My very first entry for a competition didn’t actually make it to the show! I had learnt this calligraphy technique and we were doing a ‘season’ so I produced Autumn, shown here. I hadn’t realised at that time that we were not allowed to openly refer to our own institute name in the WI competition so I had to start again. This hangs on my wall now and I do like it. The second entry I made is shown below, Ode to Autumn. When I find the photos of the whole display I will post them, it was a very attractive grouping of all things in that colour range – and we won!
Many years ago I started to teach myself calligraphy. I watched a show on TV in California where a chap made it look sooooo easy if you just bought his pens and charts. Well, it isn’t! When I moved back here to Wales I came upon a bridal fayre at a hotel and spoke to the lady who was doing the wedding stationary. She gave me details of her tutor and he lives quite close to me so I started going there once a week for lessons. He is a fabulous artist but used to scare me whenever he asked me to pick up a paint brush to do a background – I do not ‘do’ paintbrushes!
I loved these classes and found I wasn’t bad at this art form, I have won several first places at our local agricultural show – WI section – though it always takes me a long time to produce a piece of work. I had to give up my classes to be a Mum – they clashed with football training to which I had to drive my son so I decided I’d come back to it later.I never did make it back to class but I do still occasionally put pen to paper and love it. I have a drafting table which I can angle to suit and that does make it easier to write but have one big disadvantage – being left-handed! Most pen nibs are slanted for right-handers so I have to be aware of that and make sure I buy the correct ones for me. Also, working with wet ink means that my hand drags through the words I’ve just written and smudges if I’m not careful. I love a challenge though.
I don’t know if any of you use those packs of pre-folded card blanks? Well, one Christmas I bought gold and silver ones to use, the cards are lovely and the insides are white so there was no problem there. The envelopes though — I tried every pen in the house and it was like I was being a spy! Disappearing ink! So, that year, I resorted to a dip pen and engrossing ink which actually showed up on the envelopes – they were probably nicer than the card inside but took me hours!
It’s one of those things, if I had time to practise and keep on top of it then I know it would come easier. Pity we have to eat, wear clean clothes…….
Ode to Autumn is written on watercolour paper and made into a concertina book. The leaves are real, dipped in pearlescent paint and pressed onto the surface briefly.
Dust is a saying which makes me smile and which describes my philosophy perfectly!