Handmade Books . . . Lots of Books 14

Colleagues of Calligraphy
January 2014
. . . Lots of Books
Embracing the Physical: The Book as Art
In This Issue
January Meeting ...........2
January 18
12:30 p.m. Social
1 p.m. Program
Jeff Rathermel
Calendar ...........................2
President’s Message......3
An Illuminating November
Card Exchange................5
In Books............................7
Unless otherwise noted, all
meetings will be at Plymouth
Congregational Church, 1900
Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis (Bus
Routes: Nicollet/Franklin)
For details, please
see website:
February 21 (Friday Evening)
Wet Paint: Great new
products for calligraphers:
electronic brush, microfilament fabric, Wink of
Stella, paint markers and
so much more!
March 15
Greeting Card Clinic:
Make and Take
Greeting Cards
April 25 (Friday Evening)
Randall Hasson
The Baron Journals
May 17
Buy . Sell . Trade
Studio Purge!
NOTE: Text in this color
throughout the Signet indicates
an active link to a web page.
Page 2 Even though
the world is
“going digital,”
the creation,
collection and
appreciation of
artists’ books
has significantly
Article by Jeff Rathermel
Even though the world is “going digital,” the creation,
collection and appreciation of artists’ books has
significantly increased. In this presentation, Jeff
Rathermel will discuss the historical origins of these
unique publications, contemporary trends associated
with the genre, and the creative opportunities
supported by Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the
largest and most comprehensive organization in the
country dedicated to papermaking, printing, binding,
typography, and book-related
graphic design.
Jeff Rathermel is the Executive
Director at Minnesota Center
for Books Arts and a visiting
assistant professor at Carleton
College. Trained professionally
as a printmaker, hand
papermaker and book artist,
he has exhibited his work
internationally and has
curated numerous book art
exhibitions both locally
and nationally.
Cover: “Alpha and Omega”
Articulating the Infinite (vol. 2)
Screen prints on found materials;
pamphlet bindings; stand
magnifying glass with arms
Edition of 31; 6” x 5” x 6”
Free-For-Members Class 2
Instructor: Karen Eighmy
January 18, 9:30-11:30 prior to the regular meeting and program.
Pointed Brush Lettering
Brush lettering has been one of the most versatile and expressive
letter forms. Come and get familiar with the brush as a calligraphic
tool; play with a variety of letter styles and explore how using the
brush can have a positive impact on your pen lettering.
Karen is a professional calligrapher and has been using her brush
lettering talents since joining Josten’s in 1979. Her lettering appears
in schools and athletic championship offices around the USA and Canada on ring
posters, graduation announcements, greeting cards and in hard tooling on rings.
Supplies to bring:
Layout paper pad, ink, small water jar, pencil, ruler, paper towels and any pointed
brushes or markers you may have, ex: Pentel Colorbrushes; Zig Brush Markers.
Karen will have alphabet exemplars and a variety of brushes to play with.
Please RSVP and register at [email protected] Write “free class”
in the subject line. For questions, email Karen at [email protected]
January 2014 Signet
Colleagues of Calligraphy
From Your
Happy New Year!
To start the new year,
the January program will
feature “The Book as Art”
with Jeff Rathermel
from Minnesota Center
for Book Arts. I don’t
think I’ve ever met a
calligrapher who wasn’t
also intrigued with books
of all kinds. So it makes
sense that many calligraphers
are also book artists. We
are acknowledging in this
issue the talent of some
of our members who also
make books.
There are lots of interesting
programs and workshops
coming up in 2014. This
newsletter is filled with
details and our website is
also a good source for
information. If you are
interested in learning
more about calligraphy,
you will be able to find
plenty of opportunity.
If you aren’t finding what
you need, let me know.
Since this is traditionally
the time for making
resolutions, mine is to
spend more time with
pen or brush in hand and
to clean up my studio! I
will be highly motivated
to complete the latter as I
plan to participate in the
“Studio Purge” program at
our May meeting. Sadly,
it will probably take me
that long to get it done.
An Illuminating November Meeting
by Sue Filbin
At the November meeting, Colleagues member Diane von Arx, one of only three
American artists to work on The Saint John’s Bible, presented a program about her
work designing, lettering and producing The Book of Honor. This volume, which
Diane is hand lettering and illuminating on vellum (calfskin), lists the 1,400+ donors,
the scriptorium team and the Saint John’s University team, and includes a foreword
from Fr. Eric Hollas, OSB, Deputy to the President for Advancement.
One anticipates being enriched by the Colleagues monthly program, but who knew
that Diane’s illuminating presentation (pun intended) would result in a pocketful of
helpful tips for our own lettering practice? Of the wild notes I took in the semi darkness of Diane’s projected images, and during the “Question & Answer” period, here
are some items that you may find useful and interesting:
The tools Diane von Arx is using
while designing, lettering and
illuminating The Book of Honor.
Photo by Sue Filbin
◆◆ Diane had “offcuts”
from the vellum
mailed to her so she
could test lettering,
illuminations, etc.,
on them.
◆◆ Diane’s workspace is
quiet (no, she doesn’t
listen to music while
she works) and free of
◆◆ The paints Diane uses
consist of ground
pigments, ink sticks,
gouache and Plaka®
casein paints that
are protein based
and are produced in
Germany. Because
casein paints dry
like acrylics (with an
impermeable surface),
the artist encounters
fewer problems lettering
Katie Beery
Page 3 January 2014 Signet
over that surface and
avoids having the
background pigment
bleed into the lettering.
For the gold treatments,
Diane uses gold leaf,
shell gold, gold
powder and
Schmincke® gouache.
◆◆ For some of the
repeated decorative
elements, Diane has
rubber stamps made
by a vendor. She
coats the surface of
the stamp lightly with
paint or ink before
pressing the design
onto the vellum.
Colleagues of Calligraphy
◆◆ The goose and turkey
quills Diane uses are
cured in silica sand in
an electric frying pan
set at 350º. Reservoirs
on the quills are not
Curing quills in silica sand.
Photo provided by Diane von
Continued on bottom of page 6
Christmas Card Exchange
There were ten entries for
the exchange this year;
enjoy the ones we have
received so far! Editor
Top: Ruth McCarthy
Middle: Thelma Olds
Right: Ardie Gallant
Barb Makela
Continued on page 5
Page 4
January 2014 Signet
Colleagues of Calligraphy
Karen wrote inside:
“I volunteered for the card exchange to get myself back into the
“discipline” of calligraphy, after having been on a break. I don’t
know how many calligraphers start with pencil sketching, but this
is how I often conceptualize a piece. This year I am celebrating
that sketching process and have included a copy of my first sketch
(above). Some on the list will be receiving a cleaned-up version,
and some will get more rough pieces. (And perhaps you wish you
didn’t!) I am having fun with it, and isn’t that the point!”
Yes, Karen, that is definitely the point!
Karen Eighmy
Dawn Darner
Above, Mary Jo Vickoren
Page 5 January 2014 Signet
Colleagues of Calligraphy
Continued from page 3
Gary Feyen
Beginner Calligraphy
Jan. 23 - Feb. 27
◆◆ Because the distance
between all the
lines of lettering is
equal, Diane adds
small flourishes (top
and bottom) to the
lines that contain
the smaller-size text,
thus giving the text a
book-like, even visual
Thursday evenings
Champlin Park HS
Community Education
Pat Barrett
Beginning Calligraphy
Jan. 25, Feb. 1, 8
White Bear Center for
the Arts. Information:
Judith Michalski
Beginning Calligraphy
Seven Tuesdays
beginning January 28
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Ramsey Jr. High
St. Paul Community Ed,
◆◆ Sandarac is used to
prepare the vellum’s
surface to more
willingly accept the
ink. (Sandarac is never
used on a surface that
will be painted.) The
sandarac is ground
to a fine powder
and contained in a
semi-porous bag that
Diane gently daubs
on the surface of
the vellum, blowing
away any excess,
before lettering on
that surface.
◆◆ When Diane
corrects an error, she
lightly scratches off
the surface of the
vellum with a rounded
blade, carefully
re-prepares the vellum
by erasing the surface,
then smooths the
surface with a Teflon
“bone” folder made by
Colleagues member
Denny Ruud. The final
step is to reapply the
Judith Michalski
Calligraphy 1
Six Thursdays,
beginning January 30
6:45-8:45 p.m.
South High School, Mpls
Kris MacDonald
The Art of
Calligraphy 1 – Italic
Tuesdays, Feb. 11 –
March 25, 7 - 9 p.m.
Wayzata Community Ed.
Kris MacDonald
Pointed Pen
Calligraphy, featuring
the Copperplate script.
Thursdays, March13 –
April 24, 7 - 9 p.m.
Eisenhower Community
Center, Hopkins
FOR MIDWEST 2014 - August 14-17
Registration for the
MIDWEST Art and Lettering
Retreat 2014 will soon
be open. Get your registration in early to ensure
your first choice of classes
and to receive a $25
reduction in the total fee.
Your registration must be
postmarked no later than
February 15, 2014, for the
discount to apply.
We welcome Annie Cicale
to the faculty of MIDWEST
2014. Annie taught at our
January 2014 Signet
in 2011 and we’ve had
many requests from
students to have her back.
She will be offering a class
on the Foundational hand.
We are offering four
exciting classes at MIDWEST
2014. Two calligraphyoriented classes: Michael
Sull looks forward to having
four full days devoted to
“Engrossing.” Annie Cicale
will take students on an
adventure with “Foundational”
lettering. Two classes do
not require knowledge of
Colleagues of Calligraphy
Photo by Greg Anderson
After Diane’s presentation,
we were enthralled by
viewing her layouts
and sketches, and
inspecting the array of
tools she uses. Many
people expressed
enthusiasm for programs
or workshops featuring
quills and vellum.
calligraphy: “Spontaneous
Mark” is a class described
as “an opportunity to play”
by the instructor Pamela
Paulsrud. And, for those
who love to tear, cut,
paste and build, Bee Shay
will lead you through the
steps of “Collage.”
Registration for MIDWEST
2014 will open upon
release of the brochure in
January. All individuals
on the MIDWEST 2014
retreat mailing list will be
notfied once the brochure
is posted on the website.
Direct questions to
Joyce Francis at
[email protected]
Board of Directors
2013 - 2014
In Books
This is your board. Feel
free to contact them with
questions, concerns and
Article by Jean Formo, Librarian
President, Katie Beery
[email protected]
Vice President, Barb Makela
[email protected]
Secretary, Joann Schulte
[email protected]
Treasurer, Phyllis Stratman
[email protected]
Workshops, Anne Kaese
[email protected]
Programs, JoAnn Almich
[email protected]
Membership, Maura Lynch
[email protected]
Public Affairs, Dawn Darner
[email protected]
Signet is a publication of the
Colleagues of Calligraphy.
Submission deadlines are 30 days
prior to the next monthly meeting.
The editor is responsible for final
decision on content. Mail submissions to Signet, Ardie Gallant,
491 Mine Gap Road, Zirconia,
NC, 28790 or email to [email protected]
grantedpeace.com. Information
and products mentioned in articles
do not imply endorsement by
the CoC or BoD. Copyright 2014
by the Colleagues of Calligraphy.
No portion of the Signet may be
reproduced without the written
permission of the CoC.
For membership, see colleaguesofcalligraphy.com or write CoC,
P.O. Box 4024, St. Paul, MN 55104.
Page 7 SCRIBE – Artist of the
Written Word
by John Stevens
This is not yet another
calligraphy how-to
manual, and it would be wasted as
mere decoration to a coffee table.
Instead, this is a book to be used and
integrated into our perceptions about
calligraphy. It offers ways in which to
think about calligraphy even before
we pick up our calligraphy tools. Its
long-ranging discussion will stretch our
calligraphic vision far beyond the usual
exemplars, tools and materials. The
author urges us to set out for richer,
deeper ground, even beyond a need for
the faithful execution of a technique.
Years ago, I took a conference class
taught by John Stevens. It was a
revelation and a challenge! Here was
a teacher who was not just teaching
from an exemplar. In fact, there was no
exemplar in sight–only John and his
words. And now, here they are again,
punctuated with a whopping 500+
images of his work. Denis Brown says
in his well-written forward, “To say John
Stevens is a world-class calligrapher is
to fall short of the truth.” All of this
thinking embodies concepts like beauty,
expression and excellence rather than
perfection, visual awareness and more.
John’s triad of form, rhythm and movement are touchstones from which to
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January 2014 Signet
Colleagues of Calligraphy
approach our work, with
the task of learning to
manipulate and balance
them as variables so
that we push beyond the
more simplistic “copy it”
Discouraging the
dichotomy thinking so
prevalent in calligraphic circles today, he
warns that we limit our options when we
label calligraphy as being either pen or
brush, traditional or contemporary,
abstraction or realism. Feeling that
“schools of calligraphy” separate us into
opposing camps, he instead applies a
continuum line when designing. A piece
of calligraphy can borrow from both ends
of the continuum, having traditional
John Stevens at work.
principles applied to less than traditional
design or letterforms. He sees as more
useful this blending of seeming opposites.
Working calligraphers, he says, have to be
competent to choose and blend from all
parts of the continuum from traditional to
contemporary or abstract. And, contemporary
calligraphy does not have the corner on
expression. All writing possesses some
kind of expression. The ultimate focus
should be fine writing with a standard
of excellence.
This is a book for every lettering artist at
every skill level, because we all need to
have a good think before we reach for our
tools. Soon to be in my personal library,
SCRIBE – Artist of the Written Word will
invite oft-repeated readings. Hopefully,
the integration process will gradually
play out in my own work. As a book that
contains “food for thought,” this one is a
veritable banquet.
Photos from John Neal Booksellers website, used with permission.
For up-to-date
information, check
Events and Workshops
at colleaguesofcalligraphy.com/events.html
February 22-23, 2014
Jean Formo
“Silverpoint for Drawing
and Calligraphy”
Learn to use Renaissanceinspired silverpoint as a
medium for calligraphic
letters and a precise,
fine-stroke drawing tool.
Sign up today!
Colleagues Website
Can Feature You!
by Barb Makela
Visit www.colleaguesofcalligraphy.com/ calligraphers.html
and view how some members feature their calligraphy
on the internet. Listing is either by contact information or
posting a web page with art and calligraphy along with
contact information and URL. The CoC website continually
has many inquiries looking for calligraphers who can be
of assistance.
For new applicants, the Calligraphy Services page has the
informational letter, information on submitting graphics and
the application form. Renewing applicants need to fill out
a new application form if there are any changes to the
current posting.
April 26-27, 2014
Randall Hasson,
calligrapher and painter
July 19-26, 2014
The 33rd International
Lettering Arts Conference
With Sorrow
Eve Brown’s husband,
RJ, passed away
December 15.
Warren Blair, husband
of Patricia Blair, died
December 23.
Christine Tischer lost
her mother, Virginia
Mollenkopf, on December 12.
We hold you each in our
The due date for new and renewing applicants has been
extended to January 18, 2014. Any question regarding
submission can be directed to [email protected]
Who Made
All These B
1, 2 - Barb M
ary Feyen
3, 4, 5, 6 - G
7, 9 - Gerry
raphy by Judy
Ruud (callig
10 - Denny
n Arx
11 - Diane vo
Jean Formo
, 16, 17, 18 15
12, 13, 14
Productive Pen
Are you enjoying all
the creative BOOKS
in this issue of the
Signet? Let’s
bring so many
books to the
that we
fill several tables! It will be
a great addition to the
meeting topic!
P.O. Box 4024 . Saint Paul, MN 55104