Workshops well underway for budding calligraphers

February 18, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 0 comments tags: calligraphy, workshops
My workshops are proving popular at the moment. Maybe the new year kick-started a creative streak in people? I was invited back to Hawthorn Arts in South Shields at the weekend to stage a second masterclass. The first one was held in November last year and was very well received. This one was actually oversubscribed! I worked with Hawthorn Arts director and lead artist Graham Hodgson to devise a session that would complement his follow-up illustration class. Some of the participants came from existing classes at Hawthorn Arts, but they were all beginners when it came to calligraphy. We started with some pen exercises to get people used to a broad-edged nib. Then we got down to practising the uncial alphabet with the aim of writing a few lines from Wordsworth’s ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’. Those continuing with the illustration class will create an illuminated letter for it.   I love how everyone quickly develops a love for certain letters and dislike for others – and is quick to share their preferences with the rest of the class! And there’s always a few ‘a-ha’ moments when the penny drops, like slightly adjusting the angle of the nib to […]

Bridebook Wedding Awards 2017: Shortlist

February 13, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 0 comments tags: awards, bridebook, north east, shortlist, stationery, wedding
Thanks to everyone who voted for Creative Calligraphy in the Bridebook Wedding Awards 2017 – we’ve been shortlisted! More than 180,000 votes were cast to chose the shortlist from more than 70,000 entrants. Judging starts on February 15 and the winners will be announced on March 1. Bridebook founder and CEO Hamish Shepherd said: “The Bridebook Wedding Awards recognise the cream of the crop when it comes to venues and suppliers. “This is a wonderful opportunity for local wedding businesses across the nation to gain the recognition and merit they deserve for their commitment and exemplery service to their couples, both past and present.” Bridebook is an online wedding planning platform and boasts the UK’s largest supplier directory. I was delighted to make it onto the shortlist to be considered by a panel of Bridebook experts and partners. They’ll be looking closely at my Bridebook profile, which you can do here. It’s my first wedding industry awards nomination, so I’m thankful to have made it this far! It was also great to see plenty of other north east wedding businesses shortlisted in their categories. They include: WEDDING CAKE SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR Fondant and Apron Strings, Stanhope, County Durham. WEDDING […]

Brush lettering workshop with The Crafthood

February 09, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 1 comments tags: brush lettering, calligraphy, workshop
Brush lettering is not as easy as you think! It’s something I’d really like to get the hang of this year and so far I’m sticking to my goal. I’ve taken part in the #ShowMeYourDrills challenge run by The Happy Ever Crafter on Instagram. I’ve also invested in her workbook for the next stage – #ShowMeYourLetters. But there’s nothing quite like having someone to sit with you and show you the ropes. So with that in mind, I booked on to a brush lettering workshop with The Crafthood. They’re the only ones I’ve seen advertised in the north east! Kay Greef and Sharon Stephenson launched The Crafthood in September last year. They organise modern craft workshops, sell handmade goods and offer an event styling service. Kay and Sharon came to one of my Newcastle Does Vintage workshops last year and we were also involved in a wedding photoshoot together last summer. So I’d like to think we’ve struck up a bit of a rapport and it was great to support them in their new venture. I think it’s a lovely touch that for every workshop place booked, they gift one to charity. If you know of any good causes, they’d […]

Testing out vintage calligraphy nibs

February 06, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 0 comments tags: calligraphy, nib care, nibs, pointed pen nibs, vintage nibs
IT’S easy to see why some people become avid collectors of vintage calligraphy nibs. I’m the kind of person who geeks out over that sort of thing. For example, my favourite place at Beamish in County Durham is the stationers in the 1900s town, with its ink bottles and dip pens and old-fashioned advertising. When I met Melanie Dayus, from English Pen Crafts, last summer, she was kind enough to share with me her collection of vintage pen nibs. The boxes alone had me swooning, still so colourful after all these years. Melanie scours the Internet for them and often sells spares alongside her handcrafted pens on her Etsy store. She sent me away with a few samples when I purchased an oblique holder from her and I’ve finally found the time to give them the attention they deserve. I started by sticking the nibs in a potato. Yes, a potato. It’s a quick method recommended by many calligraphers to remove manufacturers’ oils from new nibs, so the ink flows in the way it should. Other methods include gently scrubbing the nib with a toothbrush dipped in washing-up liquid and water, toothpaste or acetone, such as nail polish remover. Some […]

Calligraphy tips for left-handed writers

February 03, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 0 comments
There are a few lefties coming along to my next calligraphy workshop. And I’m not talking about their politics, I’m talking about the hand they write with. Fun fact – 10 per cent of the world’s population write with their left hand. But I’ve only ever taught right-handers, so I’ve been doing some research. There are many left-handed calligraphers getting along with their lettering just fine, including Gaynor Goffe. I remember several people being surprised she was left-handed when she led a workshop for the Northumbrian Scribes a couple of years ago. (You can read my blog post about it here.) Gaynor shares her tips for other left-handers on the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society website here. I’m sure I’ll be referring to it in my lesson planning. Understandably, the greatest problem left-handed calligraphers experience is getting the pen angle right. To combat this, they have to hold the pen a different way, move their paper around, or use special left oblique nibs. The first thing I’ve done is take advantage of Manuscript Pen Company’s nib exchange service. I use the company’s beginner’s calligraphy set for my workshops, which come with three standard nibs. But they can be swapped for left-handed nibs […]

InCoWriMo 2017: Are you taking part?

January 31, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 0 comments
Are you taking part in InCoWriMo? That’s International Correspondence Writing Month for the uninitiated. I was totally unaware of it until last year, but it’s actually been going for a while. Participants basically agree to write a letter a day for a month, starting on February 1. It has to be handwritten and it has to be delivered. But you don’t have to dash off reams and reams of paper – a simple note or a postcard counts. You can write to someone you know or a complete stranger. You can write to the same person every day if you like! You just have to commit to writing 28 letters during the month of February. Last year I received an InCoWriMo letter from Joyce Lee at Artsynibs and I still have it. Our Twitter exchanges about it caught the eye of The Pen Shop and I ended up working with them on some blog posts about calligraphy. Seeing as InCoWriMo had such an impact last year, I thought I’d be more proactive this year. My love of sending letters has also been reawakened by taking part in the Letter for PoP campaign and sifting through my old penpal letters. And […]

Calligraphy and Illustration with Hawthorn Arts

January 27, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 0 comments
I’m delighted to be returning to Hawthorn Arts as part of its masterclass series of workshops. This time I’ll be working with managing director and lead artist, Graham Hodgson, to give people the opportunity to combine calligraphy and illustration. I have known Graham and his wife Anne for many years. I used to love going into Hawthorn Arts when it was an art supplies shop and I’m still a regular visitor under its new guise as a workshop and gallery space. Graham is an extremely talented artist and illustrator and holds regular drawing and painting classes at Hawthorn Arts, in Westoe Road, South Shields. His Auld Hands collection, inspired by the north east’s industrial heritage, is currently on display at Kirkleatham Museum in Redcar. We’re working on a spring theme for our workshops, which will complement each other, but also stand alone. You don’t have to do them both. So, if you’re interested in the calligraphy side of things, sign up to that, if you prefer illustration, sign up for that, or book up for both if you’re feeling really creative! I’ll be guiding you through a simple calligraphy script, from getting to grips with a calligraphy pen, to ruling […]

Blogging and learning how to blog well

January 24, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 0 comments
You can’t go to a blogging event and then not blog about it, right? I’m pretty sure there’s some unwritten rule against that. I’m trying to up my blogging game in 2007 and you may have noticed that I’m posting more regularly. Journalism was my trade for 13 years and I’ve said before that blogging for my business helps scratch that writing itch. I think I’ve actually had that desire to write for as long as I’ve been able to form my own sentences! So it was great to hear from a host of like-minded people at an event organised by The Culture Vulture (or Rachel Horton to her friends). She brought together five well-known north east bloggers, as well as herself, to talk about the process as a creative and commercial opportunity. For those of you who don’t know, a blog, as defined in the Oxford English Dictionary, is: “A regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.” The word came into being in the 1990s as an abbreviation of weblog. Blogs have exploded in the last few years and for some people, […]

Penpals and the Royal Mail’s Hola! Club

January 18, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 2 comments
TAKING part in #LetterforPop before Christmas got me thinking about penpals. I had quite a few when I was younger, although there’s only one that I still keep in touch with. So, I headed into the loft to rescue a shoebox full of letters that I’ve kept. It’s strange to think that some of them have been in there for 20 years! They’re all from a penpal club I joined as a teenager called Hola! I specifically remember a friend telling me about it on the bus on the way to school. I’m not sure it still exists – I couldn’t find anything online apart from a press release from 1998 – but it was run by Royal Mail. So far I’ve read the first and last letters from each person, but I’m determined to re-read them all. I’ll keep you posted on the various 1990s references! My first penpal was Naomi, from Australia. I think I specifically asked for an Australian penfriend – I think it had a lot to do with the popularity of Home and Away and Neighbours at the time! It also seemed so far away and different in the days before the internet was so […]

Bridebook Wedding Awards 2017 – Vote Now!

January 16, 2017 by Angela Reed in Blog 2 comments
HAVE you cast your votes in the Bridebook Wedding Awards 2017 yet? I’m delighted to say that Creative Calligraphy has been nominated in the stationery category. I joined the online wedding directory last year and they recently announced their inaugural awards. It’s the first time Creative Calligraphy has been recognised by a wedding industry awards scheme. My business is less than three years old and I am still building my wedding portfolio. But I have been involved in some gorgeous weddings in that time and created many beautiful things, from place cards to mirrored table plans. I have also had the privilege of working with many talented wedding suppliers. There are plans in the pipeline to further develop the wedding side of my business and progressing in the Bridebook Wedding Awards 2017 would be a fantastic boost. The category shortlists will be announced on February 1, so there is still time to get your votes in, should you wish to support Creative Calligraphy. All you have to do is take a couple of seconds to click the ‘vote’ button on my Bridebook profile here. I’ve even spruced it up in honour of the nomination, adding new pictures and testimonials from […]