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December 16, 2005

mhcc calligraphy: class 10

by gl. at 10:08 pm

i'm so tired my tongue feels thick and my hands disembodied. but finally, the final project is finished! i showed you the draft, but the final piece is done with a tape 1 nib and a "firefly" pen, which is the manufactured form of my favorite tool, the soda pop pen. the roman caps are lettered w/ calli scarlet on arches text wove (i know! after i disavowed it! but this ink surprisingly works fine w/ this fickle paper); the red stain is four different flavours of red inks with surprisingly different hues & gold leaf in its center.

[it looks so small surrounded by black. click for the larger version.]

even though i began this project earlier in the week, i finished the last of 21 attempts at 5:30 this morning. as i was detailing & packing the piece to take to class this afternoon, everything went wrong. while erasing the lines, one tiny dot smudged. i stopped and scraped it away w/ an exacto. while blowing some loose fibers away from the scraped spot, the gold leaf blew right off the red stain and off the table. i got up, got some glue and gently wiggled another piece of gold leaf in place. as i was leaving the studio, i dropped my sturdy cardboard portfolio and managed to gouge a ragged chunk from the "N" in "own" -- fortunately, not in a way that really distorted the letterform, as the gouge occured in the middle of the leftmost downstroke and the folded pen uses a lot of ink.

i don't normally do this, but i've actually used a little photoshop to edit some of the obvious blemishes because it was so heartbreaking to have it fall apart on me like this. will i make another? i don't know. probably not. i think the smarter thing to do is follow the "notes on making art" model and just create another: quality through quantity. still, it would be nice to use it for a portfolio piece....

it was difficult to share this in class because it is so obviously a "statement" and most calligraphers scribe innocuous song lyrics or bible verses. i've invoked him before, but i keep having to remind myself of charles pearce: calligraphers should write in their own words; calligraphers should develop their unique & possibly even political voice. afterwards i had one positive response from a woman i've been talking to over the term, but everyone else obviously didn't know what to say and a couple of people looked like they were afraid to look at it directly lest it infect them.

and now to sleep, perchance to dream...

posted by gl. | December 16, 2005 10:08 PM | categories: calligraphy, classes & workshops