Sunday, 2 August 2015

Things I learnt from my Copperplate Class

Hi, everyone! It's Sunday again and it's time for another post! This week I'll be touching on the Copperplate class I attended last Saturday. 

Copperplate Worksheets by Dr. Gail


Why Copperplate? 
I started learning my calligraphy online, sticking to modern calligraphy because it is looser and it has no fixed format. However, I soon realised that there are so many different ways of doing modern calligraphy. There is no right or wrong, just a matter of individual style. I began seeking out a fixed rigid format I could work from in order to invent my own style of modern calligraphy. Copperplate is the obvious answer because it was popularly used for formal writing, such as wedding invitations. 

Copperplate Class 
My class is held by The Little HappyShop and taught by Dr. Gail Madalag. It is a 10am-4pm class, with a half hour lunch break. The class is small, just slightly more than ten people. Materials in the class include a speedball oblique, calligraphy pad, a plastic folder, walnut ink crystals and a glass jar, nikko G nib and Hunt 101 nib, as well as the class worksheets. The venue is a little out of nowhere, but thankfully I am quite familiar with the place since it was on same bus route to school.  True, I did got lost for about five minutes, but that's just me, I think. The class cost SGD$220.

Things I Learnt From The Copperplate Class

 

Spread tines for squared tops 
I have read a lot of instructions on getting the thick strokes squared on the top and the bottom, but somehow I just couldn't get it right. Sure I didn't get it right during the class, but after more practise at home, I finally got the hand of it! I am so happy to say that I am on my way to persistent and uniformed squared tops. Indeed when I look at my old calligraphy drills, I flinched. If I hadn't attended the class, I would still be stuck with my old ugly downstrokes. 

The paper in the back was my first try, while the one in the front was my third. You can see the improvement that I had made. :) 



Go Big before writing Small
The idea behind this is to get the form right first. When you are writing the letters big, you can see where you get it wrong better than when you are writing them small. In order to improve, you have to know where your mistakes are, and that means being able to see them. We practised writing each alphabet twice the usual size.

I am holding my pen wrongly
I hadn't put much thought into how I hold my pen until I attended the class. I thought that if the ink manage to flow, it means that I must be doing it right! But recently, I have been looking at ergonomic holders, and I noticed that the hand position on the pen itself doesn't look like what I am doing. Dr. Gail confirmed my suspicious when she taught us how to hold the pen. So now I am correcting my the 6-month habit that I had built up. It really is a good idea to attend such lessons, even if it is simply to confirm that you are doing things correctly. 

Written by Dr. Gail

Watching a Professional at work is Inspiring
It is different watching someone calligraphying on Instagram or youtube as opposed to in reality. It is awe-inspiring. Everytime Dr Gail writes something, the whole class went quiet and still. Dr. Gail even brush-lettered each of our names on our calligraphy pads! It is so beautiful! Look at the flourishes! 

My favourite part of the class is definitely where we get to try out Dr. Gail's own set of custom obliques! We are all drooling over her collection!! Indeed, I went home and bought three holders from TheCuriousArtisan. Currently all her holders are sold out, but Lennie said the second collection will be up in September! I can't wait! 

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If you're interested in classes held by The Little Happy Shop, you can click here to find the list of workshops available. Also, follow Dr. Gail's Instagram here

I must admit, I am already considering taking an intermediate class next. 

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and, as always, thanks for reading! :) 

Jennifer

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