Meetings, Classes and Workshops
Next Program Meeting: Friday, May 17 at 7 pm
Arabic Script Calligraphy—History and Technique with
Join us on Friday night, May 17 at 7 pm in the Chapel of Concord St.-Andrews Church, 5910 Goldsboro Road (at River Road), Bethesda, MD. The Chapel is at the rear on the left side (as you're facing the front of the
There will be a short annual meeting with reports and election of officers, then WCG member Mohamed Zakariya will present a brief illustrated overview of the development of Arabic script calligraphy. Zakariya, an American master of Arabic calligraphy, will touch on the various scripts and styles of illumination; the use of calligraphy for both sacred and secular purposes; and the teaching method, tools, materials, and techniques used in classical practice.
Mohamed Zakariya holds diplomas from the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art, and Culture in Istanbul. His 2011 exhibition "Mohamed Zakariya: An Eloquent Eye" was the first exhibit of works by a living artist held in the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar. Recently featured in the Washington Post Magazine, Zakariya is known for his design of two U.S. postage stamps celebrating the Islamic Eid holiday (right).
This will be the final program meeting until the fall, so come and enjoy this visually rich presentation and the friendship of colleagues! Members will vote on officers for the coming year. Below is the slate of nominees; additional nominations may be taken from the floor:
President: Pamela Klinedinst
Vice President: Gretchen Elson
Secretary: Gilda Penn
Treasurer: Derrick Tabor
Member-at-Large: Louise Harris
LEFT: “God would not punish them …” (Qur’an, 8:33). Jeli Talik script in ink on treated paper with gold and marbled paper borders by Mohamed Zakariya. Photo by Laila Kokabi.
TOP: Mohamed Zakariya and Monty. Photo by Laila Kokabi.
rogram meetings are held at Concord-St. Andrews Church, 5910 Goldsboro
Road at the intersection of River and Goldsboro Roads in Bethesda,
Maryland. For directions to the church, consult the church website or this map. Meetings offer the fellowship of calligraphic colleagues. Each
meeting features a well-respected lettering artist who shares
information, slides and demonstrations on a variety of topics.
are held bimonthly from September to May (except January) and
are free and open to everyone. Information about meetings
and other Guild activities is published in the Bulletin.
Directions: From the Beltway (Rt. 495)
take the River Road exit (39) south towards Washington. Turn left
onto Goldsboro Rd. The entrance to the church parking lot is about
40 yards on the right. The Chapel is at the rear on the left side (as you're facing the front of the
church). Social Hall entrance is the first door
on the left side of the church. Map of meeting location.
here to see highlights of past meetings.
*2013 WCG Board meetings:
*Open to all members. At Guild Board meetings,
the annually elected Board of Directors develops and carries out
Guild policies as well as leads the committees of volunteers that
prepare Guild activities. Many board members are relatively new
to calligraphy, but devoted in their interest. Come to a Board
meeting to find out how you can help the Guild grow!
Right: Julian Waters' demo for Blackletter workshop
(click for larger view)
WCG members who teach calligraphy classes in the Washington
Waters private classes at 851 Boyle Road, Fairfield, PA 17320, two miles from Emmitsburg, MD (one hour from Baltimore or Rockville). Instruction or individual help on any project or hand. Sheila teaches all day on alternate Saturdays in her large studio with all her collected resources available. Independent study 9:30-noon. Demos after lunch, 1-2:30 pm, using her new document camera and projection system, following a structural sequence of hands, both historical and modern, and design and layout principles. A second independent study period 2:30-5 pm. Students of all levels can come and go during the independent study periods, coming for the morning plus demo period, or demo period plus afternoon, or stay the whole day. Fee is $50 per visit. Bring your own lunch. All levels are welcome and beginners can learn a lot by being exposed to work brought by more experienced students. For dates contact Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-642-6637. About Sheila Waters.
- In Washington, DC as part of the Smithsonian Institution Residents Associate Program on the Mall: calligraphy class on Monday evenings with Shane Perry. Jul. 8–Aug. 12, 2013: The Foundational Hand. Call 202-357-3030.
- The Fairfax
County Parks & Recreation Dept. offers courses with Gretchen Elson at the Plum Center: Six-week Italic class beginning May 23 includes experimentation with mixing color.
- In Aberdeen, MD, Nan Jay Barchowsky helps improve handwriting. See her websites, Barchowsky Fluent Handwriting and Fix It ... Write. Located two miles off I-95 at exit 85.
Arlington County, VA Adult Education program
offers two six-week calligraphy classes four times a year with Marie Lenker. Winter classes at Jefferson School are Foundations of Calligraphy and Introduction to Pointed Pen Calligraphy. See course
- In Leesburg, VA, Pat Blair teached copperplate and italic calligraphy workshops at Loudoun ArtSquare; phone 703-777-8043. ("Elegance" art at right by Patricia Blair)
- In Hagerstown, MD at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts: Christine
Tischer teaches various hands (contact her for info).
- Boston, MA: Intensive calligraphy and manuscript courses at North Bennet Street School, taught by WCG member Maryanne Grebenstein of The Abbey Studio. [More]
Washington Calligraphers Guild offers weekend workshops in the spring
and fall, taught by internationally renowned calligraphers as well
as local talent. (View photos
and artwork from recent workshops and from older workshops). Aimed at all levels of skill,
the workshops are held at various locations in the Washington, DC
TO REGISTER: Fill out the Registration Form in the Workshop Bulletin and mail it to Kara Koppanyi,
9 Cormer Court #103,
Timonium, MD 21093. Include a check payable to the Washington Calligraphers Guild for the appropriate amount. If you do not have email to receive notification, send a self-addressed, stamped #10 envelope with your check. NOTE: Guild members pay discounted workshop fees! HOW TO JOIN.
>> Contact Kara Koppanyi 443-318-4394 for registration questions or the status of any workshop.
>> Contact Chris Tischer 301-745-4633 with
questions about workshops (content, supplies, etc) or suggestions for future workshops or workshop locations.
2013 Workshop Schedule
Download the Workshop Bulletin and registration form (pdf)
Brenda Broadbent: Writing Fluids and Fine Art Paper Choices
Saturday, March 16, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Brenda’s Studio in Woodsboro, MD
Understand the mysteries and interactions of writing fluids and fine art paper – all in only one day! Enjoy a hands-on day working with four basic groups of ink/paint on a variety of envelopes, practice paper and fine art paper. At day’s end you will know the answer to these questions: Which paper should I use for copperplate work, a family tree, a handmade book, a wedding poem? How do I know if a paper is archival? What is grain direction and why is it important? Which paper won’t buckle if I layer watercolors? How can I satisfy customers who want a piece on “parchment” paper? AND …
What to do when your favorite ink feathers on the client’s envelopes? Paper can enhance the art of calligraphy almost as much as our choice of pen, brush, and color. We’ll write on practice pads and an international assortment of watercolor, charcoal, printmaking, text weight, faux parchment and black papers with a variety of tools and fluids. Discover how surface, weight, archival quality and sizing affect your lettering.
Brenda Broadbent: Tiny Successful Watercolors and Black on Black Escapades
Sunday, March 17, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Brenda’s Studio in Woodsboro, MD
In the morning: Relax and enjoy moving watercolor on paper as small as 2” x 2”. You will learn how paint and water move together and create a tiny gem. Combine these skills with your lettering later! Encouragement for fearful painters! In the afternoon: Get shimmering 3D effects using Glaze Pens, colored pencils and black paper.
Going Beyond the Poem
April 5-8 (Friday-Monday), 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Vienna Arts Society
This workshop will explore the calligraphic possibilities of the illustrative word as opposed to our standard forms, the ones we use day to day. The focus will be on “writing” and design that goes beyond the simply laid out text (such as poems or testimonials) used in our bread and butter work. Employing our chisel edged pens, brushes, ruling pens, Speedball B’s etc. (or tool of your choice), we will pursue five projects over a period of four days: a piece of letter art (designing with a quote), a logo (personal or imagined), a functional clock (I will provide the clock mechanisms for $4.00 so that you can take it home in working order), as well as an alphabetic and textural composition. During the workshop we will be looking at the lettering styles you use with an eye toward trying variations of those forms, a way to expand our everyday styles. While we explore a variety of layouts and designs in each of the exercises, we will look at the effect that contrast, texture and color have on those designs.
Lee Ann Clark:
Pointed Pen from the Beginning
April 27-28 (Saturday-Sunday), 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Vienna Arts Society
Starting with the basic mechanics of pointed pen, we will examine the letter formations of traditional styles along with exploring the various paths of developing a personal style with this versatile tool. Beginners are welcome as well as those who want to review and improve their pointed pen calligraphy. The instructor will bring the graph pads that she recommends for purchase, as well as a variety of pen points for students to use or purchase.
Brushing the Surface
May 4-5 (Saturday-Sunday), 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Columbia Art Center
The pointed brush is an amazing tool for the beginning or experienced lettering artist. Versatility, speed and movement are some of the advantages of the pointed brush – not as easily achieved with the nib or ruling pen. Whether working small, medium or large, wild or exotic, formal or casual, we will test the brushes. From pressure – similar to pointed pen or roundhand – to working without lines and writing over most any surface due to the light touch of the brush, it truly is a versatile tool. Basic strokes and warm-ups for a script alphabet and another simple brush ductus will help to develop a personal style and encourage you to create your own magic! Time will also be spent to test a variety of surfaces and media for future reference, and actually writing words and quotes … perhaps some to be treasured.
Carolingian -- A Fresh Look
May 25-26 (Saturday-Sunday), 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Sheila’s Studio, Fairfield, PA
Level: Any, but not recommended for basic beginners.
Carolingian was the first truly formal minuscule, developed in 9th century France. Modern varieties of Carolingian were not popular with calligraphers until the last quarter of the 20th Century. We will take a fresh look at the possibilities of Carolingian as a text hand, modernizing from a variety of historical versions. As Carolingian scripts were written very small, we will look closely at the historical roots and structure, using magnifiers
and at projected enlargements. Then we will analyze and copy a historical personal favorite, both larger and at actual size, then modernize it to make it work well as a hand for writing text – rather like designing a typeface, but in this case in a very short time! The bonus is that by exploring this process we will also learn how to modernize any historical hand. Finally we will work on simple matching Uncial and Uncial/Roman hybrid capitals.
September 28-29 (Saturday-Sunday), 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Columbia Art Center
Level: Knowledge of at least one writing style is recommended.
Looking both back and forward, we will capture on paper the richness of history, the layers of music, and the movement of video--all on a sheet of paper with our simple writing tools and gouache. We will begin by creating backgrounds to music, placing large layered words, adding collage, using resist and stenciling, and adding smaller text accented with stamped symbols. Several backgrounds will be developed in these various ways with your favorite short texts. Various design principles will be practiced to guide you in your arrangement of elements on the page.
What to Write and How to Write It
October 11-14 (Friday-Monday, including Columbus Day), 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Columbia Art Center
Level: A working knowledge of letterforms and a desire to investigate new ones.
“Each text demands its own calligraphy” and “Calligraphy must dance” are two of my favorite quotes by Hans Joachim Burgert. The two ideas will serve as underlying themes for the workshop. In addition to examining Burgert’s work, the
study will involve two areas of research: one, defining criteria for choosing a text as well as ideas for creating new texts; and two, exploring new paths for developing original visual expressions of our words (letterforms and compositions). This work will examine a gamut of solutions, ranging from the playful to the serious. On the “word finding” side we will look at ideas related to the “found” poetry genre and the work of the Dada poets. On the “calligraphic form” side of the search, we will draw influences from music and painting. We will examine the work and ideas of a number of artists including Kandinsky, John Cage, Sol LeWitt, Cy Twombly and Paul Klee.
November 9-10 (Saturday-Sunday), 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Columbia Art Center
The blank page can strike fear in the heart of even the most seasoned artist. But when you add a slash of ink, a splash of color, or a caressing stroke of graphite, suddenly the paper starts to join you in a conversation. Working in a sketchbook and facing that blank page every time you open it can be daunting. It can dissuade you from the regular routine of practice and play with design and materials that is so necessary to all artists. In this class we will meet the large, blank page with enthusiasm, exploring a variety of ways to create interest and intent with mediums and tools that leave the surface amenable to later layers of lettering and imagery. Then it is time for our full sheets of paper to be used to create three folded books that already contain your own creative touch. I call these books playbooks, each page already started and alive with potential and possibility, ready to talk to you each time you sit down to engage it with your writing and drawing tools.
|Purchase GIFT CERTIFICATES to WCG workshops--the ideal gift for lettering enthusiasts!
order form (pdf)
Right: Denis Brown's "A Better Language" features a self portrait, photographed as he danced through digital projections of his calligraphy. Denis taught a workshop for WCG members in 2012.
Washington Calligraphers Guild home page ~
About the Guild ~
~ Exhibits & Special Events ~
WCG journal Scripsit ~
History of lettering and type ~
~ How to become a member ~
Freelance calligraphers in the DC area ~
~ Links to related websites ~
Zapf fund to further calligraphy education ~
Logo at left by Anne Lane