I’ve wanted to try calligraphy for a long time, and I love workshops! Being a creative for a living means that I like to learn new skills to grow, challenge myself, and stay inspired. Thankfully, Edmonton has a variety of workshops to choose from, like the one I did with Uppercase Press for letterpress and the few I’ve done with Love Letters to Strangers to spread happiness. Creating things with my own two hands is something that I want to do more of this year. It leaves me with such a good feeling!
I’ve had my eye on the calligraphy workshop with the ever so talented Justine Ma for a long time after seeing her cheeky work at the Royal Bison and ordering this print for Nathan for Valentines day (except mine is printed with gold ink, swoon!). After putting my name on the waitlist (her workshops are popular, for a good reason), I was finally able to attend a holiday themed workshop last month with my girl Aislin, hosted in faBLOOMosity‘s beautiful new space.
Can we just talk about this space for a minute? My iPhone photos are the worst, and definitely don’t do it justice. It’s dark and dramatic, and absolutely stunning with a back wall full of mirrors and rose gold calligraphy of flower names (done by Justine Ma herself, of course), a ceiling full of mismatched chandeliers, and black on black finishes. My eyeballs were in love. You can’t go wrong with black and gold!
At each place setting was an adorable assortment of goodies, including a customized hand-lettered ornament, wooden coaster, water bottle and Good Vibes tote bag. After doing a quick run through of her history with calligraphy, the tools provided (pen, ink, nibs, and paper), the angle at which to hold your pen, and how much ink to put on your nib, Justine left us to our own devices to fill the blank sheets of paper in front of us with our own calligraphy lettering.
Despite a few preliminary blotches of ink and smears on my fingers, I picked up the technique relatively easily and couldn’t believe how quickly the two hours flew by. We had a delicious snack break with cookies from Bloom Cookie Co. (of which I ate a handful), and then tried our lettering on a few pearlescent tags that Justine provided.
It was so much fun! I imagine that evenings at home curled up in front of the TV, with a glass of wine in one hand and your pen and nib in the other would be a great way to unwind. It’s quite therapeutic, and a beautiful art form. If you love typography I highly recommend this workshop! It gives you all the tools and knowledge to start, and that’s half the battle. The other half is making time at home to practice so I don’t forget how to do it! Thank you to Justine Ma for sharing your talent, to faBLOOMosity for hosting in your beautiful space, and to Bloom Cookie Co. for fueling our creativity!