The Joy of Lettering – A book on a Chair….

Finally a perk for being an online calligrapher! I have been sent a book to review direct from the publisher. I am chuffed to be asked. The book is The Joy of Lettering by Gabri Joy Kirkendall and Jaclyn Anne Escalera, and ‘joy’ is the operative word.

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A big book on a chair!! 144 pages of lettering joy!!

The book is divided into five sections covering the history of lettering; stylised typography; lettering techniques; lettering with alternative media; and a final section for projects. The projects are well illustrated with easy to follow instructions throughout; they are probably best suited to beginners, although after a casual perusal I did feel inspired to learn how to digitise my lettering, and perhaps make my own Christmas wrapping paper…

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Wrapping paper project!!

I will definitely make the gift tags…

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Jolly Christmas tags!!

…and I will possibly do something artful with an envelope. I was a little perturbed/distressed by pages 82-85…. I would be fibbing if I said I didn’t twitch a little – you will have to grab a copy of the book to find out why, fortunately the project featuring laminated foil made up for this – as I’ve always wanted to know how this is done, AND there is instruction on how to make a hand-lettered typeface, which is something I’ve always wanted to try.

With hints and tips aplenty, The Joy of Lettering demonstrates how all lettering techniques can be applied to enhance a plethora of craft projects. It’s a resource book that encourages the reader to try new ideas, to hone their skills, and, most importantly, to develop their own unique style.

More reviews and where to buy The Joy of Lettering HERE

In other news:-

Over Halloween I had a visitation. This often happens to me in October. A penny dropped. A discarded teabag was discovered in the hallway. A death occurred… and I finally committed myself to finishing my epic pamphlet called The Chronicles of Mogwash. Fear not, I will not randomly publish Mogwash related posts on this blog. I will finish the damn thing first so as not to cause my six dedicated Mogwash fans unnecessary suffering.

May the teabag be with you.

Sx

Charmaine escapes, and an accident waiting to happen…

'Nobody is interested in broad edge calligraphy, Aunt Scarlet’, said Charmaine with a whine in her voice.
She had somehow escaped from the attic and was slumped in the doorway of my light and airy studio.

‘What do you mean, you silly girl, why do you come out with such piffle?’ I said as I balanced precariously on a sixteen foot ladder trying to dust my chandelier.
I glanced down at her. The girl had gone an unattractive shade of puce, and I made a mental note to take her out in the afternoon for some fresh air and a brisk trot around the paddock.

‘I’ve been looking at your blog stats, only 0.256 people read your recent post about the dimple nib reservoir on the Mitchell nib. Nobody cares, Aunt Scarlet, your arse is way more popular than stupid broad edge stuff.’

I smiled to myself, my rear end had always been popular with my readers, but I knew where Charmaine was going with this conversation, it was obvious to me that she was desperate to get her mitts on my pointed nibs. I intended to stand firm and resolute, I wanted her to have a good grounding with broad edged calligraphy before she progressed further, after all she was my protégé; I had hopes of her becoming the calligrapher I never could be; there was nothing she could say to temper my resolve.

‘It’s no good, Aunt Scarlet, if you want this blog of yours to be popular then you’re gonna have to get your tits out next week.’

I felt the ladder sway and wobble as I let her words sink in. The girl probably had a point, but it was not the one I had been thinking of.

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Chin Up, Tits Out!!

Not Calligraphy…

Sometimes calligraphy is not the answer to a lettering conundrum. Earlier in June I was contacted by designer Anita Bell to write several sentences on two 3 metre split and steam bent branches of Ash. The wood had been crafted by Ambrose Vevers, and was to be part of a larger sculpture, designed by Anita, that was to be installed in a contemporary office space in Shoreditch, London.
Anyhow, I met up with Anita and we concluded that my calligraphy might not be the answer… a cleaner, fresher, more contemporary lettering solution was needed…

Okay, there is no easy way to explain this other than:- Bodoni Font; tracing paper; 0000 paint brush; black acrylic paint, and 26 hours of painstaking very awkward painting…

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After installation

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Installed

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Close-up

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Close-up

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Tricky to take a picture of…

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Still tricky to photograph…

I swear that this was one of the hardest projects I have ever worked on… working out if the sentences would fit… dealing with an uneven surface… fitting the branches into my studio without breaking a window… Although when I finished the pain was worth it, it was what Anita wanted, and for me, it was an achievement. Plus, this has given me a new, and healthy interest in well designed font lettering… there may be more of this sort of thing going on on this blog!