want to reproduce the look and feel of medieval

script...including illumination, layout, etc."  For this, start with Drogin,

but pick up Bernhard Bischoff's _An Introduction to Medieval Latin

Palaeography_, which will take you to the next level and give you the whole

history of script.  (Then e-mail me--I have some script-specific bibliographies

if you're interested in a particular hand).  Both approaches are valid--

but the scrolls that make my jaw drop are the ones in which both illumination

AND calligraphy look like someone ripped a page out of a medieval manuscript.




Canton of Eoforwic

sclark at epas.utoronto.ca


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org