How to write your name in 22 carat gold calligraphy

Almost a year ago I had an email from another calligrapher who’d seen my gold leaf name on Etsy. She asked how it was done – it’s tricky to add gilding to anything so fine.

I’ll be teaching a calligraphy workshop in Coniston (in the Lake District) on the 21st of March and I decided this would be a lovely project to share with people. It’s deceptively easy with the right tools, and only takes a little patience to master!

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen this in my Stories – applying gold leaf is really satisfying to do – and to watch! I wanted to share a more detailed tutorial for you to follow if you’d like to try this at home.

You will need:

Kölner Miniatum Ink is basically a glue with an inky consistency so it flows relatively easily through a calligraphy nib. It doesn’t sink into paper so it gives a raised effect to your finished gilded letters.

Practice a couple of times with the ink on ordinary paper to get a feel for its consistency, as it is thicker than normal ink. You’ll need good light to see it on dark card, so sit near a window or have a table lamp to the side of you.

Write your name on the card and then quickly clean any glue / ink residue from your nib. Too slow and your nib will get all stuck together!

TIP: Clean your nib very, very regularly when writing with Kölner Miniatum Ink – at least every minute, but preferably every 30 seconds or so. It dries and sticks FAST!

Leave your calligraphy to dry for approximately 20 minutes, until all the pink bits have disappeared and the ‘ink’ is transparent. Don’t leave it too long though, as the ink should still be tacky for the gold leaf to adhere to it. As a general rule, apply the gold as soon as the ink is clear.

Take a piece of transfer gold leaf and place it onto the name you’ve written. Hold it still while you rub slowly, pressing with your finger around the edges of every letter and stroke so the gold covers even the thin hairlines of your calligraphy. You can do this twice to get a more thorough coverage of gold leaf.

Remove the transfer sheet and ‘tidy up’ all the loose bits of gold around the letters. Poke the edges and corners within each letter with the tip of your brush to remove the rough bits around the sides, and give your name a little polish with the brush so it shines!

There are still a handful of places left for the modern calligraphy workshop on the 21st of March. Click here for information and to book your (full day) ticket.

For morning (beginners) or afternoon session tickets visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/swallows-amp-artisans-16890265992

BRIDES magazine feature | Spring 2019

“… this stunning shoot, styled by events planners For The Love Of Weddings, is a floral fairytale brought to life. Petals in a palette of soft peaches and pinks – offset by foliage and pops of purple – set the tone, complemented by tables adorned with yet more flowers, sumptuous silks and opulent gold touches. Add luxe bespoke stationery, a beautifully ethereal cake and an exquisite gown and you have the key to unlock the Secret Garden wedding of your dreams…”

~ BRIDES magazine, March / April 2019 edition

Photography – Jessica Reeve Photography – www.jessicareeve-photography.com
Venue – Dorfold Hall http://www.dorfoldhall.com
Stylist – For the Love of Weddings www.fortheloveofweddings.me
Cake and illustration – Amy Swann https://amyswann.co.uk
Stationery – By Moon and Tide
Florist – Lucy the Flower Hunter
Hair/makeup – Jodie A Smith
Hair Accessories – Clare Lloyd Accessories – www.clarelloyd.co.uk
Dress – Emma Beaumont Atelier – www.emmabeaumont.com
Tablescape linen and bridal bouquet ribbon – Kate Cullen – www.katecullen.co.uk
Linen for styling stationery, shoes and cake – Lancaster and Cornish – www.lancasterandcornish.co.uk
Shoes – Emmy London
Suit – Whitfield and Ward – www.whitfieldandward.co.uk
Chairs – Chairman Hire – www.chairmanhire.com
Models – Catherine Barrett & George Palmer
Tableware – Vintage Gold China – www.vintagegoldchina.com

Christmas is coming…

We’re getting our glitter ON this Friday in Manchester – with only 5 days to go until my Festive Modern Calligraphy Workshop the last few tickets are just £55!

You get to take home your calligraphy pen and nib, all the worksheets from the class, and some festive goodies… bauble gift tags, personalised cloche baubles which you will MAKE, and your very own, very special Christmas card!

Come and join us – last-minute tickets do tend to sell quickly and we have just four left!!

Calligraphy workshop tickets & info here

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!

Christmas preparations at By Moon & Tide Calligraphy

With less than nine weeks until Christmas, we’re busy making plans and stocking up (pun not intended!) on gift tags and calligraphy kits for the festive season!

I’ve been working on some exercises for those of you learning calligraphy, and shared this Christmas card design on my social media. I love it because it’s deceptively easy to write, and teaches 3 important aspects of modern calligraphy:

1 – the technique of moving smoothly from a thin to a thick stroke

2 – the trick of seeing through the window* when your ink is about to run out

3 – the importance of not rushing! (this video is a time lapse – it actually takes over 3 minutes to create this card design)

It’s also wonderfully Christmassy!

I’ll be teaching this as a practice technique AND a Christmas card design in my calligraphy class on 7th December in Manchester. There are still tickets available and I’d love to see you there!

Link for info & tickets – www.eventbrite.co.uk
Facebook group for updates on this event – facebook.com/events/2242810669287323

Real wedding – Emma & Duncan’s dusky rose calligraphy

I really do get to work with the loveliest people! From the moment Emma emailed about her wedding invitations, every correspondence was a pleasure.

Emma and Duncan’s day was classic, beautifully styled and in a timeless colour palette. I wrote hand calligraphy in a dusky pink ink, on luxury stationery with a slight texture. Printing was in a soft dove grey.

Emma and Duncan ordered invitations from me at first, then for their reception at Cripps Barn went on to have a table plan, place names and wedding menus for all of their tables.

They styled tables with macaron favours, gorgeous table numbers and white linens with a dusky pink ribbon.

Their photographer was Dan Morris, a brilliant Cotswolds wedding photographer.

The happy couple looking absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations, Emma & Duncan!

All images by Dan Morris Photography at https://danmorrisphotography.co.uk

Essential supplies for modern calligraphy – day 7 and beyond

Once you know you’ll keep practising, it’s worth getting a few extra supplies – so I recommend making learning calligraphy fun with:

  1. coloured inks
  2. coloured papers – especially dark
  3. different nibs
  4. a book – try my Introduction to Modern Calligraphy, or Nib & Ink, or Modern Calligraphy Workshop

Read my article about making practice fun, where I explain a little more about all of these – and don’t be afraid to experiment!

Modern calligraphy isn’t about making the perfect shapes on your page. It’s about exploring an art form, trying something new and finding your own personality through your writing.

So if you’re a rose-gold on black kind of person, this is how you should practise… be a little flamboyant, spoil yourself, and pop to the shops with gold ink all over your hands and face! You’re a calligrapher now…

All images by Jenny Jones Photography

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