Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Let's write Calligraphy - Guest DT Christina Ranjan

 Hello everyone!!  

      Greetings. I am Christina Ranjan from Christina's Art studio, Chennai. I am a Lecturer by profession and an artist and a crafter by passion.
   It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to the art of calligraphy. We are living in a fast moving world where we seldom write. In this 21st century, computers, mobile phones, tablets and other tech gadgets have killed the art of writing. This is an initiative to revive calligraphy not for the purpose of communication, but as an art form.

What is Calligraphy?
     'Calligraphy,' the art of beautiful or style writing has derived from two Greek words "Kallos" meaning beauty and "graphe" meaning writing. In early days, calligraphy was widely used. Calligraphy saw its decline phase after the invention of printing machines. This art form was later revived by Edward Johnston, the father of modern Calligraphy.

1.    Writing tool – brush or pen
2.    Ink or cartridge
3.    Paper or writing medium
4.    Hard, Flat surface
5.    Comfortable seat at correct height

Lets get to the basics.

Brush , Pen , Nib
Image from My Artists Soul

     A variety of brushes, pens and nibs are used. Dip pen nibs are of many types like pointed nibs, scroll nibs, round hand, poster nibs, italic nib, ornamental nib, brause nibs and other script nibs. These nibs should be inserted to a dip pen holder. A reservoir can be attached if required along with certain dip pen nibs. Coit pens are also used to write calligraphy.  


There are three types of inks suitable for calligraphy:
·         Fountain pen ink (only for calligraphy fountain pens)
·         Drawing/calligraphy ink (for dip pens)
·         Chinese/Japanese stick ink (for dip pens)

Waterproof pigmented calligraphy inks and metallic colour inks can be used only with dip pens, as certain pigmented inks would completely spoil the fountain pen.

     A style of writing is called a Script or hand. Each script has its own rules and an angle on how a pen will be held. The quality of ink and paper is also very important to get the desired output. Foundation hand or Bookhand is the basic style, people learn first.

Types of Calligraphy

Based on Geography, Calligraphy can be broadly classified into

Eastern Calligraphy

      Calligraphy has a very strong traditional basis and is followed in China, Japan and Korea. Eastern calligraphy follows four important components: the brush (round) - made out of rabbit hair, horse hair or other bristles, ink slab, ink stick and paper (hanji paper or rice paper). Some of the important scripts are
1.    Seal script,
2.    Clerical script,
3.    Cursive script
4.    Regular script.

Western Calligraphy

     Western calligraphy can be written with the help of calligraphy quills, bamboo pens (olden days), fountain pens, dip pens, parallel pens, calligraphy markers, brush and double pencils. Some of the important scripts are
1.    Beneventan Script (8th century)
2.    Chancery Hand (13th century)
3.    Textura Script (15th century)
4.    Antiqua Script (16th century)
5.    English Script(18th century)

    Modern calligraphy uses a pointed nib pen in order to get thick and thin strokes by applying different pressure while writing. Lots of practice is required to master this art.

Application of Calligraphy

·         Calligraphy can be used to create new fonts of different designs and decorations.
·         It is used in graphic design, logo creation, and free hand designs and pattern making.
·         It is used in writing certificates, wedding invitations, bookmarks etc
·         It can also be used in crafts for designing borders, envelopes, card making, scrapbooking etc..

Advantages of Learning
·         An exquisite art that involves patience, sensory and motor coordination aids in improving concentration.
·         Calligraphy can aid in improving the handwriting through spacing and precision of letters.
·         It can be a very simple and a relaxing activity for the day.
·         Anybody can learn calligraphy even if they don't have neat hand writing.

Hope I inspired a little to start learning Calligraphy. TheCraftShop now stocks a variety of Calligraphy supplies like pens, nibs, inks, markers at great prices!! You can purchase them here. Start shopping and learn writing!!

Thank you.

Christina Ranjan

Christina's Art studio

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