A is for Alice

Happy New Year! I begin this new year with gratitude for all the teachers who have enriched my calligraphy education over the past ... OMG, 34 years. Because it is calligraphy, I'm going to make it an alphabetical listing of them. A, A, what who begins with A?


Alice Koeth.

In October 1998, I was privileged to take a workshop with Alice at Camp Cheerio. Although the putative subject was pen-made flowers, the true subject was line. By getting away from letter forms (is this letter too narrow? is my pen angle too steep? how do I get this space to look right?), we focused on the quality of the line itself. We were taught to be aware of subtle serif choices. We saw how using the same pen for lettering and drawing can marry the two elements of a layout. And we learned how to make adjustments to pens, their corners and edges, to make them work for us. And, of course, we learned much more than these, but these were the most important things I was ready to learn at the time.

I made this illuminated "A" today as a codification and review of some of the things I learned in that workshop 14 years ago.