Last weekend, two cool things happened here in Boulder, Colorado. The first was literally cool: Saturday was a chilly day — in the midst of a slew of warm days — filled to the brim with snow. The second cool thing involved an amazing group of people who braved the snow to come to downtown Boulder to learn calligraphy. I couldn’t have had a better time getting to teach learners at the two TPK beginner calligraphy workshops last Saturday, and I want to sincerely thank everyone who participated!
The workshop took place at The Riverside, an absolutely stunning building that overlooks the creek in Downtown Boulder. Each student had plenty of space to practice, and we all appreciated the ample natural light streaming in through the windows. Lighting is so important for effective writing, especially when you’re just figuring it out! The Riverside was a wonderful place to learn, and I immediately booked it for more dates!
Spring + Summer Beginner Modern Calligraphy Workshops
If you’re intimidated by dip pen calligraphy, then you will love TPK beginner calligraphy workshops. I remember when I was in your situation — so I give you all the tips, information, and feedback that I myself would have appreciated back then! The atmosphere is very casual and relaxed; when you arrive at the workshop, you’re greeted with a cup of tea and some snacks. You take a seat at any chair, and I set your custom calligraphed place card in front of you.
The first thing that you’ll notice when you arrive is a complete set of supplies to take home. I provide all the supplies for you because I think that it’s very important to start with high-quality materials! Among other things, you’ll receive a workshop-exclusive worksheet set, a hand-turned wooden oblique pen, and Nikko G/Brause EF66 nibs. We’ll start learning calligraphy with a regular pen (a technique called faux calligraphy) for a few minutes, then we’ll move on to using a straight calligraphy pen.
After the straight pen, we focus on using an oblique calligraphy pen. That’s my favorite part of the workshop! Many beginners are (very) intimidated by an oblique pen, but once you learn how to use it properly, you won’t want to use anything else. An oblique pen makes for easier, more comfortable writing. Even those who swear they’ll never be good at calligraphy leave the class amazed at what they can accomplish with the oblique pen!
My little treat for the beginner calligraphy workshop participants is guidance on how to write with white calligraphy ink. I think that white calligraphy is amazing, but it can be tough to get the hang of it! With just a bit of instruction, though, you’ll be writing white calligraphy on any dark piece of paper that you can get your hands on.
There are three beginner calligraphy workshops coming up. You can find more details and information about each one by clicking on the links below:
Summer Intermediate Calligraphy Workshop
I have received several emails from calligraphy learners who have the basics down, and want to take their creation to the next level. In response, I began working on a curriculum for an intermediate calligraphy workshop (update: this workshop has sold out). This is the first time I have taught an intermediate workshop, and I couldn’t be more excited!
If you are able to use a dip pen and can write words, then you will do well in this class! You shouldn’t be an expert; just come in with a good grasp of the basics. At the intermediate workshop, you’ll learn how to:
- Begin developing your own calligraphy styles (and the trick to remembering them!)
- Work with flexible nibs
- Write with more advanced inks (like gouache and watercolors — including Finetec metallics)
- Plot envelope layouts (both traditional and creative)
- Troubleshoot common issues
The workshop will include a shiny new straight pen holder, flexible nibs, a pan of Finetec Arabic Gold watercolor, and an informational/practice packet. I encourage you to bring your favorite supplies to the workshop! Do you have a beloved dip pen, a favorite watercolor palette, or an ink that you’ve been having trouble with? Don’t hesitate to bring it/them!
If you are uncertain as to whether the intermediate workshop will be a good fit for you, feel free to email me at [email protected]. If you’ve taken a TPK beginner workshop, you are absolutely qualified — but it’s not a prerequisite. This 12-person intermediate workshop will take place on Saturday, July 15th, from 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM. For more details and sign-up information, you can
click here (sold out).
Traveling to Boulder, Colorado
If you are thinking about coming to the workshop from out of town, there’s no better time to visit Boulder than the warm spring and summer months! The city is very easy to get to from Denver International Airport (DIA); there’s a clean, efficient bus that brings you straight downtown from the airport! You can click here to learn more about Boulder and things that you can do during your time here.
Past Participants are Saying:
“Class on Saturday was so much fun–thank you again! I was just on your website to find your email address and Woohoo! I found your intermediate class in July (and promptly signed up)! Can’t wait.” – Connie K., Colorado
“I had such a wonderful time in class today! I learned so much, most importantly that I can do this and 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
If the workshop you want to participate in is full, please email me to secure a spot on the waitlist: [email protected]. Usually, the first 1-2 slots on the waitlist get lucky!
I really appreciate the opportunity to help you learn this amazing art, and I hope to meet you this spring or summer! Of course, if you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them: you can contact me or comment on this blog post. Thanks so much for reading TPK, and enjoy the rest of your day!