Last March 13, I attended a Basic Calligraphy workshop organized by Play Crafts in Shangri-La Mall. This group regularly conducts craft workshops in different parts of the Metro. I’ve been wanting to try calligraphy but couldn’t find an affordable basic class. I paid P1800 for which I think is the best option for me. It already includes all the materials I needed: pen, nibs, paper, ink and drills. It’s relatively near or is at least in my area of comfort zone. The workshop is small and the duration (10:30AM to 1:30PM) was perfect.
I arrived at Shangri-La around 10AM. I had plenty of time to walk around even though most establishments were still closed. At 10:15, I went to the venue and introduced myself. Most of the participants were already there and they looked very young like high school or college students. I think I was the oldest. #gasp. The facilitator, Beth, asked if I was working or still studying. I answered along with the company I work for. I think she knows the company I work for since she regularly holds classes at CBTL RBC.
We started the class by doing drills using a pen. I’m not familiar with the terminologies but I heard that the pen wasn’t a brush pen, but almost like one? The drills were to warm up our hands before we used the nibs. The basic instruction was to write lightly on the upward strokes and to push a little on the downward strokes. I had a difficult time with the upward strokes; I think my hand is heavy and tended to tremble/nginig. Beth went around and gave us tips and demonstrated how to write the letters. SHE HAS EXCELLENT HANDWRITING!
After the pen, we finally used the nibs! Beth and her assistant taught us how to prep the nibs (soak them in cleaning solution like Windex or Mr. Clean for a few minutes if they’re brand new) and how to write with them—just like with the pen. We used the stronger nib since we were still new. I found out that I wrote better with the nibs than the pens, but that’s just me. I loved how the ink spread as I wrote the downward strokes. I still felt like my hands were heavy though. We did the same drills we did with the pen, and later on was given six index cards. We were tasked to write a quotation with a pen and with a nib. We had three tries each kind. I got my quotations from the drills manual we all had. Oh, and I also won a calligraphy pad in the raffle! Woohoo!
Here are some photos from the class 🙂
Focusing on getting that upward stroke right
...Still at it. I sucked at upward strokes 😦
Drills using the nib. I love it!
I won! First time I won in a raffle, I think.
Can you notice where my hand was trembling?
LOOK AT ‘EM YOUNG ONES. I felt so old!
To sum it up, things I learned:
- Always clean your nibs. If they’re new, soak them in cleaning solution for a few minutes
- Write lightly on upward strokes, harder on downward strokes
- Use a harder nib if you’re a beginner or have heavy hands
- Practice. Practice. Practice
- And more importantly, there is no ugly or bad calligraphy; we all have different handwritings. We just need to find our own calligraphy style
I’ve only practiced once after the workshop; I’ve been busy lately with my half marathon training. As soon as I have free time, I’ll definitely practice some more and maybe try using brush pens. I’m excited!