A Show of Hands

I was so privileged to attend the annual calligraphy conference, held this year in Swannonoa, NC, and named “A Show of Hands”. The week-long class I attended was team-taught by Rosie Kelly and Pamela Paulsrud, and it was WONDERFUL. They called it “Legerdemain,” meaning “sleight of hand”. We painted, made marks with all kinds of tools and paints, listened to poetry and Pam’s flute, talked about the creative process, and made books. I made two finished, or mostly finished, books. The first was a book with a favorite poem that you’ve seen here before. Then I decided I was putting too much on myself to try to do finished work. So my second book was more of a sampler of all the techniques we tried, and the text consisted mostly of notes on the process. Here are some images of that book.

Legerdemain - the cover. A handmade Liberty paper with collaged bits of paste-painted paper.
Legerdemain – the cover. A handmade Liberty paper with collaged bits of paste-painted paper.
Legerdemain - the title page. The lettering grew out of some mark-making exercises.
Legerdemain – the title page. The lettering grew out of some mark-making exercises.
Legerdemain - pages 2 and 3. Penciled notes, Dr. Martin's white ink, I think.
Legerdemain – pages 2 and 3. Penciled notes, Dr. Martin’s white ink, I think.
Legerdemain, pages 4-5. More paste painting, penciled notes, a skewed sheet, a turned-up corner and some ways to marry the pages.
Legerdemain, pages 4-5. More paste painting, penciled notes, a skewed sheet, a turned-up corner and some ways to marry the pages.
Legerdemain - pages 6 and 7. More of the same, plus lettering over lettering.
Legerdemain – pages 6 and 7. More of the same, plus lettering over lettering.
Legerdemain, pages 8 and 9. A penciled list of tools, techniques and materials, and more paste-painting.
Legerdemain, pages 8 and 9. A penciled list of tools, techniques and materials, and more paste-painting.
Legerdemain, pages 10 and 11. I love the windows, especially with embossed frames.
Legerdemain, pages 10 and 11. I love the windows, especially with embossed frames.
Legerdemain, pages 12 and 13. A line that Rosie made, and some lettering experiments on paste paper.
Legerdemain, pages 12 and 13. A line that Rosie made, and some lettering experiments on paste paper.
Legerdemain, pages 14 and 15. Some recurring shapes and placements.
Legerdemain, pages 14 and 15. Some recurring shapes and placements.
Legerdemain, pages 18 and 19. I love how some lines continue across the gutter even when they weren't planned ahead of time.
Legerdemain, pages 18 and 19. I love how some lines continue across the gutter even when they weren’t planned ahead of time.

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