A calligraphy workshop in a book: we dive into various alphabets, abjads, abugidas and syllabics, signs and symbols. We discover differences and, more importantly, make connections and try our own hands at recreating the writing systems of the world. We move on to different scripts such as Hebrew for this one; Armenian and Georgian; other Semitic scripts such as Arabic (that’s a big one!), then Persian and Urdu; Amharic and Tifinagh; Avestan, Sogdian and Chagatai (of interest to miniature manuscript painters); Indic scripts (another big one!), Devanagari and Gujarati as well as the beautiful curly South Indian languages; Burmese and Thai; Tibetan; Mongolian; Korean Hangul and Japanese Hiragana and Katakana, and finally, Chinese characters and perhaps even Cherokee.
We’ll treat each letter as sacred and meaningful to someone, and like a secret code that we don’t necessarily understand yet are fascinated by and are keen to transmit in its correct form in order to be legible. We’ll also dive into the world of inks and use different coloured inks for different scripts as a way to learn about inks too, using readymade inks to begin with and then moving onto making our own. We’ll take in a variety of implements and tools, such as quills (keep the Ether brush handy!), qalams, feathers (from the Fire brush!) and even brushes. I did a lot of calligraphy when I was younger, including some commissions, and have ideas to share. Furthermore, I have spent several years engrossed in the study of various languages so I can comment on interesting links and little discoveries I’ve made in the process (as in, for example, the travels of the aubergine).
Since these are book classes, we will also be developing our bookmaking skills and learning new book cover techniques with the leather gradually. This is also a slightly bigger book than previous classes and we will be getting bigger with time too.
Class includes a bespoke handmade leather envelope-flap cover to paint and free postage to anywhere in the world. Make your own library of handmade Islamic books!