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Showing posts from 2019

Calligraphy Society workshop

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Last week taught a Medieval Bestiary workshop for my local society here in Tasmania and here is a beautiful photograph of the group.  Thanks to Jane Stanton for the photograph and to Robyn Coleman for sending it through. Once all my camera shots are uploaded, I'll share.



Now, let's see if I get everyone's names right:

Lyndell, Mark, Robyn, Jane, Anne, Margaret, Kristine, Jo, Gail, Gem, Elsa, Julia & Ailsa. Jacqueline had left the premises!

“tuppence worth”, a poem

how wretched is the world how horrible people are why would we want to live here any more … why would we want to exist at all
are there no words, thoughts, actions or deeds that will make a difference
is it greater than one person to solve such anxiousness to instil ideas of … dare I say it peace, justice, fairness,
they feel like flimsy words that once meant considerably more
imagine our universe full of
respect education love & compassion care & understanding
be silent listen now
listen to your landscape and you will find your voice
the message is simple
it all starts here at home

“tuppence worth”, a poem, gemma black

A refractive opening

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It was a wonderful evening last night mixing with our art friends at Rachel Bremner's exhibition opening. I have been asked to publish my opening speech so I thought this would be the best place for it so you can read if interested. I gave my speech a lot of thought, knowing Rachel as I do, knowing how she works and the passion and love she has for her work and her life. I tried to capture a few elements of what it's like to work as a solitary artist as both Rachel and I enjoy our very special time alone in our respective studios.  Obviously in my talk I ad-libbed a lot as is my want to make the talk interesting and a bit of fun as well.  Enjoy these images and enjoy the read it's, not that long, thank you!






Chipping away at the smalti. 

Rachel at work.


Tools of the trade.

With Rachel at the opening.



Last night!


Hello and welcome to the gathering!
As an intro to the exhibition I would like to talk, very briefly, about two things: Refraction and Rachel.
One of the earliest t…

Letters with rhythm in Melbourne

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It was a pleasure to teach for the Calligraphy Society of Victoria this past weekend. The group were nicely skilled and very friendly. Periods of immense quietness were enjoyed as participants enveloped themselves in colour, movement and fine letter-drawing skills. The areas we covered in this workshop were sgrafito, with 23.75ct gold, skeleton roman capitals, freer skeleton forms, variations in height for weight ratio, watercolour grounds and pen & watercolour rhythmic letterforms.


When in Melbourne do as the Melbourneans do and visit ...



And for all of us readers ...





Every time I visit, the skyline has changes dramatically.


Every time I visit, the skyline has changes dramatically.





Here is Tish. This is a fine example of the progression from the formal skeleton letter to something with a lite more movement and rhythm.















Slovenia 2020

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I feel very grateful to have been invited to the World Calligraphy Conference in Slovenia 2020




Here are my fellow faculty, looking a little like the Brady Bunch but I respect and love each one of them. Perhaps I'll see you there.

Inspiration: zeitgeist

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This piece was inspired by the spirit of my time in South Africa. The zeitgeist!




South Africa - a reflection

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SOUTH AFRICA – a reflection




South Africa, what can I say. As I reach the time in my life where I have more memories behind me than I may have ahead of me, I can say I am extremely grateful to have visited South Africa. From day one, 31 July 2019 to the last, 28th August, I was treated and welcomed with such generous hospitality. I consider myself very fortunate to have been invited to teach calligraphy in SA and for the workshops to have gone so well. One thing I can say with certainty is that calligraphers the world over are connected by the craft of letterforms, a spirit and camaraderie like no other. The trip would not have been possible without the huge effort of one woman Dirmu Gouws. To Dirmu, I offer my humble thanks.
After one night spent in Johannesburg with Anne Marie & David Moore and a day out with Paddy Balsdon, I started my teaching tour in Port Elizabeth. Sue & David Patton kindly dropped everything, even packing boxes & moving, to entertain and welcome me. Th…

A Conversation ...

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A Conversation with Australian Calligrapher Gemma BlackBy: Joy DeneenJanuary 17th, 2019 Today, we’re going Down Under! Based in Australia’s island state of Tasmania, Gemma Black is an artist, calligraphic designer and familiar face on the faculty of past international calligraphy conferences and symposiums. She is a Fellow of the Calligraphy & Lettering Arts Society (CLAS) and has worked as a scribe to the Commonwealth of Australia. In the interview below, Gemma talks not only about her background and favourite tools, but also shares details about the stirring apology documents she created for federal government.

Where did you grow up and what first sparked your interest in letters? I lived in Sydney, Australia for my first nineteen years with my parents and eight siblings. We all went to Catholic schools and the handwriting of the day was a copybook Italic with a broad-edged dip-in metal nib and ink. For four years we were not allowed to use any other writing implement…

"The Johannesburg Group"

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"The Johannesburg Group"

Catherine, Marj, Jill, Antonette, Pearl, Barbara, Louise, Dianne & Jeff

 And per se and!



Meet Tiny. What a woman!


Here is a wonderful array of work from the Retro Deco three-day course in Johannesburg. Thank you to all my diligent participants who worked ever so hard to achieve these works. A huge thank you to Pearl de Chalain for being the the mover & shaker for the JB group. Also my thanks to Pearl & Paul for their generous hospitality.