Explore Greek Manuscripts Online

Dear Members and Followers,

The British Library has now digitised and published online more than 900 Greek manuscripts. You can read more about their efforts here http://blogs.bl.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/2016/12/explore-our-greek-manuscripts-online.html

Depiction of the call of David to be a King by Samuel, in the Theodore Psalter, Constantinople, 1066: Add MS 19352, f. 27v

Protect Your Library the Medieval Way, With Horrifying Book Curses

Dear Members and Followers,

Medieval scribes protected their work by threatening death, or worse. 

Read all about their curses here (but please don't take their books!).

 A 15th century portrait of a scribe. Jean Le Tavernier/Public domain

Calliarts - Word of the Month - Final Edition

Dear Members and Followers,

“Word of the Month” Book
On Saturday 12 Nov 2016 our Calliart was the assembly of our “Word of the Month” pieces into a booklet under the guidance of our tutor Penny Laver.  It was an afternoon of fun with wielding of hammers and awls and needle and thread in our foray once more into the art of basic bookbinding.  We even drew the interest of cricketers in the adjacent field who came to see what all the tapping was about. 
The finished products were diverse and interesting with some very imaginative covers and it was a satisfying completion to our yearlong project.  Penny as always was very patient with our efforts at mastering the crisscrossing of threads in the binding and we all completed our task with a nicely bound little book.  


Calligraphy Southscribes, Inc. is kindly supported by Sutherland Shire Council 

Batarde Workshop Report

Dear Members and Followers,

29th October 2016  10 am – 4 pm       Tutor; Val Keeevers
Held at Sylvania Community Centre, Canberra Road, Sylvania

We had a moderately small group attending for this rather complex and demanding subject. It ranged from older members to a completely new member and plenty of variety in-between. 
Val was busy with each and every level of competence receiving clear and helpful information to keep us busy with the intricacies of the lettering, which cover alphabets from 12th C to 16th C.
As Batarde is a hand used in England, France, and Germany there are many variations and this allows considerable freedom of form and style.
Val had lots of lovely examples of books, including a “Book of Hours” facsimile, plus a dozen handout exemplars.  Like Val, most of the others and I enjoy having plenty of references to look at and use “at our leisure”.
We worked hard to try writing the many examples of variants, with their many complexities.  At the same time we had interesting and pleasant conversations about the numerous hands and their applications.
Mary, our new participant did amazingly well with Val's intense instruction, and seemed to enjoy calligraphy as much as we all do.  It really was a case of “so much to do, so little time.
Thanks to Val for her knowledge, enthusiasm, and effort.

Calligraphy Southscribes, Inc. is kindly supported by Sutherland Shire Council 

November Calliarts

Dear Members and Followers,

November is our last Calliarts for 2016 and we are finally putting our word a month project together as a Japanese Stab Binding book.

Even if you aren't participating in the word a month project is a great book binding method to learn.

This is a traditional binding which dates to the early 1600’s and can have a variety of uses such as a photo album, diary or notebook. 
The photo below is a very basic version but there are lots of things you can do to decorate the cover such as using coloured thread, adding beads, gluing on decorative paper. It only stops with your imagination. 


We will first do a “mock up” so you can get used to the stitching pattern and then a second book with better paper if you wish. The book will be a landscape format

·         20 x A5 sheets, A4 photocopy paper is ideal for your mock up, cut in half as the grain direction is then correct. I have said 20 pages but you can make it as thick or thin as you like, if you go thicker just bear in mind your awl has to go through the whole thickness and the covers.

·         For your second book you can use any paper you like but make sure your grain direction is correct for a landscape binding

·         For each book – 2 x A5 light card – 140 – 160 gsm is good, Canson Mei- teintes works well. Whatever colour you would like. Again be mindful of your grain direction.


·         Sewing thread – this can be embroidery thread or similar to contrast with your covers. You can use a thicker thread if you wish but be sure that the eye of your needle is big enough for it to go through.

·         A needle.

·         A punch or heavy duty awl – you will need something strong enough to go through the text block and both covers together. If you don’t have anything suitable I will bring some punches.

·         A small hammer – if you have one – again I will bring one if you don’t have one.

·         Scissors

·         Cutting mat – if you have an old one bring that as when you punch the holes a mark may be left on the cutting mat. Alternately if you have a few small pieces of very thick cardboard bring that to protect the cutting mat or even an old plastic kitchen cutting board.

·         Ruler

25th Anniversary Lunch

Dear Members and Followers,

Calligraphy Southscribes, Inc. turned 25 in March this year but we had to delay our celebration to this month because of our full calendar.

To celebrate the event we had a lunch with past and present members, distributed a calligraphic place-mat created from past members' work and the produced a lovely banner to celebrate the event.

Another exciting event was to welcome a new life member to our ranks. Gloria Scott was officially made a life member on the day. Congratulations Gloria.


Dear Members and Followers,

Our last Lettering Course for 2016 is Batarde.

The Batarde script is a generic term for a cursive writing of mixed Gothic parentage, used as a parallel script for less prestigious works, which developed into a variety of scripts in their own right. Speed was important but had to be impressive so developed many loops and linking letters. They covered the Gothic era from 12th to 16th Century. We will work with Batarde, Bastard Secretary and Schwabacher as these cover the French, English and German versions and which are similar but different, giving you some exciting and quite modern styles for your portfolio of scripts.

Requirements.  General Calligraphic gear of chisel pens, A3 pad, ruler etc.

Dates for this course are 29 October and 26 November 2016   This is now just a one day workshop!

Working with Vellum

Dear Members and Followers,

Our next workshop is Working with Vellum.

The workshop on Vellum will encourage more people to use the traditional
skills of working correctly with skin. We will discuss how to treat skin for
calligraphy and paintwork in the time honoured way concentrating on
completing a letterform in gold and using diapering as a background to
enhance the letter.
The usual calligraphic gear if you want to add some words, a fine brush for
paintwork, gouache or watercolour paints, a Micron or fine liner, ruler,
water jar, couple of small containers with lids, small palette, transfer
Small vellum pieces will be supplied at $15 or bring your own.  Gold, size
and other items needed will be supplied if needed at a small charge.

Out and About

Dear Members and Followers,

Every now and again I receive some news that is not strictly calligraphy related but may prove interesting. Here are two of those items. Enjoy

ART DECO WORKSHOP – August 2016. Tutor: Glenis Sheather

Dear Members and Followers,

A small group of enthusiasts spent the day experimenting with ART DECO style capitals and patterns.  Glenis, as usual, gave a very inspired demonstration of techniques to master this striking letter form, encouraging us to try different applications and materials.    Many rewarding and colourful results were produced with this versatile script.  Thank you Glenis for an enjoyable and challenging day.
Report:  Meril