Catapulted into Calligraphy!

Ever been in a situation where everywhere you look, you see a word, a phrase, a piece of music which echoes something you should be doing?  A little voice in your ear urging you to do something?  If you don’t do it immediately, you hear that little voice repeat it?  Before I set off my holiday adventure, I jotted down in my journal the tasks for this week as described in the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  One of these tasks was to calligraph a quote which becomes your mantra for the week.  A few weeks earlier, I’d noted down some things that I wanted to learn or try out – one of these things was to be able to calligraph.  

Last night, I did some searching to find out what is on in the area we’re staying – Shropshire, Darwin’s birthplace.  I discovered that during our stay, The Shropshire Scribes were holding a calligraphy exhibition in Shrewsbury at St Mary’s Church, so apart from paying a visit to Shrewsbury Museum to try our hand at Roman catapults to knock down a wall, build an aqueduct and an archway plus test out various other ancient technology, we planned to view the calligraphy exhibition.

The catapult was pretty cool, but you couldn’t try the giant one out(only a smaller version allowed for children!)


Today has been unusually warm and the museum was stifling.  However, we came across some quills and had the chance to write like the monks – using guess what?  Calligraphy!


The heat had thickened the ink to gloop, so this art of dipping a quill in the ink produced globules of inkiness that would have left a monk covering his eyes.

We headed over to the exhibition in the church in later in the day and realised what a beautiful church this was.  The stained glass looked glorious and rather incredible, making the church a stunning place to sit and be creative.  I sat, tranquil and enjoying the quietness as my daughter coloured in lettering plates and I viewed a large collection of nibs.  There were also nibs to buy for 10p each – what a bargain – and one of the names of the pen nibs was my son’s first and middle name, but reversed!


Interestingly, the book I brought away with me is called One Drawing a Day, which I started yesterday with a prompt to draw using a continuous line.  I opened the book this morning to find the prompt was all about calligraphy.  Honestly, I didn’t plan this!  There is the suggestion to draw and change the thickness of the line with a calligraphy pen and draw directly onto the page in ink (avoiding the temptation to sketch outlines in pencil first).  The idea is also not to make the picture as realistic as possible, but to consider the abstract nature of the lines from drawing a study of a flower such as a rose and butterfly.  I’ve thought about this prompt all day while we’ve been out, and although I managed to sketch a seahorse in the museum, there wasn’t time to just sit and draw hanging flowers.


I’ll share with you the ‘abstract’ drawing tomorrow as I have heard it’s going to be slightly cooler outside and we’re going out for a picnic near some ruins.









7 thoughts on “Catapulted into Calligraphy!

    1. 🙂 My uncle was a sign writer by profession and I always admired his ability to write out inscriptions, certificates and invitations. I hope I enjoy the learning too!

    1. A while back I watched the illuminated manuscripts; they are so beautiful! Yes, those first letters are so intricately detailed! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  1. There looks like there was a lot to do in what I presume was a small church? incredible really that there was so much to do. The calligraphy looks like a lot of fun, I love the art of calligraphy and be fun to try it with a proper quill 🙂

    1. The church was surprisingly big – one of those that opens out into a sort of cross shape. The stained glass windows were stunning. The advert stating you could have a go at calligraphy, but this wasn’t available when we got there – just colouring, but it was still a nice way to chill out with my youngest!

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