Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wedding calligraphy

Many of you know that my daughter is getting married soon (because you have heard about it in letters from me).  And soon means Saturday.  This Saturday.  (gulp)  We're ready, though!

However, I have talked a lot about doing calligraphy for her wedding, so I thought it was time to show it all off.

Very early in the process of wedding planning, I decided I would do the calligraphy for her invitation envelopes.  So I got out the pointed pen and the ink and started relearning my copperplate hand.  I had learned it years and years ago, but had not really used it since then.  However, it was much like riding a bicycle -- a few wobbly starts, and then it all came back to me.

Then we went shopping for the invitations themselves, and we fell in love with a particular style that just happened to include a spot for custom calligraphy. So I thought, SURE!  Why not?  Add that to the list!  The advantage was, I only had to produce a master copy of that calligraphy (the couple's names on the invitation) and send it off to be mass-printed on the invitation.  But I probably wrote those names about 50 times to get them as perfect as possible. By the way, the invitation came from Crane's. THE BEST CUSTOM STATIONERY, HANDS DOWN!

An inner envelope and the invitation.

An outer envelope.  These were huge, by the way, requiring extra postage.  Didn't think about that!

We sent out 144 invitations.  They took about four months to do.  (Yes, this was HORRIBLY slow, but I just did it on the side, in spare moments, so I wanted as much time as possible to get them finished on time.  I could have done it faster.)  I started at the first of the year and finished by April, a few weeks before it was time to mail them out.  Once I finished with that little project (ha) I started looking around for something else to do.

Another obsession of mine is chalkboards.  Specifically, the decorative kind, which is just really another form of calligraphy.  Lots of people use these chalkboards as decorative/informative elements of weddings, receptions, parties, etc.  So I thought, let's try this out!  My wife and daughter were certainly supportive of my efforts -- free calligraphy, right?

Drinks menu (small chalkboard) for the bar area at the reception.

Large chalkboard that will be placed on an easel to welcome guests to the reception.

Smaller chalkboard used for the wedding favors area -- my (future) son-in-law makes a mean grilling rub that he put into test tubes (because he's a scientist) to give to the wedding guests.

And then, there's going to be a bridesmaids luncheon the day before the wedding, so why not do a couple of chalkboards there to label the drink dispensers?


So there you have it -- my calligraphy journey to the wedding day!


11 comments:

  1. Congratulations to the happy couple! The invitations and envelopes are stunning and I love those little chalkboards, they are perfect.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, the chalkboards are so fun and so forgiving -- if you make a mistake, erase and try again!!

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  2. Bet your hands are glad to be finished :)

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    1. For now... I am sure I will find another project soon!

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  3. You know I'm a fan. Your work is simply lovely. We share the chalkboard thing. I hunt slate boards! I want one so bad.

    I have one from the kitchen that I used for grocery lists until one year Erin left a message after a Christmas visit. I never erased it but had to retire it. :) I dream of a slate wall in my studio. *sigh* When I was in junior high I had the honor of drawing the nativity scene and Valentine's Day murals on our algebra chalkboard. The school board heard of my work and were given a tour. It was my first show! :) Such good memories you've stirred up. Thank you.

    If I get married again . . . ;) Your daughter will never forget your gift. Congrats.

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  4. Thought of you when I saw this:

    http://tanamachistudio.com

    I cannot imagine being able to bear creating such beauty and then watch it be erased. :)

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    1. Thanks for your very kind comments, Limner! And I am so honored that I was the one to stir up your memories of chalkboards, and to provoke you to play with them again.

      And I LOVE LOVE LOVE Dana Tanamachi's work. Her stuff is actually what awakened my interest in these beautiful chalkboards. I have actually based some of my stuff in this post on elements from her work, although I will be the first to admit that this is like a flashlight saying it bases its work on the Sun. :-)

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  5. Simply gorgeous! Are you using regular chalk on the chalkboards? Mine never come out as clear and clean as that.

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  6. Thanks! I use chalk markers and they are FANTASTIC!!!

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  7. I love calligraphy...I used to calligraphy Alice in Wonderland quotes. :)

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    1. Sounds like an awesome idea! I'm always on the hunt for new quotes to write out.

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