Current Art Block: Calligraphy

David Dozier
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Calligraphy - Course Description

Friday, August 22, 2014

We begin our block with the study of skeleton letters and the Black Letter hand. After working in pencil, we progress to pen and ink. Students learn how to find the correct x height for each hand using the width of the pen nibs. Using triangles, t-squares, and protractors, they rule out their own practice sheets and find the correct pen angle for each hand. Our final calligraphy project is to take one of Tolkien’s poems from The Lord of the Rings and produce a page lettered in Black Letter, with illuminated block letters at the beginning of each verse incorporating two colors plus black. Students are also asked to add an illustration related to the verse to fit around the lettering. They are evaluated on the letterforms, letter spacing, and number of mistakes as well the overall beauty of the page.

Students can choose their own content for the verse with my approval. If it is very short, it could be lettered once in English and then a second time on the same page in another language.

The illustration also needs to approved for content and must be challenging enough for the student's skill level.

Written Assignment due at the end of the block.

Write an essay about your experiences in Calligraphy several pages long using the What, How,Why and Who format:

What; describe what materials are needed and what Calligraphy is, perhaps by comparing it to a handwriting. What did you learn, what did you get out of the Calligraphy experience.

How; this may be the most extensive part of the essay. Describe how to find the letter or charater height, laying out a page, finding the right verse and illustration, the difference between left and right handed needs,  etc.,