Friends of Calligraphy offers classes and workshops
that meet the needs of those beginning calligraphy as well as those who are ready for more advanced techniques. FOC workshops are open to current FOC members. Basic calligraphy classes at Fort Mason are open to the public. They are sponsored by FOC, and taught by FOC members. Also listed below are classes by FOC members who teach in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. They are not sponsored by FOC, but are listed here as a courtesy to our members. Please contact individual instructors for details.
- The Cursive line: Unique and Imperfect (Download pdf flyer)
Monica Dengo, instructor
Saturdays, July 26, August 2, 9, 16, 2014 • 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Arlington Community Church • 52 Arlington Avenue • Kensington, CA
$325 FOC members, $365 non-members (non-member fee includes 2014-15 FOC membership)
This class is full. Payment of the class deposit amount is necessary to be placed on a waiting list. The fee will be refunded if no space opens up by the first class.
In intercultural communication, non-verbal forms, such as gestures and expressions, assume great importance. Similarly, forms of handwriting become a vehicle for visual communication between cultures. Handwriting, intended not as a container of content, but rather as a higher expression of values and emotions through form, is fundamental in becoming acquainted with another culture. In the digital age, when people are losing the ability to write by hand, Western culture is acknowledging the importance of mark making and the handwriting/body movement/expression relationships. This also implies a relationship between handwriting and music, handwriting and dance.
Students will compare the gestures and movements of mark making in different cultures and in relation to their music. The course will be devoted to a spontaneous approach to writing, closer to handwriting than to the controlled movements of traditional calligraphy. Students will then explore different ways of holding a pen or a brush and new relations between gestural marks and the use of space. They will then develop a free cursive hand implementing the new gestures and a more formal, highly legible hand. A concept will be given and students will make a book using both their new cursive and formal hands. The relationship between gestural marks and legible text, use of color and composition will be discussed and developed.
Students are expected to work 8 to 12 hours every week, between sessions.
Born in Italy, Monica Dengo lived in San Francisco from 1993-2003 and currently lives in Arezzo, Italy. After design and calligraphy studies in Venice and at the Roehampton Institute in London, Monica moved to San Francisco where she studied manuscript production techniques, design and calligraphy with Thomas Ingmire and figure drawing with Eleanor Dickinson. From 2000-2003 she taught at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Currently she collaborates as a curator and teacher with the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, organizing international workshops and exhibitions, and with the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice, on the teaching of handwriting in the digital age. Monica has taught in Japan, Canada, Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and the U.S. and has exhibited worldwide. She recently published a children’s workbook, Pick Up Your Pen, winner of the 2012 Parents’ Choice Award. She co-founded the Centro Internazionale Arti Calligrafiche, a cultural non-profit organization based in Arezzo, which offers classes in Rome and Venice. See www.monicadengo.com and www.freehandwriting.net for more information about Monica.
Copperplate Variations (Download pdf flyer)
Pat Blair, instructor
Saturday & Sunday, September 13-14, 2014 • 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Fort Mason Center, Building C, Room 205 • San Francisco, CA
$160 (FOC members only)
This class is full. Payment of the workshop fee is necessary to hold a place on the waiting list and will be refunded if no space opens. In order to successfully enroll, you must be a current member (2014-15) of FOC. You may join online.
Copperplate calligraphy is an elegant and expressive hand, but with subtle differences in shape and form, many variations in the letterforms can be achieved. We will learn how to give the hand many looks, while always maintaining the classic form. By varying weight, height and slant, we can create whole new alphabets (heavy, light and more flourished, compressed). Analyzing fonts will give us more inspiration to develop and create alphabets. An exploration of a variety of capitals will round out the class.
This class is appropriate for students who have taken copperplate and are comfortable writing with a pointed pen. There will be a small materials fee for the class.
Pat Blair has been a professional calligrapher for 28 years, and currently holds the position of Chief Calligrapher at The White House in Washington, DC. She is an IAMPETH Master Penman. Her work has been published in Letter Arts Review, The Calligraphers Engagement Calendar, Scripsit, Martha Stewart Weddings, Tabellae Ansatae and Bound & Lettered. Sharing and teaching what she loves is a high priority; she teaches regularly at the Loudoun Academy of the Arts in Virginia and has been on the faculty of several International Calligraphy Conferences. Pat served two years as president of the Washington Calligraphers Guild, has been chairperson of The Graceful Envelope Contest and was co-director of Letterforum, the 26th International Calligraphy Conference. Pat's love of pointed pen led her to the study of copperplate letterforms.
- Pointed Pen Sketchbook (Download pdf flyer)
Pat Blair, instructor
Friday, September 12, 2014 • 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Fort Mason Center, Building C, Room 205 • San Francisco, CA
$90 (FOC members only)
This class is full. Payment of the workshop fee is necessary to hold a place on the waiting list and will be refunded if no space opens. Note that priority will be given to members who have not successfully enrolled in the Copperplate Variations workshop.You must be a current member (2014-15) for your registration to be considered. If you have not renewed, please renew (or join) online.
The pointed, flexible nib is a marvelous tool, capable of producing a multitude of expressive strokes from whisper thin hairlines to dramatic, bold shades. What fun to explore these unique qualities as we play with fun and creative pen illustrations. In this class, we will learn basic strokes of the pointed pen, which we will use to create wonderful borders, single cartouches, floral decoration, and illustrative ornament. We will incorporate some painting with watercolor, gouache, or acrylic to add another dimension to our penwork.
This class is open to all levels. There will be a small materials fee for the class.
Pat Blair has been a professional calligrapher for 28 years, and currently holds the position of Chief Calligrapher at The White House in Washington, DC. She is an IAMPETH Master Penman. Her work has been published in Letter Arts Review, The Calligraphers Engagement Calendar, Scripsit, Martha Stewart Weddings, Tabellae Ansatae and Bound & Lettered. Sharing and teaching what she loves is a high priority; she teaches regularly at the Loudoun Academy of the Arts in Virginia and has been on the faculty of several International Calligraphy Conferences. Pat served two years as president of the Washington Calligraphers Guild, has been chairperson of The Graceful Envelope Contest and was co-director of Letterforum, the 26th International Calligraphy Conference.
The basic calligraphy classes at Fort Mason are open both to FOC members and to the public. The class size is limited to sixteen people. Classes may be paid online via PayPal using their secure online payment service. You do not need to have a PayPal account; simply click on the Pay Now button for the class of your choice. All major credit cards are accepted. If you wish to register by snail-mail, please download the Fort Mason brochure and send the registration portion of it with your payment. For more information on Fort Mason classes please contact Elizabeth Nisperos.
Please register for any class at least six weeks in advance of the first meeting. Class size is limited to 16. Payment of tuition is necessary to hold your place on a wait list, and will be refunded after class begins if no space opens.
Cancellations: A full refund will be issued up to 14 days before the class begins. After that, tuition is forfeited unless your place can be filled from the wait list.
Basic supplies and additional or different supplies specified by each instructor are listed at the end of each class description. The term “Basic Supplies” refers to: black ink (Higgins Eternal or Pelikan Fount India), all sizes Brause pen nibs, one or two pen holders, pencil & eraser, 18” 24” metal ruler, notebook, cotton rag, a small water jar.
Calligraphy supplies, especially Brause and Mitchell pen nibs, can be difficult to find. Call or visit your local art supply stores, such as Arch, Dick Blick, Flax, Michaels, Pearl, Utrecht. If they don’t have what you need, contact the calligraphy mail order catalogs:
John Neal Bookseller, 1.800.369.9598, www.JohnNealBooks.com
Paper & Ink Arts, 1.800.736.7772, www.paperinkarts.com
The folowing classes are on the schedule for 2014
Download the Fort Mason brochure in pdf format.
Susie Taylor, instructor
Seven Tuesday evenings • 6:30–9:00 PM
September 9, 16, 23, 30, October 7, 14, 21
$140 FOC members / $150 non-members
Evolving from the Humanist cursive writing which originated in the Italian Renaissance, the italic hand is one of the most versatile and expressive styles in the contemporary calligrapher’s repertoire. This class will focus on the fundamentals of its minuscule and majuscule alphabets, including letter form, proportion and spacing. We will also touch on simple page design.
All levels of lettering experience are welcome.
Susie Taylor studied calligraphy with Byron Macdonald, Arne Wolf and Hermann Zapf. Examples of her work have been published in Contemporary Calligraphy, Calligraphy Today and Artist & Alphabet. She served for many years as the curator of the Harrison Collection of Calligraphy and Lettering at the San Francisco Public Library.
Patricia Coltrin, instructor
Four Tuesday evenings • 6:30–9:00 PM
October 28, November 4, 11, 18
$80 FOC members / $85 non-members
This class is full with a waiting list. Payment of tuition is necessary to hold your place on the wait list, and will be refunded after class begins if no space opens.
The italic hand was used as both a formal and a cursive script during the Renaissance. Its clear, elegant forms provide a wonderful model for modern handwriting. Using pencils and fountain pens, students will study the construction and proportion of the letters and methods for joining them into a cursive script. The class will start with a slower, semi-formal cursive, and work toward a more freely written version through exercises for developing rhythm and speed. Many historical and modern examples will be shown.
All levels of lettering experience are welcome.
Patricia Coltrin has been inspired by letters since 1985 when a friend loaned her a Pelikan pen. Initially studying with John Prestianni and Thomas Ingmire, she began a freelance calligraphy business in 1992 and has done both commercial and private commissions. Her work can be found in Belle Lettere (1997).
There is currently no lecture scheduled.
- Thomas Ingmire • Call 415.673.4938.
International Calligraphy Correspondence Program. Classes at all levels.
CPA-HO, 1040A Filbert Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
- Patricia Coltrin • Call 510 524-5208
- Georgianna Greenwood • 510.841.6924
- Kaori Ogawa
- Antonia (Nini) Smith • Call 510 526-7249
Year-round classes at Piedmont Adult School
- Erma Takeda • Call 925.284.7368
- Carla Tenret • Call 510.526.1214
Year round classes at Albany Adult School
- Holly Ynostroza • 510.655.7591
Private classes; Adult Program, Orinda Community Center
- Christine Renden Haggarty
Ongoing classes in Asian calligraphy for beginners and intermediates.
- Sherrie Lovler • Call 707.528.1723.
Calligraphic Book Hand for Book Artists.
- Melissa Titone • Call 707. 573.3810
Ongoing classes and private lessons in Santa Rosa.
- Judy Detrick • Call 707.964.9276
Ongoing classes at all levels.
Sacramento and Placer counties:
- Phawnda Moore • Call 916.630.0505
Ongoing classes in lettering styles, correspondence, journaling, and the creative process at beginner to intermediate levels
- Melissa Dinwiddie • Call 650.938.3939
Calligraphy, book arts, and illumination
- Sara Loesch Frank • Call 408.446.3397
Ongoing calligraphy classes for beginners and intermediates.
- Marian Gault • Call 408.395.8026
Calligraphy classes at South Side Community Center
- Ann Thompson • Call 408.378.6965
- Debra Ferreboeuf • Call 831 655-4311
- Chris Paschke • 661.821.2188
Ongoing classes at all levels in Tehachapi
- Carol Pallesen • 775.329.6983
Ongoing classes in calligraphy and book arts
- Bill Kemp • 505.235.4983
Teaching and tutoring in Albuquerque