In the second half of last year, I traveled extensively to teach modern calligraphy workshops. From September through December, I went to Portland, Berkeley, Brooklyn, and Tampa — and I enjoyed every second of it! It was amazing to help people in different parts of the US have “aha!” moments when it came to calligraphy. I also loved how men and women of all different ages participated, encouraging each other as class progressed.
I teach workshops because it’s extremely gratifying to help people make adjustments that change their skill level and outlook on calligraphy. When I was teaching a workshop in Colorado Springs a couple of weeks ago, for example, a student warned me, “I’m terrible at calligraphy. I’m giving it a try here, but I don’t expect to ever be good at it.” For the first half of class, she stuck to that mantra. Then, we moved on to using an oblique calligraphy pen. After a couple of grip adjustments, her eyes widened as she watched herself write beautiful thick and thin strokes. All she could say was, “Oh my gosh! I guess I can do this!”
Moments like those make workshops a lot of fun for me to teach, and I want to make sure and organize a few throughout this year. Effectively, I went and toured a gorgeous — I mean gorgeous — venue here in Boulder last week. It’s called “The Riverside“, and it is filled with natural light. It overlooks the creek in downtown Boulder — the perfect place to exercise your creativity!
After I saw The Riverside, I immediately booked it to teach two modern calligraphy workshops here in Boulder on April 29th (a morning session and an afternoon session)! If you’re a calligraphy beginner, I know you’ll really enjoy attending.
About TPK Beginner Modern Calligraphy Workshops
While I am planning on teaching a couple of intermediate calligraphy workshops this year, the April 29th workshops are intended for beginners. Maybe you’ve tried using a dip pen before and it just won’t behave for you, or maybe you’ve been too intimidated to pick one up. If that’s the case, a TPK beginner workshop will be perfect for you! First of all, the workshops include all supplies, including a workshop-exclusive worksheet set. There’s no need to bring anything! We start with a few minutes of faux calligraphy to learn about stroke contrast and to get our hands warmed up …
… Then we move on to brush pen calligraphy for a few minutes of pressure exertion practice.
We spend the bulk of the workshop learning how to use a dip pen. We start with the basics of dip pen calligraphy, using a straight pen to write Amy Style calligraphy.
After using the dip pen for a little over an hour, we’ll break for 15 minutes to give our hands a rest (and to grab some yummy snacks)! After the break, we delve into using the oblique pen with Kaitlin Style calligraphy. For many people, this is the ultimate “light bulb moment” in the workshop. Participants often dive in thinking the oblique pen will be impossible to master … and then they leave vowing to never use anything else!
In the last 20-30 minutes of the workshop, we’ll focus on learning to write with Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed Proof White ink (and you’ll go home with a bottle). I love writing white calligraphy, so I want to teach you how to do it, too!
At the end of the workshop, I always do a little raffle/giveaway. Four to five people end up going home with a new bottle of ink, some Finetec gold, or an additional pen and nib. I think it’s a nice little way to say “thank you” for coming!
Come to Boulder!
These are my first workshops here in Boulder, where I live, and I couldn’t be more excited to share the city with both in- and out-of-town students. If you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend a weekend, come here. Truly. Boulder is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in the US, and you’ll find plenty of things to do — especially on a Saturday. You can consult TripAdvisor and Yelp, of course, but I also made a list of suggested activities for you! You can find that list if you click here.
If you’re flying in, Boulder couldn’t be easier to get to. Denver (DIA) is a central, large international airport, with many reasonably-priced flights. Once you arrive, find the transportation center under the airport. You’ll find a clean, comfortable bus that goes to Boulder for $9.00 — I use it all the time. If you’re interested in that, you can find the schedule by clicking here. The bus takes you right downtown, just three blocks from The Riverside.
If you think you could benefit from a workshop, I’d love to see you there! Here are the links to enroll:
- Boulder, 4/29 (Morning Session; 9:00 AM -12:00 PM) | 12 Participants | Enrollment closes 4/15 | Click here for sign up + more information
- Boulder, 4/29 (Afternoon Session; 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM) | 12 Participants | Enrollment closes 4/15 | Click here for sign up + more information
If the session that you want to participate in is full, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to secure a spot on the wait list.
After dinnertime on the evening of the workshops (around 7 PM), you are welcome to come to a very informal get-together downtown. It will offer a fun opportunity to talk art and calligraphy and/or ask any questions that you thought of after the workshop! You will receive location details for the gathering about a week before the workshop.
Past Participants are Saying:
“I can’t thank you enough for such a fabulous workshop yesterday… and follow-up goodies that will keep me busy all week! Dip pen calligraphy feels SO much more accessible to me now, and I am so excited to use and build upon the skills I now have :-)” – Karen W., Florida
“I had such a wonderful time in class today! I learned so much, most importantly that I can do this & it’s not nearly as intimidating as I imagined! You make it so approachable- you are such a great teacher!” – Brandi C., Colorado
Thank you very much for yesterday. I had an absolutely wonderful time. I haven’t picked up a calligraphy pen in over 20 years. The pens I used to use were very different (similar to a marker, but with a special tip). I used to address friend’s wedding invitations, etc. But, the techniques I learned yesterday are amazing. They will allow me, with tons and tons of practice, to be able to create a wide variety of styles. I feel like a complete novice, which isn’t a bad thing. I was always incredibly intimidated by a dip pen, so I stayed away from ever attempting to use one, until now. So, thank you for teaching, sharing, and removing the fear of a dip pen yesterday. It was an invaluable experience.” – Karen G., Florida
I am currently developing an intermediate workshop curriculum, and it will help me to hear from you. If you’re an intermediate level calligrapher, what sorts of things do you want to learn? I would love to put together a helpful workshop for intermediates, and I want your input on what to teach you!
As far as future workshops, I am ironing out my travel schedule for late summer and fall, and will probably teach again in Florida in December. In the meantime, I plan on teaching a couple more workshops in Boulder this summer. I love it here — even more than usual — when the weather is warm, and I know that you will, too! As I schedule workshops, I will announce them here on the blog.
If you have any questions about these workshops or suggestions for intermediate workshop curriculum, please don’t hesitate to comment! Otherwise, I hope to see you in April in downtown Boulder. You bring yourself, and I’ll bring delicious snacks, calligraphy goodies, and inspiration. 🙂