Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Illuminated Letters Video!

Hi Friends,

My good friend Victoria Lansford has put together a video of FoTA's recent calligraphic performance event called Illuminated Letters. Many thanks to all members who performed and for those who helped put the video together: Emily Canter for organizing and shooting, Victoria for shooting and editing, and to Lori Rausch and Mihn Doan for the still shots.


Illuminated Letters: A Calligraphic Performance Event


Monday, March 26, 2012

Yves Leterme Italic Variations October 2012 Workshop: Pre-Registration List Available

Hi friends!

If you are dying to sign up for Yves Leterme's Italic Variations Calligraphy Workshop in October 2012, there IS a way to get your name down on a preregistration list. Simply email Jacob Gunter, the Education Director at Binders, and ask to be put on that preregistration list. Here's a note from Jacob:

"Registration will open in mid to late April at which point you will be the first to know along with an already growing list."



This article is the real reason I updated my bio and beauty shot! Click here to read the full version of this informative article about the structure of a book. Take a class, buy a couple of technical books on binding, and make one all your own.

Many thanks to Lucy Sisman of and MiddleBlue!

"I think that because many of the terms used to describe a book’s anatomy are also used to describe our own, identifying with and appreciating their beauty becomes all the more natural. Books are extensions of ourselves and very intimate experiences. Making or dissecting one, from head through spine to tail, makes this relationship (where your fingers touch and turn the pages) all the more rich" ~Anne Elser

Friday, March 23, 2012

Middle Blue Sari Scarf Arrived!

I JUST opened my new Sari Scarf from Middle Blue. This was a birthday present from Mom and let me tell you - this thing is beautiful. Made from vintage saris in West Bengel, each maker takes three days to stitch up a scarf. They are all unique and very versatile. I am in love.

I love to wear it around my waist or around my shoulders. It's got a soft, yet strong weight to it. I want ten more. Working with Lucy Sisman has also been terrific. She actually took the time to emailed me a few snaps of the "off white" palette I had chosen, so that I could pick exactly the one I wanted.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Yves Leterme Atlanta Oct. 2012

Guess whaaaaat, Atlantans! Yves Leterme's coming to Atlanta for an Italic Variations Calligraphy Workshop at Binders Art Supply!!

Dates are set for October 6th - 7th with the possibility of another day/night for a lecture or demo. We will keep everyone posted as details get ironed out.

I think his approach sounds fascinating and I can't wait to meet and learn from him. The Italic hand can seem stiff and unbendable to the new calligrapher, because of its broad, rigid nib. But you can add spirit and life to anything and the italic letter and the chisel nib is more fluid and versatile than you might think. Yves will show us how to tap your own life and spirit and unique personality into the nib your hands are gifted with through polyrhymthic writing and more.

If you've taken a beginning Italic Calligraphy course, this would be a terrific opportunity for you to take your work to the next level by allowing your hands to really dance with variety, soul and meaning.

As soon as Binders posts the link for signup, I'll post it here. Many thanks go to Victoria Lansford for bringing Yves here, Jacob Gunter for coordinating the workshop and to Binders for hosting and coordinating this fabulous opportunity!

Here's his brief description of the workshop he's offering.

ITALIC VARIATIONS Two day course (*) - beginners and intermediate 

In this course we'll explore the possibilities of the versatile Italic, changing pen angle, serifs, guidelines, slope, connections, shapes, etc... We deal with lowercase and capitals. All writing will be done with nibs and at normal speed (no gestural moves here), but we'll introduce toward the end some polyrhythmic writing. The workshop is conceived in such a way that by the end the students are able to make their own personal variations. 

Want to do some more research on what Yves has to offer? Take a look at some of his calligraphic videos.

Beethoven Herschreven
A film featuring Yves Leterme's calligraphy with Beethoven's 'Path├ętique' (first movement) as musical score. 
Made for the calligraphy exhibition at Heist-op-den-Berg (B) in April 2012.
Yves Leterme Cleans UP
This video documents Leterme's exhibition in Antwerp during the summer of 2011.
The Crown of Ariadne - harp and calligraphy
The first cooperation of harpist Andrea Voets ( and calligrapher Yves Leterme (, inspired by the piece 'the Crown of Ariadne' by the Canadian composer R. Murray-Schafer. 

And here's some more delightful information about Yves:

Yves Leterme (°1959 Bruges, Belgium) spent more than twenty years trying to influence the lives and thoughts of young Brugean adolescents by reading and explaining the works of Virgil, Plato, Cicero and the likes. But since even Latin grammar cannot keep a man happy and satisfied for a whole lifetime, he now devotes all his time and energy to the fine art of calligraphy. Being a freelance calligrapher he continuously shifts from various commissions (lettering and artistic works) to artwork for exhibitions and galleries. He has been teaching calligraphy mostly in Flanders, but in recent years also in the US, Japan, Australia, Canada, South-Africa, the U.K., Germany, Switzerland and France. 

Having been a close student of Brody Neuenschwander for a number of years, he was (and still is) favourably influenced by his vision on contemporary calligraphy. Already at an early stage he devoted a lot of time developing his gestural style, for which he has gained international acclaim. Other typical features are his carefully drawn capitals and unusual compositions on richly textured backgrounds. 
He was cofounder, coach and chief master of the Whitespace-system, a school for contemporary calligraphy in Flanders. 

Throughout the years, Yves' work has been selected for inclusion in many juried shows and his pieces can be found in museums and private collections all over the world. He's the author of 'Thoughtful Gestures', the first book on gestural writing.

For more information and pictures, visit his website 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Red Chalkboard

Following Martha Stewart's recipe for Custom Color Chalkboard Paint, I made Anton this cheery red chalkboard for his bedroom last week. I used two quarter-inch-thick sheets of masonite, a flat Behr red and unsanded tile grout. It was super easy. After making pilot holes in the corners of the masonite and the walls, I installed the boards snugly against each other for a big happy red surface in which to write. He LOVES it. And it's a great color fir his bedroom.

Anton gets a "sticker" reward for every set of letters or numbers he practices. Stickers earn him toys he wants. And instead of slapping on a star, he fills in a number on a sheet.

The SPD has gotten in the way of his natural impulse to make marks on paper - so handwriting has become an issue. Since he'll be in Kindergarten next year, we are working extra hard at getting him comfortable holding a pencil.

The giant chalkboard in his room, and some guidance from his OT (Kate Drummond of About Play),  Handwriting Without Tears, and his teachers at Coralwood, Anton is doing fabulously well.

HWT suggests you use short nubby pieces of chalk so tiny fingers have to "pinch" the chalk, forcing them to hold a writing utensil the best way to gain optimum control. We also use tiny piece of dampened sponge so I can write a letter for him, then erase/trace it with the sponge (drawing with water) and then Anton traces my wet letter with his own piece of chalk. Thanks HWT!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Filling in the book: Tommy Requiem

I am finally filling in some of the pages of the Tommy Requiem piece I'm creating for Reggie Ezell's 2012 Primitive to Modern Atlanta class. I have to say that it's much easier to draw letters on a full sheet of paper  where you can use your whole body as a kickstand for grounding, rather than filling in an already stitched book.

But I still think it's worth it. As I write, I use other surfaces as stilts to lean my arms and hands on that are more or less equal to the height of the spread that's open. Makes it much easier that way. This little book is pretty small, but hefty in its thickness.

I am using W&N Alizarine Crimson with some cad yellow mixed in for warmth. Really thinned with distilled water. The teal blue is the same brand, a tad of umber mixed with blue and white. Make a really lovely chicken egg teal.

I will write more later about why I used Sir Galahad's words to intro the book.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Reggie Ezell Atlanta Primitive to Modern 2012 Calligraphy Classes a la carte!

For those of you who really wanted to take Reggie's second year long class but couldn't commit to the whole year, Reggie has made a very special offer to let people sign up for the remaining sessions a la carte.  

These sessions are project based and fairly contained so even if you haven't been in previous sessions with Reggie, you'll be able to do them and not be lost.

These means you get to learn incredibly cool techniques like gilding and illuminating on vellum and take a finished (or nearly finished) piece home!!!!

You may sign up for any of these workshops at this time.  We only have 4 spaces in each one.   Registration is first come first served. 

Workshop dates and descriptions are below.  
Hours run 8:30am-6:00pm each day.  
The location: The Mendez Center near where GA-400N splits off from I-85N.

The fee for each weekend workshop is $300.  
Please let Victoria Lansford know if you'd like to sign up for any of the sessions.  

All of the photos are of artworks by Reggie's students in previous years of Primitive to Modern.  More images of students work can be found on Reggie's website.
Lettering, Color, and Gold on Vellum

Apri 14 &15 
by Maria Helena

Workshop description:  The Book of Kells, Medieval manuscripts, the Saint John Bible: all are on calfskin vellum: regarded as the supreme surface for calligraphy and illum-ination, that will endure millennia. Two days of hands-on, in-depth experience will begin the journey of preparing and working on vellum.

Illumination on Vellum

June 9 & 10 
by Louona Tanner

Workshop description:  We will traverse no less than 1300 years in seeking to amalgamate illumination techniques from the Codex Aureus with designs from some of the greatest lettering artists of our day.

Primitive to Modern 
(session name is same as whole course title)
Aug 4 & 5 
by Carolyn Leuders

Workshop description:  As far back as the 5th century, stretching forward to our times, a handful of rare manuscripts were created on vellum stained purple with brazil wood dye. A piece of this rich, velvet-like surface will be provided to each student to produce a small gem in gilding. Switching historic time zones we will engage in creating modern layouts with contemporary media and design techniques. Thus begins the process of merging ancient, present and future.

Deconstructing the Grid
Oct 27 & 28
by Eugenia Uhl
Workshop description:  Abstraction and fragmentation with collage, but user-friendly. Was that one Uber- oxymoron? We will use an absolutely new medium that is joyfully simple.


Experiencing the Book as New Structure.
Dec 1 & 2
by Sally Theus
Workshop description:  Why do we refer to books? Usually they are dependably informative: predictable, sequential, even annotated. But what if they weren't? What if you didn't even know what direction to turn the page. What if it were a confusing, delightful journey. It could be.

Victoria Lansford
Artist, metalsmith, calligrapher, educator, 
and author of the Metal Techniques of Bronze Age Masters instructional book and DVD series and the iMakeJewelry iPhone™ app.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Sensory Bedroom

Many of you know that our sweet boy Anton has Sensory Processing Disorder. We're in a constant evolution of learning as we restructure his environment to best suit his therapy - what he eats, drinks, what he does, how he best learns, etc. Our OT, Kate Drummond of About Play and Healthy Foundations, gives us a steady stream of ideas and therapies to do at home. It's been wonderful working with her. We all love her.

Just last weekend we made some changes to his bedroom - basically making it look more like her place - padded areas to jump and crash safely, stimulating color palettes, variety of textures, etc.

Doug and I just got a new mattress and put our old one (a Tempurpedic King size) on the floor of Anton's room. We got him a peanut ball, onto which he stands and then jumps into the mattress all the while cheering his new mantra, "I can DO IT!" Also a BUSA Play tunnel from IKEA.

We put up a mirror so he can see how fabulous he is. I'm going to Home Depot this afternoon to get flat red latex and tiling grout to paint a cheery red chalkboard surface in his room where he can practice writing and improving his hand skills. Here's how I'm doing it: Custom Color Chalkboard Paint.

We are in week 2 of giving him Nordic Naturals Fish Oil, loaded with DHA and other good stuff - brain food.

JNB free shipping offer

Hi Friends,
In case you're looking for specialty bookbinding and or calligraphy supplies, John Neal Books is running a special until April 1st, 2012.  Free shipping on orders over $50! But remember, you must use the free shipping link to do so. 


Just in time for Spring Workshops & Classes! Order now and save!

So many of our customers took advantage of our pre-Christmas free shipping offer, I’m repeating it. Take advantage of free standard shipping for orders over $50, shipped to one address in MD, DC, VA, TN, SC, NC, GA or FL. Offer good through end-of-day April 1, 2012.

In order to get free shipping, you simply have to start your order using the link below.  The website will automatically remove the shipping costs.  You can order anything from the catalog and website.  (Exclusion: any LARGE item that would ship via freight – mostly furniture, items with FN item numbers.)

See fine print for details and exclusions.
1.       Your order must total $50 (includes pads of paper, but excludes large sheets of fine papers.)
2.       Orders of $50 of fine papers and only fine papers qualify for free shipping.  
3.       Offer excludes a few drafting tables that are too large to go UPS and have to be sent freight, but free shipping offer includes other large items such as Wordcrafters Light Table, book presses and ALL Kutrimmers (even the larger models that must ship via freight).
4.       If you require a specific shipping method or expedited shipping, there may be a charge for shipping.
5.       Orders must ship to MD, DC, VA, TN, SC, NC, GA or FL. For orders to other locations, regular shipping & handling applies.
6.       Online orders entered through 8am Monday April, 2 will be honored.

Free shipping offer includes books, magazines, DVDs, and supplies. Even includes Kutrimmers and Book Presses, but excludes 18"x24" pads, sheets of fine papers, and some items of furniture that have to ship freight. Sheets of papyrus & glassine (folded) are okay. Offer good through April 1, 2012.

The February e-newsletter includes new and sale items:

Browse our NEW 64pp Spring 2012 Catalog:
(The New Spring 2012 Catalog is at the printer. It will mail in approximately 3 weeks, but you don’t have to wait. The catalog can be downloaded and viewed now.)