Wednesday, 16 January 2013

B is for Beautiful Handwriting

Hi everyone.  I have really enjoyed this past week looking at all your ‘A’ tags.  I was particularly inspired by Yvonne for starting to build a little stitchery tag book.   This made me decide not to bore you every week with my Family History tags, but to make my own little book of tags, building an Abecedary of Calligraphy styles and techniques. 
 To start my little book, and just to prove there is hope for everyone to improve their handwriting, I have made a tag to show what my handwriting was like in 1997, after I was suddenly taken ill with a brain haemorrhage.  For some time during my recovery, I was unable to talk and the only way I could communicate  was to write; with just a few letters per page you can imagine how much paper I got through!

In case you can’t read it, on the back of the tag I wrote what I was trying to say.  I have no peripheral vision to the left so my writing still has a tendency to go uphill.  , so I need to use guidelines.  It has taken me over 15 years to recover my calligraphy skills, I still need some practice.  I am enjoying this challenge because it is making me practice.  I hope people will be encouraged to see what can happen with a bit of perseverance!  I am hoping that by the end of this theme I will have a valuable instruction tool to use, if I run a Calligraphy workshop.

B is also for Black Letter.
On the front of this tag I have written the letter B in Black Letter style. Black Letter is one of the more difficult styles to mster.  The traditional proportions of Black Letter were based on three strokesof the pen so that the counters, the interior spaces of the letters were the same width as the actual pen strokes.  This regularity can make the script difficult to read. The capital letters are more rounded and open than their lower-case counterparts - I did a fewBs to practice!

On the back I have shown the whole alphabet with simple instructions on how to construct the letters. 

B is also for Bindweed.
This is actually a letter I did before I was ill but thought it would be useful in the book. I used gold gouache for the ‘B’ with green watercolour and a technical pen for the vine trailing around the letter.

I’m looking forward to taking a look at your beautiful ‘B’s later.
Bye for now
Jane xx


  1. Great! Calligraphy is a lost art, I think with computer printers today. I did quite a lot of it years and years ago. Still have pen points and ink!

  2. wow Jane, how inspirational! Congratlations on such an amazing recovery, you can rightly be proud of how far you have come. I LOVE to see calligraphy and your B is just wonderful! :0) Mo

  3. Wow such an interesting inspirational post. It just shows how capable we can be with a little perseverance but lots of dedicated hard work.
    A wonderful journey and the letters are amazing.

    I did a little calligraphy on silk a few years back. I really enjoyed it and was fascinated by the angles, pressure and techniques involved. It now makes me think I should prehaps revisit it.
    Thank you for sharing :D

  4. Wow Jane what a long road you have come to achieve again what we take for granted, well done! I'm delighted my A-Z stitchery book has inspired you to do an 'Abecedary' of Calligraphy. Your Gold and green 'B'is lovely, I'm looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful letters, I'm sure they will be keeping you as busy as my little 'stitchery' tags are!

  5. Jane, we have exchanged 'medical' stories before I think, but this latest instalment about your handwriting is so inspirational. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of your calligraphy book over the weeks to come. Warmest hugs to you, Gilli @ TCS x

  6. I am clapping my hands and smiling. You are fantastic. Well done

  7. I love the alphabet tags - so much about the the creator! The first tag is such an inspirational story - I am including this in my " good things of 2013" list - I hope you don't mind. (I am listing all the good things I witness this year) Wonderful reminder about determination and motivation.The other tags are beautiful too- congratulations.

  8. Oh my! Your illuminating skills are amazing. Blessings!

  9. You can be very proud of yourself, having overcome so many difficulties, and again able to do such wonderful writing! Hugs, Valerie

  10. Wow, what an amazing story - your calligraphy skills are quite fantastic, your hard work and determination really have won the day. Your work is beautiful and your story is inspiring - thank you for sharing it with us.

  11. Jane your calligraphy is amazing! Thanks for sharing the story of your illness and recovery. It is so inspiring and wonderful to see how far you have come.
    Jane x

  12. What a brave girl you must be! And a wonderful example of perseverance winning the day! Great idea - I just love illuminated letters. The children I used to teach always loved trying their hand at decorating their initials. Carolyn x

  13. Wow! you've done so well to come through all that and I'm very envious of your calligraphy skills - especially love that illuminated B. :o)

  14. Would love to learn how to do those fantastic letters. We have a freiend of the family who does it and her christmas cards and the envelopes they come in are a joy to behold. Well done you for pulliung through your illness and regaining your craft. Hugs Mrs A.

  15. A beautiful tag and a very inspiring story, Jane. Your family must be very proud of you.
    Gigha x


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