Forgive the lack of posts last week. We had a super exciting week which I will share more about later and it consumed my thoughts and time.

But I’m back with a piece I did recently for a friend. Mandie was actually my boss a few years ago when we were both in graduate school, studying to be Librarians. She has been a faithful client, coming back to me and partnering with me to create beautiful gifts for her family and friends. She contacted me recently about doing a nameplate for a friend’s baby. She always gives me a bit of room to “do my thing” and this picture is of the piece in progress.

I usually have a few steps to creating a piece. I write it out on practice paper. I favor Borden & Riley’s Layout paper. Then I take measurements and figure out how to place it on the paper I will be doing the final piece on, usually some sort of hot press watercolor paper (hot press since it is smoother). I mark out the measurements in pencil and then do the calligraphy.

Sometimes I do it twice if there’s a mistake – this is actually the first one of two because I misspelled the last name. Misspelling is the bane of calligraphers. I’ve always been a good speller, but it’s hard to concentrate on letterforms, ink, and nibs and also on correct spelling at the same time.

The ink is a blue gouache I mixed up. I’ve been using it since as practice ink since it’s already mixed up and I love it. I has a luminous quality that makes every letter more beautiful.

I also tried a new way of mailing it – flat and in between cardboard. It traveled well so maybe I’ll do this in future when possible. The piece was only 5×7 and on stiff paper so I  knew it would be hard to mail in a tube.