Daily lettering – bookhand

Daily lettering: bookhand practice with 1.5mm Brause nib and a palette of leftover gouache.. Left side: x-height 5mm; right side: x-height 4 mm.

Lately I’ve been doing more bookbinding experiments and general studio cleaning and organizing. It’s good to get back to daily lettering.

My current reading stack is diverse. I’ve recently begun Daemon Voice, a series of essays by Philip Pullman. The sheer craftsmanship of his writing makes it a continual pleasure to read his work.

I just finished, finally, The 7½ Lives of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton. I’m not sure it was worth it, but every once in awhile I admired a good metaphor.

Artist book – Can’t Not Look: Democracy in America

The first of a variable edition of 3 manuscript books is complete and available for sale. Can’t Not Look: Democracy in America is a collection of quotations from our presidents in three sections: “Civility & Comity”, “Ethics & Equality”, and “Dangers to Democracy”. Each section contains at its center a fold-out quadruple truck of our present leader’s tweets on the same subject.

I have nearly completed the second and third books, and am still working on the camera-ready images for a short-run print version.

This book is difficult to photograph, I’m afraid. The paper is vintage handmade John Green: “Dover Castle”. Here are a few images.

Gouache and steel nib on John Green “Dover Castle” vintage handmade paper. From my artist book, Can’t Not Look: Democracy in America. Text from George Washington’s farewell speech. Single page size is 4.75 in x 7.5 in.
Gouache and steel nib on John Green “Dover Castle” vintage handmade paper. From my artist book, Can’t Not Look: Democracy in America. Text from Jimmy Carter’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, 1976. Single page size is 4.75 in x 7.5 in.
Brush pen on John Green “Dover Castle” vintage handmade paper. From my artist book, Can’t Not Look: Democracy in America. Detail of first four-page foldout. Single page size is 4.75 in x 7.5 in.

Decorative exchange envelopes

After a hiatus of some years, I’ve rejoined an 11-months-long monthly decorative envelope exchange. I’m enjoying it. We aren’t required to include anything calligraphic in the envelope — although we do have to include something. I’m putting calligraphy in mine.

My February envelope, using that palette of leftover gouache (that just keeps on giving).for the card inside.
My March envelope. The blurring kind of obscures the design, but you get an idea, anyway. All done in pencil, which is what I’ve mostly been doing in my studio lately.

Daily lettering: freely written capitals with leftover gouaches

Freely written capitals using that same palette of leftover gouaches and a 1.5mm Brause nib.

I’m thinking that the little meander book (2.5 x 3.5 in or so) in the corner may be how I got this leftover palette of gouache in the first place. The colors match. If so, then I began with three primaries (warm yellow and blue, cool red), and that’s it.

At this rate, I’ll be binding another journal of daily lettering soon.

February calligraphy exhibit in Butte

During the month of February, there’s a great exhibit of calligraphy at The Main Stope in Butte. You can see calligraphy and book arts by artists from all over Montana. I have several pieces there:

  • Fragment“, which recently came back safe and sound from the Guild of BookWorkers traveling show.
  • Prairie Spring“, using the text of Willa Cather’s poem of that name.
  • The broadside, “Scintillate, Scintillate“, which was in the Inktober show in Helena last fall.
  • One of the series of artist books entitled Scintillate, Scintillate. (My lack of imagination for the title reminds of the three brothers on The Bob Newhart Show: Larry, Darryl, and “my other brother” Darryl).

Uncials – daily lettering

Uncial calligraphy practice, leftover gouache, on a 9in x 12in page of Strathmore Drawing 400.

Uncial calligraphy practice, x-height 6mm, 1.5mm Brause nib, leftover gouache, on a 9in x 12in page of Strathmore Drawing 400.
Uncial calligraphy practice, x-height 6mm, 1.5mm Brause nib, leftover gouache, on a 9in x 12in page of Strathmore Drawing 400.

The past few days’ daily lettering have been all about uncials, particularly one old exemplar that is unlabeled except for “late XII England”.