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Messages - jeanwilson

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Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Calligraphy forum
« on: June 20, 2021, 08:36:50 AM »
Instagram seems like a good place to start.
If you are already posting on IG, you could add posts with information about the forum.
Then, when you leave comments for other people, you could mention the forum.

Design & Layout / Re: Guideline alternatives...
« on: June 13, 2021, 12:34:58 PM »
I posted some photos and tips on my blog.
Good luck with your project.

Design & Layout / Re: Guideline alternatives...
« on: June 13, 2021, 07:09:17 AM »
Yes, I do have a method for writing in a book.
It will be easier to explain with some photos - so, I'll post a response later today.

Kind Critique / Re: Starting FF Calligraphy Lessons
« on: May 25, 2021, 07:03:32 AM »
On the third and fifth line (of the 5 lines of words) there are some word spaces that look right - to my eye which prefers the tighter spacing.

I remember the suggestion from my first teacher - to imagine an invisible letter lower-case-i in between each word.
Or after you exit a word - just drop your nib straight down - and place it on the baseline - directly below where the exit stroke ended.
This gives enough word space.

This is a personal preference thing - but, if you look at a full page of writing with generous word spacing - those spaces create *rivers* of space that can be very distracting (to some people)

I think that McCaffrey's ink made a big difference. Your lettering looks a lot more delicate and refined. Yay!

Tools & Supplies / Re: My Favorite Nibs for Pointed Pen
« on: May 23, 2021, 07:27:27 AM »
I'm guessing that the techniques for working with metal have not been lost and if a skilled metalsmith wanted to figure out how to make the finest nibs by hand, they could. It reminds me of the handmade knives that are so beautiful and expensive. You don't have to be a chef to appreciate a great knife and anyone who chooses to invest in one will enjoy it for many years. Nibs wear out. It's unlikely anyone would want to pay a fair price for the time and energy it would take to replicate the ones we wish we could buy.

Kind Critique / Re: Starting FF Calligraphy Lessons
« on: May 21, 2021, 05:00:36 PM »
This will be repeat for Lyric - but I think it bears repeating.
There are many different styles of teaching - and often times people who start teaching feel like the way they learned was the *best* way because it worked for them. When I started teaching, I called it *showing* -as in- I can show you how to follow the directions in a book.

I did not make any judgment about which was *best* - the historical styles or the new bouncy contemporary styles. I often had students pursuing both directions in the same class. I had picked up a lot from all the different classes and workshops that I had taken with the true rock stars in calligraphy.

Something that I think helps a lot - no matter where you are on the learning curve - is to practice your letters in groups.
The space between the letters is JUST AS IMPORTANT as the letters themselves.
So, practicing letters in groups will double your skill-building.

Why make 5 rows of the letter i and 5 rows of the letter n - when you can write the word - in - 5 rows - and also practice your word spacing?
Letter spacing and word spacing are essential -
The way letters join is an essential part of the script styles.

Lyric -- you have put in a ton of hours -- and I know that you have made a lot of progress.
I really hope that you can put letters together and also maintain proper word spacing between the groups -
Your single letters are just fine -- but, I think they will be even better if you allow them to *join* and contribute to a beautiful page of texture.

I frequently see examples of beginner work that is very nice- but there is way too much space between the words.
So many people remember their lessons from first grade and put a *finger width* between each word.
That was fine in first grade -- but if you look a page of beautiful script done by someone like John Stevens, you will see much less than the width of a finger. The amount of space that a lower case I takes up is good for starters.

I look forward to seeing a page of joined letters with beautiful letter spacing, Lyric :-)

I've posted this previously, but it's been a while.
I started with broad edge styles and when I decided to try some pointed nib styles, I did OK - but I wasn't in love with any of it.
Until ----- I signed up for a Spencerian workshop with Mike Sull.
I brought materials from other classes and when he said that we would all get better results with
McCaffrey's ink, Nikko G nibs, and Clairfontaine (or Rhodia) paper - I was not excited to have to buy new materials.
But -- Oh.My.Gosh. 
Within an hour, I was hooked on pointed nibs.
I can get the whisper hairlines with a Nikko G - and Mike agrees, there are other nibs that are better, once you are past the beginner stage.
But to learn the technique of floating onto and off the paper - he recommends the Nikko G and I agree.

There are a lot of us who swear by McCaffrey's ink and it comes in many gorgeous colors.
The white is dreamy.
The gloss black sometimes won't dry on certain papers --

I know there are people who like Higgins and sumi inks for pointed pen work --
Lots of my students showed up with those inks - and wanted to make them work.
Most of the time, when I shared a bottle of my McCaffrey's - they would see immediate results.

Walnut ink will also give you some very nice hairlines.
Another tip for working on your hairlines is to ease off on your shades for a while.
Just do hairlines and a *normal* pressure - and leave out the extra pressure (for shades) until you get the hairlines worked out.
After you are happy with your hairlines, go back to adding your shades.

The amount of time you need to spend will depend on how well you do on each page.
Every person has a different learning style.
Some people like to race through and try everything and then go back and focus.
Other people are more methodical and like to master a page before moving along.
And still others will move forward a few pages and then go back to the beginning and do some refresher work on the basics.
If you post a photo of your work next to the page you are working on - and ask for feedback -
you might enjoy getting tips from people who are further along on the learning curve.

Tools & Supplies / Re: My Favorite Nibs for Pointed Pen
« on: April 20, 2021, 08:40:09 AM »
I do not have it any more, but years ago, I had an article that described all the steps it took to make vintage nibs and it was an incredible amount of work - mostly done by hand. I remember thinking that it must have been a horrible job - for the people who worked in the factories. Sadly, some things just have to made by hand - and there would be no way to compensate someone for the amount of time and effort it would take to replicate the process. I'll contact Bob Hurford and see if he has the article.

Here is an article from the IAMPETH website about vintage nibs.

Everyday Handwriting | Penmanship / Re: What happened to my cursive?
« on: March 25, 2021, 01:54:47 PM »
There are probably some old threads on this topic - but, I don't know if it has its own section.
If not, maybe we can start one.
Mostly, people need to figure out what their worst problems are and start repairing them one-by-one.

99% of the time, people are writing too fast.
Depending on your age - you might have several decades of muscle memory built up - but, it's not rocket science.
If you learned cursive, you already know the basic shapes.

Consistent Cursive is a good program (on YouTube) to lead you through the steps of repairing your cursive.
I'm always happy to give people tips if they want to post an example of their penmanship.

Maybe Lyric will post a before and after shot of her penmanship.
It would be a very good example of how much progress can be made in a fairly short amount of time.

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« on: March 25, 2021, 01:45:45 PM »
Whenever the topic of flourishing comes up, I always add a link to John Steven's IG because his flourishing is dreamy.

My suggestion for adding flourishing to italics is to learn the basic capital letters first.
You'll notice on John's looser variations of italics, he doesn't stray too far from the basics.
There is still a lot of symmetry to loose italics.

Before you add full flourishes, learn how to add just a swash to each capital letter.
Notice that both swashes and flourishing will have basic shapes.
Sometimes they are more elongated - other times they are rounder.
It's pretty tricky to mix the two until you have mastered both.

If possible, try to learn a couple basic flourishes and then gradually add a few more - one at a time.
Flourishing is often compared to ballet - start with basics - and plan on putting in a lot of time if you want them to look professional.

Successful flourishing is often done quickly with your hand not quite touching the paper - using whole arm movement.
Most teachers will show students how to do a couple practice *swoops* in the air - just above the paper - and then do the actual flourish on the paper.
It's a way to help you relax so you don't choke.

When I was first learning the figure-8 flourish used on the tails of y and g -
I would leave the ascenders off the h k l - and then turn the paper around and add the figure-8 strokes.
Eventually, I could make the flourishes in both directions - but it was a helpful trick til I got there.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Job for someone in Kansas City
« on: March 21, 2021, 09:53:56 AM »
I have a client in Kansas City who will need some envelopes addressed. I'm not sure I will be available, so if you are in KC and have either a website or IG account that shows examples of your work, please contact me through direct messaging. I have not seen the invitation, but it will be a small gathering for a bar mitzvah and a previous invitation I worked on was contemporary and I used brush lettering. So, it would be nice to find someone who offered both contemporary as well as traditional styles.

Erica -- has the topic of having a listing on the forum of professionals ever come up - so that we could do a search for someone in a particular location?

Everyday Handwriting | Penmanship / Re: What happened to my cursive?
« on: March 16, 2021, 07:01:15 AM »
Sounds good -- I've often thought of setting up a table for everyday penmanship somewhere that is not a classroom to establish an informal gathering spot. There were 70 people at the first IAMPETH that I attended - so we were all in the same banquet room for the entire week. It was so nice to actually meet everyone who was there. But, I'm happy that it's grown. It's better for spreading the wealth of knowledge.

Everyday Handwriting | Penmanship / Re: What happened to my cursive?
« on: March 14, 2021, 08:20:11 AM »
To anyone who needs to repair their handwriting --
Andrew's suggestion to slow down -- is absolutely, positively, Step 1.

This is just one opinion -- I'm sure other people see it differently.

Cursive usually means letters that are joined.
Cursive can apply to both everyday penmanship as well as calligraphy.
Cursive can also be applied to crazy quirky lettering.

Cursive can be used as part of a definition of a style that has a name - like Spencerian.
Cursive can also be used as part of the name of a style - like American cursive.

As I recall, Mike Sull put the name American Cursive on his own style of cursive - intended for an everyday penmanship.
But - it is such a generic word - I don't think the name is going to have a lasting connection with his particular style - because his style is so similar to all the other basic penmanship styles.

Business penmanship is a term that evolved because there was a time, before typewriters, where business was booming and the only way to keep track of things was to have people hand writing documents and ledger books.
Technically, *business* penmanship goes all the way back to Charlemagne telling Alcuin of York to write faster, so Alcuin came up with the lowercase letters - to write faster (and I know some people prefer minuscules to lower case - but, that is a different topic)

So writing for business reasons goes way back. Early writing included tons of record keeping.
By the time of the industrial revolution, the need for tidy handwriters brought about many styles and methods.
At the same time, education was blossoming -
so the methods for learning to write blossomed.
My mom, who started first grade in a one room school house in Montana in 1933 - was taught cursive from the very beginning. When she had to write in *print* on a form - she said it felt very weird - as she had never done much.

So there was a time when there were all kinds of mail order lessons to learn how to write well enough to get a job.
And there were actual schools you could attend - to learn both business penmanship as well as engrossing -- which is a high art of *writing*

And then all the styles have been converted to fonts --
so -- it's pretty hard to fit all of this into tidy categories.
Calling a style of lettering a font will send some people into a complete fit.

My own pet peeve is the way Spencerian gets tacked on to variations that IMHO are way too far away from Spencerian.
But, I don't get too worked up about it.
It's a little bit like arguing over recipes -- I just read a fun article on Nanaimo bars. Wow. Very hot topic.

So - to answer your question --
you are learning penmanship. If you want to be more specific -- call it everyday penmanship.

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