I love calligraphy. The pens and inks and alphabets. I aspire to one day be proficient at it myself. But until then, I admire those who practice the art.
I read this Wall Streen Journal article a while back about calligrapher Bernard Maisner. The article ended with:
Yet Mr. Maisner believes that calligraphy answers a demand for beauty and vitality that technology, however advanced, cannot. Calligraphy, he said, “is not meant to reproduce something over and over again. It’s meant to show the humanity, the responsiveness and variation within.”
Yes! And that’s how I feel about handwritten letters versus email and texts. Beauty and vitality are precisely what I see in the letters I receive.
But any man who, like Maisner, charges over one thousand dollars to write 8 first names on small cards that can “act as a place card along with a take-home gift” is not really preserving calligraphy for the masses. He’s an artist and he, like many other successful artists, reserves his work for the super rich who can afford his services.
I have no problem with that, but I propose that we all let our artists within run free from our inner critics and just take up a dip pen and try it ourselves. I’m going to go play right now!
P.S. Check out these pictures of Maisner’s collection of antique writing gear. They are drool worthy!
P.P.S. And if you want a tattoo of calligraphy, you can get Maisner to design it for you!