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Messages - Estefa

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In Germany Cursive is teached from Grade 1 (that is around the age of 6). I think a lot depends on the model of handwriting that is used, and also on how much time in the curriculum is actually used for practice. My kids learned a very simplified, just slightly slanted version of Copperplate-ish, they started with pencil drills, then letters, then words (like in Calligraphy really), and at the end of the first year usually the fountain pen is introduced. The exemplar they learned is easily to join – they all have nice handwriting in terms of legibility and fluidity. Developing one’s own style is encouraged as long as it’s readable. In contrast, in other states there are different models for Cursive, some are horrible and impossible to write fluidly. In some states they dropped Cursive altogether. It’s an ongoing debate …

I also don’t think handwriting will die – it will just be used differently and less frequently.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: 4 returned Christmas cards
« on: February 13, 2024, 03:23:17 PM »
How disappointing!!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: 4 returned Christmas cards
« on: February 03, 2024, 07:57:21 PM »
Yes real post internationally is weird these days … how did it go with your complaint??

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: 4 returned Christmas cards
« on: January 30, 2024, 05:49:23 AM »
Oh I am so sorry, Erica! That is so dissapointing when that happens :(.

I received your card some days ago – it is so beautiful and all the more a pity some of the recipients didn’t get theirs!

(I wanted to thank you earlier, but things have been hectic – sorry!!)

For those who are interested, here is a German copy book from 1840: From page 9 to 20 German Kurrent, from 21 to 35 examples and exercises for English Handwriting. There is more, for example a pretty wild "Italian" alphabet, page 41, closely inspired by the Italian Hand of the English writing masters. But Latin and German Script really were required to learn for all children who went to school (the rest in the book are older styles, mainly used in the professional field, for law, for advertising etc.).

So basically German (and Austrian and Swiss) kids had to learn 8 alphabets: writing German Kurrent and Latin (Copperplate), each uppercase and lowercase, reading Fraktur (for German texts), also uppercase and lower case, and reading Roman letters (or Antiqua, as we call it in German) – basically our normal serif print letters, also capitals and minisules ;D. For print, using Antiqua was considered more of an educated upperclass thing, in earlier times mainly for texts in other languages, like Latin :). There was some sort of ongoing debate about how much sense all this made, called the "Antiqua-Fraktur-Streit", it also had tons of political implications, as you may guess.

Thanks and a big shoutout to @sybillevz who collected this and many more copy books on her page :)!!

I have lots more examples at home, but none of them digitized. Ah you can have a look very early Kurrent styles here:,0.03,0.903,0.498,0

Visual explanation of Kurrent starts at page 25. What I find super interesting is that Fugger starts with teaching the strokes before writing letters – just like we do today. Makes sense of course.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Many, Many Thanks!
« on: January 10, 2024, 12:26:16 PM »
Thank you so much, @Erica McPhee :)!!! How beautiful you wrote all these names. I feel very honoured to be among them and I am so happy I found Flourish so early when I started learning calligraphy!

Interesting examples indeed! In 2021 I gave a workshop about 18th century Kurrent in the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin. I had had interest in Kurrent before, but in preparation for this workshop I did a lot more research. Kurrent was used roughly from the 15th to the early 20th century and got through many stylistic changes, as it was a practical handwriting style (so to say the everyday sister style to the more formal chancery scripts and to Fraktur as the most formal style that was also widely used as fonts).

So you can’t say there is the slant for Kurrent. It basically existed with a left leaning slant, upright, and right leaning slant. It was written over the centuries with a quill (broad pen), with pointed quills and steel pens (that started influenced by English Round Hand in the late 18th and early 19th century) and in one of its latest iterations with a monoline nib (Sütterlin German Script, Sütterlin also existed as a "Latin" aka English script style). That was again written upright and meant to be changed by the maturing writer. It was a "Schulausgangsschrift" (basic school script, mostly meant to be as a simple pure style, easily to be learned and open to changes regarding use of nib, slant, letter forms, as long as they stayed recognisable). A very different approach than Palmer’s for example ;).

Latin aka English aka Copperplate was used paraellel to the "German" aka Kurrent styles – sometimes in the same body of text. Proper names, places, words from other languages like French or English were the most common application for Copperplate. It looks pretty weird as the x-height of Copperplate in the same text is usually much higher than the x-hight of Kurrent.

Btw the "w" in the first example is the most common form of "w" in the English master scribe books of the 18th century, look in your Universal Penman ;).

Yay @Erica McPhee, congrats! That’s wonderful :)!

Cheers from Germany, Stef

Tools & Supplies / Re: Diamine Inkvent 2022
« on: January 09, 2023, 03:44:43 AM »
How fascinating, @K-2 ! Yes, it absolutely helps, even for a non-paleographer like myself, to write ancient alphabets in order to understand their construction. When I tried writing Secretary Hand for example, some of the letter forms made much more sense to me!

Tools & Supplies / Re: Diamine Inkvent 2022
« on: January 06, 2023, 12:34:55 PM »
@K-2 Yes, of course – but I am much better at writing Kurrent than at reading it. That’s more in the area of paleography … there are services who offer doing transcripts, but I would have to look them up too. So I’m not sure if I can be of real help there … as it’s usually plain handwriting, and notouriosly hard to read even if written well, because of the many repetitive basic strokes, I have lots of trouble reading old documents too.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Diamine Inkvent 2022
« on: January 03, 2023, 06:53:48 PM »
Thanks so much for mentioning me, @AnasaziWrites :)! I’m still researching and learning a lot about Kurrent. As you (or one of the others in this thread) said, it was after all in use for centuries and evolved a lot over time! Also it was more or less written with all kind of tools (except brush), from broad edged (quills) to pointed pen and one of its last iterations, Sütterlin, was monoline. There are even some examples done with flat brush for advertising purposes (early 20th century). So there isn’t much you can do wrong, especially as it was basically a handwriting style! Using the long s correctly (in German at least) is a bit of a challenge, but makes for a more convincing look of a piece of text.

I’m actually planning to put together an online class about Kurrent, but until now a lot of unpleasant circumstances have postponed this :/.

Wishing everyone all the best for a better 2023!

I treat my nibs and holders like @Erica McPhee and @AnasaziWrites … I never had problems with rust, except when opening some antique boxes that had some rust as a surprise ;). But maybe is really a question of climate? I am sure a tropical climate might be harder regarding rust …?

Oh, but with standard straight holders, I definitely take out the nibs, as these really do rust in my experience! But it’s a different metal than the flanges of oblique holders! Though I do have some antique straight holders with silver where you can leave the nib in without problems as long as it’s really not dipped too deep, either in water or ink, if that makes sense ;).

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Hurricane Ian & My Family
« on: October 05, 2022, 02:45:29 PM »
This must be so heartbreaking, @Erica McPhee . I wish your family a quick recovery and lots of help! Sending lots of love.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Man Who Did History of Writing?
« on: August 28, 2022, 03:54:26 PM »
"The Golden Thread" by Ewan Clayton is a wonderful book about the history of writing (the western / Latin alphabet kind at least)! Written with passion and knowledge :).

@TeresaS Thanks for your kind words! My publisher is still evaluating options for an English edition … but I guess the English speaking market is a bit saturated with calligraphy books, so maybe it will not happen.

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