My Favourite Calligraphy Tools

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I'm often asked, both on my calligraphy workshops, which are held throughout Yorkshire & on Instagram messages, which my favourite & most used calligraphy tools are.

Once you've got the calligraphy bug there is an abundance of pens, nibs, inks and papers to try.  It's pretty important not to get too carried away in the beginning though as you need to nail the basics with the right tools. The kit I provide my students at the workshops is perfect for beginners (and tbh, I still use all of them when working even now) & includes:

A Speadball Oblique Holder

A Zebra G Nib

A pot of Sumi Ink

Rhodia Practice paper

The Zebra G nib is perfect for a beginner - its very sturdy & long-lasting, meaning you can put a lot of pressure on the nib when practicing those downstrokes & it won't break or leave you as frustrated as many other more flexible nibs can do when you're first starting out.

I like an oblique pen over a straight; its personal preference but I also tend to find students respond better to an oblique pen & are less likely to grip the pen like they would a 'normal' pen, which I think is what people try to do with a straight holder. Pointed pen calligraphy needs a lighter, more delicate hold than with your usual handwriting style - which also forces students to slow down, an important part of learning calligraphy! 

Sumi Ink is my all time favourite calligraphy ink to use. It dries a little slower than others but I love the way it dries still with a bit of a sheen. Higgins Eternal Ink is also a good one. A little pot goes a long way & if you feel it begins to become a little too thick you can always add a little water to it. Having knocked a whole pot off my dining room table once, I can unfortunately confirm that it is pretty difficult to fully get out of a cream carpet!

Not all paper is created equal! Especially where calligraphy practice is concerned. You can't just whip out the printer paper as it's just not up to the job & will leave you frustrated as the ink spreads. Rhodia paper is a dream to write on - so smooth so no getting your nib caught on any pesky fibres & it won't cause your ink to bleed.  Daler Rowney Layout paper is also good, although I find it a little thinner than Rhodia. With some testing you may find a premium printer paper that will take the ink but the Rhodia paper has the added bonus of being light enough that you can use a guideline sheet underneath - super helpful for keeping your lines straight & spacing parallel.

If you'd like to come along to one of my next Yorkshire Introduction to Modern Calligraphy course, you'll find the links to book your space below.

Friday 8th June, 10:30 - 13:30 at Jervaulx Abbey nr Ripon. Click here to book.

Sunday 24th June, 10:30 - 13:30 at Northern Tea House, Huddersfield. Click Here to book.

Any questions about any of the above tools just give me a shout...

Thanks,

Sally x

Into The Woods : A Romantic Yorkshire Woodland wedding shoot at Escrick Park

 This dreamy woodland-inspired wedding shoot captured perfectly by Lianne Gray, portrayed beautifully how the intimacy of a small wedding can be achieved in the most romantic of settings.  The venue was the fabulous Escrick Park Estate in York; set in an ancient oak clearing, this outdoor open space provides rustic benching with an archway crafted from dried oak branches to create a special space for your 'I do's'.

This dreamy woodland-inspired wedding shoot captured perfectly by Lianne Gray, portrayed beautifully how the intimacy of a small wedding can be achieved in the most romantic of settings.

The venue was the fabulous Escrick Park Estate in York; set in an ancient oak clearing, this outdoor open space provides rustic benching with an archway crafted from dried oak branches to create a special space for your 'I do's'.

Lianne had a vision of capturing the shoot in the golden hour - just as the sun was fading - which provided the most beautiful lighting for the shoot.

To suit the natural surroundings the team used rich red tones shot through with gold to create drama & to tie in with the Shakesperian element the shoot had.

 I adored creating the wedding calligraphy for this shoot; Sally Jane Calligraphy supplied the hanging table/seating plan in the picture above, a table runner - complete with Sonnet 18 handlettered on, place cards, table name & menu's - all with a nod towards the Shakespeare theme. 

I adored creating the wedding calligraphy for this shoot; Sally Jane Calligraphy supplied the hanging table/seating plan in the picture above, a table runner - complete with Sonnet 18 handlettered on, place cards, table name & menu's - all with a nod towards the Shakespeare theme. 

There was a line up of truly fabulous Yorkshire wedding suppliers & we had such a lovely afternoon/evening pulling this shoot together. The images are beautiful & it was great to seeing it featured in You & Your Wedding magazine earlier this year.

Photography - Lianne Gray Photography

Florals - Erica Berry Flowers

Styling - Shindig

Dresses - The White Yard

Suits - Tweed & Groom

Calligraphy - Sally Jane Calligraphy

Planning / Coordination - Sian Chaplin Events

Cake - White Rose Cake Design

Lighting - York Wedding Co

Models; Daniel Bakken, 

 

Introduction to Modern Calligraphy @ Northern Tea House, Huddersfield

modern calligraphy workshop

My last couple of workshops have been held at the fabulous Northern Tea House in Huddersfield. They have a really great upstairs room available to hire, which is lovely & light so perfect for teaching plus they make a mean cup of tea (& coffee...& cake come to it!) - my favourite, after sampling a few, was the almond & cherry. Sound weird in a tea? Go with it, it's pretty fantastic!

We also had Jo Coates, from Jo Coates Photography, join us & agreed to take some pics of the class for me. Jo also wrote a blog post about the day, which you can read here.

We had 2 great mornings at the tea house with a really lovely bunch of like-minded creatives who all did such brilliant calligraphy in such a short space of time.

I always get asked if people can learn calligraphy with terrible handwriting & I absolutely believe you can! Learning calligraphy is a slow art; holding the calligraphy pen - especially an oblique pen - is different to our everyday writing. It does take practice & patience but the rewards are instant & with a little bit of practice you'll be amazed how quickly you improve.

As Jo said in her blog post: "I was blown away by how relaxing it was, it is a very therapeutic art form."

We are hoping to get back to the Northern Tea House for more sessions in the near future & we also have our next Introduction to Modern Calligraphy workshop booked in at Modo Creative - on the beautiful high street in Haworth on Saturday 21st April, 10.00 - 13.00.

Follow the link to book your place.  I'd love to see you there...

Sally x

Nordic Nuptials - A Winter Inspired Wedding Shoot

I knew when Charlotte & Jess asked me to be part of their winter-inspired wedding shoot at the end of 2017 my answer would be yes. These Yorkshire based photographers are fabulous at creating beautiful, inspiring shoots which stand out from the crowd. And this aptly names, Nordic Nuptials shoot was no different.

 This husky dog made the shoot for me - how beautiful!

This husky dog made the shoot for me - how beautiful!

It was lovey to think of ideas for calligraphy to go alongside all the other elements of the shoot; I went with muted tones of greys, kraft & white card with grey & white ink in the forms of hand written menus, place cards & a table name. They blended into the natural environment beautifully.

Below is a list of fabulous Yorkshire wedding suppliers who all did such an incredible job...

Photographer: Charlotte White Weddings

Photographer & Stylist: Jessica J Photography

Jewellery & Stylist: Alice Clark Jewellery

Dresses: Luna Bride

Cake & Desserts: Blush Cake Co

Hair & Make Up: Brittany J MUA

Calligraphy: Sally Jane Calligraphy

 

Learn the beautiful art of Modern Calligraphy

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My last modern calligraphy workshop of 2017 took me to Harrogate Garden & Flower School. Owned by Jo Banks, the school runs lots of gardening & floral workshops as well as other creative courses such as watercolour painting. Jo was a wonderful host & looked after us all terrifically well - keeping us fed & watered with lovely Christmas treats.

I try to keep the workshops' numbers fairly small to enable to me give each student the individual attention they need so with a workshop of 8 we got started. The 3 hour workshop is a laid back, relaxing & inspirational look into the Introduction of Modern Calligraphy to give students the basics to enable them to leave with an ignited interest in calligraphy, in the hope that they continue to practice at home. A message from one of the lovely ladies who attended said:

"Loved it Sally, thank you. One of the most mindful things I've done in ages!"

calligraphy workshop drills

We start off with learning the basic strokes & letter forms - the main aim is to keep your upstrokes light & downstrokes heavier thus creating the beautiful script that is calligraphy. Like any new skill to be learned; it does take some practice & guidance but you'll have a great time while you're at it!

The class was full of a huge mix of people, across all ages groups & they all did brilliantly well - it's lovely to see the different styles emerge over a few hours of playing with their nib & ink.

modern calligraphy workshop yorkshire

After some practice strokes, shapes & drills we move on to look at alphabets & joining words - as it was near to Christmas we each had a gift tag & envelope to practice on too! 

 

As we move into 2018 - I've booked 2 more calligraphy workshops at The Northern Tea House in the centre of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. A fabulous café & relaxed environment for teaching - calligraphy & coffee, two of my favourite things!

I'm heading to the Northern Tea House on:

Sunday 11th February - 10.30 - 13.30

Friday 16th February - 10.30 - 13.30

Follow the link here to book yourself a spot on one of the two workshops available.

Would be lovely to see you there.

Personalised Christmas Calligraphy Gifts

Personalised Christmas Calligraphy Plaque

It is definitely the most wonderful time of the year!

I love Christmas & I love filling my home with natural, often wooden, decorations - this year I wanted to create something personalised for our own home & have set up listing in my Etsy shop for you to purchase too.

 These beautiful hand lettered wooden plaques & stars come in either a stained oak finish or black chalkboard paint and can be personalised with your family name as well as individual names.  The oak stained stars come with white writing & the black chalkboard stars can be written in either gold, silver or white ink.  They are finished with twine for you to hang in your home.

These beautiful hand lettered wooden plaques & stars come in either a stained oak finish or black chalkboard paint and can be personalised with your family name as well as individual names.

The oak stained stars come with white writing & the black chalkboard stars can be written in either gold, silver or white ink.

They are finished with twine for you to hang in your home.

personalised wooden star

The stars measure 25 cm wide x 25 cm high (to the points) & are 4 mm in depth.  Individual names can be in the points of the star or underneath your family name.

The plaques measure 20 cm wide x 13 cm high & are 4 mm in depth.

chalkboard christmas star

Orders can be fulfilled within 3 working days & sent 1st class Royal Mail delivery - shop here to order your family's personalised calligraphy Christmas gift or a great gift for family & friends.

Autumn Wedding Inspiration

This time last year took me to Farmer Copley's Farm in Pontefract to create an autumnal styled wedding shoot in a the cutest pumpkin field with a jaw dropping backdrop of beautiful Yorkshire scenery.

Photographers, Charlotte & Jessie, had fabulous creative vision for this shoot & Natasha Jane Events styled the outdoor picnic style table to perfection. 

This was my first styled wedding shoot with Sally Jane Calligraphy & I had hundreds of ideas I wanted to create to take along! I settled on some crimson & gold on the day table stationery; place cards, table number & menus, which looked beautiful against the gold & red/peach florals from Natasha & Claire's dramatic cake - I love it when a plan comes together!

I also worked on a hand-lettered mirror with autumnal signature cocktails for the bride & groom, lettered in gold this looked fab against the rest of the backdrop. Wedding signage is a really great way of adding something completely bespoke to your day & this mirror was lots of fun. Once there, I also had a go at writing on some pumpkins & the effect was really cool.