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October 22, 2006

aocc 2006 review

by gl. at 11:25 pm

yesterday i attended the all oregon calligrapher's conference. we packed a lot into 8 hours, so this will be a long post. :)

aocc general
i had a good time, especially because sven, kristen, colleen & rick also came. but it was too short! alas, we were up an hour early to volunteer and there was surprisingly little for us to do: i ran interference on arrivals to direct them past the harried 4x4 exhibitors, added a couple of signs here & there, did some random errands. i was also surprised to discover the vendors weren't sellilng anything i couldn't live without, though i was oft tempted. (there was a beautiful green box with a stone and a feather, though, that i regret not getting.)

aocc exhibits
the most disappointing thing about aocc was the 4x4 and "show & share" exhibits. it was probably so disappointing because i had been looking forward to it, but there were no signs, no statement or context, and many pieces had been stapled to the backing! *wince* (and not very carefully, either. thank god my piece was already mounted!) some nice pieces, and i do so love the small format, but the presentation was appalling.

denis brown keynote: dangerous lines
after introductions and welcomes and applause, denis spoke about calligraphy. with a topic like "dangerous lines" i had hoped for more rebellion and maybe even a call to action, like the lecture michael & i attended by charles pearce. still, he said many things worth noting:

the lunches were fairly tasty for salads. sven got pushed into line by the irrepressible marti dawkins, who told him they were "merging." the psc meetings are held waaaay over in beaverton, but a guy sitting at my table wanted to start an east-side group, and sven & i nudged him into it. i grabbed meri and we asked her to make an announcement before he could lose his nerve. a small flood of gresham calligraphers immediately signed up. the last i saw he was happily chatting up the teachers at the david douglas school district. :) the creative advocates strikes again!

jaki svaren: concentric italic
kristen thought jaki had a gentle energy. alas, we didn't have much time to actually do italic because we were busy breathing, stretching and meditating. "sipping on a cup of green tea, i stop the war." a very interesting thing i am glad to know is that 5 degrees, the usual italic slant, is the slant of a diagonal line drawn between the inner and outer edge of a broad-edged line. she gave us homemade visors with our names on them to keep out the glare of the fluorescent lighting. as she reminded us of the small miracles of breathing and sound, a white horse walked past our windows.

denis brown: book of kells
ah, michaelmas, you would have really liked this session! first we actually looked at the cathach, the book of darrow, and the lindisfarne gospels before getting to the book of kells.

looking at manuscripts almost always makes you feel better about your own calligraphy: they are beautiful, but the slant, spacing & sizes are often inconsistent, and monks would often forget letters or words and tack them on in unusual or weird ways. also, "the book of kells is like the mona lisa of its time, but it's also the simpsons," he said, pointing out the illuminations containing drunk monks & men pulling on each other's beards.

interesting random fact: he says the cathach was the first copyright case ruling. in 7th century AD: "to every cow its calf, to every book its copy." st. columkille apparently borrowed a book from anothe monk (finnean), then copied it for himself. after the ruling he was forced to return the book to finnean AND its copy.

posted by gl. | October 22, 2006 11:25 PM | categories: calligraphy