Calligraphy and lettercutting

Calligraphy for beginners with Gaynor Goffe

Ref: SWE09311


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About this course

Through practical calligraphy using a broad-edged nib, gain an understanding of formal writing, using a basic script such as uncial, Renaissance italic or foundational hand. Practise your skills on short quotations.

Course Description

Practical calligraphy using a broad-edged pen is the focus of this course, it is aimed at those who have very little or no experience of this craft.

You will gain:

An understanding of the basic principles of good formal writing while learning and using a basic script - uncial (a modernised 8th Century round script) or foundational hand (a basic roundhand script modernised from 9th/10th Century scripts) or Renaissance italic.

The ability to handle a broad edged pen with some confidence.

Some understanding of the potential uses and development of your new skills.

You are introduced in some detail to the workings of the broad-edged nib, and to writing with ink and introducing colour in the pen and in simple pastel backgrounds. You will have time to practise skills, working towards using these in writing short quotations.

Course structure includes frequent tutor demonstrations and one-to-one tuition. Progressive exercises are suited to each individual's understanding and skill.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Source a few short quotations you may like to try writing out
  • Tissues
  • Apron to protect your clothes - optional

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A3 layout paper pad 50gsm/80lb (Goldline)
  • A3 Winsor & Newton smooth surface cartridge paper 60lb/130gsm and/or 100 lbs/220gsm
  • Or Daler cartridge in red/yellow cover
  • Rexel/Mitchell round hand nibs and reservoirs, and a penholder
  • Higgins Eternal ink or Pelikan 'fount India'
  • HB pencil, eraser and ruler
  • Winsor & Newton designer's gouache
  • A mixing dish and a cheap brush for mixing paint
  • Masking tape, scissors, Pritt glue stick


Gaynor Goffe

Gaynor Goffe has been a professional calligrapher and teacher for 35 years. She trained in Calligraphy,
Illumination & Heraldry in the mid 1970's at Reigate School of Art & Design, then spent three years as assistant to Donald Jackson. She taught calligraphy at the Roehampton Institute and on many short courses in Britain and abroad. Publications include 'Calligraphy Made Easy 'published by Paragon/Robinson, and 'Calligraphy Step By Step' by Harper Collins. Gaynor is a fellow of the Calligraphy & Lettering Arts Society, the Society of Scribes & Illuminators and a full member of Letter Exchange.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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