When the opportunity arose to learn calligraphy I jumped at it. My grandfather could create beautiful calligraphy pieces and I always remember being in awe of the elegant place names and thank you notes he would write. After trying it a few years ago, I thought it would be an easy way to do my own invitations, unsuccessfully I put the ink and nibs away and forgot about them.
Calligraphy is a the art of producing decorative handwriting or lettering with a pen or brush, Modern Calligraphy is a more free flowing and informal style of calligraphy, and as such is easier for people to pick up. Even someone like me!
So what a delight I had in spending the morning with the beautiful Ofe of Ollie’s Studio in the equally lovely setting that is Tithe Barn, Bishops Cleeve. Ofe and her gorgeous daughter Ollie (Olivia) whom Ollie’s Studio is named after and her husband where warm and welcoming. I loved that this was a real family affair. Ofe is a woman of the world with Irish and Nigerian heritage, having studied in New Jersey and then Scotland before settling in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire when she met her husband. Even more admirable is at the time of teaching this workshop was heavily pregnant!
After a brief introduction to the tools and equipment in front of us and the workshop booklet that she had created we started initially learning the basics of individual stroke marks – this was a learning curve for me as it became apparent that the amount of pressure applied really is the key in creating beautiful calligraphy.
Then we moved onto letters – upper and lower case before trying out joined up calligraphy. Ofe is a patient and hands on teacher, happy to help you in any way from how to hold the pen and nib to movement of the wrist and shoulder in order to create some of the flourishings.
All of this with a mini break halfway with fresh hot coffee and scrummy pastries!
Ofe was keen to show the versatility of calligraphy, and how we could make our own style. We explored varying this with bouncy calligraphy letters, basic drawings and extra touches of flourishings.
Unlike many courses everything that we had been using was ours to take home in a little pack with follow up help emailed out to us.
I would thoroughly recommend this workshop for those who love crafting to those who perhaps want to DIY their own wedding invites, place names or table plan.
A thoroughly enjoyable morning was spent willing away a few hours learning Calligraphy, under her tutorship not a drop of ink was spilt or smudged, and I came away with not only a very useful new skill that I cannot wait to put in to practice but feeling refreshed and relaxed. Calligraphy is very therapeutic!
Ollies Studio have additional course dates available due to the popularity of this workshop and Ofe is offering a special early bird discount too. Book your place here: Beginner Modern Calligraphy Workshop Cheltenham