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Decorated Letters with Sharon Hanse

  • Plaza Artist Materials 633 Middleton Street Nashville, TN, 37203 United States (map)

Registration now OPEN

Email Ann Cobb, Workshop Committee Chairperson, for additional information.

Photos courtesy of Sharon Hanse

Photos courtesy of Sharon Hanse

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (brown bag lunch)

Ever since men began to write in books, there has been the urge to decorate the pages in some way. These decorations have changed over the ages depending on the letter styles used and the purpose for the illumination. They have become more elaborate over time, taking up a whole page at times. The word illuminate derives from the initial reason — to illumine or light up the word of God. Today, of course, we use these methods for many different purposes.

Capital letters are important — they start every sentence and verse. They accentuate the titles and emphasize important texts. The capitals that accompany most calligraphic styles are based on the basic Roman proportions. Understanding these proportions gives the calligrapher the ability to then manipulate the letterforms to fit with any of the various letter styles, such as Bookhand, Foundational, Carolingian, Italic and are the basis for Versals. Participants will explore the basic Roman form, then using various methods, exercises and mediums, learn to create Capitals that will enhance any piece of calligraphic art.

There are innumerable ways to add interest and emphasis to your lettering — whether in a rendition that reflects the past or in a modern interpretation. There are so many options that it can get confusing — from formal to informal. Though Lombardic Capitals are used often for the process, these techniques can be applied to almost any letter style.

In this class participants will be introduced to some of the basic steps they can take to create a beautiful illuminated letter. We will proceed step by step through the processes to build up the form adding shading and highlights and line accents. We will discuss materials and painting techniques.

Participants will be introduced to several ways to add gold or metallic accents to their work — using paint, powdered metals, and gilding techniques. In addition, we will experiment with some methods to add a modern twist to your letters.