Category: Major Workshops

Major Workshop – May 2019

Life Lines Workshop with Pamela Paulsrud

Pamela Paulsrud arrived in San Antonio in time for our General Meeting on May 2.  She presented a program centered on her two trips to the Middle East to share her Tree Whispers Installation in an amazing calligraphy event there.  We were treated to images of an incredible variety of calligraphic art in many languages, as well as excerpts from several interviews with calligraphic artists from all over the world.  We all came away ready to make art!

And then on Saturday and Sunday, those who were in the Life Lines workshop had an equally inspiring experience. We began with a full sheet of Arches text wove paper, roughly drew lines to divide it tic-tac-toe style into 9 spaces, and then filled the spaces with various exercises.  Some were freehand writing exercises done with both dominant and non dominant hand, some were geometric images, made with a compass and then also a straight edge.  Eventually, we tore the papers down in accordance with the golden rectangle proportions, and then continued to work on them, adding more circles, lines, and color, with a variety of tools and media.  The end results will give us lots to work on for many creative days ahead.

Pamela was a wonderful teacher. She teaches a process, not a specific lettering type or project.  Using the inspiration of the geometry of the universe, we were encouraged to see the world through new eyes, and to create art using what we had learned to see.  We will continue to learn from this class for years to come.

Saturday Special – March 2019

March’s Saturday Special was an accordion style tunnel book using Alcohol Inks!

Natalie taught us different techniques to create art with Alcohol inks on Yupo and Dural-Lar. Each student got a chance to practice before creating their book. Each book was made up of 4 framed ink pieces done on Dura-Lar assembled as an accordion. The books can be enjoyed opened or closed. The entire class seemed to really enjoy creating their new books and learning the new art medium.

Major Workshop – November 2018

Taking a broadside from start to finish with Leslie Winakur and Maggie Gillikin.

A broadside is a piece that is meant to be hung on a wall. Students learned that a good composition looks good, no matter if it is right side up, upside-down, or sideways!They learned tips about matting & framing as well. Students worked with a variety of materials: watercolor, gouache, acrylic ink, sumi & walnut inks.

Note from photographer: not all of these may be right-side-up.
But we learned a good composition looks good from any side.

March 2018 Major Workshop

On March 3-4, British calligrapher James “Fazz” Farrell presented a great major workshop entitled “Contemporary Pointed Pen”. James’ pointed pen style is a development of the classical English Round Hand and Spencerian hands. Inspired by his interests in cosmology, astrophysics and the complex polyrhythms heard in heavy metal music, James builds on the traditional strokes and shapes using specialized arm techniques. After practicing traditional penmanship exercises dating back to the late 1800s, students produced some beautiful penwork with added color and expression.


A sample of James’ expressive work
JB Branzon’s Initials in Fazz Style
The class participants and their work at Discovery School, James can be seen in the upper right

October 2017 Major Workshop – Ken Harris

In October, a major workshop entitled “Traditional Raised and Burnished Gesso Gilding” was presented by noted calligrapher and artist, Ken Harris. Ken demonstrated the mixing and application of white lead gesso using recipes and techniques that date back to the middle ages. Under Ken’s guidance, students then produced amazing projects of their own design applying gesso and 24k gold leaf.

Student work
This lettering was done with a ruling pen on papyrus. Gilded Harris by Ken
More of Ken’s Work
More of Ken’s gilding, calligraphy and painting
Preliminary work on the student’s A
The gesso base is on the paper, but the 24k gold leaf has not been laid yet. Student Work
Another gorgeous A, student work
Ken working
Student work, color will be added
Gilded and painted letter A. Student Work
More students working hard
Mixing the tablets of gesso, to be used in the process of medieval gilding
A letter made with a ruling pen. The negative space will be gilded. Done by Ken
The mixing of white lead gesso. The recipe is 900 years old, just as the monks did it
Letter L. Student Work
A Table of very hard working students, using a feather quill to put on the liquid gesso, to lay the gold on