Due to my recent engagement, I spend the majority of my free time looking up wedding details and plans. During my research I have discovered that a lot of couples opt to have their invitations personally handwritten by a professional calligrapher. When I discovered this, my first reaction was… “pshhhh, I could easily do that” (despite the fact that I have horrible handwriting). So instead of assuming I was naturally awesome at calligraphy, I decided to find out for sure!
Having never tried anything remotely close to calligraphy before, I knew I was going to need some serious help. So I figured purchasing a kit with instructions and supplies was probably my best bet. After work on Wednesday I stopped by Michael’s Craft store and picked up a complete calligraphy kit for around $20. The kit included 2 pens with 4 interchangeable heads, a bunch of ink (including color), a pad of paper and an easy to follow instruction manual.
First I had to puncher the ink tube before inserting it into the pen. In a tutorial I found online they used a paper clip but I didn’t have one of those lying around so I decided to go with a nail. I have no clue how the person in that video was about to puncher the ink with a paper clip because my sharp nail was barely doing the trick! By the time I was able to push the nail through, I had a good amount of ink on my hands. I learned pretty quickly that calligraphy can get messy. Once the hole was made, I unscrewed the pen, inserted the ink and shook the pen in order to get the ink going.
The first font I attempted was called Round Hand Lower Case. These letters are based on those that were used in manuscripts written in England in the tenth century. The book gave me step-by-step (day by day hehe) instructions on how to complete each letter. Round Hand was by far the easiest font for me. It didn’t require that much detail and once I got use to having to hold the pen at a 30-degree angel, it kinda came naturally to me. The weird thing about calligraphy pens is that each font requires you to hold the pen at a specific angel. So its completely different from the way you would normally move a pen across paper when writing. I found that if I was holding the pen wrong or moved it in the wrong direction, it wouldn’t even work. It truly is an art form.
The second font I attempted was Lower Case Gothic. This font was much harder to produce than Round Hand. In Round Hand each letter was formed by 2-3 strokes. But in Gothic, the letters are so detailed that it took around 5-7 different strokes to make up one letter. This obviously didn’t feel natural to me and took a bit of practice before I got the hang of it. But by far the hardest font was Capital Gothic. The letters have SO much detail to them. It took me easily over three minutes to complete a 5-letter word in this font. However, it was definitely the coolest. And I am not going to lie…I was pretty impressed with myself. Even though I clearly need more practice I was fairly pleased with how my writing turned out! I may even do all our invitations! Nah, too lazy for that…
As always check out some pics below! (VIDEO COMING SOON!)