Calligraphy workshops SALE extended!! Save on my Manchester classes if you book by Friday!

What a week it’s been! So many lovely things to make and plan; so little time! As a thank you for all of your wonderful comments and for supporting my little calligraphy business, I am extending the sale of my 2019 calligraphy workshops until Friday!

SAVE 10% on any of these Manchester calligraphy workshops if you book BY FRIDAY*

Click on the links below to find out more and book your places!


Friday 22nd February 2019
Click for details – Absolute beginners’ introduction to modern calligraphy
Book your places

Saturday 27th April
Click for details – Wedding calligraphy workshop
Book your places

Friday 21st June
Brush lettering workshop
Book your places

Saturday 17th August
Intermediate modern calligraphy workshop
Book your places

*offer ends 30th November 2018 and is subject to availability – only 16 students per class in February and June, and 12 per class in April and August.

Gift vouchers are now available – if your order is a gift for someone, just let me know by including a note with their name when you order!

How to buy a calligraphy workshop as a GIFT EXPERIENCE!

Do you know someone who would love to do a modern calligraphy class? Have you been searching high and low for the perfect present for that creative person you love? Maybe they’ve already got a calligraphy set, but they’re not quite confident enough yet to really start writing….

A modern calligraphy experience makes the most wonderful gift. Spending a couple of hours in a lovely environment with likeminded people will be a treat – and I’m happy to say you can now book a modern calligraphy workshop with a GIFT VOUCHER so you actually have something to give on Christmas day.

It’s so easy to order a calligraphy workshop as a gift this Christmas.

  1. First of all, browse my list of calligraphy workshops for a date which suits you best.
  2. Then follow the link (or click from the list below) to find all the details for the workshop you’ve chosen.
  3. Please include a note when ordering to let me know the name of the person attending the workshop, as kits on the day will be personalised (I write everyone’s names by hand on their kits, so they have a little ‘present’ to open when they arrive!)
  4. Please also include the attendee’s name as a note when you order, and just ask me for a gift voucher in the post!
  5. Rather than sending you an e-ticket, I’ll print out a little information pack and gift voucher, pop them in a handwritten envelope and send your little package in the post to you! 

Click on the links below to find out more and book your places!


Friday 22nd February 2019
Click for details – Absolute beginners’ introduction to modern calligraphy
Book tickets

Saturday 27th April
Click for details – Wedding calligraphy workshop
Book tickets

Friday 21st June
Brush lettering workshop
Book tickets

Saturday 17th August
Intermediate modern calligraphy workshop
Book tickets

Friday 11th October
Modern calligraphy workshop
Book tickets

Saturday 30th November
Christmas calligraphy workshop
Book tickets

Calligraphy cheat sheets and beautifully cheeky swears – 50% OFF!

Cheating at calligraphy is absolutely fine while you get to know your pens and begin to feel the rhythm of lettering. I even teach a section of my modern calligraphy workshops with cheat sheets – it really helps some students go on to make beautiful, shapely letters.

So earlier this year I designed some little cheat sheets which you can download and print from my Etsy shop, to help you practice.

And because I believe that calligraphy practice should be fun, there’s a selection of everything from modern calligraphy alphabets to creative swearing for you to write!

Today you can save 50% OFF all of my calligraphy cheat sheets when you order online. They’re NOW ONLY £1.34 PER SET!!!

Here’s a full list of my calligraphy cheat sheets for you to collect –

  1. Lower case letters a – m
  2. Lower case letters n – z
  3. Lower case words a – m
  4. Lower case words n – z
  5. Upper case letters A – M
  6. Upper case letters N – Z
  7. Joining letters
  8. Quotes and layouts
  9. Beautiful calligraphy swears

Each set includes a cover sheet, introduction, 2 cheat sheets, + 2 additional (darker) copies of cheat sheets for you to copy out freehand.

Click on the numbered links above to order – it’s that simple!

If you don’t have a calligraphy pen, ink or nib yet, take a look at my modern calligraphy set, which is perfect for beginners.

Black Friday sale – part 1

This is the first year I’ve really done anything for Black Friday – and I’m excited to say my modern calligraphy sets are now ON SALE in my Etsy shop.

If you’re looking for a unique gift for someone creative, then this is the perfect Christmas present idea. And today you can SAVE 10% – while stocks last!

modern calligraphy set

We’ve included everything you could possibly need in this beautiful quality beginners calligraphy kit. As soon as it arrives, you’ll be able to dive straight in!
It includes a gorgeous book full of advice, letters to copy and practice, alphabets and examples.

This kit gives you so much more than most: it includes personalised journal, dip pen and ink, high quality nib, gift tags, gridline paper sheets and modern calligraphy guide book.

The kit is beautifully and securely packaged, and includes a lovely NEW gold foil printed presentation box so you can keep all of your calligraphy bits and pieces inside.


Click here to order! The 10% discount will be applied automatically while stocks last or until 26th November


– A4 presentation box

– Personalised journal with your name on

– Introduction to Modern Calligraphy book (32 pages)
– first shapes and strokes
– alphabets to study and copy
– first words and notes on joining letters
– quotes to copy and practice
– mirror & chalkboard lettering tips
– tips for buying calligraphy supplies

– 1 jar of black calligraphy ink

– Black oblique penholder*
– High quality calligraphy nib

– 10 gift tags (blank)

– Brush lettering pen

– Starter pack of paper with printed gridlines




Black Friday offers – calligraphy workshop discount and gift voucher

For those of you who’d like to try a little calligraphy of your own, I am running a Black Friday offer on selected modern calligraphy workshops in Manchester.

You can save 10% on FOUR of my Manchester calligraphy classes if you book TODAY*

Click on the links below to find out more and book your places!


Friday 22nd February 2019
Click for details – Absolute beginners’ introduction to modern calligraphy
Book your places

Saturday 27th April
Click for details – Wedding calligraphy workshop
Book your places

Friday 21st June
Brush lettering workshop
Book your places

Saturday 17th August
Intermediate modern calligraphy workshop
Book your places

*offer ends 26th November 2018 and is subject to availability – only 16 students per class at Manchester Craft & Design Centre, and 12 per class in the Secret Study at Ziferblat in Manchester Media City

I’m happy to say you can now book a modern calligraphy workshop with a GIFT VOUCHER so you actually have something to give on Christmas day. Just ask me when you book!

Free modern calligraphy online tutorial – for one month only!

Happy November! How are you? If you’re a calligraphy beginner then I have something rather unique I’d like to share with you today – my introduction to modern calligraphy ON FILM! This is the first time I’ve ever shared this calligraphy tutorial for free. It’s usually included in my online calligraphy course where you buy all 6 tutorials for a set price. But for one month only, I’m sharing this first video and worksheets with you FREE!

I filmed a series of 6 modern calligraphy workshops a couple of years ago. This is the first tutorial in the series, and introduces my modern calligraphy set – which now looks SO different to the original (I’ll do a little ‘unbox’ clip on the blog or my Instagram in a few days’ time).

If you’ve been to a calligraphy class with me in person, you’ll recognise the exercises and the advice I give about super thin, hairline strokes… and about not being too gentle with your nib on the downwards strokes.

The worksheets you’ll need to complete this workshop are here –

1. lines & pen pressure
2. loops and smooth pressure strokes

If you’d like to buy my calligraphy starter set you can – and do use the discount code in the video!

Modern calligraphy starter set

To watch a brief introduction to the full course see below.

Making Beautiful Letters – A Modern Calligraphy Workshop Online from Claire Gould on Vimeo.

If you enjoyed the video I would love for you to complete the full series of modern calligraphy workshops online. They cover alphabets and layouts, quotes and practice – and offer suggestions for exciting calligraphy projects in the last video.

Sign up for the full series of modern calligraphy tutorials here.

Modern calligraphy – a way to relax and slow down

In every calligraphy course I teach, someone will say ‘It’s so therapeutic’ – with a little note of happy surprise. I wait for the moment, I guess who’ll say it first, and I love it when they do.

Modern calligraphy is the loveliest hobby, and accessible for almost everyone. Watching the graceful movements of your pen, seeing the calligraphy nib bend and the ink flow – it’s almost hypnotic.

The key to modern calligraphy, whether you’re writing with a pointed pen or a brush lettering pen, is slowness.

Photography credit: Verona Lain

We rarely write these days. When we do, it’s either fast notes on the phone or in a meeting, or perhaps an exam where the challenge is basically to get as many words onto some sheets of paper as is humanly possible within 90 minutes.

That’s no fun!

Writing calligraphy as an art is different. Every shape can be carefully considered, every stroke of the pen should be planned – even if that becomes a subconscious process.

Modern lettering artists write slowly. The play between hand (pen) and eye is a rhythmic one. And as you learn calligraphy you come to appreciate the difference between everyday writing and lettering arts.

Calligraphy practice at home in the evenings can be a beautiful escape from the past paced lives we lead. After a busy day at work, treat yourself to half an hour in a quiet room, with a little music and a glass of wine. Find some lovely smooth paper to write on, and use your favourite coloured ink. Then take your time, relax your breathing and practice your letters – slowly.

Learning calligraphy really is therapeutic – and it’s not just about the letters but about consciously focusing on your creativity, away from the rest of the world.

Join me for a modern calligraphy workshop in Manchester on December 7th, or check out these dates for 2019 –

6th February – Coniston – Modern calligraphy workshop
6th February – Coniston – Brush lettering workshop
(Combined tickets for both sessions here)

22nd February – Manchester – Absolute beginners’ introduction to modern calligraphy

27th April – Manchester – Wedding calligraphy workshop

21st June – Manchester – Brush lettering workshop

17th August – Manchester – Intermediate modern calligraphy workshop

11th October – Manchester – Modern calligraphy workshop

30th November – Manchester – Christmas calligraphy workshop

Rusty nibs! How the internet tells you to care for calligraphy nibs, and what I actually do!

I had an email from Sarah the other day – she’d been to one of my calligraphy workshops and kept her nib – but within a few months it had begun to rust. She asked me for advice: is there a best way to keep calligraphy nibs, to prevent rusting?

Now I go through nibs pretty fast – usually three or four Nikko Gs in a week. (They’re my fave nib of the moment, and suitable for almost everything I write!) But I do have a few little collections of older nibs, which have on occasion gone a little rusty… so I needed to find out tips for keeping nibs clean as much as Sarah did!

The internet says the secret of clean nibs is:

Drying them

We’re all guilty of throwing down a nib at the end of a practice session, perhaps giving it a quick dab on a cloth, and leaving it for a while.


A dry nib is a happy nib. That’s basically it.

Rust on calligraphy nibs is caused by moisture. (Obvious from science class at school, and also unanimously agreed on the internet.)DRY YOUR NIBS really really really really well – and they should be fine!

Storing them in a really dry place

I have nibs in:

a) a wooden vintage tea chest box
b) a handmade mache box with a gorgeous fairy on top, who I call ‘the bloke’
c) a wooden matchbox-style box I got from a photographer friend
d) plastic boxes I get when I order nibs in their hundreds

The one thing they all have in common is the little sachet of silica gel inside. That baby keeps nibs super dry, even when they’re stored for a long long time.

Maybe…. oiling them?

So I have wondered about this in the past. And the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. If you’re going to store a nib for a long time, and want it to last, dry it really thoroughly then oil it.

If you’re a gardener, you’ll know you have to look after your secateurs, loppers and shears. Oh, and your trowel and fork and the rest of it. (Mine are all rusting in the garage!)

The same applies to calligraphy nibs! (says the internet) – and remember the potato trick? New nibs come with a lacquer / oil coating to stop them rusting? Potato starch somehow (magic) gets rid of the oil and lets the ink flow? Maybe, just maybe, oiling your nib before long term storage will prevent any rust.

If you try this, let me know how it goes!

Storing them separately

I’d never heard this, but apparently “rust begets rust”. (How old can that saying be? Do folks still say ‘begets’?!) Anyway – it seems to be true. Keep a happy nib next to a rusty one, and it will go rusty. So keep them apart!

Cleaning rust off your nibs before it’s too late!

There are two kinds of rust: surface rust, and ‘red rust’. Nibs are so tiny it can’t be easy to tell the difference, but if your nib is fairly new and has a spot of rust on it, it might just be salvageable. Get an old toothbrush and a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, and rub gently (with a drop of water). Surface rust will clean away, and your nib might be ok to use.

A word of caution:

vintage nibs with rust could be dangerous – if the metal has corroded all the way through, the nib could snap. Don’t risk trying to write with an old nib if it’s had years to rust away: the risk to your beautiful eyes isn’t worth it!

How I store my calligraphy nibs

I’m not a tidy person by any means, but calligraphy nibs live happily in the cutest little containers, so they’re easy to store.

Also, if you ever stand on one you’ll remember it for life. So mine go in boxes so I know they’re not on the carpet under my desk. Lesson learnt.

I have various little containers, and I use separate ones for broad-edged nibs (for italics and gothic lettering etc.) – these are the nibs I don’t use so often nowadays.

My pointed nibs go in the little wooden box if they’re used – and there’s always silica gel in there to keep them dry.

Brand new nibs stay in the original packaging. I keep them air-tight until I need one, and then in goes the silica gel straight away.

A last word on caring for your nibs

This is an interesting video if you’re really having trouble with rusty calligraphy nibs.

It recommends opening a sachet of silica gel and sprinkling a few balls of it into a little test tube-like holder, then putting a teeny piece of toilet roll in, squidging it to the bottom of the tube with the end of a penholder, and lining up all your nibs before popping them inside. Ingenious, if you like that sort of thing!

My nib boxes are from:

(handmade) – Vintage Twee
(wooden box) – Amanda Karen Photography


Further reading:

Storing nibs in cut up straws?

When it’s time to change your nib

Finally! A use for that horrible Arm & Hammer toothpaste!