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Episode 418 - On Hand
Stunning stationery...
I've often said that when you send out an invitation, the envelope can entice someone who receives it to open it up immediately. Well, if the envelope is addressed by a calligrapher like my friend Susan Van Tijn, you can bet that your invitation will be the first thing opened when the mail arrives that day.

An expert at handcrafted calligraphy, Susan makes this art form look very easy. The many hours of practice it requires to be able to create this beautiful lettering is well worth it when you see the end results. There are so many different details that can help to make a plain card or piece of paper into a stunning work of art.

Susan's work covers everything from thank you and birthday cards to wedding and Bar Mitzvah invitations. If the mood strikes you can try your hand at a favourite poem, making it look as beautiful as it sounds. Susan wrote out the words to a poem called "Snowman" in a manner that truly defines how colourful calligraphy can be. With a wonderful detail at the top of the paper, the shades of the ink change as you read on down the page.

There are many different fonts, which can be utilized with calligraphy. The type of nib you choose to use is instrumental in creating different styles. The most important thing is to experiment with different sized nibs, whether broad-edged or fine, and discover what appeals to you. Different occasions will call for various writing styles and it can be fun to play around with them.

Susan describes calligraphy as a hobby that evolves. Although she doesn't own a typeset for a Bar-Mitzvah invitation, she was able to learn to write in Hebrew. Whether it's Hebrew, Greek, or just plain English, when you experience the handiness of the art of calligraphy, it will open up a whole new world to you.

Special Thanks: Susan Van Tijn, Calligraphy and Illumination, Toronto, ON; Telephone (416) 299-7176