The Washington Calligraphers Guild offers workshops in the spring and fall, taught by internationally renowned calligraphers as well as local talent. Aimed at all levels of skill, the workshops are held at various locations in the Washington, DC area.

TO REGISTER: Fill out the registration form in the Workshops 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. Registrants are enrolled according to the postmark date. NOTE: If you do not have email to receive notification of registration, send a self-addressed, stamped #10 envelope with your check.
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.

Purchase GIFT CERTIFICATES to WCG workshops--the ideal gift for lettering enthusiasts!

2018 Workshops Schedule


>> Download the 2018 Workshops Bulletin and registration form <<


March 3-4 (Saturday and Sunday), Vienna Arts Society, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

This workshop, repeated from last fall, has been filled with students who were then placed on the waiting list. We announce this new class with the knowledge that openings may become available if someone from last fall’s waiting list is unable to come. Please understand our efforts to be fair.

In this Master Class we take an intense look at the Copperplate form to discover what it is that makes these letters sing. This class is designed for students who have a basic knowledge of Copperplate and wish to strengthen their skill and understanding of this beautiful pointed pen lettering. We will start with the basic shaded stroke, practicing the gradual pressure and shaping which gives the lettering its distinctive look. A study of spacing and letter connections will follow. We will refine the forms to achieve a beautiful grace and elegance, learning the subtle changes that can give very dramatic results. Flourishing techniques and stylized capitals will round out a course filled with new perspectives.


April 14-15 (Saturday and Sunday), Vienna Arts Society, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Delicacy, elegance and beauty are the words to describe artworks that combine calligraphy and botanicals together. This workshop is tremendously helpful for those who want to incorporate botanicals, either in traditional or in contemporary forms, to their calligraphy pieces. Whether your style is loose or tight, this workshop will help you understand nature drawing. The participants will be first introduced to line drawing with step-by-step guidance, which will make it easy to understand the basic shapes of flowers and leaves. We will then move on to the magic of watercolors. Techniques will be taught with enough clear examples to help students understand the points being conveyed. The real watercolor magic happens when one understands how to mix and use colors. During our color exercises, you will learn to make beautiful shades of lush and subtle greens, something that most of us find difficult, and the glorious colors of the flowers. Later, I will also show how to incorporate colored pencils and ink into watercolors, which helps to enhance their beauty.

There will be a $20 materials fee payable to instructor.


May 5-6 (Saturday and Sunday), Columbia Art Center 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

This class will introduce the student to the use of a mallet and chisel to carve V-cut letters or designs into slate in the style of ancient classical inscription cutting. Students will practice the basics of cutting straight lines, curves and how to join the two in creating letters. Instruction will be given on how to transfer your personal designs onto slate prior to carving.

Mallets and 10mm chisels will be provided, but they will also be available for purchase for students to take home if they so desire. Students will have a choice of an 8” x 10” or random size piece of slate to work on for their final project. Everyone will take home a slate that they have carved. I will display my own finished cut inscriptions for use as reference in the classroom.

There will be a $10 materials fee payable to instructor.

Elmo van Slingerland: ROMAN CAPS: FROM SLOW TO FAST!

September 13-16 (Thursday-Sunday)
The Claggett Center Retreat & Conference Center near Buckeystown, Maryland

In this workshop we go from slow to fast! We start with making Roman capitals with the broad-edged pen. We focus on good proportions, spacing, applying serifs, variations in letters and quality of letterforms — all done in a slow, concentrated manner of writing. We will use pen manipulation and pressure on the pen. After that, we’ll gradually increase our writing speed and make our capitals in a more informal manner: big and small capitals, variations in proportions and single- and double-stroked capitals in a more gestural way. There will be demonstrations, tips, individual attention (as much as possible) and printed instructions.

We will practice letters with character and strive for sophisticated calligraphy with refinement and lively detail.

This is a course for beginners, experts, and those who want a deeper study of this writing style.

Maureen Squires: PASTE PAPERS

October 6-7 (Saturday and Sunday), Columbia Art Center 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Paste paper – the fun technique of creating decorative papers with paint and paste – is a marvelous tool for contemporary calligraphers. The papers can be used traditionally as end papers in handmade books or as backgrounds reflecting the words on a broadside. They can also be used to make small books in a variety of styles. Day One we will experiment with various techniques, each creating unique textures and backgrounds. Day Two we will use our papers to construct small books, boxes and/or plan a layout for lettering on the pages.

There will be a $10 materials fee payable to instructor.


October 27-28 (Saturday and Sunday), Vienna Arts Society, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Edward Johnston’s last major manuscript hand, developed in 1924, was a compressed Foundational characterized by a rich, dense texture quite similar to a Gothic Textura. The name Gothicized Italic is, however, somewhat misleading, because the forms themselves bear little, if any, affinity to Italian Renaissance styles. Yet because of its compressed, pointed character, and when written on a slight slope, it does take on something of the lively rhythm of Italic, culminating in an evocative, often sumptuous style of writing.

In this workshop we begin by looking at Johnston’s forms and their historical antecedents. Then we zoom into the 21st century and consider the forms stripped of anachronisms, and apply modern techniques to make them more viable. Day One deals with the minuscules and the rhythm of writing and spacing. On Day Two we will work with the variables that create an entirely different feel, as well as an endless repertory of capitals.

This class is not for the newcomer to calligraphy or for the faint-hearted. Prior experience and some fluidity in Foundational and Italic are essential.


November 10-11 (Saturday and Sunday), Columbia Art Center, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

This is the same class as offered last year but was cancelled due to sickness.

The tendency when learning something new, such as calligraphy, is to plunge right in and hope for or expect results with the first try. In our minds, we can envision with great clarity what the end result should be. And why not? After all, this is writing, which we do all the time--how hard can it be? The truth of the matter is that a bit more care and preparation is usually called for before we can proceed with ease and grace into producing pleasing calligraphic images.

In this workshop, we will go over the basic calligraphic strokes that make up the Foundational hand which is also the starting point for learning other hands such as Italic and Blackletter. You will begin to see that drawing guide lines, figuring out heights and spacing does not have to be a boring chore, but can be a meditative preparation for the work to come. All that you will need for this class (besides what is on the supply list!) is your enthusiasm and willingness to devote some time to laying down a solid foundation and understanding for future study and the promise of much greater success. If time permits, demonstrations on variations of the Foundational hand will also be given.

View photos and artwork from recent workshops and from older workshops.


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 ~ 

Anne Lane

Logo at left by Anne Lane