I'm so excited to announce our first March Break Children's Handwriting and Cursive Writing Camp, along with a bonus optional Calligraphy Class at the end of it. March Break Cursive Writing Camp in Toronto
If you sign up for both at once, you save $10 off the total cost. All supplies provided, children ages 8+.
For the four-day cursive writing camp, Michele Nidenoff, one of our calligraphy teachers, will be working with students to teach the basics of forming cursive letters. Everything from posture and grip, to the slant and consistency of letters, and how to form and join different combinations, this four day intensive course is designed to give your children a very solid foundation to establish life-long penmanship.
On Friday, Mark Lurz, head of the Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto, will be teaching an introduction to calligraphy class for children! This is for kids who want to take it to the next level, and are ready to learn how to make beautiful, calligraphic letters beyond just cursive writing.
You do not need to attend the March Break Cursive Writing Camp to attend the Children's Calligraphy Class on Friday - you can sign up for either one, or both! If you sign up for both, though, you save $10. You can register online, over the phone (416 799 5935), or in the shop. You can always call or email as well if you have any questions.
We'll have all supplies necessary, as well as nut-free treats and juice for break. Space is limited.
There are all sorts of reasons why it's advantageous for kids to learn cursive writing, including, but not limited to:
|Monday, March 14th||Tuesday, March 15th||Wednesday, March 16th||Thursday, March 17th||Friday, March 18th|
Cursive Writing Camp with Michele Nidenoff, $165
10 am to 11:15 am
|Calligraphy Class with Mark Lurz, $65 10 am to 12 pm|
- When cursive is mastered, it's faster and easier to write in cursive than it is in print.
- Most private schools are continuing to require learning cursive writing, and as public schools begin to lessen their focus on it, in the workplace, cursive writing may become a marker for a certain type of education.
- Studies are showing that in class, taking notes by hand is more effective than typing.
- Students who have good penmanship often have more confidence in how and how much they write, so in school, they focus more on learning than on the process of physically writing.
- Studies are showing that there is link between creativity and writing by hand.
- It can be fun! Just like some children may enjoy drawing, some children may enjoy writing, and this is a way to give them structure to learn the skill properly.
I'm so incredibly excited that we've finally gotten the details ironed out and we're ready to go with a six week in-depth calligraphy class, taught by expert calligrapher Salman Khattak. I actually thought about joining myself (if Salman would take me!), but Caleb's bedtime is currently a time conflict - I'm keeping my fingers crossed for spring, when we're hoping to run another in-depth course on different calligraphic hands and styles. Salman is experienced in Western and Arabic calligraphy and skilled in scripts ranging from copperplate to italic to gothic styles, along with many others, like the ones in this upcoming course. He is also approachable, friendly and encouraging, making this the perfect class for committed beginners, along with students of calligraphy looking for a more structured learning opportunity. This is really exciting for us because here in Toronto, while there are a few one-day type calligraphy workshops, mostly "modern" calligraphy, there are no real places to seriously study the art and history of formal calligraphy, which is the basis of modern font design and handwriting and lettering. Anyone looking to develop their own personal style should consider first getting a firm grounding in formal calligraphy in order to establish and hone their skills. Getting a taste is great, but now we're able to offer a way for students who are really interested to deepen their skills and understanding over six weeks, with a master calligraphy to direct and guide. In this six week class, you can expect to learn fundamental skills and basic practices progressing to the formation of Roman Majuscules, Foundational Minuscules, Batarde Minuscules & Majuscules. This multi-week course format allows for the development of skills over a period of time, as well as continual feedback from Salman. Between classes, there will be exercises for practise and even an online forum for posting work and receiving description feedback. I can't wait to start seeing the development of work from students! Students will also conceive and create a project under Salman's guidance. Within the general outline and structure of the course, there will be ample time and room for flexibility and small projects and assignments based on the skill level and interest of students. Classes are: Wednesday, October 28, 6:30 - 9:30 Wednesday, November 4, 6:30 - 9:30 Wednesday, November 11, 6:30 - 9:30 Wednesday, November 18, 6:30 - 9:30 Wednesday, November 25, 6:30 - 9:30 Wednesday, December 2, 6:30 - 9:30 Included in the course fee ($450) are all required materials, including nibs, nib holder, ink, paper and other supplies. Should you have any other supplies or materials, you are more than welcome to bring them to classes. In order to register for this class, students must have previously taken either Introduction to Calligraphy or Introduction to Pointed Pen Calligraphy. *Edit: We've had a few questions on this requirement, and actually, there is a bit of flexibility on it. While students who have previously taken an Introduction Class will have a bit of a 'heads-up' on this six week course, if you have not taken the class but are seriously interested in calligraphy, or of course have other experience, this is still a course for you. This pre-requisite was really designed both to ensure a baseline level of commitment, but also to avoid disappointment if you begin the class knowing not very much about calligraphy, and it turns out it's not what you expect: please remember that you can only receive 50% of your course fee back up to 1 week before the course begins, and absolutely no refunds after that. See more details and register for the class here, or stop by the shop for a chat! The class registration fee must be paid in full in order to hold your spot for the class. Up until one week before the start date, up to 50% of the class fee may be refunded. After one week, there are no refunds under any circumstance. There will be no reimbursement for one or more classes missed. We need a minimum number of students to run the course, but if we need to cancel, you'll be given at least 24 hours notification.
The Letter Writing Club meets monthly to mostly write letters, but also to gab a bit and share some coffee and treats. In September, we had an extra special treat - a visit from calligrapher Salman Khattak, who came to address envelopes in some of his beautiful scripts. This is a much overdue post with a few photos from the day. This is a great time to let you know we are considering a more intensive calligraphy course taught by Salman, over a period of weeks, for those of you that are more serious about studying this beautiful art. It would cover a few different scripts or hands in depth, as well as help you truly master the fundamentals. If you are interested, please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com, or leave a comment here on the post, so we can get a gauge on if there are enough calligraphers out there to get this type of course going. If you are interested, you would need to have taken the first Introduction to Calligraphy class as a pre-requisite. This course will not require you to be completely proficient in calligraphy by any means, but just to ensure that all students have a basic foundational knowledge in the strokes. With a smaller class size, Salman would be able to provide feedback and more one-on-one guidance. This would be a great class for graphic designers, lettering artists, folks interested in calligraphy on a more serious level. And also, the Letter Writing Club normally runs the second Sunday of the month, but October's second Sunday is Thanksgiving, so we are pushing it back one week to Sunday, October 18th - same time at 2pm.
It's Friday! And it's back to school! What could be even better?? We've got lots of new products to share. Here are some of the first few, mostly calligraphy related. We got a few new nibs in from Brause - the Rose, the 1 mm and 2.5 mm and the Index Nib (can you guess which one is my new favourite?? - having tried none of the four, of course my new favourite is the Index Finger). While we mostly are expanding our nib selection based on calligrapher's and customer's requests and recommendations, I've also had a few customers bring in their Noodler's Flex pens and other fountain pens modified to take dip pen nibs for true flex. I'll have to try one myself to see how it works! We definitely have our sights set on carrying some calligraphy books, examples and photographs of calligraphy along with instructional calligraphy books, but in the mean time, we've just received these great calligraphic alphabet templates or lettering cards. They're large, thick card stock alphabets that give you different hands or fonts. You can obviously look at them to see what the letters should look like, but they also give you stroke instructions so you know the proper order and direction to make the strokes, and you can also use them underneath paper to trace. And most exciting of all! We now carry loose leaf Seyes Ruled Paper in a package of 100 A4 sheets. I think it must be a combination of fall and my once-a-teacher-always-a-teacher because a fresh pile of loose leaf ruled paper is always a sign of something new and hopeful, mainly that the kids have not yet arrived to knock over the whole stack onto the floor ;) I can hardly believe we haven't been carrying this all along. Seyes Ruled paper is good for practising calligraphy or regular cursive handwriting (check here for a quick primer), but I have already sent off two letters on this crazy paper. We've been running our calligraphy classes in the shop, and we're thrilled at how popular they've been! We've got a few new classes posted. I know they seem a bit far away, but they do fill up quickly, so register early if you know your calendar in advance: Introduction to Pointed Pen with Michele Nidenoff Saturday, September 26th from 10 am to 1 pm Introduction to Calligraphy with Mark Lurz Saturday, October 24th from 10 am to 1 pm Saturday, October 24th from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm And in case you missed it on Instagram, we just filled up our Raskog Sales Cart with new sale items! We usually have open box or slightly damaged items there (like if an ink bottle breaks and stains the boxes of other ink bottles, but the ink itself is still good, etc.), but we're starting this new thing where every once in a while we fill it up with brand new merchandise at a discount. This time we've got some really good stuff! A few Lamy Copper Orange fountain pens, some Leuchtturm and Coach House Press notebooks, Midori Brass, Stormy Grey and...discontinued Sailor Jentle Ultramarine ink! I'm not supposed to be sharing too many details because it's supposed to be a surprise when you come in, so you'll have to stop by to check it out before it's all gone! Discounts range from 10% to 40%. We're going to be filling this up every once in a while as a special treat. When we were setting it up, I felt like I was shopping at the grocery store, because I was just pushing this Raskog cart around the store and picking things up off the shelves to put in. We're also working on something for you folks that aren't in the neighbourhood or who can't make it in to the bricks &mortar. I'm not exactly sure what it will look like yet (I'm guessing it will look like a link of some sort...), but it will be coming... Have a great weekend, everyone!
Edit: Thanks for all of your interest! The class is currently full. Please e-mail to add your child's name onto our waiting list. Stay tuned for more classes! I'm getting back in the saddle! We're going to be hosting a handwriting and cursive writing class for kids on Sunday, August 23, and I'm teaching! It's like riding a bicycle, right?? ;) While calligraphy is a beautiful art, cursive writing is skill that can be useful throughout someone's life. These days, the debate on cursive writing being taught in schools can be heated, but whether or not your child's teacher is teaching it, or if you feel strongly about your child learning, the fine motor skills of cursive writing can only be an asset. In many ways, there is a lot going on in a kid's brain when they're learning in school, and I think if they are confident in physical act of writing, then their brain can focus on learning the new ideas being taught. Additionally, handwriting and cursive writing can be something that is relaxing and enjoyable. Smooth, flowing curves and even lines, the hope is that your child's writing is something he or she can take pride in forming. With school barrelling around the corner in September, this is a good way to flex those fingers and get writing again. This one hour class is a chance for your child to spend some time with a pen and paper, and to learn or practise some cursive writing. Students need to be at least eight years old, and have mastered printing skills, ideally at least entering Grade 3 in the fall. Their printing writing doesn't need to be neat or perfect, but they need to be able to print all of the letters confidently - they need to have mastered printing in order to be able to effectively learn a new way to write the letters. This class is taking place from 2:00 - 3:00 pm on Sunday, August 23rd, 2015. It's free, and each student will receive a Platinum Preppy in his or her choice of colour. If your child has another pen, pencil or favourite fountain pen they'd like to use, please bring it along! Parents or care-givers are more than welcome to hang out around the shop, or grab a coffee in and around Leslieville and give your child a chance to just sit and have fun. Space is limited, and you need to register to hold your child's spot by sending us an email, giving us a call, or visiting us in-store. You will receive a confirmation email upon registration as well as an email reminder the week before the class. Please let us know in advance if there are any special needs or accommodations. The goal here is to introduce or reinforce cursive writing skills and hopefully enjoy it! Practice makes perfect, though, and while I'm not giving homework, students should be able to go home and continue to practise some of these skills ;) If all goes well, we may have more classes!