Friday, March 27, 2015

Workshop to be run by Dale-Cormack Pearson and Roselda Stevens 
 A fun Parallel Pen workshop  for experimentation, learning to use your  pens, and making a little book to keep all your examples in. For those of you who have  parallel pens and want to learn more about them, bring your pens with you and come and join us on 7 April 6.30 – 9pm at Gifford Gallery, 27 Poronui Street, Mt Eden, Auckland 1024, cost for the evening $10 and please be on time as we have lots to do.
Bring all your Parallel pens,  we will show you how to remove the ink cartridge so that you can use this with water and or colour, also a useful skill so you can keep the nib assembly clean and flowing well.   I keep my 6.0mm and 1.5mm clean and only used water. Other things to bring if you have them:- Water colour paints, Gouache pans or tubes, a small palate to hold the paints (buy palate from a $2 shop) old small brush, A3 cartridge paper or Zeta paper. Pencil, rubber, ruler, cutter knife for cutting paper. This is open to ABC members who have Parallel pens and would like to attend.  Looking  forward to seeing you,  if you need to contact me please email me at

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Margaret Beech visits us. 
By 'out and about' reporter Hillary

                                                                                               Margaret is a generous, charming, story teller come bookmaker/calligrapher who spent the afternoon sharing her passion and ingenuity about making books, with us. Answering our questions, showing us how to do the tricky bits - the time just flew.  Margaret sees potential, and has many ideas about adapting templates, putting her own twist on various constructions.                                              

                                                                                      Left: These are made from wallpaper. The wallpaper can be straightened by soaking in the bath and lying flat to dry. Place paper shapes on top of each other, offset by a fingers-width lengthwise, even top and bottom, cut pattern with craft knife through all layers at centre, separate and tap spine end even, bind as you wish.

A series of progressively smaller envelopes which are sewn on one edge in a traditional pamphlet stitch. Assemble each one closed on top of each other


Margaret explaining the cutout map of York and the folded pocket that it fits into. The template came from Tabellae Ansata vol 1 no. 2 . Do you fold first? Before cutting? Which is better?

A delighful construction made for Jubilee Year. That edition had very small flags going across the rooves of the houses. The house constuction was collaged from magazines in front of the TV. If you looked carefully you could see shirt patterns as windows, the Olympic torch as a house and a roofing ad acting as roof. When the collage was finished it was colour printed and assembled.

These structures would adapt very well to calligraphy projects, I for one will be trying to see what I can do. Thank you Margaret for sharing your precious time with us.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Chop/Seal, a workshop with Ruth Renner. 
By Dale-Cormack Pearson, our reporter in the field. 
What a wonderful packed day, filled with lots to learn. The four of us - Glenice, Jan, Barbara and myself - were very spoilt to have Ruth to ourselves. Ruth started by showing us her seals and telling us their history.

This was followed by a lesson on carving into soft stone. We all found it much harder than we expected, but with practice, like all things we would hope to improve. Before we knew it was lunchtime. Ruth then talked about her latest exhibition 'She Dreamt'. Spending time explaining about mulberry paper, moon paper, a soft see through paper, and what magic you can create when you use chinese ink and a brush.

Our chance soon came and we had time to play with some mulberry paper, brushes and chinese ink. We practised bamboo, characters, learning about the meaning of the strokes, how the energy takes you from one part of the stroke to completing the letter. We all have a better understanding of the construction of characters now.

After that we went back to our chop/seal carving and finally produced something. I am not entirely sure that we were happy with them. I realised I had carved mine back to front, I had to laugh. Jan made one for Sue, as she had wanted to come but ill health prevented her.
We would like to thank Ruth making time during her holiday to teach us and look forward to her next visit.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

34 International Calligraphy Conference

Over in California an amazing get together is being held at Sonoma State University. It's the 34th International Calligraphy Conference July 25th to August 1st. Here is the link You will find all the information you need on the website. As I read through the tutors I ohh and ahh at each one, all well known people who's work is so amazing. I recommend you go have a cup of tea (or two) as you look through their work. The campus is flat, with accommodation on site, there is a cafe, there will be calligraphy gear outlets, bookshops, and tutors and students work for sale etc. Mobility wheels for those who need them, everything is within half a mile of each other through pleasant leafy walks.  

Report from Tuesday Night 3rd March

Susan organised this evening, we worked to music, on strips of practise paper (i.e. wall paper) which ran the full length of our tables. We used a variety of tools and paint to start with, aiming for backgrounds, eventually using ink, pigments we bought with us and any thing we thought might make an interesting mark. Better paper was tried after the loosening up period, this was to be worked on at home and next meeting we are expected to bring along a finished project. Woe betide, a warning from Susan, do something.

Please forgive me if your work is displayed upside down or sideways.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

What we are doing on Tuesday night 3rd March:
Calligraphy outside your comfort zone:
The focus on this meeting is all about thinking big. The program is a hands on evening, so bring your aprons, and any big tools you have! Prepare to go home with inky fingers.
Paint, ink and paper will be supplied, and there will be plastic gloves for the really cautious folk. There will be lots of playing, non conforming, experimental calligraphy. Do come along, we look forward to seeing you. if you want to use the library come at 6 o'clock, we will start the evening properly at 6.30.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Barbara and Jan
Barbara and Jan's exhibition at the Steel Gallery in Pukekohe. In case you were not able to attend - it is open until the 13th of March, so you still have time to visit. The room was filled, and there were lots of people eager to wait their turn to see the exhibition. Patrons were looked after with dainty sandwhiches, savouries and cool drinks. 

Top row, some of the smaller pieces. Middle row, larger works, bottom row, the introductions, after the initial rush, and discussions with the artist.