Alrighty everyone, let's jump right into this word thing! I am ridiculously excited about this series, and can't wait to share some cool stuff with you.
Where did this word come from and what does it mean?
Calligraphy originally came from the Greek word Kallos, meaning Beautiful. (insert aww sounds here) Kallos was combined with the Greek word Graphien meaning to write, to create the word Kalligraphos, a person who writes beautifully. Kalligraphos naturally lead to the Greek word Kalligraphia, which literally means beautiful writing. The modern English word Calligraphy emerged out of its Greek ancestors in the early 17th century.
Am I the only one who finds it interesting that the word for the Calligrapher, the person who writes beautifully, came before Calligraphy, the beautiful writing itself?
Have you ever noticed that historic calligraphic works are quite complex? Sometimes they are so intricate they are almost illegible! While also beautiful, some works are intentionally complex to prevent forgeries. What?! Yeah.
In Chinese culture Calligraphy is so abstract and sublime of an art that it is regarded as the most revealing aspect of a person.
It is also historically noted that many calligraphic artists in both China and Japan are noted for their longevity.
Many literary masterpieces, which have had a immense impact on society and culture in the English language, have been transmitted through the centuries with painstakingly accurate and strikingly beautiful calligraphy. Such works include the old and new testament of the Bible, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, The Romances of King Arthur and Queen Gueniviere, and the Tales of the Kights of the Round Table just to name a few.
Emperor Charlemagne is accredited with spearheading a revival in Calligraphy and Letterform study in the Holy Roman Empire which spread throughout Europe. He loved books and often gave books as presents to those whose services pleased him.... But he, himself, could not read!
"The furthering of calligraphy in our own time above all serves self-realization by developing man’s creative talents. Calligraphy frees emotions and abilities which are hidden in the depths of personality. It activates the power of the soul."
"Calligraphy is about the confident gesture, the gracefully living mark made by a human being, which, unthwarted by additional parameters, speaks the universal language of the human spirit."
"More powerful than all poetry, more pervasive than all science, more profound than all philosophy are the letters of the alphabet. Twenty-six pillars of strength upon which our culture rests. "
Notes on Tools and Techniques:
I decided to use the uber popular modern calligraphy script with a bouncing baseline for the word Calligraphy this week. I chose this style for a couple for reasons. I thought it fitting to use loose modern calligraphy because it was this style that originally caught my eye and made me pick up the pointed pen to begin with. I also thought it would be a nice way to show an ancient word in it's modern usage. Calligraphy has such a rich history in styles and letterforms throughout the years and through rigorous studies, that could be and is the topics of books, blogs and websites in itself. This post is not meant to talk about Calligraphy Hands in specifics and so a nice happy script is great because it can focus on the word, not on the story of a specific style in itself.
Holder: Speedball Plastic Oblique Pen Holder; as a left handed Calligrapher, I usually used a straight holder, but I learned a Calligraphy Hack recently that makes using an oblique a dream, but I will be sharing that in detail in a future post.
Nib: D. Leonardt & Co EF Principal; I only started using this nib recently, and I think it may be my new favorite. I love the flexibility of it, and that I don't need to use as much pressure as say a Nikko G, and it gives me much nicer hairlines than the Brause Rose.
Ink: A Rosy Gold Mix. I experimented recently with mixing Finetec with Watercolors. It didn't turn out how I expected, but then I got used to it. I don't like applying ink with a paint brush so when using Finetecs or Watercolor, I like to make a mix of it in my Dippy Dink Holder. My intention was to make a rose gold by mixing a rosy gold Watercolor with Finetec Arabic Gold. The problem I experienced is, that since the watercolor is not opaque, it does not really leave a pink sheen on the metallic particles like I expected. Also when the ink is wet the metallic particles tend to settle together on the paper. The upside to this is that usually when I use Finetecs, the hair lines are so thin, that if there is not the proper ratio of gold to water, you can only see them in direct light. However, with the watercolor added you can see the pink hue in the hairlines and along the edges of the letters. It creates more definition and almost a pink lining around the gold ink which I rather like. I used a mixture of Finetec Arabic Gold, Rose Watercolor, Water and Gum Arabic until I achieved the proper consistency.
Next week's word will be FLOURISH! If you would like your lettering to be featured, check out our first post in this series A Well Written Word to find out how!
If you have a word you would like me to consider, please leave a message on the blog, and double tap the heart if you like what you read today!
Thanks so much for reading our first Well Written Word post! Cant wait to write for you again next week!