Making Pretty Letters


After a fun trip to the Charleston Museum one day I discovered that they offer some great classes and one in particular caught my eye – calligraphy! Growing up I had watched my artistic mother sew, draw, and make beautiful letters. Having recently discovered I might have some creative genes myself, I made a completely logical leap and thought I would take the class and become the next wedding invitation addresser here in Charleston! By the fact that I am typing this blog instead of showcasing a website with my elegant script choices and the associated fees, I am sure you can guess how this foray into fancy penmanship went. If I had saved any of my scratchings from that afternoon, I would have scanned them in and supplied you with some entertainment. Alas, those have since found their way to the round bin so check out the image above to see what it is supposed to look like.

Class started that day with information regarding the calligraphy “tool” in front of us and the way to properly apply our wide tipped pen to paper – 45 degree angle! After some additional instruction she set us to work on the supplied scrap paper. Okay, 45 degree angle start here move pen downward then this way and then that and wait, my pen came up at some point. Dotted line on the paper where there should have been a smooth flowing line. Hmm, try again, and again, and again, and . . . again? Whew! Hand really started to hurt at this point. So, let’s just say that during the teacher’s third circuit around the room to help us perfect our technique, she again stopped by my station. At the moment I thought my hand would cramp and spasm from my efforts I heard her say, “Well, isn’t that creative!” Due to the nature of this “creative” enterprise, you would think her words might have been a compliment. As I mentioned though, this was her third trip around the room and I clearly had not mastered the 45 degree angle method she had detailed with anything approaching consistency. It was a “bless your heart” calligraphy style.

I left that day happy to put aside my dreams of many beautifully addressed envelopes and happy brides in order to save my hand from an early arthritic future.  So, the fine calligraphy tool that I received is now only sometimes broken out for thank you cards and maybe a letter if I am feeling especially masochistic. Don’t let my experience with my uncooperative hand put you off from exploring your creative side though. The teacher really was a nice lady and the museum always has great classes and lectures. Be sure you check it out if you are in the Charleston area!


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