Friday, August 4, 2017

Learning Copperplate Calligraphy

Last year I took a class with a Houston calligrapher, Terry Hausner, to learn Copperplate calligraphy - wedding invitation calligraphy - also called English Roundhand. See Terry’s website:

My name on top written by Terry Hausner - on the bottom written by Heather Held

I have not practiced - I should if I want to get better at it. I also took a Spencerian calligraphy workshop with Michael Sull a while ago. See his Facebook page:
For me, Spencerian is a tiny bit easier since I do not have to write thicks and thins with ink, but there are more swirls which are called flourishes.

One of my many Copperplate practice pages. Terry taught us to write in various sizes, increasing and decreasing the dimensions of our written letters. I think smaller for this type of calligraphy is slightly easier for me. Plus the slant, when practiced against the slanting lines, made me realize what mistakes I was making.

I find it difficult to be light when making thin lines and then heavy by forcing the tines of the  nib into a thickness. In the class we started with learning how to hold an Oblique Penholder - I’m still learning. I prefer a staff.

Terry supplied many different nibs for us to try. As noted, I have a heavy hand when I write, so I need a nib that can withstand pressure. After much trial and error, I like to use the Nikko G and Zebra G, plus the Speedball 512 nib. 

I have written a form of Copperplate with a water soluble pencil, then sprayed it with water achieving a blurry effect as in the quote below: There is nothing else.

Like anything, the more we practice the better we get. I’m not a professional calligrapher for that reason, I do not practice enough. But I do enjoy writing as an end in itself. How do you feel about it?

And here is a photo of the many writing instruments used in calligraphy - shared on Facebook by Tom Lane - known as Ginger Monkey.  Find him on Facebook here: 
©Anne Rita Taylor 2017


  1. Since I truly love the written word, As well as paper, and pens....I absolutely love Calligraphy.It's beauty and style. Anne your perseverance is truly awe inspiring!
    Great blog post.