The Complete Guide to Calligraphy edited by Professor Ralph Cleminson

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The Complete Guide to Calligraphy edited by Professor Ralph Cleminson

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Preface of the book

Calligraphy is the art of handwriting. Like any work of art, a piece of calligraphy is hand-crafted, unique, and personal. Unlike printed text, no two pieces of handwriting are truly alike. In this computer-driven age, such originality is beyond price. When you copy an illuminated text in Celtic or Cyrillic script, for example, or Persian verse in Arabic, you are following the path of ancient scribes whose dream was to create a legacy for future generations to cherish. In The Complete Guide to Calligraphy you can learn how to write some of the world's major scripts, and find out about the history and culture of the people who developed them. You'll also discover how to use authentic writing materials to produce the calligraphy of each culture. These are as varied as the scripts themselves. There are numerous types of inks, pigments, paints, paper, papyrus, animal skins, and clay tablets, as well as all sorts of pens, quills, and brushes. At the back of the book you'll find a list of suppliers.

Calligraphy is not only fascinating to study, it is also great fun to do. This book features many beautiful craft projects to display different script styles to best effect. These include greetings cards, invitations, romantic love tokens, exciting gifts, and intriguing ideas, such as Celtic name plaques, a Japanese lunch mat, a lampshade, a fan, and a trinket box.

The Authors
The Complete Guide to Calligraphy has been compiled by leading contemporary calligraphers and artists. They are:
  • Professor Ralph Cleminson (Editor). Ralph Cleminson is Professor of Slavonic Studies at the University of Portsmouth in England and Visiting Professor at the Central European University in Budapest. He is a specialist in medieval manuscripts and early-printed books, with a particular interest in the development of writing systems.
  • Fiona Graham-Flynn (Latin scripts). Fiona was born in Scotland and has been a calligrapher and illuminator for 26 years. She has taught her skills since 1992 in adult learning and private classes. She uses seven calligraphic scripts, and specializes in the Celtic Uncial and Irish Half-uncial, pigment colours, and vellum. Fiona co-wrote the book Celtic Ornament: Art of the Scribe (1995), with Courtney Davis, and Celtic Calligraphy (2005), a book for children.
  • Christine Mckinnon (Ancient Greek). Christine produces the "Papyrus Productions" collection, inspired by Egyptian, Minoan, and Classical Greek art. She was Egyptology consultant for the "Library of Alexandria" set in Oliver Stone's film Alexander, as well as Greek script coach. She was also a consultant for The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, and Cleopatra. She has contributed a chapter on Greek calligraphy for an encyclopedia to be published in 2006 and is currently working on a number of commissions.
  • Christopher Austin (Russian Cyrillic). Christopher studied calligraphy and bookbinding at Roehampton University in London, England. Since 1997 he has run his own studio for both individual clients and corporate bodies, and teaches classes and workshops. He has been historical consultant for various TV and movie documentaries and is chairman of the South London Lettering Association.
  • Gordon Charatan (Hebrew). Gordon is an architect who has dedicated his spare time to the study of Hebrew calligraphy. He lives and works in London.
  • Nassar Mansour (Arabic). One of the most proficient Arabic calligraphers today, Nassar was born in Jordan and took up calligraphy at an early age. Initially self-taught, he later trained in Istanbul under renowned calligraphy master Hassan Chalabi, gaining a certificate of competency (Ijaza) in 2003. Before moving to London, Nassar taught calligraphy in Amman, Jordan, and contributed in establishing the Institute of Islamic Arts there. He has also participated a various international events, including co-ordinating an exhibition of Arabic calligraphy (Making of the Master) at the British Museum, where his works are exhibited in permanent collection. He teaches calligraphy at the Prince's School of Traditional Arts and is finalizing his PhD there.
  • Qu Lei Lei (Chinese). Born in China in 1951. Qu Lei Lei is a founding member of the Stars Group, the first contemporary art movement to challenge China's anti-Weston art at establishment. His works comprise a blend of Chinese and Western art techniques. His work is concerned with humanity and the human condition. One of China's leading artists, he has exhibited internationally at venues including the Venice Biennale, the Beijing Biennale, New York, Tokyo, Geneva, and Paris. He has recently staged a one-man exhibition at Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. As well as being a leading calligrapher renowned throughout the U.K., he paints in various styles
  • Yoko Takenami (Japanese). Born in Tokyo. Yoko started Yoko calligraphy at the age of seven. Always enthusiastic about art in general, she spent a year as an exchange student in the U.S. which opened her eyes to the joys of Introducing Japanese culture to the world. Now based in London. she holds regular workshops, often returning to Japan for inspiration. She is the author of The Simple Art of Japanese Calligraphy
CALLIGRAPHY NIBS Many different types of nib. using many different sizing conventions, are available. Throughout The Complete Guide to Calligraphy William Mitchell roundhand nibs are pictured and referenced. A nib-size conversion table is provided on page an 224, showing equivalents from Speedball and Brause. The Complete Guide to Calligraphy is the ultimate reference to this unique and rewarding art. Written by a team of world-renowned experts, detailed photos take you step-by-step through the key scripts of the world:
  • Latin scripts, including Carolingian, Roman, uncial, gothic, italic and copperplate
  • Non-Latin scripts, such as ancient Greek, Russian Cyrillic, Hebrew and Arabic
  • Pictographic scripts, the Chinese and Japanese forms of calligraphy
The history of calligraphy worldwide and for each specific script is covered in full, and a handy glossary provides a quick reference to key terminology.

Each script is followed by a range of practical and attractive projects, including:
  • Invitations and greeting cards
  • Wrapping and other special papers
  • Decorations for the home, such as framed works and lampshades
From a personalized birthday card in illuminated Carolingian script to a delicate Chinese talisman on handmade paper, this beautifully illustrated reference has everything the avid calligrapher needs, whether you're looking for an introduction to the hobby or new and creative ways to hone your craft.


1st edition2006, Hb, 224pp, full colour throughout, 23.5 x 28.3 cm



The Complete Guide to Calligraphy edited by Professor Ralph Cleminson
19.99 EUR 24.64