As much as I hate the rain (thanks to my dogs loving the backyard mud) this past Sunday was perfectly cozy for me at Cafe Martinez, attending one of CalliRosa's calligraphy workshops. CalliRosa is a San Antonio calligraphy business owned by my friend Charlotte. There is just something so comforting about being inside a coffee shop during a rainy afternoon, focused on creating something. Calligraphy is an art form I've long admired, and working in the wedding industry I'm practically surrounded by gorgeous calligraphy on a weekly basis. Seeing so much of it I've seriously taken for granted the skills required to do something as simple as writing really beautifully.
A few years ago, before I met Charlotte, when I was working on trying to sort out all the branding and the overall look and feel for The PK Photographs, I worked with another local calligrapher (Nicolette of Lazywood Lane) to create my logos. She did an amazing job, and has had a great influence on my branding, but even then I didn't fully appreciate the amount of work that goes into becoming a great calligrapher. Her work is totally different from Charlotte's and you should check them both out if you're a calligraphy junkie.
Anyway, I heard that Charlotte was hosting a workshop for calligraphy and when I talked to her about it my first question was what the goal of the workshop was. Yes, I'm that annoying friend. I really wanted to know if it was to actually teach the attendees about calligraphy and to start to develop skills, or if it was one of those fun outings where you just are taught to create one specific phrase and at the end of the day, you have something pretty to take home but have not learned anything you can use on your own. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but I'm not the kind of person who wants to create something that already exists. I'd rather learn new skills so I can create whatever I want down the road.
As soon as Charlotte told me that her workshop was geared around teaching skills and educating on the basics of the tools I was hooked. I've always had decent handwritting, and my mother always told me "if you'd just slow down you could write so nicely" but who has time for that in everyday writing? I've been working on several different ideas of ways to connect with my clients and I've always had a soft spot in this romantic heart of mine for handwritten notes. Turns out that was all I needed to justify attending one of Charlotte's calligraphy workshops! That, and the fact that I could do unique detail photographs like the ones in this blog post, haha! I'm the kind of person who takes workshops just to take detail photographs - yes, yes I am.
In all seriousness, though, I really didn't spend much time photographing. I was driven to sit down and practice, and try to soak up as much knowledge and information from Charlotte as I could. She had everything we needed for the workshop, and then some. It was hosted at the perfect location (coffee and brownies and cookies?!) and we were able to experiment with many different types of papers, nibs (the end of the calligraphy pen that you write with), and inks. I really love writing on the tracing paper, and no - not just because I can trace and get perfect letters that way! It's so smooth, and when you have beautiful calligraphy on a translucent paper it's just something else. It was also really cool to be able to see everyone else's work and I was really impressed with how quickly everyone seemed to pick up the basics. Of course there were even a few people who seemed like they didn't need the class, their work was gorgeous!
At the end of the workshop I left with a new hobby / skill to practice (and the tools to do it), and a serious obsession with the metallic gold ink we got to use. I have no idea what it is about the gold but the way it shimmers just steals my heart! If you follow me on Instagram and you've been watching my Insta stories these last few days you've seen the gold ink and my overall obsession with calligraphy. Every morning while I have my coffee I practice my calligraphy abc's. It's to that point. *Fingers crossed* I can eventually get good enough to be able to write personalized notes to my clients, because that would just be the sweetest and cutest thing ever.