Melbourne, 22 June 2019 - Traditional Copperplate for Beginners
Melbourne, 22 June 2019 - Copperplate Majuscules

I love teaching and sharing the traditional knowledge I have hoarded over the years.  If you would like to take a class and it's not currently available in your location, please let me know, so that I can plan to visit your city!

Classes are tailored to the needs of the students in each class, and are workshops rather than lectures - I think students achieve more when you are writing, not just listening. I keep class sizes very small so that everyone can have the benefit of personal attention.  It's impossible for a YouTube video, for example, to correct your pen grip.  But that's why I'm here, and I can share with you what my teachers shared with me many years ago.

You will not walk out of any class an expert, but you will walk out with all the supplies, tools and techniques to become one if you practice.




22 June 2019: Traditional Copperplate Calligraphy for Beginners

Saturday, 22 June 2019
10am to 1pm

at PATH HUNTING, 421 Lygon Street, Brunswick East VIC

Traditional Copperplate Calligraphy for Beginners

This workshop is suitable for those with no experience as well as those who want to refine their existing skills - all are welcome.

The first steps in learning calligraphy can be daunting.  I’m here to make them easy for you with hands-on instruction in everything you’ll need to know:

  • choosing the right paper, nib, and ink;

  • preparing your nib for use;

  • loading ink;

  • holding a dip pen (correct hand position is everything!)

  • and most importantly, how to write the actual letters!

This class is structured around learning the basic strokes of the lowercase alphabet - once you master these, you can master anything.  In class I tend to focus on the things that I can't teach online;  I will correct your pen hold, tilt your hand, and show you how to control your ink flow.  You can spend hours watching videos in your own time;  what I'm here for is to make sure your hand, ink, and paper handling are setting you on the right path.

I'll also give you as many calligraphy secrets as I can - how to prepare a nib, how far to dip, how much ink to use, how to get ink out of carpet after that inevitable spill ... the things you can't easily learn online, but that experience (or a good teacher) can make so much easier for you.

Included in the cost of the class is a kit with all the supplies you'll need to continue your practice at home:

  • Dip pen holder 

  • Selection of nibs

  • Quality walnut ink

  • Smooth practice paper

  • Traditional copperplate exemplars

  • My personal copperplate instruction pages

  • List of resources for supplies and further study

I'll also have a very limited selection of further supplies for sale on the day.

This workshop is suitable for those with no experience as well as those who want to refine their existing skills - all are welcome.

This workshop runs from 10am to 1pm.  Please be on time - we have a lot to cover and we won't be able to run late!

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22 June 2019: Copperplate Majuscules

Saturday, 22 June 2019
2pm to 5pm

at PATH HUNTING, 421 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Copperplate Majuscules for Beginner & Intermediate

Copperplate capital letters are ornate, elegant, and beautiful, and truly add an elegance to your script.  But they are not easy to master - that's where I can help!

This class is for those who have some experience with a pointed pen - or for those who have just completed the morning class.  We will hit the ground running in the expectation that everyone knows how to use their pen and understands the basic strokes of the copperplate miniscule letters.

The majuscule alphabet is less simple to learn than the miniscule alphabet, and in this compressed class we will cover all the broad strokes.  I will teach you how to study capitals, and provide handouts with my own preferred capitals and their flourishes for you to study both in class and afterwards on your own.

Depending on the group level of ability, we will also be able to approach structure, proportion, and shade weight, identifying the forms that can be worked on as a group and spending most of our time on perfecting these basic strokes - and some flourishes that I can teach you to apply to many letters to give your majuscules a unified look and feel.

The goal of this session is to equip you to break down the proportions yourselves and further your study once you are home. 

As usual, places are limited to ensure I have plenty of time to spend with each student.

To bring:  Your oblique holder and preferred nib.  (I can also provide this for you if you don't have one - just send through an email and we'll chat!)

Provided:  Paper, exemplars, instructions, and ink - everything else that you need.  Also, afternoon tea.  (If you have attended the introductory class in the morning, you will already have everything that you need.) 

This workshop runs from 2pm to 5pm.  Please be on time - we have a lot to cover and we won't be able to run late! 

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For those who know the basics but would like to sharpen their skills.

Whatever your level, as long as you know the basics, this class can assist you 

We will be working on refining your script to get you a few steps up from where you're at. I'll spend time talking about on tine control, ovals, parallel shades, and connectors - or other elements that you're struggling with. We'll talk about difficult letters (like the lowercase s!) and how to balance your shades and flourishes to create a polished and professional script.

These classes are small enough to work with students on an individual level, so if you would like to learn anything in particular, let me know and we can make it happen.  Class kits include paper, ink, and nibs, and an oblique holder can be purchased in class. 




Structural (Loops and swirls)


For those who know the basics of lettering but would like to work on their flourishing.

Flourishing is at once the most satisfying and most difficult part of studying calligraphy - and not necessarily just copperplate.  One bad flourish can ruin the look of an entire piece.

In this class we work through the basic rules of how to create a flourish that is balanced, even, and well aligned;  we discuss where to put shade and where not to;  we talk about whole arm movement and about planning flourishing that complements your whole piece, rather than just one word here and there.  We discuss tine control and how to use the pen to help you, not work against it, and we will talk about when not to flourish, when to let your lettering stand for itself.

Class kits will include paper, ink, and nibs, but not an oblique holder (although these can be purchased in class).



Term Study


This course runs on Thursday nights, 6pm to 8.30pm for five weeks.  It is only offered in Melbourne.

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, work individually on improving our skills.  There will 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 using 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.  We will talk about the qualities of various inks, learn how to prepare pigment-based inks like Pearl-Ex, and discuss writing on different surfaces like hot-press paper, rounded bottles, or slices of agate.