Calligraphy

11 02 2012

I’ve always been attracted by beautiful writing. Not just the words themselves – though indeed these can resonate for years in my cluttered mind if they’re worthy enough. But also the way they are actually written on the page.

I’ve spent many years in Printing & Publishing, and know more than is sufficient about fonts and typography. But I have always had a soft spot for “proper” pen and ink, and fine calligraphy in particular. I dabbled a little as a kid, and have recently acquired a set of proper calligraphy nibs. Of course, being “special”, I needed to get left-handed nibs, with their broad, slanted ends going in the opposite direction. Not so common! All the more grateful that I now have a set therefore. A greatly prized possession.

Modern Western calligraphy by Denis Brown

I am looking forward to a weekend of inky experimentation, and if it’s not a complete bugger’s muddle, I might even share some of the results here. Being an incurable engineer at heart (many have tried beating it out of me) I acquired a couple of books on the matter from the local bibliothèque. Last weekend in fact, but I never seemed to find the time to get beyond the introduction. The theory of course being that if I’ve read (or at least opened) a book or two on the subject, I will somehow instantly become an accomplished scribe with unequalled penmanship. Well, words ARE magical, so it might work! 😉

The reason for the post though, is that this particular book, full of elegant examples of the art, has some interesting little one-liners to show off the lettering. This one just caught my eye, so I thought I’d share:

Staying in the lines is like dancing in the closet.

Well – I famously do not dance. Even in closets. “As much rhythm as a pregnant Catholic” was how my teenaged attempt was described. And regarding lines and staying within them, I am reminded of the words of a good Italian friend, referring to the traffic signals in Turin: “Traffic lights?! Just a suggestion…”

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3 responses

11 02 2012
misfits' miscellany

I think it’s definitely time you came out of the dancing closet.

11 02 2012
kalyrical

“Well – I famously do not dance. Even in closets.” …= reason why I love reading this blog

11 02 2012
Quieter Elephant

Well, I’m certainly glad to provide a small pleasure.

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