Calligraphy Centre | Video Clips

Download video clips (Download Quicktime here) and watch to see how classic hands are written. Click on the links below and the movie will download and play.

John Stevens brush roman part 1

John Stevens brush roman part 2

John Stevens italic demo

John Stevens Blackletter demo


In the interest of keeping writing and the making of letters by hand alive - reminding us of the physical dimension of craft, we have put video clips of calligraphy being done in real time. The clips play in Quicktime only at this time. Newer browsers will most likely have the plugin already installed. If you are an AOL user, you will most likely have to download the Quicktime player and put it in your AOL plugins folder.

Video takes longer to download than pictures, so we appreciate your patience. They will download quickly for broadband connections but will take several minutes for 56k modem users.

We start with classic Roman capitals, which historically precedes the invention of type by 1500 years or so. That means they had to be written- on walls or marble slabs, etc, then carved with chisels. Sometimes they were not carved and just left painted. The principle of the written letter being responsible for the shape of our letters was rediscovered by Edward Johnston in the early 20th century. This idea was expanded upon by others- notably Fr. Edward Catich who theorized that the shapes we find in inscriptions were of a calligraphic nature* rather that glyphic (drawn and carved- with the chisel being responsible for the distinctive serifs). The brush imbues the forms with a life and movement or organic quality usually difficult to attain by other means.
I have taught this approach and technique for 20 years and believe it is a great way to learn how to handle a brush and work with the dual qualities of "disciplined freedom".
The other 2 clips give a brief demonstration of the handling of the broad-edged pen. Check back as new clips will be added.

* using and "economy of means"- written directly using a few very well-placed and executed strokes -as opposed to drawn or painted.

John Stevens © 2002 | Calligraphy Centre• All rights reserved.

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