Thursday, February 13, 2014

Next Week! Beginning Bookbinding at Spruill Feb 20th-March20th Afternoon Class Begins


Save $20.00 with a Membership- New & Renewal
Course Number:
Thursday, February 20 - March 20, 2014
    Check for other dates or times
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Anne Elser
$180  Fee Breakdown

Course Description

If you enjoy stitching, paper, and color in the company of good friends, you'll love this beginning bookbinding class. In Bookbinding 1, discover the fascinating anatomy of a book from cover to spine to fly sheet and how to make one sing in the spirit of good craftsmanship while celebrating your own aesthetic. Not only will you learn to make books (4!) and a custom slipcase for one of them, you'll be making the tools used to create them that make the process easy and enjoyable. Detailed handouts and an inventive and caring instructor are waiting for your heart and hands. This course is great for all crafters, artists, and scrapbookers of all levels and for those who want help in luring their creative side to the surface. Projects included: Piercing Cradle, The Merfect, Side Stab Books, Coptic Book with Visible Spine, Tape Bound Book, Slip Case, and a Case Bound Book. Supply List available on
See Supply List below for this course.

There are still openings remaining at this time.
A valid credit card will be required for payment. Please have your card information ready.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The broad and generous strokes of the Italic calligraphic hand

Many calligraphic newcomers ask me whether to start with Italic or Copperplate. Both of my classes are geared towards beginners, so both are appropriate. But I learned Italic first, which lead into Copperplate and I believe it made the transition easier for me. I can tell you that knowing both, has enhanced the other.

Many of my students come to me with a heavy preference for copperplate over italic, because it is so expressive and feminine with its lovely loops, cusps, and tails. I get that. But I can tell you I get equal pleasure using the broad edge pen, because of the wide, meaty, and generous amount of ink I'm able to lay down on the thirsty paper. If you're a painter, definitely start with the broad edge, because you'll soon be working wet into wet like watercolorists do as they grace the page with a brush.

Here's an interesting historical tidbit I read in an article entitled "Write On" for Family Tree Magazine by David A. Fryxell in preparation for National Handwriting day last month:

"Humanists of the Italian Renaissance rebelled against the harsh forms of Gothic Script, reverting to a version of Carolingian writing. Some credit Niccolo Niccoli, a 15th-century Italian, with giving this script its distinctively modern slant. Dubbed "italic," after Italy, this simple style of writing was the precursor to cursive, although not all letters were linked."

So! I do recommend Italic first, because from a historical point of view, it makes complete sense to gear you up for the lovely linking Copperplate thrives upon. And there is a tiny thrill I get when switching from Italic to Copperplate, knowing I'm repeating an important part of history, OUR history, in doing so.

My next Italic class begins next week on Thursday, February 20th, 2014 from 6-9PM at Spruill Center for the Arts. It is a 5-week course and full of goodies, the least of which is the social experience of making beautiful calming marks on paper, with a new group of like-minded people who could likely be new friends for life, including myself. :D

Love to all,



Beginner/intermediate•5 sessions• 6-9PM• Feb 20, 27 Mar 6, 13, 20•Min.5/Max.10•Spruill Center for the Arts

The Italic calligraphic hand is one of the most widely used and versatile alphabets around. It's generously wide strokes, produced with a broad edge nib, can easily be dressed up or down. Italic is the perfect hand to learn for the beginning calligrapher yet versatile enough to experiment with for the advanced. During the five-week course, students will be given handouts and guide sheets, learning the upper and lower case characters. We will also address spacing and layout for addressing envelopes. This class is appropriate for Beginner to Intermediate students.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Make your own ink recipe!

Hi, All.

I've finally put together a supply list and basic instructions for those who want to mix their own calligraphy inks. Click this link to download a PDF of the instructions! And have fun!