Before moving, I’d been trying to figure out a way to get myself to D.C. to take a calligraphy class with Michelle Hatty Fritz from Meant to Be Calligraphy. I even toyed with the idea of scheduling a private class in Brooklyn if I could get enough people to make it worth Michelle’s time. As lovely as that would have been, I’m glad I didn’t cross this goal off before moving.
Instead, I was able to take Calligraphy in the 21st Century with Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls at Makeshift Society.
The class started out with each student getting their very own pen and ink holder (made by Maybelle’s husband) with our name beautifully written by Maybelle. Don’t you want to keep that on your desk and write letters all the time? Next, Maybelle walked us through using the pen, which has a split nib, and how to form each of the letters. Then it was time to get started.
Looks just like handwriting paper from grade school but with a slant, doesn’t it? We kept a clean practice sheet and wrote on vellum on top of the lined paper.
Here’s my first page of practicing capital letters. It looks better from a distance, believe me! It was much harder than I expected to get the variation on thick and thin strokes on each letter. Plus, you’ll occasionally run out of ink while in the middle of a character. There’s no saving the letter when that happens.
I ended up being pretty happy with my Es and Gs. The tragedy of the night was that I couldn’t write a good K to save my life. Thankfully, there was a second session.
Once I practiced the second half of the alphabet during session two, I went back and started from the beginning writing a line of each letter in both upper and lowercase. I still need some work on those Ks, but at least I’ve gotten the basics down. I just won’t be addressing wedding envelopes as a side gig anytime soon.
If you ever get the chance to take one of Maybelle’s classes, I highly recommend doing so. Rumor has it that she’ll be making the occasional appearance at Makeshift Society Brooklyn when it opens next year. Get on that mailing list now!