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Calligraphy for beginners and improvers at Flatford Mill

Calligraphy for beginners and improvers at Flatford Mill

About the Course

Beginners and improvers are equally welcome on this weekend calligraphy course, since the tuition can easily be adapted to meet everyone’s individual needs. You will be encouraged to work in one or more calligraphy scripts, for example Formal or Cursive Italic, Foundational Hand, Uncial, Versal or other capitals. You can learn or revise the scripts of your choice, experiment with the letter-form variations and use the scripts in short projects to encourage rhythm in writing as well as good layout and design. Colour in the pen and background can be explored and simple decoration used where appropriate; drawing inspiration for subject material from the local countryside or from our extensive art and environment libraries.

Course participants can choose to concentrate on a script of their choice from the following: Italic, Italic capitals, Foundational hand, Roman capitals, sharpened italic, uncial, Cnut charter hand, San Vito capitals, copperplate, modern pointed pen script, experimental letterforms, learning or tuning up the alphabet, letter spacing and using the script at different sizes in short quotations in ink and colour. Alternatively, or in combination with scripts from above list, participants can be guided through a series of experiments using colour in the pen and background followed by exploring the creative interpretation of short texts.

Course tutor: Gaynor Goffe
Gaynor holds the Surrey Diploma in Art and Design (1st class) and is an experienced tutor.

What to Bring
A range of Rexel/Mitchell square cut ‘roundhand’ nibs (left oblique for left-handers)
Penholders and slip-on reservoirs
Non-waterproof black calligraphy ink, eg Pelikan 4001 or Sumi liquid ink in tall flat-sided plastic bottle/box.
A3 Winsor & Newton A3 smooth cartridge pad 60,70 or 100lbs weight
Several tubes of Winsor & Newton designer’s gouache (series 1 or 2, which are the cheapest, but not ones labelled ‘primary’ as they don’t flow so well in the pen)
Mixing palette and brush
Scissors, cutting knife
Tape, tissues, HB pencil, ruler, rubber
Pritt stick (or similar)
If you wish to do copperplate please bring two Brause EF 66 nibs and a bottle of Brian Walker’s copperplate ink.

For course participants wishing to experiment with colour in the background, additionally bring:
Deep-welled mixing palette
Large, flat wash brush, approximately 11/2” wide – hake brushes are inexpensive
Two or more pots of Plaka casein emulsion (from good art shops) and/or FW acrylic inks, and/or Winsor & Newton ‘Galeria’
Chalk pastels, several colours
At least one sheet of hot pressed paper, eg Fabriano HP and/or Winsor & Newton SMOOTH cartridge pad 100lbs A3 size

Recommended Reading
The Calligrapher’s Companion by Mary Noble and Janet Mehigan (Collins)
Colour Calligraphy by Mary Noble and Adrian Waddington (Search Press)
The Painted Word by Dave Wood
A Handwriting Manual by Alfred Fairbank (Faber)
Modern Scribes and Lettering Artists (Trefoil)
Calligraphy Today ed. Heather Child (Studio Vista)
The Calligraphers’ Project Book by Suzanne Haines (Collins)
Calligraphy Masterclass by Diana Hoare (Collins)
Calligraphy Made Easy by Gaynor Goffe (Paragon/Robinson)
Calligraphy Step-by-Step by Gaynor Goffe and Anna Ravenscroft (Harper Collins)

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Expert tuition
Free Wi-Fi
Full board accommodation
Hot and cold drinks
In course transport
Personal and travel insurance


Field Studies Council, Flatford Mill
Flatford Mill Field Centre
East Bergholt
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Suitable for

  • Public transport
  • Residential
  • UK Holiday
  • Wheelchair users

Available as a gift

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3 or 4 days

Available dates:


In-person course
- - #6150

I have been studying with Gaynor for several years and long may it continue. She is both an excellent calligrapher and tutor, offering guidance and support whilst encouraging her pupils to develop their own style.
Flatford Mill is a tranquil weekend retreat. Be prepared for basic accommodation but a very warm welcome and wholesome food. A great place to get away from the madness of modern life.

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