Workshops are offered by international, national and local scribes. They are usually held from 9am to 4pm on a Saturday and Sunday. They are a great chance to learn from some of the best teachers of calligraphy. Registration forms are emailed to current members initially and workshops can fill quickly, so be sure to be current on your membership so that you don’t miss out!

Also check our page of local Calligraphy Classes offered by Escribiente members.

If you have questions about our workshops, please contact Janice Gabel,


Pointed Pen Possibilities* FULL

Workshop with Lee Ann Clark

Two days: Sat & Sun, November 2 & 3, 2019

Location: Four Hills Community Center (see email for directions after registering)

Cost: $150 (includes handouts)

Registration: FULL with waiting list. Registered students have been emailed the Supply List.

calligraphy sample

Modern pointed pen is everywhere – from elegant and sophisticated, to fun and whimsical, to downright funky – there is a modern move for any occasion. Fundamentals and confidence in using this versatile tool are key to making your writing jump off the page. This course is designed to explore some variations and twists to add that updated flair.

Using a formal hand as a starting point, we will work to methodically break down and reconfigure letterforms and their relationships to each other to develop a more modern, personalized style that still retains some of the classic elements that make pointed pen calligraphy so unique. Examining joins, letter endings and flourishes will help to refine your own hand and take your work to some new and surprising places. A study of the capital letters and how to intermix them in unexpected manners will add even more interest.

Throughout the process, layout and design will be discussed (and practiced) as we work toward a completed composition. Some knowledge of pointed pen is recommended.

About Your Instructor

Lee Ann Clark began her love of letters and calligraphy while living in the Pacific Northwest. A BFA in graphic design and workshops/classes with a plethora of talented calligraphers led her to make calligraphy the main focus of her work – primarily in the social stationery realm. Since relocating to the East Coast in 2003, she continues to work as a commercial artist in a variety of styles, mostly for print production, but also producing original artwork. Concentrating primarily on pointed pen, Lee Ann also teaches workshops and has just completed a series of ongoing classes for Smithsonian Associates. Her clients have included Alpine Creative Group in New York City, the National Gallery and Kennedy Center Honors. Recently, the largest change in her calligraphic career has been accepting the position of Chief Calligrapher at the White House. In her other life, Lee Ann and her husband run a pastured poultry farm outside of Baltimore.

Mark your Calendar!
Spring 2020 workshop:

Mike Gold will be our instructor for the weekend of April 25 & 26, 2020. Topic TBA, but you can bet it will be some kinda “pointy tool”...



Roman Caps: Pattern and Texture

Workshop with Annie Cicale

April 5, 6, and 7, 2019

Download PDF Flyer for more images, Registration form, and supply list.

The budding scribe is tempted by the expressive qualities of letters made by hand as they start out on their life-long path of studying fine writing. Many students are terrified of Roman letters because somewhere along the way they have heard they are “difficult.”

We will diffuse that fear by beginning with an analysis of traditional proportion systems and then experiment with some modern variations. Adjusting spacing, speed, and proportion can give an infinite variety of forms. Spacing Romans well is critical, and we will explore ways to make it become second nature. Annie will guide you as you explore approaches to these forms through both controlled and spontaneous exercises.

After working with these basic Roman letter shapes, we’ll work with ways of expanding your vocabulary of scripts through both analytical and intuitive exercises. By using a variety of tools, you’ll find variations and individuality.  We will touch on flat brush Romans, such as those found in early Roman architecture.

Each of you may choose a different path of study, and we all might end up in different places! We’ll document our initial studies in journal form and progress to the grandest pages we can muster.

About Your Instructor

Annie Cicale teaches calligraphy, drawing and painting throughout the United States and Canada. Fascinated by writing as a child, her first Osmiroid fountain pen led her to the world of calligraphy. She has experimented with the word as image in her paintings, bringing a visual expression to the words to expand their meaning. She incorporates both abstract and illustrative imagery in her paintings and books. She has been on the faculty of most of the international calligraphy conferences, and her work has been published in many of the calligraphic anthologies. Her artist’s books are in private and public collections, including Yale University. She is the author of The Art and Craft of Hand Lettering, published by Bloomin Books. Visit her website.


David Jones Capitals

Workshop with Joke Boudens

November 3–4, 2018

View Flickr Photo Album from this workshop

The letterworks of David Jones (1895–1974) are unique. He was inspired by naïve historic examples of lettering as the ones you still can see in the Roman catacombs. That’s why his work is not at all perfect but sensitive and charming. We will be inspired by Jones’ work by studying his special letterforms and the distinct layouts he uses. We worked on our own versions of letters, developing our own lettering style and thus trying to give the whole a personal touch.
Letterforms were first be drawn with pencil, then filled in with paint. We were given a lot of tips from scratch to final. Every student created a quote or short text. See Flickr album for photos.

About Your Instructor

Joke Boudens is a Flemish lettering artist, living and working in the medieval city of Bruges, Belgium. Lettering and illustration are her passion and she is well known for her small manuscript concertina books. Joke says: “I’m constantly looking for poetry and beauty by arranging and combining text elements and small drawings. In my fine lettering – drawn, painted or written – I apply a variety of techniques, including gilding. Colour is a very important part of my work, although ever more I like the black and white in illustration, hand lettering and logotype. Apart from languages and poetry, I get my inspiration from nature, gardening, music, history, and my own happy family.” Visit Joke’s website at

The Foundational Hand

Workshop with Randall M. Hasson

April 21–22, 2018

View Facebook Photo Album from this workshop.

For beginning or intermediate students, this workshop will work with the analysis, structure and mechanics of a calligraphic hand called Foundational. We will begin with familiarizing ourselves with the characteristics of the letterform and use tools that facilitate ease of writing. We will also delve into the history and evolution of the chosen letterform, creating historical context for the style of writing and familiarizing ourselves with its characteristics such as entry and exit strokes, proportion, branching and size & weight. We will look at examples of how contemporary calligraphers work with the basic hand.

For beginning students, day two will continue work with these forms while intermediate and advanced participants will have the option of working on variations of the foundational, using techniques and tools to modernize the hand to suit their own style and personality. We’ll address beginnings, endings and alternate forms to give your Foundational Hand a personality of its own.

About Your Instructor

Randall M. Hasson is an artist, calligrapher, instructor and speaker who has appeared on the faculty of Arts, Lettering Arts, and Educational Conferences in the United States, Canada and England. He has authored articles on a variety of lettering art-related subjects and recently co-edited the 24th (Centennial) Edition of The Speedball Textbook. Randall has spoken for the C.S. Lewis Foundation in Oxford England, and has appeared on the faculty of fifteen International Calligraphy conferences as a mainstage presenter and/or teacher with lecture topics covering Public Art, Art History, the Painting Process, Collaborative Art Projects, and the History of Writing.


Paste Papers that Sing

with Elizabeth McKee

October 21–22, 2017

View Flickr Photo Album from this workshop

Paste paper had its origins about 450 years ago when book binders added paint to their paste and used it to make patterned paper, thus creating an inexpensive decorative paper for end papers. Many of us first encountered paste paper in primary school where it is known as finger paint. More recently calligraphers realized that paste makes an excellent surface on which to letter.


Blackletter & Fraktur

with Yukimi Annand

April 22–23, 2017

Yukimi taught her gorgeous Blackletter hand at our April 2017 workshop!

Visit Yukimi's website's Blackletter page for more images.

Blackletter evolved during the Gothic Period of the Middle Ages. The beautiful texture which was made with tightly spaced vertical strokes was characteristic. There are many styles of Blackletter including Gothic cursive.

In this workshop we started from historical background of Blackletter. On the first day, we studied the basic structure of Gothic Textura including consistency of form and spacing. On day 2, we analyzed samples of Fraktur to find the relation and difference between the forms of Texura and Fraktur. We practiced with Yukimi’s Fraktur exemplar that is a combination of Friedrich Neugebauer’s and Claude Mediavilla’s. Aiming to write beautiful strokes of Fraktur, Yukimi explained in detail the changes in pen angle, pen manipulation and more. Those instructions were given with chisel nibs, wide marker and/or flat brush.

Contemporary Decorated Letter

Workshop with Nancy Culmone

September 24–25, 2016

View Flickr Photo Album from this workshop

Our class is about exploration and the only requirement is an adventurous spirit. Beginning with a series of structured yet experimental exercises, you will create unique, contemporary alphabetic forms grounded in the venerable tradition of decorated letters. Your letters will run the gamut from elegant to edgy, whimsical to bold to fragile.

Our work sequence begins with black and white, then moves into color, and includes paper cutting, painting and color-mixing techniques. We will explore the mark-making potential of traditional and a-typical tools, all while developing your unique vision, color sense, and visual skill. Expect examples and demonstrations to guide and inspire you.

Whether simple or elaborate, a decorated letter can act as an illustration for your text, set the stage, prepare the reader, inform us of your views and feelings or stand alone as a letter portrait.

How much can one letter convey? Discover which styles of decorated letters delight your eye.

Finally, you will create a portfolio to house your letter images, and leave with a variety of methods for inventing new forms long after the course is over.


The Victorian Pen

Workshop with Heather Victoria Held

April 23 & 24, 2016

View Flickr Photo Album from this workshop

Heather led students through simple drawing exercises which were then transformed into innovative decorative designs. The pointed pen was combined with coloured pencil, watercolour and gilding in this workshop. We focused on traits and colours that were popular in Victorian decorative designs. Starting with simple corner flourishes we gradually expanded into more intricate and detailed designs.

Visit Heather’s website for more images and her biography.


Lettering in 3D!

Workshop with Julie Gray

January 23 & 24, 2016

Flickr album

View Flickr Photo Album from this workshop

In this fabulous workshop, Julie Gray helped us move our calligraphy into a new dimension! Paper sculpture combines nicely with calligraphy to extend our artistic endeavors to a whole new level. More details and images...


A Sharp Pencil and a Keen Eye

Graphite Techniques for Calligraphers

Workshop with Amity Parks

September 26 & 27, 2015
View Photos from this workshop on our Flickr page.

In this class, the humble pencil and its relatives became powerful tools for creating many effects from subtle to stunning. We used pencils, erasers, graphite sticks/blocks, powdered graphite and their water-soluble cousins to explore the possibilities of this medium.

Starting with basic drawing principles like line quality and shading, we experimented with each tool to discover the marks it could produce. We then moved on to drawing letters and designing word groups, both formal and casual. Amity also shared many tips and tricks she's learned to save time and ensure success when working with this versatile medium.

See more of Amity's art on her website.


Mastering Italic with Carrie Imai

April 25 & 26, 2015

View Photos from this workshop on our Flickr page.

calligraphy by Carrie Imai

Italics is a beautiful, flowing and consistent style of calligraphic lettering. It is a good alphabet to begin your calligraphic education or early in your training. You will find yourself using this alphabet most often.

Carrie's workshop included an in-depth study of the Formal Italic alphabet through demonstrations and hands-on attention. We studied each of the components of the alphabet (what makes it look the way it does) and used this information to determine how your personal italic can be improved. Carrie explained pen angle, structure, branching and shape. We also enjoyed making popup cards, received a great introduction to pen manipulation, and created a handmade book to hold month inserts.

Dancin' Pen coverWe also learned how to fix new, old and yucky pens so they become "good" pens.

Carrie Imai’s teaching career began at Brandes Art Institute in 1983. She has taught ongoing classes and workshops locally for the Los Angeles Society for Calligraphy, Hughes Aircraft, RAND Corporation, VIVA Gallery, and nationally at Calligraphy conferences and for guilds across the country. Carrie is Past-President of the Society for Calligraphy of Los Angeles, and author of the Dancin’ Pen book/DVD.


Introduction to the Pointed Pen

October 25, 2014

Escribiente presents Introduction to the Pointed Pen with Bill Kemp.  This one-day class was designed especially for beginners to the world of pointed pens.  The class introduced the students to the oblique pen holder, with a pointed nib.  The morning session will be spent understanding how to use the oblique pen holder to make thick and thin lines, leading up to making a compound curve and flourishes.  The afternoon was devoted to learning a simple alphabet: Weaver Writing Style (designed by the late Gwen Weaver). 

Pointed Pen Uncial

October 26, 2014

This script was developed by Mike Kesceg of Chicago, Illinois and Pen Graph Studios, Inc.  Mr. Kesceg has owned Pen Graph Studios, Inc. since 1984.  He has taught throughout the United States and has been a facility member on many international conferences.  Mr. Kesceg is also a Master Penman through the International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting (IAMPETH).


Good Hues

A workshop in color and design with Louise Grunewald

April 26 & 27, 2014

View Photos from this workshop on our Flickr page.

Course Description from Louise Grunewald:

Louise Grunewald“Most artists I talk with express a joy in, or a longing for, authenticity and freedom in their work. This is easier to come by when one has certain basic skills and concepts “in hand", allowing the freedom to come from a firm foundation and taking some of the unnecessary struggle out of the creation of art.

“Most artists like color and like to use it in their work. Color, or the absence of it, can add depth and emotion to a piece. But it can also be a trickster, even when you think you know the color wheel. Why do some reds and blues look brown when mixed, instead of purple? Why do some neutrals just look like mud? Why do other neutrals make pure colors sing? I have been using a color formula for the past 20 years that has taken a lot of the guesswork out of these kinds of questions and has allowed me to simply have more fun with color in my work. It is this formula, developed by watermedia painter Stephen Quiller, that I will share with you in this weekend workshop, along with design fundamentals so you will learn how to apply color principles to finished pieces.”


Lettering as Texture

Workshop with Amy Jones

January & February, 2014

View Photos from this workshop on our Flickr page.

In this workshop we utilized a variety of exercise for exploring lettering as texture. The principles and elements of design are integral to our playful exploration, where we created textured layers on which to letter legible words, or where we created abstract works of art in which lettering is perhaps unreadable. Multiple pieces were started and developed as techniques were introduced.


Decorated Versals

Workshop with Peter Thornton

October 26–27, 2013

Decorated Versals began with a review of several colour and tonal exercises in both ‘harmony’ and ‘contrasts’, with a focus on greater tonal subtlety using natural objects.  Exercises explored the rich reservoir of the many subtleties found in ‘neutrals’ and ‘greys’, both ‘warm’, ‘cool’ and ‘inert’ for a sustained sense of beauty and satisfaction.

During the 2nd day of this workshop, Peter worked on the spontaneously drawn letters that carried these new and more subtle colours as well as those of our own choices and preferences.

(Original workshop by Adolf Bernd)

Janet Takahashi

Artful Journal Workshop

November 3–4, 2012

Janet TakahashiOur November 2012 workshop focused on sketching and creating an artful journal with freelance artist Janet Takahashi as our guide. Janet is a freelance artist with a “love of letters”, specializing in calligraphy, illustration, bookbinding, sign painting and gilding. She is an avid journal keeper, filling several books at the same time. Her book, Artful Journals is in its 2nd printing with Sterling Publishing 2007. Visit Janet’s website.


Carl Rohrs + Caryl McHarneyCarl Rohrs – Pointed Brush Intense

May 5–6, 2012

Escribiente members were treated to a fabulous workshop with master calligrapher Carl Rohrs in May 2012. Using a Pentel Color Brush, Carl expertly demonstrated the pointed brush alphabet and shared many tricks of the trade. Each student was presented with an 100-page bound book of examples of both brush and ruling pen calligraphy that will inspire for years to come.