If there’s something I’ve always dreamed of having, it’s beautiful handwriting. The kind that our grandparents have- elegant and swirling, with the sort of unique quirks and traits that make it as instantly recognisable as the sound of their voice. My own handwriting has always been as changeable as the weather. I never managed to find my own style whilst at school, and basically formed my own ‘hand’ at the age of about 10 by copying the writing of a friend of mine who always had the most admired handwriting in our class ;)
And so, when an email pinged in my inbox a few weeks ago inviting me to attend a workshop in which I’d have chance to learn the basics of hand lettering and calligraphy, I sent back a ‘yes please!’ faster than you can say ‘joined up writing’!
The workshop was held in Stockbridge and hosted by the lovely ladies behind a store called Hero, whose beautiful aesthetic I’ve admired via Instagram for a long while now. Our day began at 10 in a tucked away room of Woodfire restaurant (right on the high street), where we warmed ourselves up with a few coffees and pastries and chit chat about what a beautiful setting Stockbridge village is. I’d spent the whole of the drive down that morning admiring tiny farmhouse cottages and spotting fat pheasants in the fields and birds of prey flying overhead- if only it wasn’t quite so far away from Guildford and beyond the realms of a sensible commute for Jason, I’d have added it to our ‘house hunting locations’ list already!
^^ How dreamy is Hero’s range? I’d have taken that blue jumper home with me in a heartbeat! ^^
The calligraphy workshop itself was being run by Becky of Betty Etiquette, who was the most patient and encouraging teacher you could hope to find. We each were supplied with a pen and nib (which felt so elegant and old-school to write with, I loved it!), black Indian ink, paper, and an instruction card that walked us through the basics of Copperplate hand lettering. We started small- drawing out painstakingly careful vertical lines onto the paper that varied in thickness and weight- before moving on to lines in diagonal directions, curved shapes, and then finally on to numbers and letters. Becky explained the rules behind the Copperplate script that give it its characteristic style- downward strokes must be thick, sideways lines fine, and the lettering should be fluid with a slight forward slant.
It was far, far trickier than you’d imagine, and yet a thousand times more satisfying and enjoyable than it was fiddly! As someone whose artistic ability was maxed out during Art GCSE (all I ever wanted to do was play with the cameras anyway, and oh what a foreshadowing that turned out to be!), it was so pleasing to see the results of the morning’s work coming out looking not too shabby at all! I mean, I don’t think I’ll be attempting any hand-lettered place cards for the wedding any time soon, but you know! Maybe when the time comes to write thank you cards, I’ll have it in the bag! ;)
^^ Nines were hard for me, okay? I never did get it down…^^
My favourite, *favourite* part of the morning was moving on to writing out our names. It was harder than you’d imagine not to just slip straight back into your own handwriting, and instead to remember that the letters should have a forward slant to them and a distinctive pattern of weight and heaviness.
I decided to have a go writing my married name, which is, as you can imagine, my current favourite activity. I’m like a schoolgirl with a crush at the moment, writing out ‘Mrs Rosie Chappel’ and practising my signature in the corners of to-do lists and notebook pages every chance I get! ;)
Our workshop ended all too quickly (I could’ve sat there scribbling away for hours!), and was rounded off with a beautiful mezze lunch and yet another round of delicious coffee. It really was the loveliest way to spend a midweek morning, and I can’t recommend looking into a workshop with Betty Etiquette highly enough. It would make the loveliest hen party activity!
Thanks x1000 to lovely Laura from Hero for inviting me to attend. Do search ‘shopathero’ on Instagram and follow along- it’s the dreamiest feed!