May 2019, Melbourne: Copperplate: Term Study


May 2019, Melbourne: Copperplate: Term Study


Copperplate Term Study


The Co-Work Co
421 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

  • Thursday 2 May 2019, 6pm - 8.30pm

  • Thursday 9 May 2019, 6pm - 8.30pm

  • Thursday 16 May 2019, 6pm - 8.30pm

  • Thursday 23 May 2019, 6pm - 8.30pm

  • Thursday 30 May 2019, 6pm - 8.30pm

This is a five-week course aimed at students with some experience with a pen.

This is a slower paced course than the weekend workshops;  we will take the time to thoroughly develop and understand the shapes of both miniscule and majuscule letters, spend time studying exemplars from the old masters and copying them, and work individually on improving our skills.  There will even be homework tasks (but no detentions!)  I will mark and assess your work, give you individual feedback, and guide you in your journey towards mastery of this delicate and elegant script.

We will also have time each session allocated to other calligraphy skills that are often skimmed in traditional workshops, like layout and design, planning your flourishes, pacing your work, and how to best use various supplies.  I have a studio full of tools and techniques I can share;  I will be bringing different tools each week and discussing how best to use them.  (And yes, I will take requests!) We will talk about the qualities of different inks, learn how to prepare pigment-based inks like Pearl-Ex, learn how to prepare and protect paper while working, and discuss writing on different surfaces like hot-press paper, rounded bottles, or slices of agate. 

I look forward to helping each of you create something wonderful.


Here’s a quick summary of the major topics we will cover in each class, plus the extras that will keep life interesting:

WEEK ONE: Copperplate miniscules: review and refresh; using different inks

WEEK TWO: Copperplate majuscules: review and refresh; adding bling with Finetec, Pearl-Ex, and other metallics

WEEK THREE: Layout, spacing, piece preparation, and design work; using tools for layout and design

WEEK FOUR: Flourishing; whole arm movements; planning embellishments

WEEK FIVE: Working on our final pieces; tine manipulation; a tiny hint of gold leaf.


I expect most of you will have completed a beginners’ class, either with me or elsewhere, or have a basic understanding of the script; if not, I recommend that you do!

There will be a small materials list - usually just paper and pen. I know many people will be coming from work on weekday evenings so will have spares for you to borrow as needed.

I will be providing ink, handouts and guidelines, and several nibs to each of you on the first night. I expect that you will bring your own oblique holder (you can purchase a Moblique through me if you need - just let me know). As the class progresses and we play with various goodies I will be bringing enough for each of you to test and play with in class, and I’ll provide recommendations on where to shop if you want to purchase your own. I will also provide hot-press watercolour paper for your final piece, if you want to use it; you are welcome to use anything else and I’ll certainly have suggestions to share!


As usual, refunds aren’t possible (due to the cost of supplies and of the venue) but you are welcome to transfer your position in the class to a friend if you can’t make it or need to withdraw, even on only one of the nights. If you can’t attend unexpectedly, we’ll make arrangements for you to scan your homework to me and depending on my commitments we may be able to have a brief Skype session or other catchup discussion just so that you aren’t behind for the next week.

We’re all adults here - the only punishment for not doing homework will be that you won’t have the homework to build from! I understand that life happens and sometimes things just don’t get done. Don’t fret.

The venue is wheelchair accessible but only from the back - please let me know if you need to come in that way so that I can unlock the back door.

Public transport up and down Lygon Street is easy. There is all-day parking available in the surrounding streets and also on Lygon St itself after 6pm (clearway time). I’ll send you more information closer to the date.

I look forward to seeing you!

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