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Rediscover a Lost Art: John Lewis Launches Calligraphy Classes
John Lewis is launching Calligraphy Classes to teach customers the ancient art of calligraphy and the etiquette of letterwriting, reminding them of the poignancy of receiving a handwritten letter. Perfect for perfecting those thank you letters.
The Calligraphy Classes, hosted in the John Lewis Kingston and Peter Jones department stores from 27th December, will bring back the delight of ancient traditions by teaching simple calligraphy techniques and providing a workshop space for customers to define their own personal handwriting style.
Led by John Lewis experts from each store, classes will cover principal handwriting techniques and letter writing dos and don’ts – from learning how to hold a calligraphy pen, practise ink control and perfect a signature style, to writing etiquette and content inspiration.
Jan Short, Partner at Peter Jones, says, “Christmas is traditionally known for letter writing, with greetings cards and thank you letters aplenty. During the classes, customers can expect to develop their own calligraphic rhythm and regularity, ensuring that their hand writing looks ordered and stylish on a card or letter.
She continues, “There’s nothing quite so special as receiving a handwritten letter; this year we’re encouraging customers to put pen to paper and, with British nostalgia an on-going trend for 2011, the Calligraphy Classes will demonstrate how the art of decorative lettering can be used in today’s tech friendly world, giving a sentimental twist to modern correspondence.”
John Lewis’ Tips for Perfect Calligraphy-
• Invest in the right pen: Sometimes it is worth investing in a calligraphy marker as these are cleaner to use than calligraphy pens with ink cartridges. However, calligraphy pens offer more choice in terms of the style of the nib and you can see the ink flow, which adds to the charm of calligraphy writing. The Cross Spire Fountain Pen (£170) is a beautiful smoky black pen and its sleek and smooth finish makes it a pleasure to write with.
• Opt for an oblique nib: If you’re left handed, it is best to opt for oblique nibs as they are cut on a slant. As left-handed people write from left to right, a slanted nib will make it easier to write. The Sheaffer Maxi Kit (£17) is an excellent calligraphy set that comes with three interchangeable nibs for ease of practice.
• Get your surface right: It is more comfortable to work on a sloping surface at 45º than to work flat on a table. This way, you approach your work from a more comfortable angle.
• Light it right: Work preferably in daylight with sunlight coming from different directions. If you are using a lamp, position it so that the shadow falls away from your working hand. If you are right-handed the lamp should be positioned to the left and if you are left-handed it should be positioned to your right.
• Protect your handiwork: It is a good idea to protect your work with a sheet of paper as you write as the warmth from your skin can stop the ink from settling properly on the paper and can result in smudging. The Wooden Box Calligraphy Set (£26.99) comes in an attractive wooden storage box with eight 14ml inks, four pen nibs, a wooden dip pen and a nib reservoir. Together with instructions, the variation of inks and nibs result in an excellent finish on paper.
Calligraphy Classes will be running from 27th December in John Lewis Kingston and Peter Jones. To book an appointment, please contact christmas_events@