Author Topic: Why Spencerian?  (Read 33205 times)

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2014, 07:53:02 AM »
Harvest,

My assumption regarding the Master Penman Certificates was incorrect and I apologize.
They do indeed display more that just pointed pen scripts.

However, the excellent IAMPETH site is overwhelmingly about such scripts, plus a brief acknowledgement
of ‘Text’ writing in the ‘Lessons’ contents.
 
I have been a member of IAMPETH for a few years, and have derived a great deal of pleasure from the writings and
historic examples. There is nothing wrong with IAMPETH being considered the Association for writing with the flexible
pointed pen, but it’s worth pointing out that the requirements for consideration for IAMPETH Master Penman status are
hardly comprehensive. They are indicative of the restricted outlook of the Association and this is reflected in the quality of
some of the lettering outwith pointed pen scripts.

“The IAMPETH Master Penman Society was created in 2001 to recognize members who have achieved a distinguished
level of excellence in penmanship and the calligraphic arts - including Business penmanship, Ornamental and Spencerian
script, Engrosser’s script, Engrossing and Illumination, Offhand Flourishing and Text lettering.
A high degrees of proficiency in two of the disciplines is required for consideration.”


Only two disciplines required for 'Master' status?

Also, I stand by my original statement -

“You’ll be hard pushed to find any acknowledgement of the influence of earlier, historic scripts on IAMPETH. It’s as if it all
began with Spencerian. Even their historic Roundhand writing methods read as though they had invented them, although
they are largely a direct copy of what had gone before, centuries ago.”


Ken Fraser




 
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 07:56:33 AM by Ken Fraser »

Offline HarvestC

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2014, 09:36:23 AM »
Again, you are making assumptions. The complete set of requirements for a Master Penman are on the members part of the website. The most difficult part is having your work judged by other Master Penman who are the top of their field, not self judged. Having excellence in broad pen lettering holds as much weight as excellence in script lettering. Knowing the history of lettering and a dedication to teaching and passing on the history is part of the commitment. This past year Sheila Waters taught an all day class in the history of writing and the golden thread through the earliest form of writing to today. It was attended by more than 100 members. The organization freely admits it focuses on one period in history, not meant to be a full scope of lettering as say, the Society of Scribes in England.

If you are a member of Iampeth and see what you consider to be a shortfall of the organization, why not help to build it up rather than make digs at it? I don't understand that thinking.

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2014, 05:27:03 PM »
Why Spencerian?
I've been asking myself that question more and more often, and I've come to the conclusion that I just don't like it very much. I've no problem in writing it, in fact it's one of the easiest scripts to write. The illogical shading just looks weird to me and I just can't bring myself to write the wavy line over the letter t in placed of a crossbar.  I understand its history and I can appreciate schin's eloquent appraisal earlier in this thread ...but It's just not for me.
Fortunately, as I'm in the UK, I'm never asked for it in my work, so there's no problem there!

However, I love the letter structure in the skeletal "Business Writing" format.

Ken
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 10:36:42 AM by Ken Fraser »

Offline AndyT

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2014, 06:26:04 PM »
Glad to see the thread back on track.

Even though I like the very things which Ken singles out, it's the overall look of a page which really does it for me.  So, this is why:

Offline Scarlet Blue

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2014, 09:15:28 AM »
Blimey, I was going to write something hellishly facetious and then thought better of it...
ANYHOW... I like your example, Andy... but, I do kind of side with Ken... Spencerian doesn't really float my boat either... but there you go, we can't all get excited about the same things otherwise life would become very dull... calm and agreeable, but also dull.

Offline AndyT

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2014, 09:52:01 AM »
Oh, go on Scarlet.  I like facetious.

Offline Scarlet Blue

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2014, 12:43:18 PM »
No... I would have deserved a slap!

Offline Linda Y.

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2014, 01:22:51 PM »
No opinion here on which script is better or more pleasing to the eye - personally, I think they are all so beautiful and I want to learn them all ;D

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2014, 04:13:44 AM »
Again, you are making assumptions. The complete set of requirements for a Master Penman are on the members part of the website. The most difficult part is having your work judged by other Master Penman who are the top of their field, not self judged. Having excellence in broad pen lettering holds as much weight as excellence in script lettering.

I am aware of the complete requirements for a Master Penman, but I'm referring only to the clearly-stated writing requirements which make scant reference to broad pen lettering. This narrow view, IMO, debases the title of Master Penman. The other requirements are peripheral and are surely of lesser importance.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 04:31:10 PM by Ken Fraser »

Offline AlexPualani

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2014, 02:48:02 PM »
I found Spencerian Penmanship completely by accident but fell in love with it immediately. I love how it looks on page of unlined paper. It is so formal and personal at the same time. As a musician, I can't help but relate it music, but it just looks so graceful and effortless when done by a master, just like a master musician and a concerto. I also love looking at old letters and journals written in Spencerian because, before you even read it, you can tell it was written with love and care.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2014, 06:46:15 PM »
Recently I came across a book (which has its good points, to be fair) which starts out by defining calligraphy as "letters produced by the means of a square ended implement".  So that's us told then.   :(

I've seen this too, to which I respond, "Poppycock!"  ;D
« Last Edit: December 06, 2014, 07:58:31 PM by Erica McPhee »
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Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #41 on: December 28, 2014, 08:18:03 AM »
I found Spencerian Penmanship completely by accident but fell in love with it immediately. I love how it looks on page of unlined paper. It is so formal and personal at the same time. As a musician, I can't help but relate it music, but it just looks so graceful and effortless when done by a master, just like a master musician and a concerto.

I, too, am a musician, but it still does nothing for me.......However, I really like the majuscules!

Ken

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #42 on: December 28, 2014, 08:21:07 AM »
As for why Spencerian gets less love these days?  I think just because it's so much HARDER to do!   ;D

I don't find it any harder to do than any other script....it's certainly much more forgiving and therefore easier to do than English Roundhand which requires far more disciplined control of the nib's flexibility.

Ken
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 08:40:14 AM by Ken Fraser »

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #43 on: December 28, 2014, 08:31:16 AM »
Even though I like the very things which Ken singles out, it's the overall look of a page which really does it for me.  So, this is why:
I really like the beautiful, flowing, elegant majuscules but the minuscules just look odd to me, with their intermittent, illogical blobs of density. Also, the floating crossbar of the letter t just looks weird. 

Omit the shading, and you have an attractive, original style of lettering.

To each his/her own!

Ken


Offline AndyT

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Re: Why Spencerian?
« Reply #44 on: December 28, 2014, 09:55:24 AM »
To each his/her own!

Well quite.  Differences of opinion about aesthetics are healthy enough, and I've made it pretty clear in the past that copperplate does nothing for me - that implies no disrespect for the practitioners.

... it's certainly much more forgiving and therefore easier to do than English Roundhand which requires far more disciplined control of the nib's flexibility.

I'm going to take issue with that, though.  You're comparing apples with oranges, Ken - Spencerian is a business hand with shading options, intended to be written at speed.  We're back to the spontaneity / precision thing again, and it's the former which is fundamental to Spencerian and its ornamental variants - in my opinion.  It all rather depends on what level you're aiming for.

I am lucky enough to have seen original examples by most of the big Golden Age names, and they all have that dashy quality which cannot be obtained laboriously, except in the sense of having to practice for years.  I also have letters from Brian Walker which display the same flair and lightness of touch - having seen him in action I can report that he dashes these things off with no preparation and using only a single baseline for guidance.  You could put that down to indiscipline, but he'd probably say that it was down to twenty years of hard work on the style, and half a century as a calligrapher.