Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Inventing an Alphabet

Yesterday I attended a workshop taught by a lovely artist and calligrapher from New York, Jeanne Poland. The theme was to write out your own epithet using an alphabet you created.
 That wasn't a problem for me. A while ago, I had invented this alphabet you see.  I called  it Victory.There it was, nestled on a page in my portfolio, just waiting for me to use. This really made me analyze just what is involved when starting from scratch.
 In calligraphy, the capital letters are called the Upper case. A decision must be made as to  whether there will be  ascenders, the parts of the letters going above the line, or descenders, those strokes below the lines. This Victory alphabet  has only capitals. This is not historically unique. Look at the Uncial style from the 3rd century. It has that Celtic look you would recognize .
I set about to use  my own invention. I chose  a large, automatic pen with its  flexible nib. This  is really  a manipulated hand. I start out on the full edge, and then twist and come off onto the side edge  of my pen. This gives  that variation I want. I am actually using  the same strokes in different sequences, depending on the perimeters of each letter. An alphabet is really about patterns and rhythms. I think the Victory will always have a certain individuality. 
More to come... 

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