Beginners Modern Calligraphy – new venue in Cumbria

It’s funny how I’ve ended up teaching so many modern calligraphy workshops in Manchester, when I moved back home to Cumbria quite a few years ago now.

So I love it when I am asked to teach calligraphy workshop is closer to home. I often get asked – but workshops don’t generally sell out up here the way they do in the big city.

However – happy news!!!

On the 19th of October I will be teaching a calligraphy workshop in Arnside for the very first time.

Lovely Leanne at Waddington Home Interiors got in touch with me over the summer to ask if I would come and host a workshop for her. I was really excited to say yes!

Time has flown so much and it’s only four weeks away now so I will be packing up my little calligraphy kits once again on the 19th of October and heading down the road to beautiful Arnside to teach another fun relaxed and friendly modern calligraphy workshop.

Calligraphy workshop Location Date Click for details
Call Leanne at Waddington Home Interiors to book on 07921 575 930

This is a great workshop. Claire is very organised and friendly, explaining how to do the calligraphy and making it all sound very easy! She was there if we needed a helping hand but ready to let us work independently, which made me feel I was actually getting somewhere! Definitely a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. My only suggestion would be to have an organised break half way through as all the concentration required is quite tiring, and it would be a good opportunity to chat to other people. – Fiona, February 2018

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How to book:

Please contact Leanne who owns to book places on this workshop!

You can call on 07921 575 930

Christmas Calligraphy Workshop in Coniston, Cumbria!

My favourite things in life and in the world are my boyfriend, my cat, my family and the Lake District – in fact the whole of Cumbria, which is where I am so lucky to say I live.

I grew up here – I remember being dragged out onto the fells with my parents when I was little and moaning all the way up and all the way down, pretty much every time.

Turns out my folks were right after all! Now I spend every weekend I possibly can with Steve exploring the Lake District mountains. We’ve set ourselves the challenge of completing all of the 214 Wainwright fells in the Lake District – as I write this we’ve walked up 155 mountains with 59 left to go.

So it’s safe to say I really do love the Lake District. It feels like home. And being able to teach my modern calligraphy workshops in this beautiful part of the world is more of a treat than I even have words for.

I started teaching at Swallows & Artisans in 2018. It’s the most wonderful craft venue, set on a quiet lane above Coniston Water.

There is plenty of space for teaching and learning calligraphy – every student has their own desk space, and there is a little kitchen and a chill out area. Lovely owner Karen puts on the loveliest home-made cakes with tea and coffee available for us all day long.

I’m THRILLED to be coming back to Swallows & Artisans this November for a full day Christmas calligraphy workshop. We’ll be making lots of lovely things – gift tags, Christmas cards and beautiful personalised calligraphy baubles!

Calligraphy workshop

In this relaxed and friendly modern calligraphy workshop you’ll learn how to use a calligraphy pen and dippy ink pot.

We’ll practice alphabets then write some festive treats:-

  • gift tags
  • christmas cards
  • glitter baubles
  • gorgeous festive gift boxes

You’ll also take home your calligraphy pen and nib to practice at home. A warming soup, Christmas nibbles and refreshments will be provided.

“Spent a lovely couple of hours discovering modern calligraphy skills with Claire in a welcoming and comfortable environment. Would recommend to anyone wanting to try their hand at a uniquely personal art form.” – Ara, April 2018

How to book:

Book online at

Calligraphy workshop at Manchester Craft and Design Centre – ONE LAST TIME!

I’m actually a little bit sad to say that October’s modern calligraphy workshop at Manchester Craft & Design centre is going to be my last one for the forseeable future at this venue.

In 2020 almost all of my calligraphy workshops are going to be at weekends. This is to make them available to more people – so those of you who work all week can attend without having to book time off work. (And it means I get to play out on random Tuesdays, especially when it’s sunny.)

Unfortunately this means that I wasn’t able to book our lovely little classroom at the Craft & Design centre – so this October workshop is going to be my last one in one of my favourite little craft spaces.

Having said that, we might well come back in 2021 so watch this space!

For now though join me one last time at Manchester Craft & Design Centre for a beginners modern calligraphy workshop on Friday, the 11th of October. The class is half full already so please be quick if you’d like to come along.


“A super super experience, with a fab and patient teacher. I booked this as a gift for a friend and myself, which we thoroughly enjoyed. The personalised letter, the beautifully presented personalised calligraphy kit, right down to the presentation of the table, and the teaching, I wish it was a weekly workshop for me to escape to!! Thank you again Claire. x” – Zehra, October 2017

How to book:

Either email me directly at to book your place(s), or book online at

Calligraphy workshop at Smithills Hall, Bolton

Hi there! I’ve decided to start blogging a little more often, especially as this autumn I have so many events happening and I don’t want you to miss any of them!

I’m starting off with a workshop at a brand new venue: Smithills Hall, just outside of Bolton. I’ve seen it signposted from the motorway so I’m guessing it’s super easy to get to. I’ve also been told by the folks at Bolton Museums that it’s a gorgeous setting with a café and tons of history so I really can’t wait to teach there.

This brand new calligraphy workshop – which is suitable for absolute beginners – will be happening on the 6th of October. You can find all the details below. I really hope I’ll see you there!

If you’re a Most Haunted fan you might like to check out Smithills ghosts  – I told you this was a fascinating venue!

This is going to be a relaxed and enjoyable workshop in a unique setting – and I’m really looking forward to it!

Calligraphy workshop Location Date Click for details


Modern Calligraphy Workshops – autumn 2019

calligraphy workshop in progress with Claire Gould at Swallows and Artisans

Would you love to have a little go at modern calligraphy? With Christmas on the horizon (I know!) there is so much opportunity to practice – and your folks and friends are going to LOVE their gorgeous gift tags when you strut your calligraphy stuff!

I’d love to teach you modern calligraphy this autumn. I have four of my own workshops coming up around the UK, as well as a few extra dates I’ve been booked as a host for (exciting!!!!)

Upcoming dates for my beginners calligraphy workshops are –

7th September – Nantwich, Cheshire
6th October – Smithills Hall (Bolton)
11th October – Manchester
19th October – Arnside, Cumbria
27th November – Coniston, Cumbria
30th November – Manchester

If you fancy getting your craft on, come and join me! You’ll learn a wonderful skill (which you can use for your wedding!) and have a lovely relaxing day out. And every workshop is perfect for absolute beginners!

In each calligraphy class we’ll start with assembling a pen and spooning up ink. We’ll make flowy, swirly shapes and then letters and words. I’ll show you how, with demonstrations at every stage of the process. Best of all, you get to keep your modern calligraphy set at the end of the class! Included are your pen + nib, ink and worksheets.

There’ll be a little pop-up shop at the end so you can buy colourful inks, spare nibs and penholders, books and more worksheets if you like.

Class sizes are limited so everyone has some personal tuition – and no matter what your skill level (we all learn at different speeds) I will help you along the way!

The November calligraphy workshops will be Christmassy – we’ll write cards, gift tags and make a gorgeous glitter bauble to decorate your tree!

I can’t wait to see you there!

Book your modern calligraphy workshop here:

7th September – Nantwich – Tickets
6th October – Bolton – Tickets
11th October – Manchester – Tickets
19th October – Arnside – Tickets
27th November – Coniston – Tickets
30th November – Manchester – Tickets

Header image credit Nicole Colwell Photography, styled by Lily & Sage, featured on Wedding Sparrow

Getting your calligraphy out there – a weekly challenge!

It’s a scarily big step to go from practising calligraphy at home to showing to people – and getting your first ‘wow’ from a friend or a client.

One of my lovely calligraphy students just told me she has a 90 day goal of getting a first calligraphy client – which makes me so proud! She inspired me to come up with some baby steps – ideas to slowly filter your calligraphy practice out into the big wide world, so it becomes that much easier to share it with people – and eventually, to sell your craft!

Here’s a little list of ideas to help you share and publicise your calligraphy. I’ve written it as a weekly challenge, which I think will be a lovely way to start.

  • Week 1 – write a beautiful envelope and send it to a friend (maybe put a photo inside?) the key is to make it the best envelope that’s ever landed on their doorstep!
  • Week 2 – write yourself a little motivational postcard and pin it on your wall where you’ll see it every day. Write another and send it to a friend who needs a boost! Extra points if they share it on insta 🙂
  • Week 3 – write someone’s birthday card and envelope in calligraphy.
  • Week 4 – write a beautiful envelope and send it to a friend at their work. This way, colleagues will see it, the post people in their office will see it, and they’ll say “oh, my friend Caroline is a calligrapher”
  • Week 5 – write a beautiful name in calligraphy for a child you know. This could be your son or daughter, your cousin, sister, nephew or niece or a friend’s child. The rule: they have to be 12 or under.
  • Week 6 – gift someone something. Buy a cheap frame in a shop (for under £5), write a calligraphy quote and decorate it with a few flowers, then gift wrap it and give it to someone.
  • Week 7 – Create something especially for instagram. Make it impactful and take a great photo (throw some flowers or leaves on it!) – then share it on your insta with some hashtags: #learningcalligraphy #calligraphypractice etc – use at least 10 hashtags so other people learning calligraphy will see it too!
  • Week 8 – Invent an imaginary client. Perhaps it’s your dream customer – a bride-to-be or parents decorating a nursery for their little one. Pretend they ordered something, and make it for them. Pop it on instagram and say something like “a cute little invite designed for a summer wedding” – and remember those hashtags!
  • Week 9 – perfect your photography skills. Beautiful images of your work make ALL the difference. Gather together some little props (silk ribbon, flowers, pens, stamps, cute little stationery bits) and teach yourself how to do flatlays. (Insta is your friend if you need to research this!)
  • Week 10 – Create your brand name. Whether it’s your own name or a name for your business, having this in mind and writing it beautifully makes this little calligraphy project into something serious and exciting! It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be your logo forever… but just writing ‘Honey & Bee Calligraphy Company’ for real will be kind of a big deal!

I’ll be running an intermediate modern calligraphy workshop on the 17th of August in Manchester. If you’ve done a little calligraphy and would like to try some fun projects, and chat with me about turning your calligraphy into a business, I’d LOVE to see you there!

It will be a friendly, chatty, small class with tons of advice and personal attention for everyone so we can take your calligraphy to the next level!

Tickets here –


These beautiful photos are by Kathryn Hopkins

Learning to slow it down

I can feel my calligraphy style beginning to change – my influences are evolving and so is my lettering.

The thing is, you always learn. With calligraphy there’s never a ‘perfect’. Fashions and styles change, and there are so many styles out there, there’s always another which tempts me.

So I’ve been watching videos by master calligrapher Paul Antonio, by Suzanne Cunningham and by Ashok Giri. These guys write slowly and beautifully, and in more traditional styles.

And even as I write modern letters, I’m slowing down and thinking more while I write. The temptation with modern calligraphy is to rush things. And while a wayward stroke or two doesn’t matter so much in this style, a carefully planned, uncrushed wayward stroke can make all the difference.

Come and learn modern calligraphy with me!

Upcoming calligraphy workshop dates:

21st June – brush pen lettering in Manchester

5th July – modern calligraphy in Manchester 

6th August – modern calligraphy and brush pen lettering in Cumbria

17th August – intermediate modern calligraphy in Manchester

7th September – modern calligraphy and brush pen lettering in Cheshire

11th October – absolute beginners modern calligraphy in Manchester

30th November – Christmas calligraphy workshop in Manchester

Calligraphy workshop success!

Last weekend I taught two modern calligraphy workshops at The Little Paper Shop in Nantwich, Cheshire. They were so much fun!

In the morning we made cards with owls and lovely quotes to give to mothers, daughters, friends and new granddaughters! And we wrote some fantastic framed motivational quotes.

The afternoon was filled with rainbow calligraphy, making friends and learning a lot about babies and toddlers (they wee in flower pots in banks! So funny!)

Huge thanks to everyone who came and made it such a fun day. You were all FANTASTIC!! And of course thank you lovely Cara, Aga and Camilla from The Little Paper Shop. Your little world is just wonderful.

I can’t wait to come back in September for more. Join me on 7th September for modern calligraphy in the morning and brush lettering in the afternoon!

Tickets via The Little Paper Shop here 🙂 Workshops: The Little Paper Shop