Workshop with Mike Gold

I enjoyed this past weekend’s workshop hosted by Chicago Calligraphy Collective. Taught by Mike Gold, the workshop was entitled “Over and Over”. All weekend we focused on taking one text and lettering it over and over, using different approaches.

My quotation for the workshop was this: “Stare, pray, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.” – Walker Evans. (But if an exercise didn’t lend itself to the quotation, I chose something else.)

In this workshop with Mike Gold, it was instructive to see the work of my fellow workshop students, a gathering of accomplished calligraphers. The work was so widely varied! You can see some of this work on instagram here. The Chicago Calligraphy Collective has really got it going on, especially as an online presence for those of us members who are not local.

Mike Gold is teaching this class to other guilds via Zoom. For instance, the Columbus guild is hosting this workshop October 24 & 25. If you’re interested, sign up!

More pencil lettering, now with a wash pencil

2015-08-02-wash-pencil-italicsBack in my studio, I’m pleased to have most of my gear unpacked, and the spilled ink cleaned up. And I’m also pleased to get back to a daily lettering practice. In the conference goody bag was a General’s Sketch & Wash Pencil No. 588. When I was unpacking, it caught my eye, so I lettered a page of Strathmore Drawing 400 using it. Then I went back in with a Pentel water brush to see what would happen. I’ll probably do more on it later, but right now the kitchen is calling …

As usual, click on the image for a closer look.

Returning from The Passionate Pen calligraphy conference


Yesterday I returned from The Passionate Pen in Sonoma County, California. It was a wonderful week seeing old friends and new work, experimenting with new ideas, tools and materials. I was surprised to find myself working with a pointed brush most of the week. I’ll post more about the conference in the days to come, but today I’ll share the page I did in the Oakland airport and on the plane to Salt Lake City. I learned more about “form themes” in Ewan Clayton’s four-day workshop, especially during the study of Hans-Joachim Burgert’s work. On this page, my form theme includes condensed capitals, line leading that is smaller than the height of the letters, and three rogue letters that are not condensed. The choice of three letters changes in each of the three blocks. It was a good way to spend the hours in the airport coming down from the conference.

Bic 0.5mm #2 mechanical pencil on a Strathmore 400 Drawing (heavier weight) sheet about 9×12.

Workshop with Peter Thornton

Richard Feynman quotation about doubt
Richard Feynman quotation about doubt, done with ruling pen & walnut ink, pencil

A couple of weeks ago I attended an inspiring workshop taught by Peter Thornton in Missoula. If I take enough workshops with Peter, perhaps eventually most of what he teaches will actually sink in. It’s all so valuable, and seeing his manuscript books was especially inspiring. This weekend I digested a little more of his teaching about layout, especially as it relates to the Fibonacci series.

Here’s a piece I did in the workshop. The abstract word is “Chaos”. I meant to write this quote on one of the of the sheets that had the word “Doubt” on it, but I guess chaos often relates to doubt. I have yet to attribute the quotation, which belongs to Richard Feynman. Another layout decision, you know. The entire quotation reads:

“We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and no learning. There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for certainty. But there is no certainty.”

An apposite quotation for a workshop, I think.