Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oh so Pretty Penmanship!

The buzz of calligraphy seems to be everywhere lately and I can't resist the desire to try it writing again!

Originally I ran across several posts on Weddingbee about calligraphy and how much it was costing people to have a pro do their envelopes.  Lets just say, it would break my bank account to go that route for our invites...  I also ran across someone doing a give away of custom calligraphy stamps by lettergirl to use instead of return labels.  There are a few of her stamps that I wouldn't mind getting with some extra cash lying around.  The inundation of calligraphy got me wanting more, but the first post that inspired me was by lauren of  {A little side note...  I happened up lauren's blog about a month ago after finding her on twitter via some strange 7 degrees of separation thing.  She's an amazing bride to be who is planning her wedding all by herself.  She's loud, outspoken and an all around intense artist who reminds me a little of my friend Julie.  =)  Her blog was the first wedding source I happened to find and I keep finding myself reading it as I love her boldness!  Through her I found weddingbee and now have a huge source of inspiration for this large undertaking (aka our wedding) I'm planning... end side note.}  Being the artist that she is, she ran headfirst into doing her own calligraphy for her invite envelopes.  Despite only practicing for a few weeks, she's managed to get rather good at calligraphy.  At least to this untrained eye, I'm wowed!  Mind you, I took a calligraphy and silk screen class in high school and I remember it taking what seemed like forever to get the alphabets down.  And then as I would start to write out poems in that script, I remember having to re-write phrases over and over again just to find a way to make two opposing characters that had to be next to each other, fit properly.  So for her to have improved that much over two weeks, gives me a new found hope of picking up my old nibs again.  Yet I resisted as I didn't need another thing to put on my all ready full plate.  Then I ran across another calligraphy related post this time by Whitney at Whisker Graphics.  At this point I gave into fate and just had to dig out my calligraphy stuff again.  And man do I have a lot of stuff!

I managed to find my dad's old higgins ink from at least 30-40 years ago from when he use to draw.  The pigment has settled into some chunks that will require research to get it back into solution without making a mess.  I also found my trusty nib holder and nib from high school!  The nib needs a bit of bending as years of poor care have led it reservoir to be bent out.

After digging a little further in my ink box, I found a beautiful little french stationary set with the most delightful pen.  The nib is shaped like a hand with a pointed finger!  If I used the red ink with it, it would almost be like writting with blood... mwwwuaaah!  jk!

And the little bottle of inks are adorable with their french text.  

My last find was the set of nibs and speedball inks that I purchased to sign my chinese brush paintings while I still had the time to take that class.  =) I opened the nibs but still have to open the inks as I bought this towards the end of my last class and haven't had time to paint recently (Grad school and the wedding fill most of my time.) 

But the fun didn't stop there...  Even though I have plenty of supplies to play around and books to guide me, I still ventured outward to Etsy.  And as everyone knows, Etsy is addictive!  Especially when you have the paypal option setup.  While on Whitney's site, I had noticed a link to the kit she ordered from Emilie Friday's Etsy shop.  I clicked.  Big Mistake!  Because as soon as I clicked and looked at her listing to see Sumi ink, I knew she was using the good stuff.  Just for those of you who don't know what Sumi ink is, it's a very fine quality ink usually made from the ash of pine trees and used in Sumi-E paintings (of course...).  Sumi-E is Japanese ink brush painting which is kin to Chinese brush painting that I took 2 yrs of classes.  I had to buy...  Before I knew what happened, I put one in my cart and paid for it...  

(photo via emilie friday's etsy site)

Now despite the fact that I won't be using it to address my invite envelopes (our paper is not friendly to inks), I have had an artistic endeavor in mind for the last two years that this would be wonderful for.  It involves making some watercolor-esque batik paintings then finding a way to make transform the linen to become paper-like (maybe with starch) then doing calligraphy of quotes and poems over top of that...  Hopefully when this new set comes in, I will actually start working on my new medium...  =)

I wonder if I'm the only one who does impulse art buys saying that it's an art expense so it's ok?  Or maybe I'm just one of the few who under a cold-induced-delirium does impulse art buys? 


Whitney @ Whisker Graphics said...

Have fun with your new nibs and ink! I wish calligraphy was a skill you could acquire through just touching a sample of calligraphy. I want me some instant gratification!

Meh said...

If only it were a skill learned by osmosis... =( I'm so excited that they are going to be here in the next few days!

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