April 16, 2014


Calligrapher’s Corner: Consulting with the Experts, Volume 1-Gemma Black

Over the past two and a half years, one of my favorite aspects of my job has been the opportunity to meet so many stellar calligraphers in person at the various conferences where we set up satellite stores. Often times, I’m able to walk around and briefly visit classes to see the amazing teaching and learning that occurs, and I never cease to be inspired and excited to be able to offer the supplies that help in the creation of such beautiful art. I’ve come to realize that many of our customers do not have the opportunity to attend conferences and classes, and I’ve been trying to think of ways that they, too, could be exposed to the instructors. Thus, the idea for this new blog series was born. Calligrapher’s Corner:Consulting with the Experts will consist of expert calligraphers’ answers to seven questions developed to give our blog readers insight into both their careers and themselves. You will get to know a bit more about them, see pictures of their work, and learn what tools they deem essential and what advice they have for those of you just starting out. I’ve been incredibly encouraged by the response I’ve already received, and I am truly delighted to share these interviews with you. I am certain you will find them entertaining and educational! With no further adieu, our first installment focuses on calligrapher Gemma Black. Enjoy!


Calligrapher’s Corner: Consulting with the Experts, Volume 1-Gemma Black


Describe how you began your love of lettering and how you started your career in calligraphy.

From a very early age I remember loving words, what they meant, how words were spelt and how and why words were built. I got very confused, a lot!  I equally loved the technical side of writing and drawing and had many requests from my father to draw for him.  I grew up in Sydney, Australia in a large family of nine children, many eels, tortoises, cats and a roving dog or two.  I was taught by Brigidine nuns in Randwick where there was a strong emphasis on learning to write, presentation and fine lettering skills with a dip-in broad edged nib. We learnt italic and from about the age of ten, I had the finest copybooks in class and strangely I was good at maths.


What would you consider to be your area of greatest expertise?

With a very strong and formal lettering background my main areas of expertise are compound letterforms, versals, italic and all traditional formal and transitional broad-edged book-hands.  My other main areas of interest are historical analysis of letterforms, lettering research and the future of writing by hand for the general global population.

 Ozymandias_Tan_5 Ozymandias_2Cnut_low_res

With whom did you study, and who were/are your biggest influences?

Fast forward to Canberra 1983, I took on a series of calligraphy courses with F.W. (Ricky) Edmunds who was trained at the Royal College of Art in London. I worked with Ricky on many projects and he taught me calligraphy, traditional illumination, gilding, painting and drawing. In my formative calligraphic years, he was my personal tutor and mentor.

Later I met UK calligrapher and Queens’s Scribe Donald Jackson after a lecture he gave for the Canberra School of Art.  This meeting was a pivotal point in my career as a calligrapher for my artistic confidences began to improve dramatically.  I saved my pennies and undertook a two-year Calligraphy & Bookbinding postal course with English calligrapher Gaynor Goffe through the Roehampton Institute London in the 1980’s with further studies to follow in bookbinding, paper marbling, watercolour painting and printmaking in Canberra through the Canberra School of Art, the Crafts Council and printmaking studio Studio One.

In January 1986 I co-founded the Canberra Calligraphy Society, now a strong and wonderful group who share a common passion for the craft and art of letters. Two other major influences were the American calligrapher Thomas Ingmire, who I studied with for a year on his Graphos course, and Australian calligrapher Ethna Gallacher with whom I studied for a year in the early 1990’s. Both were tremendously important learning opportunities in developing my skills, letterforms and presentation.

A marvelous learning opportunity came my way in 1991 when I was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to study calligraphy and the teaching of calligraphy in Europe- a part of which was further study with Thomas Ingmire at Donald Jackson’s studio in Wales.  The Fellowship was an opportunity that I am forever grateful for.

Quite unconnected, yet quite a powerful influence on my work, was my study of classical piano through to the eighth grade AMEB – the highest grade. Studying and reading music taught me muscle memory, perseverance and discipline – my most enduring skills.

 Lilium_Rosa photo copy


What products can you not live without?

Hmmm … Dr Ph. Martin’s Pen White and my Brause nibs.


What advice would you give a new calligrapher?

Study with as many good tutors as you can. Take advice from all. Ask lots of questions. Go away from class and within the coming days revisit what you have learnt and practice as much as you can. Most of all, enjoy what you are doing and do what you enjoy and strive for the pen’s excellence, after all: “words are so much more than ink on a page …”


What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

I had a misspent youth and that I am trying to catch up!


When you are not lettering, what do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy reading and music.  I take every opportunity to improve my mind, so, more often than not I have three books on the go at any one time; a biography, a text-book and a trashy who-done-it novel.  I love classical music.

-Gemma Black April 2014


Special thanks to Gemma for taking the time to participate in our series! Be sure to visit her website for more information about her!  Also, be sure to subscribe to our blog to be immediately notified when new articles are posted.

April 16, 2014

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Custom Printing:Introduction

We are excited to be able to offer custom printing services to you, and Steve Sloss- our resident printing expert who does the printing- has written an excellent article sharing about the process. Please take a moment to read what he has to say!

Introduction to Our Custom Printing Services

by Steve Sloss

My name is Steve Sloss, and I work for Paper and Ink Arts.  I wanted to quickly introduce myself and a new service we’re providing here at Paper & Ink Arts – Custom Printing of your wonderful Calligraphy and Zentangle art pieces. I’ve been printing for over 30 years and at one time or another have printed on just about  everything from t-shirts to gold jewelry. I started in screen printing and now everything I do is digitally printed.  Here at Paper and Ink Arts, we offer a variety of quality products to display your artwork – from marble coasters to beautiful ceramic tiles to mother-of-pearl jewelry.


We print using premium sublimation inks.   The short explanation of sublimation inks is that they produce bright, bold, permanent colors with ZERO hand (NO ink feel).  The ink can be printed at high resolution and it actually explodes into a gas when it reaches 380 degrees and “dyes” the product, versus laying ink on the surface like most other printing processes.   It makes for a beautiful, permanent imprint when done correctly.


We take great pride in our printing and want you to be completely satisfied.  Once you’ve submitted artwork we will size & tweak to get the best results and send you a JPG e-mail for your approval before printing.  Again, we want you completely satisfied with our premium quality printing.


In the next few months we will have more articles, products & photos, so please keep checking back.  If you have any questions you can e-mail me at or Jennifer Allen at




by Steve Sloss


I’d like to introduce you to one of our favorite custom printed products, our marble coasters.  The natural marble is subtly brightened to deliver striking image results when printed.  It has subtle variations in the veins, edge and texture which will show through, making each piece unique, each piece subtly different.  The marble is 4″x4″ and is a sturdy 3/8″ thick.  We back all of our coasters with cork backing.

Zentangle tiles by Thelma Kidd:

thelma1 thelma2


and then reproduced on marble tiles:

thelmatile1 thelmatile2


The below samples by Stephanie Crawford were photographed and sent as JPGs.



And below are two of  the marble tiles after printing.  Naturally the tiles had to be cropped to fit the square tile.

stephanietile2 stephanietile1

As you can see, the artwork transfers quite well to the tiles provided that a high quality jpeg is submitted. Consider this option for creating one of a kind gifts or pieces of art to sell that utilize your artwork. Visit our webpage to order ceramic tiles and to see the other tiles we offer. And check back for updates on other products that we offer.


March 31, 2014

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Winter Envelope Contest Winners

Our envelope contest concluded with our winter quarter, and we’re thankful for all of the entries we received over the past year. We hope you enjoy the final winners for the year as much as we did.

In the Zentangle division, Melissa Himes entered her first ever attempt at Zentangle. We thought she did a great job of employing the repetitive pattern idea to make a great envelope! We look forward to seeing more designs from her in the future.



In the Calligraphy division, the talented Carol DuBosch entered an envelope that showcases her ability to execute several hands. She employed the classic combination of red and black for the lovely design.


Thanks again to everyone who entered the contest throughout this first year! We’re revamping our contest and will soon announce a new format for 2014. Stay tuned for more information!!


February 13, 2014


Valentine’s Day Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered our Valentine’s Day contest. We enjoyed looking at all of the submissions and are excited to see both winners’ work printed on custom tiles. Because we appreciate all those who took time to enter, we wanted to share not only our winners, but also the various entries we received for this contest.

Our winner in the calligraphy division is the talented Julie Gray. For her entry, Julie used Arches Text Wove and watercolor paper and four colors of Winson and Newton Gouache (cadmium yellow pale, spectrum red, opera rose and phthalo blue) to create this dynamic blend of paper cutting and calligraphy. Her creative phrase only adds to this fun piece!


Our winner in the Zentangle division is Cathy Craft of British Columbia. Her intricate, lovely piece, entitled “Mother and Child”, was created with a 005 Micron in black and 110lb. acid free paper.


Entries came in from near and far. Other entries into our calligraphy division included the following:

valentines5This Downton Abbey inspired piece was created by Brigitte Stermann of British Columbia. Her design was created using Elegant Writers and brush markers on watercolor paper.

valentines6Erica McPhee of Florida created this piece using a Nikko G and walnut ink. It was then scanned and colored in Photoshop, with the original piece being printed on fabric and sewn into a heart.

valentines9This vintage Valentine inspired design was created by Wendy Fung of Brooklyn, NY.

valentines11Florence Vogel, of Michigan, used a copperplate pen and magenta India ink to create her design.

valentines8This design came to us all the way from Algeria. Bezazel Ferahtbebn Rabah created his design using a Rotring 02 Rapidograph pen, brush, and watercolors.

valentines4avalentines3Mother and daughter Camille and Rose Werther from Louisiana submitted these two designs. Camille  used Borden and Riley layout paper, a Parallel Pen filled with Higgins Eternal, and Prismacolor colored pencils to create her design. Rose wanted to send us a manga style design and created a script to match her drawing. She used a Micron, Parallel Pen, Prismacolor pencil, colored pencils and Borden and Riley layout paper to create her design.

In the category of Zentangle, we received the following entries:

valentines10 Starla Snead of Illinois created this design using paste paper, pointed pen, sumi ink, and Dr. Martin’s Bleedproof White.

valentines7Sandy Placek of Washington used CraZart, Prismacolor, pink Sharpie highlighter, a pink Tombow brush marker, a black Micron 03, and a black Sharpie ultra fine point marker.

As always, we enjoy seeing what our customers create with our products, and we appreciate those who took the time to submit entries for this contest. Congratulations once more to Julie Gray and Cathy Craft!

If you are interested in learning more about the items you can have custom printed with your calligraphy or art, visit our Custom Printing section on our website at:

We will continue to update this section with photographs as we receive custom printing orders.

If you’d like to enter our ongoing Envelope Contest, view the specifications at:

January 30, 2014


Fall Envelope Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered our fall envelope contest! This one had the most entries of all so far, and we are excited to share the results with you! Because all of the entries were in the category of Calligraphy and Hand Lettering, we picked three to award. All three winners will receive an 8 piece Zig Calligraphy marker set of their choice.

Here are the winners:


This lovely envelope was created by Maxine Gaither of TN. We loved the design and all of the wonderful lettering. The matching stamps also complemented the design so well.  Maxine used the Zig Calligraphy markers to create the horizontal lines, the Zig Brushables on the background lettering, and the Zig Cocoiro for the address. Thanks for submitting an entry, Maxine!


Theresa Varela created this stunning envelope using Zig Calligraphy markers, and well as a Zig Brushable. We loved the lettering and eye-catching color. She, too, had a stamp that matched her fabulous design! Thanks for entering, Theresa!


This creative design was done by Hattie Bazemore of NC. We loved the idea of the Basket of Blessings, and her use of Zig Writers really brought the design to life. The blessings included are a wonderful reminder to be thankful of things we so often take for granted. Thanks for sharing, Hattie!

One last design we wanted to share was sent to us as a non-entry because we don’t carry some of the markers used to create it. However, it was so wonderful that we just had to share!


This was created by Julie Gray of NC. The creativity, superb letting and splendid use of color all speak for themselves. Thanks for sending it, Julie!

We hope you enjoy these ladies’ envelopes as much as we do!

Our final quarter for our first annual contest is still going. The prizes are the best yet, so we strongly encourage all of you to send in an entry! Here are the details again:

Winter 2013/2014:

Medium: Pen and Ink

Deadline for Entry: March 10, 2014


Calligraphy and Hand Lettering: Paper and Ink Arts Hourglass Adjustable Oblique or Rosewood Straight Pen Holder

Zentangle: Book of Zentangle by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas

Drawing/Comic Art: One bottle of Kuretake Manga Ink , 1 dozen Hiro 40 nib, Speedball Comfort Grip Holder (blue or red), and one pad of Strathmore Bristol Plate Finish.

Also, we have a Valentine’s Day contest going on as well. Please see our last post below for all of the details!

January 24, 2014


Valentine’s Day Contest

Valentine’s Tile Contest

                Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and in order to celebrate, we’re having a lovely contest. As part of our new custom printing service, we offer the ability to print your work on coasters/tiles. Thus, the winners of this contest will receive 4”x6” customer tiles with their work printed on them. Here are the details:

  1. This contest has two categories-calligraphy and Zentangle. Simply design a Valentine’s message, image, etc. to submit. Keep in mind the printing will be done on a 4”x6” tile and design accordingly.


2.   Designs must be digitally submitted to and Entries that are not submitted to both addresses will be discarded. You can scan your entry or take a picture; just be sure to send it at the best possible resolution. We can reduce the size of images but we cannot increase them. Please keep that in mind when submitting.

Be sure your email includes:

Your Name

Category of Entry

Your mailing address if you are not in our database.

The tools and materials you used to create your design.

Any other information you would like to share with us about your entry.

3. Designs must be submitted by midnight, Pacific Time, on February 10. This gives us time to view designs, pick a winner for both categories, and get them in the mail by February 12.

 4. Please contact if you have questions about the contest!

5. Designs submitted may be used in advertising and/or sample custom printing displays.

January 6, 2014

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Randall Hasson in Nashville

To say that we are excited to have Randall Hasson teaching two workshops at Paper and Ink is an understatement! After the original workshop sold out in a matter of hours, Randy graciously agreed to offer a second workshop earlier in the week. For those of you unable to attend the workshop who would still like the chance to see Randy’s amazing work, please make plans to attend the lecture, “C.S. Lewis: The Spirit and the Man”, on January 17.

In Randall’s own words, “The C.S. Lewis presentation encompasses the process of completion of 2 paintings that have a connection. Research, symbolism and the painting process of the C.S. Lewis project are detailed in a step by step fashion. This lecture also includes the same process in another painting called “The Evangelist” commissioned by the Hobby Lobby Stores. A unique connection is exists between the two that will surprise and delight the viewer.”

You will not want to miss this event!
When:January 17, 2014 at 7:00p.m.
Where:Tarter Student Activity Center on the campus of Trevecca Nazarene University.

333 Murfreesboro Rd.

Nashville, TN 37210

Tickets: $2/each, sold at the door. Trevecca students, faculty and staff with valid university ids will be admitted for free.



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