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Topics - Meredith S

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Favorite Resources / Paul Shaw's Lettering and Design blog
« on: March 11, 2015, 05:15:14 PM »
I've come across Paul Shaw's website today and wanted to share. So far I've mostly looked at his tutorials section which includes dissecting a piece of work and discussing it's design techniques that is really helpful and insightful. There is also a series of tutorials for italic with pages to download. I plan to look more in depth when I have more time.

He is very opinionated and cheeky and I've really enjoyed what I've read so far.

The website is

Tools & Supplies / Pocket: my way of bookmarking favorite posts
« on: January 22, 2015, 10:31:14 AM »
Hey all! I thought I'd share the way I "bookmark" the posts I want to refer back to later since I've seen a couple of people ask about that option.

I'm not usually comfortable pinning anything from here to Pinterest. I guess because it feels very very public and I'm not sure if everyone here would be okay with that. Plus, I haven't tried it, but I'm thinking you need an image to pin and there may not be a "pinnable" image on each post anyway. So, I use Pocket. I started out using it before calligraphy, and 99.8% on my phone, pretty much never on my computer. But, now that calligraphy has taken over my life (in the best way), I use it on the computer, too.

The website is You download the little button to pocket something, just like you do to pin something with Pinterest. However, Pocket isn't built as a social media platform like Pinterest is. Instead it's private. You can save pretty much anything, articles, videos, etc. It saves it on your phone so that you don't even need an internet connection to view it, though you can easily switch over to web view if you want to browse further than what's on the page you've saved. You can also tag the things you've saved if you want separate categories. I don't even use a lot of the available options, so I'm sure there's a lot more you can do with it.

Hope that's helpful!

Design & Layout / Sketching out and rough draft process
« on: January 20, 2015, 01:12:29 PM »
I have a couple of larger projects coming up (yipee!!). I have some really basic questions about figuring out the layout - sorry if they seem obvious, but I've never done this before.  :-[

What is the most efficient way you've found to get through the sketching/rough draft process? Do you need to sketch it out to scale? One of them is going to be 16x20, I'm wondering if I need to make a rough draft on butcher paper or something in the actual size to get a real feel for the layout, or if I can still get the picture with something smaller without running into problems I'm not prepared for by changing the final size from the draft.

Also, I've seen people do the grid thing as suggested on this board by the great and wise Erica ;) but I don't get what that does. I get that it helps with making the lines even as with guidelines, but does it help during the design process by creating the visual on a whole?

Any other tips that have helped any of you in the past more than welcome!! Thanks!

Tools & Supplies / How are the tines supposed to separate?
« on: October 29, 2014, 09:50:33 PM »
I've seen examples and read explanations before saying that when you put pressure on the nib, the left tine is supposed to move to the left and the right tine is supposed to stay in one place. Is anyone else familiar with this?

Is that for all nibs? And if mine don't do that, am I holding my pen improperly? How do I fix it? I'm thinking if I turn the pen slightly clockwise that would solve how the tines split but not how I hold the pen, although I'm not sure if it is supposed to indicate how to hold the pen, or if it just matters how the tines split and not how the pen is held in this instance.

Hopefully my questions make sense  :o

Tools & Supplies / Wax seal stamps
« on: October 22, 2014, 02:28:20 PM »
Has anyone purchased these from this Etsy shop?

They're so inexpensive and cute! I haven't bought any (yet), but I'm mildly obsessed. I'm curious if they're good quality.

I don't know specifically of anyone on here who is in the Fort Worth, Texas area, but just in case there is I thought I'd share this class starting in January.

It seems amazing. I'd love to be able to take a course like that. Maybe some day  :).

Kind Critique / Help getting to the next level
« on: October 03, 2014, 02:01:26 PM »
ohmygoodnessitissonervewrackingtopostyourworkonherehowonearthdoyouguysdothis eep.

I have been at this since June, and when I started I grossly underestimated how hard calligraphy is! Truly, you guys are so amazing and talented and I thought I appreciated your work before, but now I really appreciate it, knowing how much work needs to be put into it. I've been practicing almost every day but I know if I don't practice correctly, I won't make much progress. I'm in between classes, my next one starting up in 4 weeks. In the meantime, can you all give me some tips?

I know my spacing is inconsistent. How do you practice that effectively? I'm not sure what to do other than keep writing.

My slant angle is also inconsistent. I use guidelines behind my practice sheet, so I don't really know what's up with that. Again, any tips on that would be great.

Another thing that I wish my writing had that it doesn't is a gracefulness that I see in many people's work. Am I making my thicks too thick? I like the idea of thicker thicks but I'm not sure if I am making it work properly.

Those things are what stick out to me but please also point out the things I'm missing. Thank you for your help.

Tools & Supplies / Opinion on drafting table for workstation
« on: September 23, 2014, 12:32:04 AM »
I'm trying to figure out if this table would be a good one for calligraphy. The place selling it doesn't have it in stock, so I'll have to order it without seeing it in person if I do choose to buy it.

My current set up is at my dining room table, and it is a pain in the tush less than ideal to have to set up and put away my slant board and supplies every day. So, one could say I'm.. erm, eager to get my own workstation!

Would anyone be willing to tell me if they think it would work well for calligraphy? I would really appreciate any pros or cons any of you can see about it.

Things I like about it are that the slant is adjustable, the surface is glass so I could easily put a light behind it if I need to, and it's much cheaper than any regular desk I've found.

Two things I'm not sure about are the ledge on the bottom - seems like maybe it could get in the way, and that the little storage sections on the side tilt with the table so it couldn't hold ink if I have it slanted. I could easily put the ink somewhere else, probably.

Any thoughts? Thank you!!

Tools & Supplies / Slant board
« on: August 15, 2014, 11:28:11 AM »
Does anyone use a slant board? My calligraphy teacher strongly recommended using one and when I started out if felt so awkward. I kept it at the smallest slant it would go and even asked my husband to add notches to it so I could make the angle even smaller. Then it's like it clicked for me and I started setting it at an even wider angle and now that's what is most comfortable for me. I haven't measured, but I'd guess it's close to or a little less than a 45 degree angle.

Seeing everyone's photos on instagram makes me wonder if anyone else uses one, what your experiences and preferences are with them, and why you prefer to use one or prefer not to use one?

Coffee & Nib-bles / Calligraphy confessions
« on: August 07, 2014, 01:08:46 AM »
I thought it would be fun to start a topic where we can "confess" anything that comes to mind regarding our calligraphy adventures! Here's mine:

Many calligraphers seem to have an affinity for cats, but...I'm not a cat person *wince*. I don't really dislike them... I just don't actively like them. Sorry!

Another is that I am. so. clumsy. It is ridiculous. I drop my pen, my fingers often have ink stains, I tear my papers, I forget to line up my nib properly and don't realize until I'm frustrated because my letters are weird, I've dropped the nib in the ink before and the list goes on. The worst of it is that I've spilled my ink in my lap more times than I want to count! I've learned that walnut ink comes out of clothes much easier than sumi, if anyone is curious, haha.

 ;D ;D ;D

Flourishing / Jane Farr's mandala construction
« on: July 24, 2014, 06:38:22 PM »
I just found this and thought I'd share.

It's step by step instructions on how to make a mandala.

Introductions / Hi! I'm Meredith from Texas.
« on: June 25, 2014, 12:35:40 AM »
I'm so excited to have found this site! I stalk follow a few of you on Instagram and heard of this site from there. I'm more of a watch from the sidelines type, but everyone seems so friendly and helpful and welcoming, it made me want to introduce myself instead of just creep :).

I took an Italic course before and it was a great class and I learned a lot. However, I didn't know until I started the class that it wasn't the style that I loved! That was a couple of years ago, and after the class was over I didn't practice much. Just last week I've started a Copperplate class and I'm loving it. I hope to venture into modern calligraphy some day, but for now I'll stick with classic Copperplate.

I have my Instagram linked in my signature. It's hard for me to share it because I'm not too proud of my work yet, but I'm hoping it will be encouraging to look back on and see my progress. Any advice is welcome. Thanks!

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