Big, Big, Big Calligraphy
Sunday, April 15, noon - 4:00pm
Instructor: Stan James
This is not the usual calligraphy class. Artist Stan James has pushed the classic forms into something wildly different by playing with the scale of the letters. (It’s hard to believe, but some of his work is done with letters as tall as 6 feet. Check out the Save the Date video he did for a friend’s wedding at https://youtu.be/NE81MQIKMr8.) Stan teaches traditional calligraphy classes, but he’s found that having students work on a larger scale is an easier place for them to start and is much more fun. For one thing, writing such large letters requires learning how to use the whole arm and hand, which is a key skill. The exaggerated size also requires focusing on letter shapes in a more playful way. Stan starts the class with information on tools (different scale = different tools) and instruction on the basic strokes of the simplified Fraktur alphabet that you’ll use. He’ll also show you a few tricks for creating swoops and flourishes. Then it’s outside, weather permitting, where you’ll warm up by using large brushes and water to draw letters on the sidewalk. The ephemeral nature of the exercise requires you to let go and just do. Back inside you’ll practice a bit more with wide markers before laying down a word or short phrase on artist grade paper. Trust us. Stan’s class is one of the most unusual calligraphy classes around.
Please bring the following optional materials:
apron and shoes that can tolerate water
Cancellations made up to 14 days prior to the first class meeting will be refunded or, at the participant's option, used to pay for another class. Two Hands Paperie will retain a $10 processing fee for EACH class cancelled by a participant. After 14 days, there is no refund or credit. In addition, the fee for a class cancelled within this 14-day timeframe by a participant cannot be transferred to pay for another class. These policies are to ensure that teachers are compensated for their investment in materials and in time spent preparing for the class. We reserve the right to cancel a class if fewer than 3 students enroll 48 hours prior to the scheduled class time. If for any reason Two Hands Paperie cancels a class, students will be called at the phone number on file and refunded the FULL class fee.
Talking to Stan James about calligraphy is to go on a wild and crazy trip into a wonderland of letters and shapes. Stan is traditionally trained – the work he does in the formal styles is beautiful – but his passion is creating visual compositions with a word or group of words. Fundamentally, the alphabet itself is his artistic medium. The letters are familiar Western forms, but he writes them with a joyous abandon that comes from bending the rules to make words into more than words. Stan is always experimenting with tools (rakes and brooms), scale (6 inches to six-foot tall letters), and substrates (sand on a tide-washed beach). For a sense of where this experimentation has led him, check out what he created for a friend’s wedding at https://youtu.be/NE81MQIKMr8.
Stan fell in love with letters at an early age (sixth grade, no less). Ever since, he’s been on a journey to explore the outer limits of their inherent beauty and emotive character. How fitting that he named his website www.wanderingstan.com. One of his major inspirations is Garbage Beauty. The four members of this street art collective in Montreal, Canada, fell in love with letters when they stumbled across a calligraphy magazine. They then started writing playful sayings on furniture and other items that had been abandoned on the streets. Their objective: to get passersby to stop and think, then smile. Now they have a thriving international business.Stan doesn’t go around writing on abandoned items, but his objective is the same. Seeing his work, one can’t help but agree with him that “letters really, really are cool!”.