Friday, August 3, 2012

Denis Brown's DVD Set

If calligraphy had been an Olympic game, Denis Brown might have been the youngest to medal. At age 15 he had his first commission, and he has never looked back. No less an iconic calligraphy specimen than The Book of Kells was his study guide.

I met Denis Brown at the annual international calligraphy conference in Ohio about 9 years ago in order to arrange a visit to his studio in Dublin. Due to an overambitious tour schedule, I had to cancel that highly anticipated visit hours before it was to happen. Luckily for me, I was later invited to participate in a retreat in South Bend IN where none other than Denis taught me and several fine calligraphers his "Dangerous Lines", a forerunner to his polyrhythmic calligraphy. We all basically lived in the same house for the week.

He began that session with water in a squirt bottle to demonstrate dangerous lines on the black(green!)board.
You can see more photos from that wonderful week on my website in the "Denis in South Bend" album. At the end of that week we were looking and feeling pretty tired, as evidenced in this photo of Denis, my good friend Diana and me.

When Denis very recently brought out his DVD set on polyrhythmic calligraphy I ordered it. Excitement began when the beautifully packaged materials arrived in the mail from Dublin. Denis doesn't do anything half way.

Though I've only had time to watch a small portion of the first DVD, I can tell you that it is very thorough. Denis gives basic, practical advice on tools and set up, and advocates enjoying your practice on the theory that if you don't enjoy it, you won't be as apt to do it.

I look forward to delving into this DVD set and its 12 plasticized guide sheets as I get back to practicing some of what he taught in 2005 at Anne Binder's in South Bend.

If you'd like to learn more about Denis Brown and this wonderful DVD set (including ordering infomation if you too would like to own a set), please visit his Quillskill and Calligraphy TV websites.
(This photo of Denis Brown is from his Quillskill website.)


  1. Denis is always first class in anything he does. I enjoy him and his classes every time I get the opportunity to study with him. Fun guy, too!

  2. This looks fabulous. I will be working on saving my money to get this. Thanks for sharing it. Linda E.

  3. Linda, I think it will be as valuable as any workshop you'd like to take - with no travel expense! You'll have the benefit too of being able to re-watch it whenever you need to. : )