August 21, 2014

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Calligrapher’s Corner:Consulting with the Experts, Volume 8: Cherryl Moote

Calligrapher’s Corner:Consulting with the Experts, Volume 8: Cherryl Moote

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

When I was attending university back in the 70’s I had a job in the library. One night I was down in the stacks reshelving books and I fell over one. It was Edward Johnson’s book. I flipped through it and was intrigued by the vinework instructions so I signed the book out. I spent months doodling vines in the margins of my Shakespeare notes in order to stay awake during the exceedingly boring lectures given by the professor in that particular course. I found an Osmiroid pen one day in the bookstore and moved on to teaching myself lettering.


What would you consider to be your area of greatest expertise?
I was shown how to make a stab bound book during Reggie Ezell’s class in Toronto in the early 90’s. I fell in love with making books and while I have stayed actively involved in lettering I consider book making and teaching others how to make books my area of expertise.




With whom did you study, and who were/are your biggest influences?
I’ve been exceedingly fortunate to have had a long list of phenomenal teachers who I have studied with and who have influenced my work. I credit Reggie Ezell with the bulk of the technical knowledge I have about tools and materials. Ann Hechle has been a mentor and teacher at the symposiums I have attended in Sunderland and I have been greatly influenced by her philosophy and the sense of presence she brings to her work, and, in particular by her work with Sacred Geometry. Ewan Clayton has also been an inspiration because of his keen curiousity, the generous way he shares his knowledge and expertise and his magnificent laugh.

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What products can you not live without?
First and foremost, my Omnigrid ruler and my Swann-Morton scalpel. For calligraphy I love working with graphite and always have a broad edged sketching pencil, a 2B Staedtler 2mm pencil and, my newest obsession, a Palomino Blackwing close to hand. For paper my go to is almost always Arches Text Wove or the fine Japanese papers made of gampi and kozo that I have available to me in Toronto through teaching for The Japanese Paper Place.


What advice would you give a new calligrapher?
Commit yourself to daily practice. There is no substitution for time on task. And don’t teach yourself. It took me years to undo work habits that I learned teaching myself and it left me feeling insecure about many hands, my italic in particular. I often tell people that autodidacticism is not for wimps. Find someone whose work you respect who will respect you enough to give you honest, encouraging critique.

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What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
In addition to having written a dozen books on bookbinding and paper crafting I have been quietly working on a trilogy of novels which would be considered to be in the genre of speculative fiction. As I have been working on the novels I have been creating many of the artifacts for the world I am writing about. In 2016 I hope to publish these novels and have an exhibit of the artifacts as a way of celebrating my sixtieth birthday.


When you are not lettering, what do you enjoy doing?
Playing with paper would have to be one of my favourite things. We have a wonderful Miniature Labradoodle named Abbey and I love to play Frisbee with her and take her for walks and she loves to have me captive on the couch and get her ears scratched and her belly rubbed. In the winter I curl which guarantees that I get my exercise in and have some social interaction because Canadian winters can be isolating if you let them. I am a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) and I love to tangle or sketch in the evening. I also love to read, particularly essays on a wide variety of subjects and also science fiction. And I do love to travel, and cook, and quilt and bead and have coffee with friends… Life is very full indeed!



August 6, 2014

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Fun Summer Movie Contest Winners

This summer, we offered a lighthearted contest to encourage our customers to pick up their pens and letter their favorite movie quotes. We enjoyed all of the submissions and hope you all enjoyed creating them.


Our three winners are:

Godfather III quote

Beth Paul

Quote from Michael Corleone in Godfather III



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Kristin Herman

Thumper  from Bambi

Animated Feature



Shari Denfeld

Quote from Sister Mary Clarence in Sister Act 2


July 31, 2014


Calligrapher’s Corner:Consulting with the Experts, Volume 7: Timothy Botts


Calligrapher’s Corner:Consulting with the Experts, Volume 7: Timothy Botts


1. Describe how you began your love of lettering and how you started your career in calligraphy.  I discovered the Speedball lettering book in our art room in sixth grade when I began working on a circus poster and copied letters from there. But it wasn’t until my freshman year in college when I discovered calligraphy and found myself in Arnold Bank’s calligraphy class, required of all art majors!


2. What would you consider to be your area of greatest expertise? I was fortunate to get a graphic design degree from Carnegie-Mellon University which gave me the basic tools for expressing the meaning of words and arranging them with images. I always tell students: one-half of calligraphy is learning to make beautiful letters. The second half is learning how to arrange them on the page–which is design.


3. With whom did you study, and who were/are your biggest influences? In addition to Arnold Bank, my primary mentor in calligraphy, I was inspired by the work of Corita Kent and Ben Shahn, both of whom worked with sacred words in very child-like non-traditional ways. I was also fortunate to live in Japan for three years and was influenced by the art of brush writing, asymmetry, their daring use of space, and simplicity.


4. What products can you not live without? The primaries of gouache, Holbein pearl gold, sumi ink in the short round green bottle, Fabriano Artistico soft press paper, Brause nibs, a large Japanese pointed brush, and several sizes of broad-edged brushes…I also love the magic of art masking fluid!


5. What advice would you give a new calligrapher? Make sure you are practicing from good models such as Sheila Waters and Charles Pearce. Volunteer to do calligraphy free of charge for causes that you believe in and to bless other people. Keep a sketchbook–I have fifteen that represent 45 years of work. 


6. What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? My wife and I have thirteen grandchildren, with some of them already doing calligraphy. 


7. When you are not lettering, what do you enjoy doing? I enjoy riding my bicycle–especially along Chicago’s lakefront, playing the piano, and gardening.


July 2, 2014

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Calligrapher’s Corner:Consulting with the Experts, Volume 6: Holly Monroe

Calligrapher’s Corner:Consulting with the Experts, Volume 6: Holly Monroe


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

I grew up in a family where art, calligraphy, handwriting and faith were all important. My grandfather was a teacher of handwriting, business and shorthand in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My mother was a fine artist (taught drawing) and my father, Clifford Mansley, Sr. attended the Zanerian College of Penmanship. (Read of his experience in Bound & Lettered Volume 11, Number 2).  In the 1960’s and 70’s, I poured over the IAMPETH newsletters at my grandfather’s house and studied the interesting letters that he and my grandmother hand wrote. Loved his capital script W’s and lower case t’s –that ended a sentence.  During my high school years, my bedroom was next to my dad’s studio.  I looked over his shoulder (and talked his ear off) while he lettered Resolutions, Testimonials and Certificates for the New York engrossing studios. In 1974, I had the opportunity to learn from my father during a Senior Project that my New Jersey HS offered. For 8 weeks I worked on Engrosser’s Script (aka Copperplate) and Old English. Oh, I was terrible, but Dad handed a few little jobs over to me and I was off and running. While in college, I made my way to several fraternity headquarters and one of them hired me to letter their membership certificates. I still work for them today! With a board propped on my college books, I lettered hundreds of certificates from my dormitory room. In 1980, I decided to start my official business, so that I could be a ‘stay-at-home Mom’ when the time came. And now, here I am, years later, with my hands full of deadlines…still loving letters! My Mission? To feed the soul by making meaningful words beautiful!


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

Flourishing or what I call ‘dancing on paper’ is a favorite expertise. I love flourishing Italic and Copperplate and have learned how to play it up on a host of other styles. Years ago, I lettered the flourishing page for the 23rd Edition of the Speedball Textbook. It’s a little tight, but open those flourishes up and voila! They are beautiful.  Although you can pick up some instruction there, I now teach a “Fantastic Flourishes” workshop, where you create a flourished piece in the round.

I typically incorporate flourishing in my Calligraphy Cruise class.

A second expertise…Over the last five years I have been creating a 144 page Book of Hours on genuine calfskin with traditional gesso and 23k gold leaf. My client asked that pages be as decorative and detailed as I could conceive, but then I’d never finish! I’m presently on page 55.




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

My family was my first influence with lettering and drawing.  In 1982, a real turning point for me in understanding broad-edged lettering was Sheila Water’s two week, 2,000 Years of Calligraphy class. Tim Botts was a huge influence when it came to interpreting the words onto paper with feeling and color. John Stevens with his strong letter forms. Reggie Ezell, Donald Jackson, Peter Thornton, Lorna Bambury and Jerry Tresser all helped to shape my gold leaf work. I’m grateful to many others for what they have taught me!

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  1. What products can you not live without?

Mitchell Pen nibs, miniature Winsor Newton Brushes (right now can’t get them), rolling ruler, watercolor, gouache, calfskin, gold leaf and my Cintiq HD24.  There are others!


  1. What advice would you give a new calligrapher?

Study and learn from good exemplars. Too many pick up bad habits from books with poor examples. Learn the discipline of the letterforms first and when you are accomplished, throw your artistic side into them!




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

CALLIGRAPHICALLY:  I have recreated, by hand, all of the Founding Documents of the USA, life size. You can see the process and result at  > The Artisans > The Gallery. My client has reproduced my replica’s on genuine vellum or fine paper with letterpress.


PERSONALLY: I mentor young women (felons, i.e. drug dealers/users, etc.) at River City Correctional Institute through a Cincinnati organization called JobsPlus.


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

Dance, dance, dance! I’ve been a part of Tango del Barrio, an Argentine Tango group in Cincinnati. Love all the Latin dances-Salsa, Bachata, ChaCha, etc.  Walking, golf, tennis, snow skiing. I do enjoy being active!


To view more of Holly’s work, visit her website at:  Also, be sure to check out her Fox and Friends interview focused on her work recreating American historical documents on July 3rd between the hours of 6a.m. and 9 a.m.

June 19, 2014


Calligrapher’s Corner:Consulting with the Experts, Volume 5 Heather Victoria Held


 Calligrapher’s Corner:Consulting with the Experts, Volume 5 Heather Victoria Held

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

My love of lettering began when my husband brought home a Scheaffer Calligraphy set. He thought I would enjoy using paper and ink and that he had finally found me a “ cheap hobby!” I worked with that little fountain pen set and the small booklet of exemplars and quickly found that I didn’t like it. But I began searching online and through my old Victoria magazines and quickly found that I was drawn to pointed pen scripts. I began interacting with the Ornamental Penmanship Discussion Group on Yahoogroups and found myself completely captivated by the pointed pen. With Dr. Joseph Vitolo’s encouragement, I attended my first IAMPETH convention in 2003 and have been working with the pointed pen ever since. It is still such a source of peace and passion after all these years and I can’t imagine my life without it. In my early days with the pen, I spent a minimum of 3 hours a day in practice. Now, although I take commissions and teaching jobs that take away from my practice time, I still find there is so much to learn and try to carve out dedicated time for pure practice.


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

The pointed pen and the world of offhand flourishing are my greatest expertise. I started with the book Ornate Pictorial Calligraphy by Dover Publications and tried to follow the exercises suggested in that book. I quickly found that I didn’t want to copy existing designs, but I wanted to find my own voice and style of flourishing. I worked for 18 years as a Florist and found ways to translate my floral training into the world of offhand flourishing. When I teach Flourishing, my goal with my students is to train them how to deconstruct a flourish and create their own unique designs without copying an existing design or penciling a plan. I love to share my passion for the pointed pen with others.

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

Artistically, my greatest influence is Kate Greenaway. Through reading her biography and her journey into the art world, I have gleaned a lot of inspiration. Her colour palette inspires me as well as her contrast between a strong lines and gentle colours.

When I began studying the pointed pen, my biggest influences and mentors were Brian Walker, Joseph Vitolo, Bob Hurford and Michael Sull.  Michael Sull saw my potential and began teaching me and encouraging me since my first meeting with him in 2003. I studied with him through his Spencerian Saga and through written correspondence. He gave my first “nudge” to teach as well. Joseph Vitolo was a big encourager and source of help in my early days as I struggled to learn the properties of the pointed pen and fought through the learning curve. Without his early instruction, I would have given up on the pointed pen. Bob Hurford was my first pen pal. He wrote to me in his gorgeous penmanship and often flourished birds on my envelopes. He encouraged me to flourish and we still correspond to this day. I always credit Brian Walker as the one who taught me how to see. He gave me tools to critique my own work and see where I needed to improve. I am forever grateful to these friends and mentors.

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  1. What products can you not live without?

I could not live without McCaffery Brown Ink, Finetec Gold Metallic Watercolour, Bleedproof White, Gillott 404 nibs, the Sakura Clear Stardust Gelly Roll Pen, my hot foil pen, Fabriano Artistico Paper, Colour Soft Coloured Pencils, Diane Townsend Watercolours and my penholder made by my dear husband Chris (see below for ordering information).


  1. What advice would you give a new calligrapher?

Never give up your sense of play and curiosity. Never stop practicing. Show up at your studio space daily and expect to work. Never stop learning. Never underestimate your ability to hone your own skills. Never over estimate the importance of an expert. Follow your own instincts. Create your own path. Accept criticism but don’t take it too personally. Discard that which you believe to be untrue.


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

It might not be so surprising anymore, but I am an absolute introvert. I need my quiet time and space, walks in solitude and time alone. My first few teaching engagements were terrifying for me. I had to fight through the urge to hide! But now, the thought of public speaking and teaching large groups doesn’t bother me at all.


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

I love to be outside in nature. I love bird watching, or taking walks through greenhouses, botanical gardens and butterfly conservatories. I wish I were a wonderful gardener but I am not. I love the thought of a garden but I would rather sit and read in a well-tended garden than do the dirty work myself.


For more about Heather, visit her website and blog at:


To  order a pen holder made by Chris Held:

E- mail Heather directly at or message Chris Held through facebook.

June 9, 2014

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Fun Summer Contest at Paper and Ink Arts

You know we love contests around here, so we’ve come up with a fun contest for June. Since summer is known for blockbuster movies, this contest requires you to letter your favorite movie quote, take a picture, and share it on our Facebook page or send it by email ( We have three categories to choose from-drama, comedy, and animated films. Be sure to list the movie, character, and category in your picture’s caption.

Prizes are: a set of 16 Sakura Glaze pens (comedy), a ten set of Cray-Pas Specialist Oil Pastels (drama), and a Pigma Sensei set (animated film). Each winner will also receive a burgundy tool pouch. Entries must be submitted by midnight on June 30th, and winners will be announced later that same week. We look forward to seeing what you come up with!

June 6, 2014

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Color Wheel for Kids

This past year, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the calligraphy club at a local middle school, and it’s kept me thinking about how to make calligraphy accessible for younger generations.  Further, many of our customers often inquire about products that would be suitable for their kids or grandchildren, so I’ve started looking for products that would fit those requests. One that I was excited to find at this year’s International Art Materials Convention was The Wonderful Colorful Wheel of Color by Lynn Koolish, Kerry Graham, and Mary WruckAs evidenced by the title, this book doesn’t address calligraphy, but it’s an excellent resource for helping children of all ages understand how to mix colors. Since an understanding of color mixing is not only advantageous, but also pretty necessary in the art of calligraphy, this book is a great way to build that foundation. Even for children not quite old enough to tackle the lettering itself, this book provides stellar activities. I decided to test one of the simplest activities with my daughter’s play group (who are all four and five) to see how well they could grasp the contents and how easy it would be for them perform. It turned out to be my favorite activity I’ve tried with them so far!

First, I created a kit for each child. I copied the basic color wheel page from the book onto copy paper, and then I put it on my lightpad and traced it on to a sheet of watercolor paper. I used Sharpies to label each section of the wheel with the first letter of the color(s) it should contain to help make it easier. I also gave each child a Koh-I-Noor watercolor wheel and a size 3 Niji Silverado brush. Finally, I gave each child three crayons-red, blue, and yellow.


First, just to introduce the concept of the color wheel itself and to familiarize the kids with the three colors we’d be using, we started with the photocopied color wheel. The kids used crayons to color each section. It worked somewhat well, but the crayons did not blend well when being used to make the secondary colors. That ended up being okay because it made the switch to watercolor that much more exciting!


Next, we moved to the watercolor wheels and the watercolor paper. To make it as simple as possible, we used just one color at a time. Hindsight is, of course, 20/20, and I probably should have started with yellow so that they could easily see the Ys for yellow when painting. However, we boldly began the painting section with red, painting 1/3 of the middle and the two outer sections with red. Next, we added yellow to all of the sections that would need it.


The kids were so excited to see the orange appear when they painted the yellow over the red. It was like magic for their young minds! They are so accustomed to using colors that are already mixed that the idea of creating colors was really thrilling for them. Finally, we added the blue.



Even a few moms wanted to join in and create their own wheels, and it was fun to see how much the adults and kids enjoyed working together on this activity. The learning really came to life for the kids because it was so hands-on. The moms enjoyed revisiting the lessons of simple color mixing.

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With summer here, this is a great way to spend an afternoon with the children in your life. As you can see, even those who aren’t old enough to begin learning calligraphic hands can enjoy learning a principle that can be applied to calligraphy when they are older. Further, they can apply it to their art work even now!


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