Rounding Up Calligraphy (March’s craft of the month)

  • 3 min read

It’s April already and yup, it’s time for a new Craft of the Month.

But first, let’s talk about March!

What I expected from calligraphy

Foundational hand calligraphy

  1. A lot of inky mess.
  2. Expensive pens and materials.
  3. Broken nibs. Lots of them.
  4. Wobbly handed failure.

Let me explain: my handwriting is messy. Terrible, if I’m honest. It’s loopy and unstable and changes from one page of my notebook to the next. My writing looked good enough when I was younger, but years of typing have taken their toll. I could probably mask as a doctor with my scribble.

So I tried calligraphy as a true challenge. I wanted to see if someone with as little care for their handwriting as me could make an honest attempt at such a beautiful craft.

The answer?

A resounding yes!!

What I actually got from calligraphy:

Faking calligraphy

  1. Two affordable ways to start practising, and no broken nibs!
  2. Yes, lots of inky mess. But good inky mess. I earned those stained finger tips!
  3. Better appreciation for handwritten and even digital typography.
  4. Improved handwriting.

To start practising calligraphy I used an £8 fountain pen, a £2 Basildon Bond writing pad, and ample use of the ‘cheater’s technique’. If you want to learn to ‘cheat’ and fake calligraphy, check out my tutorial!

Calligraphy Inspiration

The best part about learning new crafts is all the eye-candy research that needs doing. You know, for inspiration. And stuff. Serious.

Do your own ‘research’ by checking out these sites I love:

Flourish & Whim

The Fozzy Book

ISLY (Melissa Esplin)

Lindsay Letters

English Wedding

I’ve collected a lot of calligraphy and typography inspiration on Pinterest, too.

Calligraphy and typography pinterest

Calligraphy has been my reprieve this month as we’ve moved house and settled in. To make it simple I focused on learning Foundational Hand this month, but I’m going to learn something more italic and flourishing next! I’ll let you know how it goes.

Before you go, watch this video of Paul Antonio explaining the basics of this wonderful art form:

Isn’t it amazing?

April’s craft announcement comes tomorrow, see you then!


8 thoughts on “Rounding Up Calligraphy (March’s craft of the month)”

    1. Yeah it’s really not as hard as it looks! Learning it properly made me miss a couple of the calligraphy books I have back in Finland. ;)

  1. I took a calligraphy class in school (I’m pretty sure I was one of the only people who took it seriously) and enjoyed it a lot! Glad you had fun with it!

    1. Yeah I can see calligraphy being one of those ‘easy grades’ sort of classes people line up for, but it really is a fun art form. I love that it’s helped make my normal handwriting prettier, too. It’s all about being deliberate. :) Thanks for commenting! xx

    1. It can’t hurt to try, that’s for sure! Especially when you can fake it wish a rubber band and a couple pencils – everyone has that! Thanks for reading :) xx

  2. Hi Anna,

    As a professional calligrapher I can promise you that having scruffy handwriting is no indication of how good your calligraphy will be. My shopping lists are horrific, but I can write a beautiful Spencerian hand with the right pens! It’s all about tools and practice.

    The pencils are a great idea. The other tip – for a more modern calligraphy style – is to buy a dip pen holder and a handful of Gillot 303 nibs to play with. Go softly softly, and almost don’t touch the paper with the nib – as if you’re trailing the ink along rather than pushing it onto the surface.

    Another tip – lick the nibs before you start otherwise the ink won’t stick and you’ll be frustrated because you press the nib and get nothing – it’s because new nibs are shiny. Love them a bit and they’ll work for you!

    Have fun :)

    thanks for the link back to English Wedding Blog and my calligraphy page too xx

    1. Hi Claire,

      Thank you for all the advice! I’ll have to try the Gillot nibs, I’ve been itching to try a proper nib but there’s so much to choose from it’s a bit overwhelming. I’ll take your advice. ;)

      And yeah, even though my calligraphy is improving my handwriting is still atrocious. Slower writing, for letters and such, has gotten better, though. I’ve learned it’s OK to go slow and be deliberate in forming the letters. (My note-taking almost seems worse, though!)

      Thank you for reading my humble calligraphy posts! It was a beautiful art form and I’m so glad I chose it. It’s something I’m working on in quiet moments, I love it.

      Your blog and work are really inspiring to me! All the best :)

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