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Online Workshops

Artistry in Motion: Learn Calligraphic Flourishing

with Katie Leavens

Learn to bring a splash of 17th century style flourishing to your letters in this dynamic 4-week workshop.

  • Date
  • Time
  • What Public Workshop
  • Where Online via Zoom
  • Duration 4 sessions, 3 hours each

Calligraphic flourishing is the art of embellishing writing—the accessories to calligraphy's outfit. This class covers pointed pen flourishing from the 17th century to present. Students will learn modern flourishing design rules, use them to analyze historical examples, and create flourished words inspired by the masters of the past. Beyond decorating your writing, learning to flourish will improve your pen control, increase the fluidity of your writing, and encourage your creativity through experimentation. Some knowledge of the pointed pen is helpful, but not mandatory.

Learning Outcomes
  • Pen control & Fluidity.
  • Warm-ups and exercises that encourage experimentation and creativity.
  • The importance of developing a regular practice.
  • Rules of flourishing based in design principles.
  • The rules and language to describe and compare flourishes.
  • Understanding flourishing beyond just copying.
  • Learn historical flourishing styles, from the 17th century Dutch masters, 18th century English writing masters, and the 19th century American penman.
  • Learn to analyze and break down complicated samples into more manageable & understandable pieces
  • Acquire resources for further learning, such as online tutorials or books on advanced techniques.
Required Materials
  • Pencil
  • Good eraser
  • Color Pencils
  • Tracing Paper
  • Artist's tape
Optional Materials
  • Your favorite pointed Nibs: for example - Nikko G, Hunt 101, Leonardt Principal
  • Oblique pen holder with metal flange
  • Straight holder
  • Your favorite flowing ink: for example - Walnut ink, Higgins Eternal, Sumi
  • Marker Layout Paper (9"x12")
  • Cup for dirty ink water
  • Container for ink (small jar with mouth at least 1.5 inches, or dinky dip)
  • Cotton rag (or paper towels)
Diversity and Equity Scholarship

Diversity and Equity are important to all of us at Letterform Archive, and we are committed to increasing opportunities for underrepresented groups within the type and design communities.

We are offering one BIPOC/Equity scholarship seat in this workshop.

To apply for this scholarship, please complete and submit to us the short form linked here at least a week prior to the start of the workshop.

Katie Leavens

Katie Leavens is a freelance illustrator and calligrapher based in San Francisco with a degree in Design. She loves exploring the relationship between tradition and modernism through her art— experimenting with various techniques, mediums, and subject matters. She believes in continuously learning & experimenting, but also taking time to reflect.

Katie is a firm believer in the lettering community, and has been a Friends of Calligraphy council member since 2019. As a member, she has led their social media committee and supported their foundational classes as registrar.
Katie has been teaching calligraphy since 2020. Her teaching style emphasizes the development of fine motor skills, pen control, and design principles, making her classes accessible and enjoyable for all skill levels.

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