Well, I survived my calligraphy class...just in time for the week to start, argh. Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun, and I feel like I have a good start on Batarde, the bookhand which we learned in the class.For those wondering, the Batarde I learned looks something like this; but Batarde by definition is the bastard child of Textura, also known as Blackletter - a very stiff, formal hand usually used for books - and the more informal handwriting style of Gothic Cursive. Batarde was a pretty common bookhand throughout much of the Middle Ages - as an example, the Ellesmere manuscript of the Canterbury Tales is written in a batarde hand bordering on Gothic cursive.
Anyway, it was a pretty awesome class! I knew some of the people in there already - one person from the calligraphy class I'm currently in, and then fellow English grad students Erin and Laura. Interestingly there were us three English students, a student from the Center for the Book, and everyone else was like 40+, which was slightly odd. (Also, as with every calligraphy class, there were a couple of people who were ANNOYING AS FUCK, but I've just accepted that as par for the course.)
The instructors - Ward Dunham and Linnea Lundquist - were really good; their vibe was a little weird (sort of like The Honeymooners
without the joking threat of physical abuse...mostly), but they were really helpful on showing us where we were going wrong and how to correct it, especially Linnea. And Ward did for each of us an example alphabet of Gothic cursive that's gorgeous and which I will post a photo of later (once I replace the overhead light bulb in my living room so I have decent lighting, I'mma take pictures of a whole bunch of calligraphy projects of mine to show y'all, I'll just add that one to the list).
Also, I bought things! Ward and Linnea run a company called Atelier Gargoyle
, which specializes in calligraphy materials, high-quality fountain pens, and seals/sealing wax. I managed to forgo buying a fountain pen (mostly because I just got an inexpensive one the last time I was in England which I like), but I DID spring for a bronze seal and sealing wax. This
is the one I got, which seems perfect for me: two lions (I'm a Leo), and a grappling hook that looks exactly like a J. (The sealing wax came free with the seal, since the latter was a bit expensive: so I have sealing wax in gold, copper and vermilion.) I also bought some calligraphy supplies - stick ink to use with my ink stone (which I've found that I really like), a nice calligraphy nib holder, and a portfolio of handouts.
Anyway, the main purpose of this post is to make an offer to my flist: specifically, something along the lines of "I'll send you something sometime within the next year" meme. The twist is, I'll send you a calligraphed and hand-sealed piece of mail! I'll decide what hand I write it in, what colors/materials to use, etc., and rather than a letter it'll probably be something copied out that I think you will find relevant to your interests. My calligraphy is still kind of crappy, but this'll give me an excuse to practice more, and a few of the hands even look kind of okay if they're crappy like mine. XD;
But anyway, if you're interested, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know! :D
In related news, the new Chaucerblog post is awesome
. "Chaucer" is talking about new TV shows he has ideas for ('cause of the writers' strike), and while Sectes in the Borough
(a "hot and explicit showe" with "frank depicciouns of heretical practice") made me giggle, what KILLED ME COMPLETELY DEAD was the following:Doctor Hwaet: Thys showe doth chronicle the aventures of a solitarye one who must wander the wayes of water on the rime-cold waves, mindful of miseries, yn a large device ycleped the TOWAERDES (the which ys a grete magique ship disguised as a burial mound) that alloweth hym to travel in tymes to come and also yn the places that ben past and the far landes of fantaysye. Alwey he sercheth out and protecteth a poem ycleped Beowulf the whiche he saveth from a fyre and also turneth yn to several filmes in order that the beautee of Angeline Joly may drawe newe rederes to thys tale. “That ys fanTASTick,” he saith yn the rare tymes whan he ys of good chiere. He fighteth many enemyes, includinge the Cybermonks, the Daneleks, and folk who thinke that “Geats” is pronouncid “geetz.”
DOCTOR WHO AND OLD ENGLISH, TWO TASTES THAT GO GREAT TOGETHER...THEY'RE LIKE PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE IN A WAY