Guest blogger Lydia Regalado is an arts educator, crafter and blogger who writes about people who gather to make things.
Lately, I have been practicing my penmanship, trying my hand at calligraphy. Calligraphy is an ancient, transcultural art that has always been used to add flair to text. The tools needed to practice this art are basic: pen, ink and paper. Calligraphy heightens the sentiment of the written word. It evokes time, thought and process – all of which are sure to be appreciated when opening a calligraphed letter, holiday card or invitation. Contemporary uses of calligraphy are popular for invitations and announcements, and with the holidays just around the corner, what better time to practice with pen and ink?
While I have been doing this myself with the aid of a book, did you know that there are several workshops, classes and groups that offer support for calligraphic arts in North Texas? One group is Kaligrafos, a small North Texas group that first assembled in 1980. Today, while still a relatively small group, it is educating and inspiring others of all skill levels in the calligraphic arts.
This past weekend, Kaligrafos held a Newbie Workshop exploring the Gothic Italic font. These classes are a great bargain if you want to try calligraphy or meet other calligraphers. Their next workshop will take place in January and teach the basics of Lombardic Capitals. It is wise to register early, as space is limited and seats fill up fast. But, if you’d like to get started sooner, Kaligrafos’ Web site also lists area classes, and there are several topics and sessions to choose from.
Another fun and new aspect of this group is Kaligrafo’s Letter of the Month Challenge. This is a fun, interactive way for Kaligrafos’ members to engage with calligraphy and just get started. September’s letter was M, and the results will all be displayed at the next Kaligrafo’s meeting.
Kaligrafo’s monthly meetings offer opportunities for education. On the agenda for this month’s meeting will be a panel discussion regarding the business of calligraphy, and it is big business, as well as selecting a new letter of the month challenge. I can hardly wait!
The next meeting takes place this Saturday, Oct. 10, at Custer Road United Methodist Church in Plano. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. and lasts until noon.