Calligrapher’s Corner: Consulting with the Experts, Volume 4 Carol DuBosch
1. Describe how you began your love of lettering and how your started your career in calligraphy:
My high school art teacher here in Portland, was a student of Lloyd Reynolds. She managed to include more calligraphy into the curriculumthan normal. I was quite good at it and really enjoyed learning Italic, Uncial, Blackletter and Foundational. I spent 4 years in the art room, and when I graduated I was cheeky enough to take the small red book (Lloyd Reynolds’ spiral bound “Italic Calligraphy & Handwriting”) with me. I treasure the book and the experience of learning so early what would become my life’s work.I graduated college with a degree in Graphic Design, and have stayed on the path focusing on calligraphy and teaching for the last 50+ years. Teaching calligraphy came naturally to me, since I’ve always loved to share things that I know and can do.Doing commercial work as a calligrapher began by simply saying “yes”when asked to do various things. Often this led me to some anxious moments of not knowing what to do, but somehow things turned out well enough to continue. I have learned so much by doing the commission work, and have been able to pass along valuable information about practical work to students.
This is a printed piece sent as a New Year’s greeting. The original writing of the word “yes” was done with a folded pen and the quote written with a monoline tool.
2. What would you consider to be your area of greatest expertise?
I am an excellent calligraphy teacher of many scripts, book structures, techniques and design.A best calligraphic script is Bone.My favorite script is Italic, in all of its amazing variations.A most enjoyable project is designing bookmarks to print.My idea of a perfect creative activity is designing decorated envelopes that can actually be mailed.
This was created by writing the Bone letters with Higgins Eternal Ink and dropping Dr. Martin’s Iridescent Colors into the wet Higgins.
3. With whom did you study and who were/are your biggest influences?
I learned from Lloyd Reynolds in the 60’s and 70’s, Robert Palladino, Lois McClelland and Donald Jackson in the 80’s and just about every calligrapher on the “workshop circuit” in the years since. I organize andattend the annual International Calligraphy Conferences and continue to learn new scripts, techniques, and ways to work with letters. I plan to never stop learning.Every teacher has influenced my work along the way, although I cannot quantify those experiences.
4. What products can you not live without?
The first media to come to mind are writing fluids: Winsor Newton Calligraphy Inks, Dr. Martins Iridescent Colors, and Walnut Ink. I’m very fond of Mitchell Nibs, pop-can pens, Pentel Colorbrushes, and Zebra G pointed nibs.
5. What advice would you give a new calligrapher?
Learn from many teachers. Practice every day, even it is only ten minutes. Make real things such as weathergrams, bookmarks, or simple cards. Use what you are learning in classes. Date your work, so that you can look back and see your progress as you go forward.
6. What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Copperplate script and flexible pointed pen are a very recent addition to my repertoire of skills. I began a study of Copperplate two years ago, and find it quite wonderful!
7. When you are not lettering, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy working in my container garden where I have 400+ potted plants, playing with my five grandchildren, riding my bicycle, and folding paper.
Visit my website to see more of my work: