UCA MARCH MEETING
With a Twist • Taught by Faye Maxfield & D'Arcy Grenz
Faye Maxfield strokes the bookhand letters on a whiteboard using walnut ink and a large suede pen.
We had a large gathering of calligraphers on Saturday March 9th at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center. Faye Maxfield was teaching us Bookhand (Foundational). Faye explained that the Roman Minuscules, the Foundational Hand and Bookhand are pretty much the same writing hand. Humanist Bookhand was the beautiful writing hand of the Italian Renaissance (c. 1400-1600). Scholars searched for manuscripts of classic antiquity but mistook the Carolingian scripts written by scribes of Emperor Charlemange for the original Roman manuscripts. Humanist Bookhand was based on Carolingian and is highly legible. In the early twentieth century Edward Johnston, the father of modern calligraphy, based his Foundational Hand on early formal bookhands of these old illuminated manuscripts.
Bookhand is an alphabet with a round or circular o. Many of the letters are round like the o, since the o is the mother of the alphabet. The letter i is the father of the alphabet. We can see these o and i shapes in most all the Bookhand letters.
We began with a monoline study of the letters, and progressed to using a broad-edged pen. The letters are upright, with an x-height of 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 pen widths. The pen angle in 30º.
Faye's instructions were clear, and it wasn't long before we had pages of very nice looking Bookhand letters.
Faye is always generous with her handouts, and these helped us a lot. We tried to pattern our letters after hers with varying degrees of success.
Faye answers questions concerning letter construction.
It was now D'Arcy's turn to show us how to "shake it up Shakespeare" by doing Bookhand with a twist. She first thanked Carrie Imai who allowed D'Arcy to use some pages from Carrie's new book " Dancin' Pen as handouts for this class. D'Arcy took a class from Carrie last summer and really learned how to twist the pen. She told us to relax, roll our head and shrug our shoulders. We rolled the pen between the thumb and pointer finger as we practiced in the air. This was harder for some than others, but was challenging for almost everyone (this excludes Carole Taylor). D'Arcy encouraged us to take some time and practice, practice, practice.
D'Arcy shows the basic strokes on the white board. "It's all in how you twist," explains D'Arcy.
Erica Paulsen holds the pen upright––very good! Nancy has some very nice letters!
Margene and Ellen are hard at work trying to get the "twist" just right. It's lookin' good!
WRITING WITH BLEACH
After a short break, we all moved to the back of the room to try our hand at making letters (and strokes) using bleach on colored paper. Faye, again, was our instructor. She explained that many colored papers (Canson, for example) had an undercoat of a different color. By dipping a pen in household bleach, such as Clorox, a person can write on a piece of colored paper and reveal the color underneath. Faye gave each of us a kit containing a pen made from a craft stick––much like a tongue depressor with one end cut flat. She had small pieces of colored paper for our experiment. We were each given a small lidded container of bleach and told to have fun.
Faye shows us how to hold our tongue depressor pen before writing on the colored paper.
Examples of bleach writing on colored paper. More examples. This is not paint, it is bleach!
Everyone was anxious to use their kit and try their hand at bleach lettering, as seen here.
SKYLER'S WORKIt was announced at our meeting that our own Skyler Chubak has won the prestigious IAMPETH Scholarship for 2013. IAMPETH is the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrosers and Teachers of Handwriting. More than twenty talented people applied for the scholarship. A selection committee looked at all the applicants' work, and Skyler was chosen. This scholarship will allow Skyler to attend their 64th Annual Convention, which will be held this year in Albuquerque, New Mexico––with most all expenses paid.
Recently, Skyler returned from Portland, Oregon, where he took classes from the extremely talented Italian calligrapher Luca Barcellona. For this class, Skyler traded in his pointed pen for a large broad-edged instrument.
Skyler brought some of the work he submitted to win the IAMPETH competition and a large piece from his class in Portland. Everyone enjoyed looking at Skyler's work. All agreed that we have a very large talent among us! CONGRATULATIONS, SKYLER!!
Marge Jensen, Lyn Lynch and Nancy Ostergar look at Skyler's large Fraktur piece––stunning!
This is work Skyler submitted to win the IAMPETH scholarship. Look at the pointed pen work!More of Skyler's imaginative work––beautifully rendered.
Jane Hales holds up some of the envelope books with small homework pieces attached.
Homework was taped to the front cabinets for all to enjoy. Below, are a few of the homework pieces. (Other lovely pieces were displayed, but due to the photographer's oversight, are not available––mea culpa.) We hope to have more homework at our April meeting.
This is Michael Lyons' lovely homework from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar."
Carole Taylor's piece. Note the wonderful white texture created by the Carolingian script.
Lee Sim created this beautiful pointed pen piece.
You will find the handouts under the "Handouts" tab
in the left column above.