The Calligraphy Handbook by Emma Callery
|The Calligraphy Handbook by Emma Callery|
|Reviewer: Sarah Cooper|
|Summary: I had never before realised the importance from a historian's point of view the craft of calligraphy but this book will convey a vast amount of information to you in an easy-to-read-and-digest way. A must read even if you don't intend learning the craft.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: January 2008|
|Publisher: Search Press Ltd|
I chose to try and learn calligraphy, as it was something that would enhance all my many other craft projects. So did this book help me?
I had never tried my hand at calligraphy before picking up this book but was intrigued to learn that calligraphy has roots that stretch back into the mists of time. I was fascinated to find that the tools, materials and letterforms are practically the same now as they were back in medieval times. The introduction was so eloquent that it really made me realise the importance of calligraphy. The following sentence from the book sums up for me exactly why it is so important – Calligraphy helps us to see what we are reading by making the words beautiful. I naively thought that calligraphy was just that – beautiful writing. I was totally unaware that calligraphy was and is a very powerful tool for communicating because tensions can be used in the letters to disturb us. Also textures can be used within the writing that is not peaceful.
So armed with this fascinating knowledge I set about learning my new craft. After reading the list of equipment needed I purchased the items online and was ready to get started. The importance of getting the right equipment was detailed in 12 pages, so after you have finished reading you will be very informed on the uses of each tool. I have been practicing for the last week or so and I must admit it is harder than it looks but thanks to this book my skills are steadily improving.
I sped read through the pages of techniques as I was eager to get stuck in to practicing on some of the alphabets and I just didn't realise there were so many styles of alphabets. I have a lot to learn still but this book has turned in to a little bible for me as it contains such a depth of information.
My favourite demonstration I have completed so far is the gilding – I was very impressed with the results. I think this book was so easy to follow and learn from because it was so well presented and orderly. I wasn't aware that there were so many types of calligraphic alphabets until reading this book but I am convinced that given time and practice I will be familiar with them all thanks to this book.
It's not just the alphabets that this book covers however, if you fancy making a quill or reed pen then this book shows you how.
A range of alphabets can be found in this book – but here's some examples:
• Roman alphabets – these tend to be letterforms of splendid proportions and sublime elegance. Amazingly, the shapes of these letters have a strong connection with the introduction of the rounded arch and vault in architectural style.
• Uncial and Half-uncial – Greeks used this ancient letterform and also the Romans. This was the letterform that was used a lot in early Christian manuscripts and was the main book hand of the medieval period.
• Versal Alphabets – This was the alphabet used to draw attention to an important section of text to create emphasis. This was also used in medieval times.
As you can see from the few alphabets I have chosen to highlight from these books, there are vast ranges of styles to the alphabets. This book covering many. What I loved about this book was that each alphabet is accompanied by an in-depth historical account and step-by-step demonstration. So not only have I learnt the art of being able to create something visually beautiful but this book has proved very thought provoking.
I had never before realised the importance from a historian's point of view the craft of calligraphy but this book will convey a vast amount of information to you in an easy-to-read-and-digest way. A must read even if you don't intend learning the craft.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Calligraphy Handbook by Emma Callery at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Calligraphy Handbook by Emma Callery at Amazon.com.
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