I first met Debi Zeinert in the summer of 2011 at the IAMPETH convention in Phoenix, Arizona. Having never taken a calligraphy class, I was hopelessly lost in the very first session, and Debi kindly gave me some tips and advice as a fellow left-handed calligrapher. Debi is well-known in the wedding industry and has some great tips to share with fellow calligraphers, as well as some exciting news about a new venture she and Neil McCaffery are undertaking.
The McCaffery’s White is opaque and usable right out of the bottle.
Spectralite seems to match most of the gold foil stamping done today and works great right out of the bottle along with my ink stirrer. And Rhodia is smooth, very white and takes the large amount of ink I put down on the paper.
Why do you choose to shop at Paper and Ink Arts?
Things are in stock, they ship fast and when I am looking for something that I am really not sure of, the P&I staff gives great advice.
I’ve been an artist since I could hold a crayon! I loved letters as a child, I used to trace the cursive on birthday card envelopes from my grandma. I grew up cutting fancy alphabets out of magazines and copying the letters. I was that weird kid in high school who always made the hallway banners for football games. I’ve been doing actual calligraphy for the past 35 years, and pointed pen for the past 20. I am self-taught, mainly because I am left-handed.
What is the primary type(ex-wedding work, commissioned pieces, etc.) of calligraphy that you do?
I am a wedding calligrapher. A large part of my business is invitation design for Bella Figura, and along with that I do tons of envelopes and place cards. I service around 200 brides each year. Lately though, I have joined the world of letterpress. Neil McCaffery and I own 4 vintage letterpresses and have started The Penman’s Press. Right now we are printing a line of greeting cards, but eventually we would like to offer our services to other calligraphers (thus the name!). We feel that because we understand both the writing and the printing end, we can be the missing link between pen and printing for our peers.
What recommendations would you make to someone just starting out with calligraphy?
Learn to do it RIGHT and practice! Don’t just make stuff up as you go. Learn a formal hand and from there you can create on your own. Don’t expect too much too fast. The calligraphy world is full of wonderful people who share – find a mentor!