Copperplate in the 21st Century

A Modern Version for Today – Intermediate Skill Level Workshop

Saturday, April 13th 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

Sunday, April 14th 10:00 AM-3:00 PM

Carlo Ditta, 1445 Mac Arthur Ave, Harvey, LA 70058

$80 via PayPal

This class will take a look at so-called modern calligraphy, seen everywhere nowadays. Chances are you either love it or hate it. I hated it, till I decided that if I can’t beat them, join them. I chose to benefit rather than lose out, by taking a closer look at this popular approach to lettering. So should you.

Maria Helena Copperplate at New Orleans Lettering Arts Association

Developing this course, I put endless time, study, and hopefully, some sense into this rather provocative “new hand on the block”. I took my serious decades-long classic training, and applied some freedom, contemporary energy, and movement to it. Freedom sounds and feels good, but only if we do not end up with cacophony, instead of harmony. Harmony in modern calligraphy means, to me, consistency combined with some human/individual variety, resulting in the most pleasing thing to the human eye. What we aim for will not look rigid or technical in the least.

We will determine which rules and how many we can discard, in order NOT to venture into dilettante territory, which can produce a childish look. Let’s test it, you will be eventually working towards your own very personal style, mine is just a start, just a version. But hopefully you will end up with a legible script, that your peers will respect, fans admire, and your clients find fresh, lovely, and useful.

Skill level: Some pointed pen experience will be most helpful.

Class Supplies

  • Canson Pro Marker pad
  • Oblique pen holder
  • Hunt 101 and your favorite pointed nib
  • Black ink (such as Sumi)
  • Ink dipping dish
  • Paper towels

Optional Supplies

  • Smooth black paper (pad)
  • Dr. Marin’s bleed-proof white
  • Tube of gouache in any color
  • Erasable white pencil (such as Fons Porter mechanical)
  • Black eraser
  • Mixing brush
  • Dropper
  • Another dipping dish
  • Flexible Rule by Letterlines

About Maria Helena

Maria Helena’s calligraphic life spans nearly four decades and two continents. She started studying calligraphy as a teenager, followed by a three-year lettering course at a university in her native Estonia. She was employed as artist-designer of various events, and later as a contributor for publications, writing about art. After her move to the United States two decades ago to join her American husband, Maria Helena started her own calligraphy studio in tradition-rich New Orleans. Her days are spent with upscale southern clientele with most discriminating tastes. It spans weddings, Mardi Gras balls, debutante parties, etc. Along with a busy lettering career, Maria Helena still continuously strives to learn, and claims some of the most renowned calligraphers of the wold as her long-time teachers and mentors. She feels equally comfortable with pointed or broad edge pen. Her demanding schedule allows her to teach but a few times a year.

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