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Messages - AndyT

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Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: For Your Enjoyment
« on: May 13, 2017, 05:01:57 AM »
Perplexing, yes.  They all seem to follow a sort of left-to-right, south-to-north sort of orientation, so my guess would be that the pen was held flourishing style.  The minuscules at the top are normal, however.

Flourish Forum News / Re: Flourish HOME page update!
« on: May 11, 2017, 03:45:21 PM »
Hydrangeas?  I'm missing something.   ???

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Font Guides
« on: May 11, 2017, 05:43:44 AM »
David Harris is very good, but beware the copperplate sections in both books: the ductus shown is unworkable and will lead to untold frustration.  It's highly unlikely that this is the author's fault.  Somewhere on the forum @Ken Fraser has written authoritatively about what's wrong, but suffice it to say that there are tutorial series here by Erica and Salman both of which are reliable guides.

Wonderful.  :)

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: which hand next?
« on: May 06, 2017, 07:13:42 PM »
There are uncials and uncials ... and some are less hobbitish than others.  I think in practical terms Foundational would be a wise choice because it's designed to teach a lot of basic principles; it's also highly legible, suitable for lengthy texts and does look good when written well ... but I'd go for artificial uncials anyway.  ;) That said, of all the first millennium hands it's Carolingian minuscule which appeals most to me, but for capitals you'd need to think about Roman versals too. 

Kind Critique / Re: Please RIGHT if I'm WRONG - Copperplate
« on: May 06, 2017, 06:40:40 AM »
@Simone Lettering

Dr Vitolo discusses this in the earlier part of this article: it won't answer your question, exactly, but it's worth a read.

For what little it's worth, it seems to me that Dr V's approach is the most sensible one, using "copperplate" as a catch-all term for slanted scripts with a regular emphasis on the downstrokes derived from English roundhand, and drawing a distinction between the English tradition and the later American variant.  "Copperplate" is a problematic term since it can mean different things to different people, and in Britain at least it acquired a pejorative undertone thanks to the influence of Edward Johnston and his followers.  Alfred Fairbank, for instance, wrote that "... the engraver's needle ... tended to give to the pupil the letter-forms proper to the burin rather than to the quill" with the heavy implication that it was all downhill from there.

Everyday Handwriting | Penmanship / Re: Write Cursive With Schin
« on: May 06, 2017, 06:07:32 AM »
It has just this minute occurred to me that @schin  might be happy with calling it "businesslike writing".  ;)

Flourish Forum News / Re: Flourish HOME page update!
« on: May 05, 2017, 04:15:08 AM »
The new logo is very swish, Erica.  It certainly jumped straight out at me.  The other developments are all welcome and should make it much easier for new arrivals to find their way about.  Thanks as ever for all your hard work.  :)

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Standing Writing Desk
« on: May 04, 2017, 02:02:33 PM »
Nice paintwork, Andrew.  Jolly well done - it looks very well now, and will doubtless be much more visible from the audience.

I do the same as Melanie Jane, and will try Salman's graphite tip should the need arise.


Perhaps I may reproduce a few quotes from the IndieGoGo page?

Ink Academy exists to save a threatened artform ...

... there is a huge risk in diminishment in maintaining the integrity of thousands of years of the past.

... there currently are no comprehensive calligraphy programs anywhere in the world offering specialization in a wide variety of calligraphy styles.

I do not recognise this description of calligraphy as an endangered activity - on the contrary I cannot recall a time when it was in better health.  Educational opportunities abound, whether with individual teachers or with institutions like the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, CLAS (Tom Kemp was a founder member, let's not forget) or Sheila Waters' alma mater, the Royal College of Art.  Those three examples are all in my little country, and there are many more elsewhere.  Let me say as tactfully as possible that the European tradition of the last couple of millennia is in very safe hands - in Europe.  Surely it doesn't take a great imaginative leap to see how this billing of Ink Academy as the saviour of a moribund artform is going to play with all the other people who have put in so much work?

I am happy to acknowledge Mr Sull's influential work as a proselytiser for American vernacular penmanship, but the implicit suggestion that he is the fount of all wisdom is unsustainable.  Another quote, this time from Barbara Calzolari's Facebook page, and unconnected with the Ink Academy as far as I know:

Ladies and gents, it's my honour and proud to announce you that @michaelrsull is on his way to #London! 😁
        For the first time in the history the highest representative of the purest #Spencerian #penmanship style will be in London to teach a 2 days basic spencerian #workshop.

We're all ignorant barbarians over here, aren't we? - including the two very well known active teachers of Spencerian based in London, not to mention that retired Master up in Yorkshire who is still regarded as the first among equals by many of his IAMPETH peers.  This sort of hyperbole is sowing any amount of bad feeling in the wider calligraphy community, with waspish emails flying from country to country, some of which get cc'ed to me.  It's depressing.

I'm sorry if this comes as news to you, Suzie - and I suspect that it does.  Lord knows there have been flare ups before, but if there has been anything like this I haven't heard about it.  It's a matter of presentation, and could have been avoided with a modicum of tact.


Good grief: you'd think that calligraphy was teetering on the brink of extinction, judging by the messianic tone of this press release, and that no other educational bodies existed.  I'm well aware that I'm in the minority on this, but such puffery simply cannot go unchallenged.  Especially here, since the Flourish Forum is the first port of call for so many aspirant pen people.

Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: If I could save ink in a bottle....
« on: April 25, 2017, 06:36:15 AM »
Clearly one of those days: my sympathies.  I can recommend putting your ink bottle in a really hefty glass candle holder.  Mine cost me pennies, weighs well over a pound, and is not an easy thing to knock over.

Introductions / Re: Hello , Arabic calligrapher is here
« on: April 22, 2017, 04:24:33 AM »
Here it is.  :)

Eastern Calligraphy

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Learning foundational.
« on: April 21, 2017, 06:49:45 AM »
Although Foundational is a style in its own right and very much Johnston's creation, it's interesting to compare his writing to the source material, the Ramsey Psalter.  Here's a page courtesy of the British Library, via Patricia Lovett:

And attached is a longer sample by Johnston, from the Book of Sample Scripts.  Looking at the two side by side there isn't all that much in it as far as the spacing goes, but Johnners seems to have been keen on running one letter into the next when the opportunity arose, creating more semi-enclosed negative spaces.  That probably contributes a lot to the dense appearance.  I haven't paid all that much attention to Foundational, but it's striking that you can spot Johnston's work a mile off - maybe it's the spacing which does that.

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