To say that we live in a “digital world” is a fairly obvious statement. We send millions of text messages, tweets, Instagrams, and emails every minute of the day. It seems like constant communication is critical to our survival! However, are we truly “communicating” with one another? Can you really learn about a person in 140 characters? Can a friendship be built upon speedy text messages sent here and there? Once upon a time, the handwritten letter was the only form of long distance communication. Strokes of ink across the page told the stories of joy, heartbreak, love, and life shared through the written word.
A few members of the Michaels team recently took a Blue Eye Brown Eye calligraphy class here in Dallas from the talented Lauren Essel. We decided to give the almost-lost-art of the handwritten note a try and learn the ins and out outs of inky correspondence.
She began the class by discussing the basics of the pen, nibs, and ink. Once we assembled our pens, we dipped the tips in the ink and began making our first attempts at letters. From the moment we touched the ink to the tracing paper we discovered that Lauren makes calligraphy look so effortless! In the beginning, most of the class struggled with forming letters and making our “ABCs” look classy instead of crooked. Thankfully Lauren is a wonderful teacher! She walked us through the entire alphabet and encouraged each student along the way. Eventually we all got comfortable with holding the pen and even created a few letters that made us beam with pride.
It was interesting to learn the different reasons why the other class members decided to try their hand at calligraphy. One said she wanted to use the skill for her daughter’s wedding stationary. Others wanted to create artwork and memories for their children. Most of the class was purely interested in learning something new! I think we are all drawn to the beauty, sentiment, and history surrounding this tangible form of communication. The class was a lot of fun and definitely encouraged us to step away from the computer and write more letters.
Have you ever tried your hand at calligraphy? Do you still enjoy sending “snail mail” to friends and loved ones?