Calligraphy month: introducing Athena from Meticulous Ink
Welcome to the Cosy Craft Club's calligraphy month! We really want to encourage you to have a go at calligraphy yourself, and we'll be sharing the key things you need to know to get started. You can find all our calligraphy posts in one place here.
Our first ever craft kits, which were sent out at the beginning of January were beautiful calligraphy kits produced by the lovely Athena from Meticulous Ink. The attention to detail in the kits really highlights Athena’s “meticulous” nature - they are so beautifully presented and even contain ink that Athena designed herself! We thought you might like to know a bit more about the lady behind the kits so we asked her a few questions…
How did you get into calligraphy?
Our main area of work at Meticulous Ink is bespoke print, and when we first opened in 2010 we were inundated with wedding invitation orders. Many clients would ask if we could calligraphy the addresses on the envelopes or the place cards. I decided to teach myself to add an extra service to the shop. Once I had been doing it for a good while lots of people would ask if I taught workshops, so I now do those too regularly at our shop in Bath. I've been doing calligraphy for around 7 years and have been teaching it around 6 years.
What do you enjoy about it?
I love the patience and practice required. Each time I pick up a pen to do a project is another chance to do the perfect letter or the perfect word. I find it very therapeutic.
What's your favourite thing to use calligraphy for?
I love to create decorative artwork using my calligraphy. It's really fun taking a specific set of words and emphasising the meaning behind them using calligraphy, shape, style and weight.
Where do you like to go online for calligraphy inspiration?
I do like to go on Pinterest, though I tend to reference books a lot more instead.
What do you need to look for when buying calligraphy supplies?
Firstly ensure you are purchasing the correct kind of nib relative to the style you are using. Our kits are for Copperplate style, which uses a pointed, flexible nib, and is very different to roundhand or italic style, which uses a flat or wide nib. It can be useful to make sure you are purchasing specific calligraphy ink too, rather than fountain pen ink, which is much more watery and can blob on the page.
What suppliers would you recommend to someone starting out in calligraphy?
Meticulous Ink of course! We stock a wide variety of calligraphy inks and nib, plus our own brand of beautiful 100% cotton paper which is made for calligraphy.
What are your top tips for someone who is starting to learn calligraphy?
Practice, practice, practice! Practicing really makes such a huge difference to calligraphy. The more you do the better and more confident you'll become. We also have a Meticulous Ink YouTube channel with guidance videos and tips for calligraphy.
What is the most common mistake you see people who are starting out with calligraphy?
The angle. With copperplate style calligraphy the angle make a huge difference to the look of the lettering and where the thicker stroke lands. Many people find it difficult due to a lifetime of learning to have their elbow out, when in fact you need to tuck your elbow in, especially if you are right handed.
What questions do you get asked most frequently about calligraphy?
If it is okay if you are left handed - for copperplate style you are actually at an advantage if you are left handed!
If someone tried calligraphy and quite enjoyed it, what would you recommend as the next steps for them?
I'd highly recommend attending a workshop with us! I have found that having someone be able to point out any tiny tweaks to your lettering or posture can make a big difference to the style and enjoyment of calligraphy. We run the workshops regularly throughout the year at our shop.
Why do you love to craft?
I have always loved to make and create things. I think being able to transform something is the main appeal to me.