Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rosie Kelly! Books! Fun! Calligraphers! Rosie Kelly! Books! Fun!

The Rosie Kelly book workshop a friend and I were headed to was worth enduring the rigors of the drive. The ride from Louisville to Memphis took 8 hours! Roadwork, a self-imposed detour and heavy, heavy rain caused delays. (Thankfully the trip home took more like 6 or 6.5 hours.) Shirley Sawyer and I met our other friends that evening and ate Thai food at a wonderful restaurant near Emily's condo. Donna Hacker's daughter was so sweet to let us use her premises while she was out of town. The nasty weather held throughout the weekend.

We only noticed the depressing weather when we were out in it. When we were inside the classroom with Rosie and other friends, or dining out in the evenings, the cold rain outside was a non-issue. It was all sunshine indoors.

The Memphis Calligraphy Guild hosted the workshop, with Rosie Kelly coming in from Chicago. Rosie is a wonderful teacher. She gives you just enough instruction and encouragement to let your own creativity take wing. (She is always around if you need advice, however, and her models are always inspiring.) In addition, there is an aura of creativity surrounding all the participants. What fun we had!

And what work we produced! I took over 300 photos, and when re-visiting them today I had a hard time in many cases telling which were Rosie's books and which were students'. Enjoy these photos:
The above are collage pages we did as our first exercises. They were a great warm-up to what was to come.

Some class books done on the third workshop day.

A classmate's book on day one. Yes! Day one! I think this is Mary Lou Sherman's.
(Can't forget the adventurous Mary Lou lettering on the toilet seat covers she snagged from the lady's room - unused, of course.)

Rosie's lovely abstract book. I want to play with this idea!

Another Rosie Kelly book.

And here are my books:

Here's my day three accordion book; the next photo is the same book opened. I did the cover of this book as one of day one's exercises to fill papers with lines and marks. These marks were made with a tongue depressor pen I'd made many years ago.

This is my first book from day one. Wonderful Sharon gave me the closure idea and wonderful Deb gave me the little square brads...round buttons just wouldn't have worked.
An inner page of the above book. This one has an attached quote done in black on black with Sumi ink. (Some were calling me a glutton for punishment for lettering the hard-to-see black-on-black, but I naturally preferred Rosie's complimentary term: elegant. When I prepared those pages, I had been working on wedding envelopes and used my usual wedding calligraphy style to letter this enclosure piece. I used other bits of black on black, black on white, white on black and also some white on white writing in this book.
The little triangle cut out on this page may have been the class favorite in my book. It was a sweet little surprise.

Another page from my first book. This one incorporates snippets of a page I did in Judy Melvin's Neuland workshop that I took last year in Indianapolis.

My little pink book. I did the lettering first then came up with the cover paper, a small doodle sheet I had in my 'stash'. Using it for the cover left only a little scrap left for collage elements in the book, but I had just enough, I think. When asked, "How little is too little of a piece of paper to save for 'stash'?" Deb replied, "When there is nothing left." We were making lots of jokes about our friends' stash elements and there was, I have to admit, a little coveting going on too. Peggy Kunkle had some gorgeous little pieces, and Leslie Barnes from the St. Louis Calligraphy Guild had to take first prize for the amount of stash* (*the papers we brought with us from home.)

I really like the way this delicate little pink book turned out. I selected two complementary quotes with an eye to the small amount of space I would use in lettering them in pencil in an informal pressurized Roman style. I love, love, love the way the embossing makes the pages pop in all the books. Unfortunately that hasn't translated too well in my photos. I can hardly wait to make more books. It's so much fun! (Read more about it on my website in the Handmade Books album, and on my Jan Hurst Letterlady blog. .)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Indiana Calligraphy Guild Hosts Harvest Crittenden Workshop

I attended a wonderful workshop called The Antique Page in Indianapolis on March 5 & 6. The workshop was on antiquing papers to give them a Victorian look and was taught by Master Penman from Michigan, Harvest Crittenden. If you have a chance to take this or any other workshop she presents, you will not regret it. She will be teaching at IAMPETH in Phoenix this summer, as well as at workshops around the country.

This first picture is my as yet incomplete final project from the workshop. I will attach a small photo of my grandmother in a frame covered in similar papers, and I will letter words about her life in calligraphy. It features many of the techniques we tried during the two days of study (and play.)

This photo is of some of the samples of antiqued papers and final projects Harvest shared.

These next photos show some of my papers. We used coffee, walnut ink and fruit tea solutions to dye the papers, and many additional techniques were employed to embellish them. The process is fairly uncontrollable in the dying stage, but the choice of embellishments and finishing will change them considerably. One objective of the coffee and tea staining was to establish a very Victorian look to the papers. Incorporating each new technique or embellishment was important to the overall antique look of the papers.

Most of my papers were Arches text wove, that wonderful workhorse of a paper known to all calligraphers. I also used some 140# watercolor papers just to see if they would result in different looks. Other than those curling more, there was little difference in the appearance.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

(Not Limited to) Louisville Wedding Calligraphy

Calligraphy has been both a vocation and an avocation intermittently for all of my adult life. As I moved with the times into the computer era, I also took my art to the computer. (See the digital collage albums as well as wedding and calligraphy albums on my website.) I set up a website and a few blogs over the years, but until now I had not set up a completely separate blog for my wedding calligraphy. I stayed up very late last night/this morning rectifying that situation to make it easier for people to find what they're looking for. It will also be easier for me to refer potential clients to the appropriate link now.

I live in Jeffersonville, Indiana, just a mile-long bridge drive from Louisville, KY. I can look across the Ohio River (near flood stage now) and see Louisville as I drive down Utica Pike. Though I live in the Louisville area, thanks to the internet, FedEx, UPS and the good old USPS, I deliver my handlettered invitation and menu designs and calligraphy envelopes across the country.

Though I may pepper this blog with posts about special weddings once in awhile, I am going to try to be more specific with posts to the new Wedding Calligraphy Blog.

Thanks for visiting and sharing my blog with your friends!