Monday, January 23, 2017


Today is National Handwriting Day.
Each year I see it get a little more recognition as more and more practitioners of the calligraphic arts make their way to social media. I am so happy to see it there! Happy to see people pick up the pen and write. Delighted to see people become so enthralled with handwriting, journalling, calligraphy and the arts. It is wonderful to see all of the creativity. When I teach handwriting skills, I always work with the unique style of each student. My mantra is that your handwriting is as unique as your fingerprint or your voice. I don't believe in forcing it to conform to any existing system of penmanship. I have seen incredible penmanship in upright italic forms that I wouldn't dare change to a cursive form. I work on honing the handwriting so that it is consistent, legible and done with a reasonably light touch. I have students who are conviced that a fountain pen is their key to success in writing but they are often using a pen that is just too cumbersome for their hand. A simple switch to a lighter weight pen and often a finer nib, will often put their handwriting on the path to being much more legible. The first step toward good handwriting is finding the pen that you like to use, does not fatigue your hand and has a tip that is fine enough to suit your handwriting style. Most students are thrilled to hunt for just the write pen and I am no different! Today I used my Pilot Custom 912 Falcon Fountain Pen with Caran D'Ache Blue Night Ink. When it was time to address the envelopes, I switched over to my dip pen and used Ziller Wild Rose Pink. I am not a huge fan of acrylic inks, but love this new colour from Ziller.
I can't remember a time when I didn't enjoy writing. Even when I was working so hard to achieve a light touch or conform to the Palmer system that was presented, I enjoyed the task of uniting thoughts with ink on paper. It still gives me so much joy to take some time with this humble skill. Remember that your handwriting is a reflection of you. It has characteristics that are unique to you alone. It has a joy and vibrancy that only your hand can create. That should be celebrated!!! Have fun with your favourite ink, your finest paper and the search for the pen that makes the handwriting most enjoyable. Happy National Handwriting Day!

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