UCA MARCH MEETING
It was a lovely Saturday morning when we gathered at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City, Utah, for our March UCA meeting. We were welcomed by Brecken Cook, our talented and convivial president.
After greeting everone and intruducing newcomers, Brecken turned the time over to Jane Hales who had come to teach and, and for some, review the Carolingian calligraphic hand.
In Jaki Svaren's book Written Letters, she tells how in the late 8th century, Charlemagne sent Alcuin of York to find an alphabet to use as the official alphabet of the Holy Roman Empire. Charlemagne wanted to unite most of Western Europe, and he needed an alphabet that was beautiful, legible and easily and quickly learned. Alcuin found an excellent alphabet for such purposes in France. It is called Carolingian after the Emperor Charlemagne.
Jane ably lettered the alphabet for us on a large sheet of paper taped to the wall. Each letter was explained as she put it up. We learned that the character of the alphabet was very wide and squat. The letter O is wider than it is high, and the letters are all written at a very small size. Ascenders are tall and clubbed. Space between lines (interlinear space) is wide. Sheila Waters chose to use Carolingian in her commissioned work Under Milkwood by Dylan Thomas. This work has been widely acclaimed by scholars, calligraphers and artists of every discipline.
It was a very enjoyable morning where we learned a lot and had fun practicing this very challenging yet simple calligraphic hand.
Jane and Brecken encouraged us to practice, and come back next month with some pieces we could display for our homework.
A big THANK YOU to Jane for all her time and effort in making this such an delightful learning experience.
BE SURE TO BRING YOUR CAROLINGIAN HOMEWORK TO DISPLAY NEXT MEETING!