Monday, January 6, 2014

Calligraphy Area

Quick description of what we have right now - this could change anytime based on observation and response:

Overview of our art area, to kind of show placement of items. Calligraphy is upper left corner of this picture. The paper sorter and all other items shown are for all the children. 

Focus on the Calligraphy area. 
From left to right: 

1) The wooden cutlery sorters (from IKEA) contain the following: 
  • a set of "sparkly" writing pencils (normal writing pencils but they have a sparkly covering - just to keep the "regular" pencils for regular use and separate out the privilege of learning calligraphy through Step 1: Shaded Handwriting. 
  • behind the sparkly pencils is a set of colored rulers and soft-lead pencils - for creating straight lines that are easily erased, when they are working on blank paper (this is a much later stage)
  • 3 sections with 3 sizes of colored calligraphy markers (Speedball is our current brand - so far, so good!) - we have 3.0, 2.5 and 2.0. Honestly? For beginners? Start with 3.0 at the smallest - go for 3.5 if you can find them (I happened to have 2 in that size from a kit and they are currently mixed in with the gold/silver prismacolors in one of the cutlery sections)
  • gold/silver prismacolors - our budgets are running tight and I just asked for money to put into calligraphy, SO we're not getting full sets of prismacolors this year (or any of the last 6 years actually) - we use crayola which is so-so but functional. We have the round (premium) gold and silver prismacolors which lay on the color very nicely for coloring in areas --- and we have hexagonal (meaning they are "verithin") silver (need the gold yet). The verithins are a harder core and are great for writing or for making thinner lines. ONLY the children who have received a presentation on them can use them.
2) The Folders: 
  • Introduction to Calligraphy - Great Lesson style, complete with miniature chart images
  • Folders 1-8 - each folder is labeled Calligraphy 1, Calligraphy 2, etc. and contains an instruction card with corresponding number, along with any needed particular supplies (such as master copies, tracing cards, samples, etc.) The children move through these folders in sequence, following the instructions on the cards and checking their work with an adult before moving on to the next folder. Right now I am the only adult checking work because I don't have all the folders done yet and the material is so new, I think the other adults are scared of it. Hopefully I'll have fixed that by the time this post goes live ;) 
  • When children are ready, Folders 9, 10 and 11 will be added (creating a pen-wipe; using pens with cartridges; using actual dipping inks)
3) Books of samples: see photo below

  • Calligraphy for Kids (for any children who want to delve deeper on their own - I removed the binding and my son placed the pages into a sheet protectors within a binder. 
  • The Illuminated Alphabet - beautiful samples and 5 sets of upper/lower case alphabets with numbers. Gets into both calligraphy AND illumination. 
  • Book of the Hours from times past - preparation for Liturgy of the Hours in the history of our Church - for the children, beautiful samples of intricate calligraphy and illumination. 
  • Script and Cursive Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts - for the children to peruse. These pages have no lines, just show the beautiful alphabets. These need to be placed in sheet protectors as well. The children can peruse these for their own inspiration or use them to trace, copy or for inspiration. 

Our gluing station:
glue cups, use a wash-style paintbrush to brush on the glue
Cup of water to rinse.
(the eyedropper is to dilute the glue if needed
or to use with the watercolors to the right of the glue station)
The children use the glue station to mount their work onto other paper (especially if they use tracing paper, but also if they do advanced artwork with their calligraphy creations.

Currently resides on the top of the paper sorter until I have children ready to use pens with cartridges, thus I've not entirely organized it. I would like the pen-handles in one cup, with the selection of nibs in a basket; ink cartridges in another basket. Perhaps include some colored rubber bands, so that if a red cartridge is in a particular pen, a red rubber band is placed around it to let other children know.

I have TONS of nibs for dipping inks - but do not have the right handles. I have ONE handle that won't work for the nibs I have. Grr. Until I get that matter squared away AND we have children ready for dipping inks, I am not even taking that work off the supply shelf.


  1. This looks terrific! A good resource for calligraphy materials is Paper and Ink Arts....they could help you match the holders to the nibs if you called them. I really like the idea of putting the book into a binder so they can use the book more readily.

  2. I showed your blog to my friend who runs our atrium. She loved it. I like the calligraphy station. That's really cool! I can't say I have ever even attempted that.