Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Script in my Soul

I have been studying and practicing Italian Hand for the past three years. Never has a script been so mysterious and elusive. It is slow to reveal its secrets. Ambrose Heal in his book English Writing Masters and Their Copy Books, admits that the path to studying this hand remains largely untrodden. Yet through dedicated study and many conversations with Don Marsh, who I consider to be the greatest historian of Italian Hand, I have finally started to unveil the mysteries of this hand. What a ride this has been. In July, I taught my Poetic Pen class to 100 students in Franklin, Tennessee. This page was demonstrated during the class.
The response to the hand has been overwhelming! These capitals are from the hand of John Ayres and were penned in 1698. This page has influenced me more than any other in my study of the hand.
I have received numerous emails and now letters are coming through the mail addressed in Italian Hand. This beauty was sent to me by Kathleen Rollick.
I love her gorgeous lettering. My greatest joy is seeing this hand come to life through modern scribes. This script has captivated me body and soul. It looks strange with its odd placement of shades but as a mercantile script, this hand had the capabilities of building up speed while retaining its elegance. In my opinion, the "blob" shades are far easier to apply than the heavier pressured English Roundhand and the spacing is easier to achieve than Spencerian. It is pure magic to me and delight to practice. I will be bringing this historic hand to British Columbia in the fall and then to Binders in Atlanta in 2016. I look foward to more exploration into this script. It teaches me every time I pick up the pen. So glad to see the interest in it and watching it come back to life. If anyone wants further information about how to study this hand, I would recommend The Young Clerk's Assistant, by George Bickham. It is available as a Dover reprint.

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