159: Calligraphy Nov 2017


I have been taking a course in Beginner's Gothic Calligraphy taught by 90 year old Mary Bowman at ALIR (Academy of Learning in Retirement). I'm not really into golf clubs and button ferns, but, you know, it's part of the course. As I am wont to do, my calligraphy homework gets presented in the form of white cubes. For practice I've copied a classic poem by Edgar Allen Poe, not just in spooky Gothic but also two other calligraphy fonts.

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Click below for pdf's of the cube flat patterns; then enlarge things on your device.
"The Raven" stanzas 1-7 Gothic
"The Raven" stanzas 8-12 Italic
"The Raven" stanzas 13-18 Roman

Imagine the plan view of this egg-crate-looking object, then bring the plan view up on an iPad screen. What do you get? A USB powered portable light-box with a template for Italic Calligraphy. Parameterize the angle and line spacing in the computer model and, voila . . . a template for Gothic, or whatever. The monks used parchment and pen-widths and protractors and prior planning and plucked plumes. Now I lean to pixels and parameters and iPads and power packs and Pilot Parallels. It's still hand lettering, though.

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