Author Topic: Calligraphy guilds disappearing  (Read 1666 times)

Offline JERRY TRESSER

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
  • Karma: 2
    • View Profile
    • Gilding & Illumination Supplies
Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« on: August 09, 2017, 01:54:04 PM »
At one time in sunny Fla, we had 8 guilds. Now we have 3 and one of them is almost on the brink of being lost.  I was wondering if there are any statistics of guilds that are gone. How much of an influence did individualized learning from videos contribute to this sad  situation, not to mention a continuous flow of one day "become a calligrapher " workshops . Comments would be appreciated. Some groups seem to be doing fine, but some are just currently being managed .  I fear for the community as its always been volunteer work and a love for the art that kept these guilds afloat.  Things are a changing !   JERRY

Offline Katie.R

  • Freshman Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 01:55:29 PM »
Hello there Jerry,

I know this is reviving an old post but I can't help but comment. Your post made me look into the Florida calligraphy guilds; much to my surprise, the Coastal Calligraphers Guild meets just north of where I live! When I am home from school this summer I would definitely like to attend one of the workshops that they hold.

I do agree with you that video learning has reduced the "demand" for groups such as calligraphy guilds. Why attend a meeting and get real-time feedback, when you can watch a free video? Unfortunately, I feel that this is the way many people approach learning new topics. While all these new technological capabilities, it jeopardizes some of the more "old school" art forms and learning methodologies.

On a positive note, I do think that the resurgence of interest in hand lettering could be very beneficial to calligraphy guilds. Many younger people are coming to appreciate calligraphy. Calligraphy guilds have the chance to draw in all these new people who are interested. Things are changing, yes. But I think that should calligraphy guilds adapt to these changes, the decline of participation should cease.

Offline Erica McPhee

  • Administrator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5073
  • Karma: 285
  • Be brave. Love life!
    • View Profile
    • Dasherie Magazine
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 02:05:28 PM »
Thanks for reviving this thread @Katie.R ! I didn't see it the first time around. More good news... I live just south of the Coastal Calligraphers Guild and manage their website! So we must be close to being neighbors! I am always looking for calligrafriends! I'm currently redoing my studio but once it is finished, you have an open invitation to come visit.  ;D

We are a very active guild in Sarasota and in Orlando. In Sarasota we are getting new members on a regular basis. We are still a somewhat older crowd but I hope as you mentioned, with the interest in calligraphy, we will continue to see new younger members.

I would think with Ringling nearby, we would get more interested letter lovers.

I hope others will respond with the current status of of their guilds, too.
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Katie.R

  • Freshman Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 05:14:39 PM »
@Erica McPhee What a small world! Has the Sarasota Guild reached out to Ringling at all? I can't help but wondering if the college has a club for students related to calligraphy and/or lettering. If they do, this would be a great way to "advertise" to new members.

Offline Estefa

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1427
  • Karma: 102
    • View Profile
    • Federflug
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 05:05:53 AM »
Living in a country where calligraphy guilds are unknown, I must say I cannot see online learning etc. in that negative light only. Without the internet and the possibility to connect (and to learn) online, my interest in calligraphy, especially pointed pen, would probably have waned or at least, learning would have been much harder. Like this, I had the possibility to learn from international reknown teachers like Harvest Crittenden for example. I cannot at this point in my life travel to the US to attend conferences and classes. So these online communities and classes have been a huge benefit for me!

Furthermore, while I do not organise a guild, I have organized calligraphy meet-ups here where I live, and just last week I attended a meet-up in Berlin that a collegue of mine organized! It's not as formal as a guild (as far as I understand) just a group of people meeting to write together and getting to know each other. We had people there from many different countries so my friend held the meeting in English and German it was quite amazing honestly, and also this would have been impossible to organize without the internet :).

Also I plan on offering online classes. Even inside Germany people cannot always travel half around the country for workshops, and I have been asked so I will.

I do understand that you live in a very different situation, @JERRY TRESSER and I understand your frustration. But in my experience, some people that start out only being interested in fancy modern stuff will get hooked on the more traditional styles and I am sure some of the guilds will be revived!!
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline Erica McPhee

  • Administrator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5073
  • Karma: 285
  • Be brave. Love life!
    • View Profile
    • Dasherie Magazine
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 09:08:03 AM »
I would agree @Estefa - it does not have to be an "in person" vs internet situation. We are so fortunate to have online classes and videos! And as well, there is definitely something to be said for meeting in person, whether it be via a formal guild or a casual meet up.

I think the larger "issue" is really one of people being less social "in person." And that is in all cases, not just calligraphy guilds. Of course, it is almost all the younger crowd has come to know. But those who have met calligra-friends in person know it offers something an online experience just can't.

I also think there is a tinge of "something" that calligraphers who have been in business for 20+ years feel with all of the newcomers and businesses being started. It has no doubt watered the market (in America) but that is a discussion we have had over and over.

To be sure, there is a volume of benefit in both online learning and guilds.
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline arherbgm

  • Freshman Member
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 11:32:52 AM »
If it were not for FF, books, YouTube, and other online resources I'd have lost some motivation.  Always looking for more, of course --- "in person" meetups not happening near me - closest is Philadelphia Calligraphers' Society.  Private instruction is cost prohibitive for me; online classes, videos, and workshops are reasonably priced.  Haven't looked - are there any threads in FF with compilation of the better online things available, or recommendations?

Soooo...that said:  I'm going to hold you to your promise, Estefa! ;)  I find that I sit and stare at others' work as well as whatever I can find with so many of you fine calligraphers in action.  I'll look forward to your online instruction!!

If anyone located from Maryland Eastern Shore to the Delaware coast out there wants to give a shout out --- no problem.

Thanks,
Arlen 

Offline Erica McPhee

  • Administrator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5073
  • Karma: 285
  • Be brave. Love life!
    • View Profile
    • Dasherie Magazine
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 01:24:57 PM »
Arlen, @arherbgm , if you go to the Flourish FAQ page on the base site, and scroll down to Tutorials, there are a list of various tutorials available on Flourish.

There is also this thread: Workshops & Conference News which lists various workshops both online and in person when someone sees it and shares.
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline JERRY TRESSER

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
  • Karma: 2
    • View Profile
    • Gilding & Illumination Supplies
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2017, 03:39:08 PM »
Thank you for contributing.  JERRY

Offline Estefa

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1427
  • Karma: 102
    • View Profile
    • Federflug
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2017, 02:42:16 AM »

Soooo...that said:  I'm going to hold you to your promise, Estefa! ;)  I find that I sit and stare at others' work as well as whatever I can find with so many of you fine calligraphers in action.  I'll look forward to your online instruction!!


Thanks a lot for your kind encouragement, Arlen it may take a while, as I'll start probably with a German class ;)
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline JERRY TRESSER

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
  • Karma: 2
    • View Profile
    • Gilding & Illumination Supplies
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2017, 12:42:28 PM »
"I do understand that you live in a very different situation, @JERRY TRESSER and I understand your frustration. But in my experience, some people that start out only being interested in fancy modern stuff will get hooked on the more traditional styles and I am sure some of the guilds will be revived!!" 

  No frustration, i was making an inquiry about the decline of guilds here in the US.  Currently there seems to be a more vibrant interest in the pointed pen then the traditional broad edged pen. I recently visited a website where over 100 different oblique holders being offered from a variety of small businesses. Not to mention a host of imported Cola type pens from all over the world.  Not sure what to make of it. 

This much i can tell you. traditional broad edged lettering is steeped in a vast treasure  of manuscripts that resides in the best libraries in the world. Although these seems to be a renewed interest in the pointed pen or should i say explosion, the loss of guilds and societies in the US has been eroded.  Personally, i found here in South Fla. the emphasis seems to be more crafty in its approach . This has contributed to the lack of participation of those interested in historical script education.  Just my thoughts.   

Offline JERRY TRESSER

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
  • Karma: 2
    • View Profile
    • Gilding & Illumination Supplies
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2017, 01:21:18 PM »
Estifa,   " Living in a country where calligraphy guilds are unknown "          just out of curiosity, what country are you from ?

Offline Estefa

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1427
  • Karma: 102
    • View Profile
    • Federflug
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2017, 02:05:44 PM »
Sorry for misunderstanding, @JERRY TRESSER.

I am under the impression that the interest in calligraphy, lettering and handwriting is growing, not diminishing. Some of those who start with more contemporean approaches might get interested in more traditional styles. Maybe the places and ways in which people meet and learn are changing, but I don't see calligraphy dying out. There were always, in all sorts of art and craft, more hobbyist and more deeper ways of practicing. I can see nothing wrong with that.

But maybe I understood wrong again, and that was not what you were saying at all ;). As @Erica McPhee said, we had the discussion traditional vs. modern quite some times already here
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline Estefa

  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1427
  • Karma: 102
    • View Profile
    • Federflug
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2017, 02:07:18 PM »
Estifa,   " Living in a country where calligraphy guilds are unknown "          just out of curiosity, what country are you from ?

I am from Germany I thought I's mentioned that, sorry :).

We do have a rich calligraphic tradition of course, but it's very differently practiced and organized than from what I hear from the USA.
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline JERRY TRESSER

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
  • Karma: 2
    • View Profile
    • Gilding & Illumination Supplies
Re: Calligraphy guilds disappearing
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2017, 02:46:40 PM »
Estefa, a "rich calligraphic tradition" is a significant understatement considering the pioneers that emerged from the German influence, especially in Romans and Blackletter.  I was fortunate enough to study with Hermann Zapf in both of his master classes in the late 70s and early 80s..   There is no discussion between traditional and Modern if we are using tools based on pressure as opposed to a fixed pen angle.  As i said in one of my earlier posts, the pointed pen industry and that is what it has turned,  into seems to have an over abundance on the oblique holder. The broad edged pen which is what i use is a quill or reed.   It has remained so for a thousand years !

The hands of the broad edged user have historical implications that involve evolution , from the first century well into the 14th century. The pointed pen does not provide that kind of history.  I know some very talented Spencerian writers and authors  who are magnificent in there letter writing capabilities.  I do have an appreciation for the pen manipulation of the thicks and thins, but after 45 years of lettering i am more sensitive to the historical aspects of the alphabet and how it progressed.  I find this lacking completely with the pointed pen.. The holder has become a cottage industry with prices that are bewildering to me. I dont appreciate the significance , but with new nibs constantly coming out onto the market and springs to control the ink flow is amazing. 

Actually, lower case pointed pen letters are more fluid and really require a good grasp and knowledge of ligatures and attaching one letter to another.  Early capital pointed pen letters(15th century)  were based on competition . This also held true for Blackletter broad edged pens lettering especially in the Germanic states. The major difference is that broad edged lettering evolved into space saving forms such as Gothic.  Vellum gave us paper.  Out of need and expense.   That does not exist in pointed pen lettering.  It does not take away some of the exquisite writing i see, but space is not part of the occupancy of letterforms.  Take care, JERRY