Hand Pulled Prints, Books, Drawings and More

Monday, October 10, 2011

Words as Art

Fall is going to be one fun season this year! Chock full of workshops, classes, craft fairs and more I will also be continuing to develop my portfolio. Thankfully my work seems to be developing fairly naturally. One of the things I'm working on is calligraphy. After studying typesetting in college, and reading up on typography and design my abecedarian fascination continues in the world of handwriting.

There is an intimate je ne se quois about hand written letters, addresses and notes. An amalgam of ourselves, our families and our instructors the way we write tells a story. Who we are, how we communicate and how we educate ourselves are all made clear in a simple scribble. Working in an office and having friends who live far away means that I am lucky enough to be in the path of a lot of mail. Only occasionally do I find hand addressed envelopes or letters in my work but at home they are touchingly constant. I have saved almost every piece of correspondence I have received meaning one of my two desks is half full of empty envelopes and half full of words reminding me of graduations, birthdays, and occasions long past.

Calligraphy is not handwriting. Calligraphy is conforming the hand to reflect a certain style then adding a bit of yourself for flavor.
typesetting at Black Rock Press
 Typesetting is even more obedient in it's visual vocabulary. Yet type is so regular the organizer cannot help but add themselves to the equation even if it is through exactitude. Both of these art forms involve the power of declaration and literacy. A viewer is given no choice when exposed to calligraphic or type set art, they are as compelled to read into the piece literally as they are to reading stop signs and billboards. Literate people are subconsciously cued to understand or at least try to understand what they recognize as language. Even when printed in a mirror image or upside down people will tilt their heads or murmur to themselves as they try to read what is printed on the page. 

Denis Brown's A Thousand Wishes Series- calligraphy engraved in glass
 It takes talent and ingenuity to use words without literal expression. The amazing Denis Brown has developed many different styles of calligraphy full of energy. His website, Quill Skill, shows his traditional training and conventional hands next to some beautiful experimental work such as his big scale, performance and glass calligraphy. How can an art form so different from your own influence your work? What tools or materials do you "traditionally" and why? 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Nevada Museum of Art Workshops

Great news - my fall workshops hosted through the E. L. Cord Museum School at the Nevada Museum of Art are all online and ready for sign-ups! Check out the Happenings tab above or the links below to learn more.

Bottle Cap Creations: Sign Up At the NMA, also listed on the Reno News and Review Events Calendar

Beginning Book Arts: Sign Up At the NMA, also listed on the 

Pen and Ink Drawing: Sign Up At the NMA, also listed on the Reno News and Review Events Calendar

Keep checking for more info on the Inkheads Show, my next craft fair and other artful surprises!