Copperplate: A Different Look at the Swelling Line

Calligraphy Workshop


copperplate calligraphy course

Copperplate is a supremely elegant hand that should take your breath away. The subtle but swelling line is the key to a beautiful and accomplished copperplate style. This class looks at how this can be achieved. Class exercises will deal with the critical issues of pen handling, the subtleties of letterforms and successful word design.

  • Pen handling. The correct angle to the page and the correct position in the hand to achieve the perfect elegant line. Particularly for those who wish to use, as I do, a straight pen holder.
  • Feel. The breath-like touch on the paper for the fine strokes and the rhythm of pressure and release that create the thick and thin strokes.
  • Understanding where to place the swelling line by practicing a number of basic strokes.
  • Analyzing the inherent narrow proportions of the letterform in contrast to the expansive beauty of flourished ascenders and descenders.
  • Looking at the subtle details of each letter and executing minor changes that make the difference between a perfectly acceptable letter and a beautiful one.
  • Designing words. Looking at design solutions to individual letters and how they sit together to make a unique piece of lettering.

Suitable for a 2 or 3 day workshop

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