Translation: Patricia Shallow
On July 15, I left for Bellingham to participate in Seattletters, my second International Calligraphy Conference. I was charmed by the campus with its view of the bay and magnificent sunsets. I found my “calligrafriends” from last year (Letterworks 2017) and met many new people.
As my first choice, I had chosen the class of Master Penman Pat Blair, the White House Chief Calligrapher. I had heard a great number of positive comments from students who had taken her course last year. As Copperplate is my favorite hand, I wanted to learn her technique and better understand its subtleties. The course lasted five days. The first two were spent reviewing the lowercase and capital letters and learning how to plan for and add flourishes to ascenders and descenders. The remaining days were dedicated to the creation of two projects: a long text and a word or simple phrase against a watercolour background.
Pat is a meticulous and extremely kind teacher who generously provides numerous examples and technical detail. She did not hesitate to share the tricks of the trade she had acquired over the years, whether it was how to digitize a work or handle a triangular brush in order to paint the flowers characteristic of her work. I simply adored her.
Another memorable moment was the introduction of Donald Jackson, official calligrapher to the Crown Office and Artistic Director of the Saint John’s Bible whose magnificent work I was able to admire up close. The week ended with the superb exhibition of the students’ works. It was inspiring to see all these passionate people share the work they had done during the week and everyone gathered in one place for the love of calligraphy.
The international conference Rendez-Vous 2019 will take place in our beautiful province next summer. Will you be there? I most certainly will be.