Claude Mediavilla describes calligraphy beautifully and simply as ‘the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner’. Upon arrival at CalliCon 2017, I was immediately immersed in a world of swooping loops and colour-filled fonts.
Before entering the venue, I met a lovely talkative gal from Sydney who excitedly showed me her learnings and purchases and confessed, ‘I spent over $300 in supplies'.
I entered and wandered around CalliCon observing a wide variety of skills and eventually decided to try my hand at one. This particular technique was called hot foiling. It entailed applying a searing metal pen onto a copper sheet, thus engraving the material below the metal sheet. In this instance, it was leather or paper, but it could be used on a multitude of materials. Practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect, it makes permanent.
This two-day event was held at Inspire 9 in Richmond, a cosy affair to be sure. Many workshops were offered throughout the day, attracting aspiring as well as professional calligraphers from across Australia. The teachers were equally as talented as they were approachable. Vendors had an assortment of parchment paper, pens and creative gadgets that a passionate artist would surely appreciate.
The art of graceful penmanship isn’t easy. What I learned, is that while some people are naturals, most must be studious for years to master this delicate and intricate skill. Hand drawn calligraphy has a long and rich history, from ancient China, to medieval Europe, right up to now. But alas, as with many old artforms, technology has sadly begun to erode the tradition.
I left this event quite enchanted. The hand-written art form is something to be truly appreciated. The time, skill, patience and sheer fantasy of it all is truly magical.
You can find more information and how to get involved on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CalliCon2017/
Leah Sparks is a Canadian girl living in Melbourne. Other than her love for maple syrup, she digs the outdoors, live gigs, beer, the 70s and cruising around Fitzroy with her white wolf.