Last week the Westcoast Calligraphy Society met to learn Copperplate from the talented Renee Alexander. Copperplate is written with a pointed, dip pen and is often heavily flourished. You see it frequently on wedding invitations, and Copperplate has always reminded me of the MacLean method of handwriting we used in school. I like the look of it, but with all the flourishing, it is a bit too formal for my personal taste.
Renee taught us the proper set-up to write the hand, and we worked with guidelines we placed under our paper to keep the writing at the correct angle. She only had time to take us through the lower case letters, and we didn't do any of the flourishing. I was intrigued enough, however, to try a bit of practice at home.
The day after our lesson, I did a couple of practice pages using walnut ink. The result was fine, although a bit boring without all of the flourishing. I was ready to venture out, and wanted to do something on different kinds of paper. I couldn't see the guidelines through the paper, and I was too impatient to draw them on the page. I also wanted the letters to dance on the page rather than to be restricted to straight lines.
My somewhat "drunken" version of Copperplate was the result: