Eden & Ev Calligraphy

Eden & Ev Blog

Pointed Pen Calligraphy Class

On August 27th, I had the pleasure of teaching my first calligraphy class at Swoozies Greenville. I got to share stories of the many lessons I have learned along the way. My hope is to be an encouragement to anyone that wants to letter or learn calligraphy. It can be so scary at first and frustrating. With all of the materials, tools, and calligraphy lingo my hope is to make it as easy and fun as possible to understand. In the class I covered the basic strokes of calligraphy and the basics of pointed pen calligraphy. It was such a fun night!

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Katie Nading
My next phase

When I started my business officially in May of 2018 I knew that if I had the opportunity to help or guide anyone interested in calligraphy I would jump in. In May of 2019 I was asked to lead a Skillpop calligraphy class. The only class I have ever taken was a Skillpop class back in 2017 when I was just beginning to learn hand lettering. The atmosphere was so calming and easy. The classes are perfect for beginners and comfortable. More than anything I’m excited to help others avoid the mistakes I made. I want my business to be one that is always open to encouraging others. So excited to give more details on my class soon.

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My Favorite Supplies

In this last year I’ve been asked what supplies do you recommend to get started when you are interested in learning calligraphy. So, I decided to write post on my favorite supplies that have worked well for me.

When I was first learning to letter I used the Tombow flexible tip black pens which I highly recommend.

Envelope Addressing

This year I have lettered about 1,200 envelopes and I have tried a lot of tools and products. The following list are my favorite tools that have helped me the most.

For envelope addressing I use the following:

~ Envelopes by crane and company and cards and pockets

~ Laser level for lettering in a straight line (I use the Johnson laser level)

~ Ink (Sumi black ink, and Bleed proof white ink)

~ Nibs- my favorites are the Nikko G and Blue Pumpkin nib

~ For Copper plate calligraphy I use a light box

~ Gum arabic for mixing custom inks

~Pearl x pigment if you are mixing gold/ rose gold inks

Wood signs

~ Home depot Wood Stain in Dark brown

~ Molotow paint pen, Posca paint pen for lettering

Custom projects

For custom projects I use the I Pad Procreate program. On the program I have been able to do projects such as designing notecards, note pads, and invitation suites.

If you have any specific questions about supplies or products I use feel free to email me.

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Katie Nading
Envelopes, Envelopes, Envelopes

When I started lettering by far the hardest thing to master was envelopes. I started lettering envelopes with a tombow black pen. My first two envelope jobs were only in tombow pen because I didn’t know how to do pointed pen calligraphy. I taught myself pointed pen (this process took about 3-5 months). Pointed pen looks nicer for hand lettered envelopes. I tried various methods when teaching myself how to letter envelopes. The first was the I can write in a straight line, I know I can method. Writing in a straight line without a tool proved to be near impossible for me. If you are off by even an eighth of an inch you can tell. I then tried holding a ruler. Ultimately, I purchased a rubber mat with straight lines and a laser level. Through a lot of trial and error (more error than trial) I learned that it looked best if each line was exactly .75 inches apart. Ive been fortunate this last year to hand letter envelopes in a variety of ink colors and styles. Hand lettered envelopes definitely give that special and unique touch to your event.

Timeline

The most frequent questions I get about envelopes are the following: 1. How long does it take you to letter 100 envelopes? 2. How far in advance do I need to book you? To letter 100 envelopes it usually takes me a week to a week and a half. It is a good rule of thumb to book your calligrapher two-three months in advance to make time for your project.

Expectations

What do you get in turn when you turn over your envelopes to a calligrapher? A calligrapher does not just personally hand letter your wedding invitation envelopes. Once I get my guest list from my client, I personally go over the guest look and look for any questions I might have. Sometimes when typing in a guest’s name your computer might not catch some of those trickier last names. After I underline any possible questions I clarify those with my client and then begin my process of hand lettering the envelopes. My next step is to trace around the envelope on a spare piece of paper, cut the paper and write an example envelope on the sheet of paper. When I am happy with the layout which usually takes 5-10 minutes I begin pointed pen calligraphy on the envelopes. I pick the nib that I want to work with (my favorite is the Blue Pumpkin nib). I place the first envelope on my straight edge mat and use a laser level to create the straight line that I will letter on. I usually space my lines about .75 inches apart. I dip it in the ink, wait for the excess ink to fall off and begin. I usually can write a full line before I have to dip then nib in the ink again. It can take anywhere from 4-10 minutes to letter just one envelope! Once finished with the envelope I place it on my drying rack and let it dry overnight. I usually aim to letter about 10-20 envelopes a day when given a project. Once done with all the envelopes, I go through the guest list and check the envelopes for any mistakes on my part (hey, I’m human). Then I go through the list again- this process could take anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on the amount. Lastly, I package the envelopes usually in ABC order to make it easier on the client. You are truly at an advantage when you hire a calligrapher. You are getting that extra special touch to your wedding and event. Pointed pen calligraphy is very precise but it leaves your client and the wedding guests with an excellent first impression of your event.

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Katie Nading
IPAD lettering

“Lets start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.. When you read you begin with ABC, when you sing you begin with do re mi”. As Julie Andrews sings in the Sound of Music so is lettering. Once you learn the ins and outs of creating pretty words you can create just about anything. In my experience the most challenging part of lettering is learning your own lettering style. It evolves over time. It took me about a year after beginning to learn my style. The style above (modern lettering) is the style in which I use the most. By far the best purchase I’ve made since beginning Eden and Ev Calligraphy is my iPad. On my iPad I create most of my digital lettering work. You are able to manipulate your background color, your font color, the lean of your letters, your sizing and so much more. I’ve loved creating pieces like the one above which can then in turn be turned into coffee cups, canvases, prints, etc. There are so many talented artists on Instagram that do tutorials to create different pieces of art. It took my a while to learn to put a certain amount of pressure on my IPAD pencil. It is different than hand lettering and a lot more forgiving because you can go back and erase and start over. Once you learn the ins and outs of lettering you can create just about anything. If you are interested in learning more about lettering on the iPad I would love to help.

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Katie Nading
How did you start?

I often get asked the following questions: How did you get started in lettering? Could you always write like this? How did you learn to letter. I started lettering when I was pregnant with my second child. I had just moved to a new town- the lovely Greenville, South Carolina. I made the decision to hang up my school teacher hat. I was a special education teacher in Birmingham, Alabama for seven years. I decided I needed to do something a lot less stressful (haha). So….. one day I just started writing words in a spiral notebook. I never knew that people actually turned their lettering into businesses. I caught myself doodling a lot over those first few months after I first started and just kept practicing. Soon, I started looking at Pinterest and Instagram at other lettering artists and studied the ways in which they turned their letters. I would take an element of how they wrote a certain letter and made it my own. From 2015-2017, I spent considerable time learning the ins and outs of lettering before being asked to do my first job. I’m glad I had those two years to work on my lettering. I feel the best teacher is yourself. I have never taken any classes. Trial and error really is the best motivator. I have had so many trials and errors along my journey. If you are interested in learning lettering I have a long list of lessons learned from the day I started to now- four years later.

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Katie Nading