Monday, January 9, 2012
The Ames Compendium
When I first began my offhand flourishing journey in 2003, I acquired two books to study. The first was Ornate Pictorial Calligraphy which is available as a Dover publication and the second book was The Ames Compendium.
I have had to replace my copy of the Ames Compendium twice. It's binding is prone to just disintegrate. John Neal Booksellers now sells it in a binder which is much more durable. This inexpensive book is one of my most cherished resources. Daniel T. Ames was just a bit different than his colleagues. His lowercase Spencerian Script is spaced rather tightly while his capital letters are quite delicate and simple. His Italian Offhand Capitals by contrast are incredibly ornate. His offhand flourishes contain gorgeous pen drawn florals, little cherubs and rich shadow work. His engrossed pieces at times border on the ridiculous. It is not unusual to see more than ten different lettering styles on one piece. He certainly isn't subtle but he is passionate in his work and I glean so much inspiration from him. As I continue to travel and teach The Artful Flourish and Enchanted Letter workshops, Daniel T. Ames plays an ever increasing role as I study his work. I hope to dive into more of his Spencerian Script as well as his engrossing techniques this year.