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Showing posts from August, 2019

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.

















First stop Port Elizabeth, SA

I thought I would share with you this "animal stand-off" that I filmed.  Enjoy.

It was an interesting visit to Port Elizabeth, my first workshop in South Africa. The people were extremely pleasant and I was very well looked after by my hosts Sue & David Patten. Apart from the class, which was super, Sue took Erin and me out to Ado Elephant park where I experienced some of the most awesome moments of my life. To be in such proximity as elephants, zebra, warthogs, lions, buffalo, eland and other antelope was truly exhilarating.
I thought I would share this video with you all, enjoy.



Onward to Bloemfontein, South Africa

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From Cape Town I moved onward to Bloemfontein in the Free State where I met another wonderful group of talented calligraphers.  Everyone could speak English of course but their first language was Afrikaans. I enjoyed listening to the classroom banter even though I had no understanding whatsoever of what they were saying. I am enjoying trialing SA cuisine in particular melktert and bobotie. Many thanks go to my host family Willemien, Franna, Dian & Mika Kruger for their hospitality and warm welcome.


The subject for our three day workshop was "watercolour cut-back technique using Trajan letters".   Please enjoy these wonderful outcomes.