Earlier this month I held my first ever Modern Calligraphy Tag workshop at my home, and it was such an enjoyable and rewarding experience. I had spent so many weeks prior to the workshop creating my very own beginners calligraphy workbook as I wanted to ensure that each attendee was able to learn practical skills that they could then take home and practice at a later date. Calligraphy requires so much repetition, therefore having a good guide book was so important to get right. I tested the workbooks on friends and family, and through trial and error, I was also able to create a book specifically for left-handed people to use.
As the class was going to be 50/50 split between right-handed and left-handed people, I wanted to make sure I had properly catered to each individual. With this in mind, I used my Mum, who is left-handed, as my test subject and I tweaked the book based on her needs. It was great to see these books come to life on the day, and the workbooks were customised with each attendees name.
We started the afternoon off by getting some hot drinks ready, and introduced ourselves. Many of the people attending had never done modern calligraphy before, so it was interesting to hear everyone's back story as to what had inspired them to take part in the workshop. This is one of the things I love about hosting, and attending workshops across all different skill sets, as you get to meet such wonderful and creative people, who share the same passions and styles that you do. It also opens you up to the worlds of people who are maybe the complete opposite to you, but in this setting, you share the common ground of wanting to learn something new and exciting for the first time.
We started the workshop going through simple line work and directional strokes in order to get the feel of the pen in your hand, and the fluidity of how letters are formed. Then it was time to work on the lower case alphabet, and as I use fineliners and not nib and ink calligraphy, I had broken down all the steps required to create the beautiful modern calligraphy look for each letter. We then moved on to the upper case alphabet and numbers 0-9, until it was time to start joining letters together.
There were six lovely ladies in the class, and this meant that I was able to have one on one time with each of them if there were any difficulties, or extra help was needed to go over certain letters or techniques. I think the one on one aspect of workshops is so important, and I know as someone who attends a lot of workshops myself, that this time is really valuable. Everyone flowed through the workbooks so well, and it was so rewarding to see each of them developing their own styles and ways of working, whilst I was not-so-quietly tucking into the cake table in the corner!
Once everyone felt comfortable with joining letters and forming words, we were then able to move onto the more creative part of the workshop, which was actually making your own modern calligraphy tags. I had my giant collection of ribbons out, both ones I have collected, as well as ribbons I have naturally dyed myself. I always love this part of tag making, as the pop of colour just brings the whole product together, and I love playing around with the different choices.
Although I had provided some examples of words and phrases that could be used for the making of the tags, I loved seeing what each individual chose to write on their finished products. Some had used business or instagram handles, whereas others had written certain names as they were intended for gifts for loved ones. That's one of the great things about learning modern calligraphy is that is it completely customisable to each person.
Everyone got to take home a selection of ready prepared papers for the tags, ribbons, as well as their modern calligraphy workbooks and fineliner pens. (Arguably the best part of a workshop is the goodie bag you get to take home!)
I loved watching this workshop come to life. I'd been quite sceptical about teaching calligraphy, as I have my own unique way of working, and I didn't know if teaching would be something I would be good at. As always, that touch of imposter syndrome creeps in and I ended up putting it off for a while. However, I am so utterly glad that I got the courage to share my skills with these wonderful women, and I hope that they had as much fun as I did!!
If this sounds like an afternoon you would enjoy, I do have some spaces available on my April Modern Calligraphy Tag workshop. Tickets are available here. As this workshop will be held the weekend before Easter, our wording and colour schemes will be heavily influenced by this wonderfully Spring time of year, but not limited to, if you had something else in mind that you wanted to create during the day! All ideas welcome!
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this little peak into an Edie Rose Ashley workshop.