Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Calligraphy - A Lost Art
Let me give you a word picture instead. The project requires wooden rectangular plaques you can buy from the craft store. If you’re a carpenter (or know one) you can make your own with scrap wood. The plaques should be from three to seven inches and sanded smoothly on one side and a hole in the back for hanging. On the front, you write in free-hand calligraphy a quote, verse, or names and dates of an important event. Then varnish it and that’s it. A good way to commemorate the day and give a keepsake that will last through the years.
Calligraphy is easy to learn, and you don’t need any artistic ability because the effect is produced by the way you hold the pen and the shape of the nib. Pens come in either steel or felt tip. You can find a free lesson on YouTube. Just google calligraphy.
Since this blog is hosted by writers and most of our followers are avid readers or writers, you might be interested in this ancient writing form. Did you know all the fonts available on your computer were developed over many years by master calligraphers?
Calligraphy means beautiful writing and has been used for centuries to record the most important words in history. Before Christ, scribes were recording religious scrolls and books. Monks took over the responsibility of copying Christian literature, using the elaborate scroll work of calligraphy. As the years went on, Gothic became popular. This is Gothic script.
Calligraphy isn’t dead yet. Modern calligraphy ranges from functional inscriptions and designs to fine art pieces where letters may or may not be legible. Calligraphy continues to flourish in the forms of wedding and event invitations, font design, topography, original hand-lettered logo design, and religious art.
The purpose of calligraphy—to record the wisdom of the ages—is past. The letters to communicate are already set in type. But we owe our ability to read and write to the calligraphers of the past.
I discovered the art of calligraphy was lost to me when I sat down to write out a motto on my plaque. Calligraphy is a skill that requires practice, and I hadn’t held a nib in over a decade. I’ve lost the skill, and it will take months of practice to regain it. That’s the one other thing you’ll need to invest in to make the craft project I described above—time to practice.
This illustrates a lesson for us all. Our God-given talents and skills must be practiced daily or we’ll lose them. I have all those wooden plaques waiting for me, so I’m going to practice my calligraphy.
What’s a favorite quote or scripture verse you could recommend for me?
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