Last weekend I was honored and excited to be asked to teach one of the six mini-workshops at San Francisco Friends of Calligraphy's Trivial Pursuits XXVIII ! The calligraphers' version of speed dating, this event has each teacher meets with five groups of eight for fifty minutes each. The wonderful Evelyn Eldridge chaired the event and made everything run like clockwork.
Planning the class gave me the opportunity to reflect on how I got into doing chalk lettering, which was after a kitchen remodel during which it was suggested we paint a wall black to make it 'disappear'. After a few years of staring at that wall, one Christmas I impulsively wrote a snippet of a carol on it to add to the decorations. This was the humble first one:
I decided to make it an annual tradition, so I made a template on graph paper, blocking out the 'obstacles': TV, framed artwork, beam, etc.
The designs got a teensy bit more elaborate.
And here is this year's iteration.
Of course, there was nowhere near enough time at Trivial Pursuits for something this large in a fifty-minute class! Things had to be scaled down. So a sweet little book by Patti Digh, entitled "Four Word Self Help", came to mind. Four words seemed doable, so I picked a few of them and made thumbnail sketches to scale for our 15" X 20" black foam boards.
And one more I read somewhere, sometime:
After studying a couple of inspiration boards filled with vintage lettering and alphabets, and establishing a list of elements to work into the design, my FOC colleagues dove right in and transferred one of the phrases onto their pieces of foam board--with, of course, artistic license. It was a joy to see what all these talented calligraphers came up with to make them their own!
A fun event and an inspiring day! Thanks to all for your enthusiasm!