One of many courses at Newcastle Arts Centre, from painting and drawing to modernism and fashion illustration, this class is focused on the ‘art of the beautiful writing’ – calligraphy stems from the Greek words ‘kallos’ (beauty) and ‘graphe’ (writing) – and is taught by South Shields-based calligrapher Angela Reed.
Western calligraphy first appeared in Rome; which, considering the centre’s Roman heritage (it’s based on Westgate, a road that runs along the course of Hadrian’s Wall, and itself stands on the site of a Roman Milecastle) adds a special resonance to learning the artform here.
In this class, you’ll learn copperplate: a traditional calligraphy script, written with a pointed nib, that creates a sound basis for more modern and expressive styles. In the friendly and informal workshop, Angela will help you get to grips with using a dip pen and ink, before guiding you through the basic strokes required to form lowercase and uppercase letters and join them together to create handwritten words with flair.
The one-day course is suitable for all abilities, and all materials are provided alongside tea and coffee for a lunchtime break (if possible please bring your own flask). Wearing clothes that can be easily washed is recommended…just in case!
As Michelle Nicol of Wordstruck writes: ‘[Calligraphy] has been used for centuries to herald and record important events…Weddings, birthdays, celebrations of achievement – these are all times when we are likely to pay more attention to words. Whether it’s choosing a poem or a reading for a service, or expressing our feelings in a card, there’s a heightened sense of the significance of the words we share’.
So, for those who want to add a special extra touch to their cards and invites (or just show off their scribing skills) there are few better places to start than learning this historic craft.