Brush lettering, and Christmas calligraphy workshops!

I’m going to brighten up my calligraphy workshops from now with a little more variation in the styles we learn and the tools we use on the day – so here’s our exciting schedule of modern calligraphy classes for the rest of the year!

September 15th – write your own gold ink greetings card

at Swallows & Artisans, Lanehead, Coniston, Cumbria from 2 o’clock until 5.

I have some gorgeous blue cards and softly shining gold inks to use in this class – so we’ll spend the first half of the session learning how to use the dip pen and nib with black ink and letter templates, and then crack open the shiny inks and play!

More info & tickets

Facebook Event Page

October 20th – calligraphy and brush lettering class

at Manchester Craft & Design Centre from 1 o’clock until half past 3

This workshop will be all about using two different calligraphy tools to create beautiful, on-trend modern letter styles. The dip pen and nib is my favourite, and I use this combo every day! Brush lettering is so much fun, and some students find it much more easy to learn… I wonder which will be your fave?

More info & tickets

Facebook Event Page

Photo credit: Melissa Beattie Photography

December 7th – Christmas calligraphy class

at Manchester Craft & Design Centre from 1 o’clock until half past 3

This will be a really festive session aimed at crafty folks who make cards and would love to add their own beautiful hand lettering to their designs! We’ll use metallic inks, coloured cards and gift tags in a vibrant or frosty colour palette!

More info & tickets

Facebook Event Page

 

Manchester calligraphy workshop at Ziferblat, August 2018

It’s been a busy summer, and the warm months have really flown by! A few weeks back I was at a new location, Ziferblat – a genius concept cafe and workspace in the heart of the northern quarter. Teaching in their classroom was fantastic – the space for students to write is wonderful; the rollover blackboard lived up to my dreams (although chalk BREAKS all the time… which was actually quite funny).

Lovely Mahwish, who came to a previous class held at the Craft & Design Centre, came along to take some photos on the day. I love them – they capture the very studious nature of this class! I’m sure we’ll be back at Ziferblat again, and I have my eyes on their gorgeous dining room for a more intimate session in 2019. For now though, here are Mahwish’s photos of the day. I hope they give you an intriguing sneak peek behind the scenes of a modern calligraphy class!

Huge thanks to Mahwish for being an absolute superstar, helping me hand out all the inks and worksheets on the day and generally being a brilliant human being. Please visit her Etsy shop Bohemian Drifters when you’re Christmas shopping… she makes the loveliest boho gemstone jewellery and her cushions are stunning!

Next calligraphy workshops are:

Friday 7th September

Saturday 20th October

Friday 7th December

Last minute calligraphy workshop tickets for Friday now only £45!

If you’re reading this because you love modern calligraphy but haven’t picked up a pen yet – or if you have a pen but aren’t sure how to get started, it’s time to start learning!

There are a handful of spaces left on my September calligraphy class at Manchester Craft & Design Centre. It’s on Friday afternoon (7th September) and you’ll learn EVERYTHING you need to know about modern calligraphy techniques in just a couple of hours.

The workshops have a focus on individual personal tuition, with small groups so everyone is free to learn at their own pace. You’ll also have the opportunity to watch demos and ask questions as you learn!

To book your reduced price space(s) for just £45 each just click here: Tickets

Photos by Laura at Inbetween Days Photography

Behind the scenes! Calligraphy workshop video and a little review!

How time flies… I’ve just shared this video of one of my calligraphy workshops from back in 2016 on my facebook page, as a lovely reminder. Over 2 years the format of the workshops has changed only a little, as I learn from you lovely people who come along to my classes!

Thank you to lovely Fiona for her review of the class! Getting lost inside calligraphy is my everyday 🙂

And huge thanks to Cheshire wedding photographer Paul Kyte for his time and for making me such a lovely promotional video.

 

More modern calligraphy workshops coming up soon –

Friday 7th September at Manchester Craft & Design Centre
Tickets now on sale at £52 – book your place here

Saturday 15th September at Swallows & Artisans, Coniston
Tickets now on sale at £63.47 – book your place here

ps. It’s August and my garden is full of hailstones. Yikes!

Realistic expectations – what will you learn at a modern calligraphy workshop?

Modern calligraphy is harder than it looks.

But I’m confident at least 90% of people can do it – and I really do believe that you only need 2 hours of teaching before you can continue your calligraphy journey to success!

The secret is to practice – have your first practice session at home (if you drink, a bottle of wine is a lovely accompaniment and will help your lettering along beautifully!) within a week of doing a calligraphy workshop.

Calligraphy workshops are different for everyone. Imagine asking 15 of your friends to draw their very best picture of a lion. The results would be soooo varied, wouldn’t they?

My point is that we’re all creatively different. Some of us are arty; others are more careful with writing – but we can all learn lettering even if we’re starting from completely different places.

Most of my calligraphy classes have about 15 students. They’re of all ages, from all kinds of backgrounds and working in all kinds of jobs. Some are graphic designers; others are planning their weddings. Often people are crafty-creative – but that can be anything from felting to making tissue paper pom-poms or being a designer.

One constant is that my calligraphy workshops are a place where people learn.  You’ll genuinely go home with a new skill – you’ll have learned how to manipulate a brand new tool (the dip pen and nib) and I hope you’ll be excited and confident about practicing more at home and getting even better!

At the end of my modern calligraphy class, you’ll be happily using your calligraphy dip pen to create smooth and characterful swells and hairline strokes with your nib.

You’ll have learned the shapes of key letters – while we don’t concentrate too much on mastering every individual letter of the alphabet, you’ll have plenty of time to experiment with each one and discover your favourites!

By the end of the class you will:

  • be writing a pretty alphabet with thick and thin strokes, but you will need a little practice to perfect your curves and curls
  • be confident with the calligraphy pen and nib, and ready to experiment with different papers, nibs and colourful inks!
  • be ready to practice at home – and I hope you’ll be excited to keep writing!

 

My next calligraphy workshops are –
Ziferblat Edge st, Manchester – 18th August at 2pm
Tickets £35 (click to buy)

Manchester Craft & Design Centre – 7th September at 1pm
Tickets £59 (includes your own calligraphy kit to take home!)

 


Photography credits: Zen Photo

Summer & autumn 2018 calligraphy workshop spaces

I was chatting the other day about the classroom at Manchester Craft & Design Centre where I run my modern calligraphy workshops. It’s a beautiful, bright spot with white walls and bright windows – perfect for writing.

This August I’m launching Calligraphy Summer School – a very different class at a brand new venue. Ziferblat itself is wonderfully eclectic, with a main living room full of mismatched armchairs, sofas and coffee tables. The atmosphere of the place really suits the decor… and it just feels wonderfully creative.

My Ziferblat calligraphy workshop will be held in their classroom – a properly nostalgic room filled with desks and with one of those rollover blackboards which I can’t wait to write on!!!

Join me for calligraphy summer school – a 90 minute informal class at Ziferblat Edge St – on August 18th at 2pm (tickets £35)

Or come to Manchester Craft & Design Centre for a full (2+ hour) workshop with personalised calligraphy kits for every student to take home – on September 7th at 1pm (tickets £65)

A little more info about my summer calligraphy workshop

I went down to Manchester the other day to check out Ziferblat (and do some birthday shopping for my man) – and without a shadow of a doubt, if I lived closer to Manchester I’d be working from their comfy mega-living-room at least one day a week.

Ziferblat’s classroom is where my next modern calligraphy workshop will happen. It’s easy to get to, with plenty of space for lots of calligraphers (I mean you!) – I’m really excited to be running a class in there!

Ziferblat, it turns out, is a genius place for self employed and creative folks to get shit done. It’s practically next door to the Craft & Design Centre, and you instantly feel welcome from the moment you arrive.

On a normal visit you’re greeted at the door by a lovely person who’ll explain, in a nutshell, how the biscuits work (They write your name down and what time you got there, you wander off and drink coffee with cakes or whatever, then you pay for the minutes you’ve spent there on your way out.

On the day of the calligraphy workshop, the classroom at Ziferblat will be set out ready for us with tea / coffee, biscuits etc laid out for us. You could also grab a cake or a sandwich from Ziferblat’s selection on the way in.

Ziferblat hosts (they’re all lovely friendly people) will show you to the classroom when you arrive. I’ll be the one by the blackboard, chalk in hand, playing teacher – I can’t wait!! – We’ll each have a desk (it’s properly like school!) and I’ll set up my little pop up shop so you can buy a pen & nib to take home if you fall in love with calligraphy!

Anything you eat or drink during the class is included in the ticket price of the workshop. Yes – once you’ve bought your ticket it’s all free until the end of the class! And if you’d like to stay for a coffee after the workshop, simply check in at the main desk, grab a comfy chair and enjoy the Ziferblat vibe!

Check out Ziferblat Edge St (Manchester) here – www.ziferblat.co.uk/edgestmanchester

Find out more and book your place at Calligraphy Summer School here – www.etsy.com/uk/listing/619076399

Follow the event on Facebook here for regular updates – www.facebook.com/events/1012988512198724

 

The single most important trick you need to know to master modern calligraphy

Are you struggling to refine your modern calligraphy technique? Do you have all the kit, but you just can’t quite get the technique despite watching every insta and youtube video going?

There’s one tip which I teach at the very beginning of all of my calligraphy workshops. It will make or break your calligraphy.

Getting this single thing wrong is the cause of scratchy noises, of jagged lines, of ink spatters and more. Sound familiar? I know – everyone does it unless they’re taught not to. It’s not the most obvious thing to spot on online videos.

But it is crucial to your calligraphy technique.

It’s your pen angle.

Image credit: Jenny Jones Photography

Your calligraphy nib HAS TO point in exactly the right direction. If your writing style slants to the right, then your nib should point to one o’clock on the paper.

If your lettering is straight up, ie vertical on the paper, then your nib HAS TO point in the same direction.

Because of the way a calligraphy nib splits as you write, it’s essential to put equal pressure on both sides of the nib (the tines) as you go. If you press too hard on one side, if your nib twists or rolls to one side as you write, you get a kind of scissor effect with the tines of the nib. Imagine cutting with scissors – the ends cross: that’s how they cut. It’s the LAST thing you want your calligraphy nib to be doing.

Naturally most of us hold a normal writing pen (biro, fountain pen) pointing towards about 10 o’clock on the paper. Using a calligraphy pen at this angle will make smooth lettering impossible.

If you find it hard to adjust the angle of your hand / pen / nib to point towards 12 or 1 o’clock, turn your paper. Mine tends to be at 90 degrees on the table when I’m practising modern calligraphy.

Have another look at those insta and youtube clips you love. You’ll see the calligraphers are all pointing their nibs in the direction of their writing.

This is the secret to mastering modern calligraphy, and I spend the first fifteen minutes of my calligraphy classes making absolutely sure everyone has this nailed. From then on, it’s pretty plain sailing!

Join me for calligraphy summer school at Manchester’s Ziferblat Edge St on the 18th of August. It’s only £35 for 90 minutes of calligraphy learning, aimed at absolute beginners. I’ll show you exactly how pen angles work (and we’ll talk about how vertical they should be too!) – and share more tips for mastering modern calligraphy.

Tickets here: bymoonandtide.com/listing/619076399/calligraphy-summer-school-90-min


Header image by Zehra Jagani
Close ups by Jenny Jones Photography