Of all the different art forms I’ve studied and practiced over the years, calligraphy combines two of my favourite things. Writing and art. I love stationary. Pens, pencils, paper, whatever. Stick me in a Staples store and I can spend hours just wandering the isles. I once came across a Mont Blanc store and was in heaven when they offered to let me try out the pens that I obviously couldn’t afford. I did buy a bottle of ink though. And will again the next time I’m in the neighborhood.
I love the beauty of the nibs, the feel of the specially designed nib holders (the barrel of the pen). I love dipping the nib in ink and watching it as it coats the metal and sticks, or not. And when it does stick I love marveling at the wonder that is fresh ink on a piece of paper. Watching the wet ink as it flows from nib to paper, then dries on the page. I love watching how different inks change colour and become deeper, brighter, shinier, duller, as they dry. I love the sound of the nib as it scratches along the page, the sound of the strokes, swoops and swirls as my hand guides the letters onto the page.
I love looking at a page full of B’s and G’s and thinking “man, isn’t that beautiful. Other people might not think so. But I do.
I find it soothing, even when my hand starts to cramp up.
I love the idea that when my handwriting improves I’ll be able to write a beautifully written letter and put it in the mail and send it to my mother who will be blown away at the beauty of it. My mother has the world’s most perfect handwriting.
When I was in the 4th grade, my teacher told me that my handwriting was horrible and that maybe it would be best if I just write in ALL CAPS so that people would be able to read what I had written. To this day it’s still my go-to handwriting style.
But I want to change that. I want to write beautifully, like I never could before, so that when I write a thank you note the recipient keeps it because it is just too beautiful to throw away. I want to write beautiful words, always.
Because beautiful writing is becoming a lost art form.
And anything I can do to help keep it alive sounds like a good idea to me.