Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Desert Island Hand

I am home. It is safe to unpack and put all of my treasured supplies away in their proper spots. All of my workshop engagements are wrapped up until the New Year. Time to breathe. There is a huge workload here at home but it will be easier to see to it without a suitcase waiting by the door.
I just completed a week of classes in British Columbia.
Starting with The Victorian Pen, then The Artful Flourish and finishing with The Poetic Pen....my workshop in Italian Hand! Italian Hand remains my favorite script hand!
Historically, it has been around longer than any other script hand. It is firmly rooted in the Italic
and has a grace and beauty that completely captivates my soul.
I prefer to study the European influences and exemplars of the hand rather than the later American versions. My hand is now hybridized. It has some nuances about that borrow from my Spencerian roots and I definitely gravitate to the English Roundhand capitals over the reverse shaded capitals!
After three years of study and exploration, this is the script that I would take with me to a desert island. There is a sense of delight to it. A playful exuberance that is reflected in the bounce of the strokes. A lack of rigidity and preciseness that gives it a whimsical look.
Although Ambrose Heal may call it 'bulbous and degenerate" I choose to disagree and call it pure magic! All of my study sheets and exemplars stayed with the guild members in Britsh Columbia, but I did get a few shots as they were being written.
If you have never tried this hand, I recommend the starting place of The Universal Penman and Penmanship made Easy by George Bickahm. Both are available from Dover Publications. Also try the exemplar here by Becker.
You can see how he contrasts it with English Roundhand. I owe my study and passion of this hand to my friend Don Marsh.
 Don's passion for reviving the history of this hand sparked my interest a few years ago. Now I can hardly imagine my life without with this incredible hand. Let it into your soul...see what evolves. Remember this is handwriting...it will take on the quirks of the writer. Let that happen. In the end, you want a script that is positively dripping from your fingertips. Play, Breathe, Write.


Limner said...

I've put off buying either of the books you recommend until today. I'm glad I didn't cancel my Amazon Prime last week! Your images are almost too faint, but I appreciate your effort. You have a beautiful hand.

Heather Victoria Held said...

Thank you!!! I hope you enjoy your Italian Hand studies!

Moya Carroll said...

Dear Heather, I just wanted to thank you - so much!!! - for putting these images online. I don't think there is anyone here in Australia teaching Italic Hand, and certainly not with the love and dedication you show so freely. I have been trying to make a little study of it quietly by myself, and you are such a guiding light to me. I hope one day I can take a class with you in the US! In the meantime, I am still using the beautiful rainbow holder yo made, and i am falling more and more in love with Italic Hand every day.


Heather Victoria Held said...

Thank you Moya for these kind words. I am so glad you enjoyed the post and are using the rainbow holder. Happy to help you on your Italian Hand journey in any way that I can.

Big hug

Moya Carroll said...

Thank you! If I write to you at the same address from which you posted my penholder last year, will that reach you? (And I'm sorry for "Italic Hand" above - of course I know better, but I think my fingers don't...)

Heather Victoria Held said...

Hi Moya...yes that is the correct mailing address!!! It would be great to hear from you!