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  1. The third edition of Jaki Svaren's classic calligraphy and paleography book has just been released. This edition is very similar to the long-out-of-print second edition with some improvements in design. It is slightly larger in format, including the handwritten text, and it is spiral-bound, so it lies flat when opened. Many of us old folks learned from the earlier editions and treasure them. Now, this masterpiece of calligraphy history and instruction will be available to a new generation of those interested in beautiful writing through the ages. One of the best features of this book is that Jaki includes the ductus for each letter of each alphabet, along with comments about the choices one makes in forming written letters and about special techniques used. Jaki was a student of Lloyd Reynolds at Reed College in the 1950's and has had a long and distinguished career as a professional calligrapher and calligraphy teacher. For your interest, here are photos of the cover, title page and table of contents. And here is an example of why (pun intended) I think this is such a great resource: This book is available now through John Neal Booksellers. Enjoy! David Full disclosure: I have no financial interest in this product. I am a graduate of Reed College. I took a class from Lloyd Reynolds. I know Jaki Svaren socially through Reed College calligraphy events. The book was produced by the Curator and Director of the Cooley Art Gallery of Reed College, Stephanie Snyder, who is my daughter-in-law.
  2. The third edition of Jaki's book has just been released! For more information, see: Enjoy! David
  3. I just returned from Portland, Oregon and Reed College. The college holds a "Reunion" for alumni every Spring with lots of programming. Since Stephanie Snyder developed the "Calligraphy Initiative" through the Cooley Gallery, of which she is Director and Curator, Reunions has included special calligraphy events, generally with Reed alumni as guest artists. This year, we had a very special guest. Paul Herrera is a former student, protegé of and successor to Fr. Edward Catich at St. Ambrose College in Davenport, IO. Father Catich was the person who figured out that the monumental Roman inscriptions, in particular that on the Trajan Column in Rome, were executed by painting the letters on stone with a brush before carving them with a mallet and chisel. When I was an undergraduate at Reed, I had the privilege of watching Fr. Catich carve the name of the main administration building on a granite lintel. Like his mentor, Paul Herrera is a calligrapher and stone carver. He is now retired from the St. Ambrose faculty. He is a lovely man, and I enjoyed a couple of long conversations with him immensely. He gave a lecture and demonstration of brush lettering and of stone carving. He brought with him a photocopy of one of Fr. Catich's rubbings of the Trajan Column inscriptions Paul Herrera I had my first experience lettering with a brush and gouache. I'll just say it requires a somewhat different skill set than pen and ink lettering, but I became intrigued with the technique and plan to work on it on my own. Those who attend the weekly Scriptorium at Reed enjoy the gift of available consultation from a couple of Lloyd Reynolds' former students who became professional calligraphers of no little accomplishment themselves. Jaki Svaren is known by a number of members of this forum as the author of "Written Letters," a wonderful collection of alphabets in many styles along with instructional text. I am happy to say, this book is in the process of being republished and will, hopefully, be available again in a few months. Jaki Svaren Anita Bigelow was also a student of Reynolds. Her favorite styles are gothic, as demonstrated in this banner: I had a wonderful time, as I usually do when I can attend the Scriptorium. I hope you find my brief account of my latest visit enjoyable. Happy writing! David
  4. With the start of the new school year, the Reed College Calligraphy Initiative is adding an "italic handwriting group" to the twice-weekly calligraphy-oriented "Scriptorium." This pleases me enormously. Handwriting is an "everyman's (and woman's) art." It's too important to leave to the artists! I am sure Lloyd Reynolds and Alfred Fairbank are smiling down from Heaven. In other news, The Calligraphy Initiative, which has been instructing Portland school children in italic handwriting for a few years, is now collaborating with the Portland Calligraphy Society in this venture. They have donated 500 Pilot Parallel pens to this program. David
  5. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/312819-reed-calligraphy-initiative-starts-italic-handwriting-group/?do=findComment&comment=3694852 David
  6. Father Robert Palladino passed away on February 26, 2016. It may be that, as he feared, Fr. Robert will be remembered only as the person with whom Steve Jobs studied calligraphy after he dropped out of Reed College. To me, he will be remembered as the person who filled Lloyd Reynolds' very large shoes when Reynolds retired from the Reed faculty. Fr. Palladino came to Reed after I had graduated, and I did not meet him until 2011. I am sorry I didn't know him better. Later, I will be uploading some of Palladino's instructional materials, in his beautiful italic calligraphy, to FPN, but, for now, I will provide some links to online materials that will give those interested an introduction to a significant person in the history of American calligraphic arts. Obituary of Fr. Palladino from The Catholic Sentinel Fr. Palladino Interview for oral history project (2008) Video of Reunions 2011 calligraphy demonstration by Fr. Palladino David
  7. I was in Portland, OR last week for some alumni activities at Reed College, and I was able to attend the Thursday evening Scriptorium. Jaki Svaren, a professional calligrapher, author of Written Letters: 33 Alphabets for Calligraphers and a student of Lloyd Reynolds at Reed in the '50's. Jaki usually attends the weekly Scriptorium and has been of great help, coaching Greg MacNaughton who actually does the teaching. I captured some copies of a handout Jaki had provided for the attendees with her version of italic minuscule ductus and numerous instructive notes on each letter. I got her permission to upload them to FPN. I hope you find them helpful. Happy writing! David P.S. The handout refers to 22 alphabets. The current expanded & revised edition has 33 alphabets.
  8. For your interest: http://www.opb.org/radio/programs/state-of-wonder/article/calligraphy-project-rewrites-the-script/#.VHnu7Jh_hCk.mailto (I hope the link works!) David
  9. For your interest: An exhibition on Calligraphy and Islam is currently displayed in the Cooley Gallery at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Later in the Month, there will be two associated lectures and a special scriptorium conducted by Dr. Hamidreza Ghelichkhan. For more information, click on this link to the Cooley Art Gallery David

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