It was a winter day in the mid-nineties when my elementary school teacher sent a note home to my parents that my handwriting was really, truly, and wholly awful. “Chicken scratch” would have been offensive, and frankly unfair to the poor chickens who had never even been taught to hold a pencil, let alone begun the losing battle against copybook cursive.

Prompted by this, my father who holds a degree in art from Newark School of Fine & Industrial Art ventured down to the basement to retrieve a box I’d never seen before.  In it were books, notebooks, and fine papers covered in fairy tale lettering made from a rainbow of inks and metallic leaf. Each letter was a work of art. Having previously believed I peaked drawing birds and bunnies, this was a fabulous development. Now the birds and bunnies could talk. In pretty letters.

Ever so patient and generous when it comes to sharing art, my father helped to explain the concept of drawing letters as opposed to writing them. This revelation that I could change the shape, size, position, and lines of letters sparked a love for design that has carried across my life. (It has also made me impossibly picky about fonts and a total pen snob, but that’s another post.)

This blog will focus on calligraphy supplies, particularly gouache, that I’ve researched and tried. If you’re a calligrapher with beginner- to- intermediate experience looking to move into dip pens and take the next step with supplies, this is the ideal place for us to learn together.

All the best,