Heather Held: The Poetic Pen

The Poetic Pen
Heather Held
Friday, July 19, 2019
All day

The study of Italian Hand is the key to unlocking all other script hands and will free your hand with the pointed pen. Described as playful, joyful, and exuberant by its early writing masters, Italian Hand reaches back to the first decade of the 1600’s and was prominently used until the mid 1860’s. This mercantile script is a narrow and graceful hand, made distinctive through its unusual use of shading. Often called “blob top or club top” lettering, this hand evolved out of italic hands and appears throughout history in various forms. The lowercase forms are very simple to learn while the capitals can take the form of Standard Roundhand or the more complex reverse shaded letter-forms. Throughout The Poetic Pen class, we will simplify the capital forms while striving to perfect the shading on the lowercase forms. We will explore various European influences of the capital letters. The end goal of this class is not to copy a historic hand but to help unlock its mysteries and bring it forward into this century. The practice of this delicate hand will help lighten your touch as you approach other script hands.


Straight holder, Medium Flexible Pointed Pen Nib: Hunt 22, Gillott 404 or Zebra G, McCaffery Black suggested. You may also use McCaffery Indigo, Walnut or Sumi Vermillion Ink, 9”x12” Pad of Borden & Riley Layout Paper (this is my preference for Italian Hand practice. You may substitute your favorite blank practice paper. You should be able to see your guidelines through the paper), Pencil, Ruler, Eraser, Note Taking Supplies, Paper Towel, water dish, Two Paper Clips

Optional Supplies
Maruman Imagination Series Graph Paper (size 8.3” x11”) for those who prefer to work on graph paper rather than using guidelines, Flexible Pointed Pen: Brause 66 EF, Hunt 101, or Gillott 303.

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