Calligraphy Workshop: An Interview with Amber Six

A month ago we held our second, successful calligraphy workshop with Alissa Mazzenga, the owner of Chicago-based Feast Fine Art & Calligraphy. Below is an interview with one of the attendees from the event.

What was the atmosphere of the workshop like?

It was really fun and laid back. Alissa is very kind, and also a direct teacher, which I was really thankful for since we were all very interested to learn this new art form and the proper method.

What exactly did you do in the calligraphy workshop?

In the class Alissa gave us a basic overview of calligraphy. She told us about the different tools we were using to create the typeface, then she had us come over to where she was writing so we could see firsthand how to create the typeface in the proper way.

The main part of the class was when we got down to actually writing the calligraphy. She shared with us the distinction between modern calligraphy and the copperplate type face, which is the traditional calligraphy.

What different aspects go in to writing a particular typeface?

I used to think it was just flowy cursive, but there really is a lot that goes into it. Like your letters have to slant at a 55 degree angle and you need to make sure you are writing with a certain consistency. Little things that you wouldn’t normally think of like that are actually very important.

What kind of modern calligraphy did you learn?

She actually created her own typeface and that was the modern typeface we were learning.

Did she talk about how to create your own typeface?

Not really, but she did say that it was important to learn the traditional, copperplate typeface, and then from there branching out to make it your own.

What was your take away?

One thing I loved about the class was that I left with respect for calligraphy as an art. People actually study this. There’s so much more to it than you think. I used to just think something like “Oh you have cool handwriting.” But after this class I know that it’s really so much more to it and I think that’s beautiful.

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