note: there will be no Calligrafest in 2008

Calligrafest: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007!

Washington's top calligraphers will be demonstrating their art and selling their work at the Washington Calligraphers Guild's 9th annual Calligrafest, an all-day festival of the lettering arts. Everyone who enjoys looking at and learning about artful lettering, browsing through unique art supplies and how-to books, and shopping for hand-crafted gifts will love Calligrafest.

Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
West Springfield High School

6100 Rolling Road
Springfield, VA 22152
Directions: From the Beltway in Virginia (I-495) take the Braddock Road West exit (exit 54 West). Drive west on Braddock Road approx. 1.8 miles to Rolling Road. Turn left and go approx. 1.8 miles to West Springfield HS on the right. The entrance for Calligrafest is Door #10, on the extreme right end of the school (when facing the front of the school). Parking is free (the major parking lot is on the left side of the school and some parking is available in front).
See location on map

Admission $5 (children under 12 free)
WCG members: remember to bring your postcard to receive a free $2 raffle ticket!

What is Calligrafest?
All-day demonstrations by Washington's top calligraphers, unique art supplies to browse and buy, hand-lettered artwork, holiday cards, gifts and jewelry for sale. Come to Washington's only annual calligraphy fair!


  • Paper & Ink Arts (huge selection of unique art supplies, tools, books and gifts from the Woodsboro, MD store owned by Brenda Broadbent)
  • Nan Barchowsky explaining her fluent handwriting program and selling manuals and CDs.
  • Nick Olmos-Lau displaying his unusual nibs and tools.
  • Claire Ingley selling her wonderful ABCDesigns jewelry with clever sayings and popular professions.
  • Cindy Yount selling her charming cards and accordion books that make great gifts.

by Pat BlairFree demonstrations! (*calligraphy for White House and other VIP occasions)

  • 10:30 - 11:15 am: Chris Tischer -- Photo transfer techniques and accompanying lettering.
  • 10:30 - 11:15 am: Michael Clark -- Michael’s Medley of Tools for Fine Lettering and Experimental Calligraphy.
  • 11:30 - 12:15 pm: *Pat Blair -- Spencerian writing.
  • 12:30 - 1:15 pm: *Sammy Little -- Calligraphy for Corporate, Social and Official Government Events.
  • 1:30 - 2:15 pm: *Marta Legeckis -- Marta’s Melange.
  • 1:30 - 2:15 pm: Michael Clark -- Michael’s Medley of Tools for Fine Lettering and Experimental Calligraphy.
  • 2:30 - 3:15 pm: *Debra Brown -- Pointed Pen and Italic.
Mini-workshops for all levels, $20 per session ($18 in advance: send check payable to WCG with name of workshop and your name and contact info to Calligrafest, P.O. Box 3688, Merrifield, VA 22116-3688).

>> 10-11:30 -- Oops, Now What? with Betsy Kennedy
Get an overview of how to rectify mistakes in your work. Betsy will demonstrate the use of electric erasers, erasing shields, scalpels, water and Q-tip, judicious use of gouache, gold, and collage. She also will discuss procedures to follow to initially avoid mistakes—cover sheets, preferred papers, etc. Supplies: Bring work with mistakes to be corrected and pens, ink or gouache, and paper to make more.

>> Noon-1:30 -- Handmade Cards with Kathleen Kerndt
Looking for a way to showcase your calligraphy?  Or just looking for some crafting fun?  Join us for an easy-to-follow greeting card workshop, making projects to share with friends and loved ones.  Discover the magic of basic embossing and “faux stained glass”; learn how a master board becomes multiple cards, perfect for the time-constrained crafter; and see how a crayon makes the perfect white wash resist.  All supplies are provided. 

>> 2-3:30 -- Nib History: Calligraphic Timeline of the Development of Writing Implements
with Nick Olmos-Lau, MD

Nick will present a PowerPoint presentation that covers the history and development of handwriting tools leading to the development of metallic nibs and the implementation of gold and stainless steel in the subsequent manufacturing process of nibs and pens. There is also an explanation of confusing terms and concepts of terminology about what constitutes various different nib types and the process of evolution of newer pen technology such as parallel, ruling and automatic pens.

The talk will be followed by a practical presentation and demonstration with areas to practice and experience writing through the ages:

  • Egyptian - reed pen-brush on papyrus with pigments.
  • Greek - Metal stylus on wax tablet diptych.
  • Roman - Reed pen & bronze nib on parchment (or diploma parchment) with ink.
  • Chinese - Brushes on rice paper.
  • Renaissance – Quill pens on rough paper.
  • Illustration and Industrial era - Dip monoline, broad edge and flex metallic nibs on various papers.
  • Early fountain pen era – eye dropper fillers/hard rubber pens.
  • Roaring 20s - stainless steel, Platignum, Esterbooks, Pelikans.
  • Pens 50s-70s - Osmiroid, Parker, Sheaffer snorkel cartridge fillers.
  • Second Millennium: Parallel pens, Coit pens, Ruling pens, Japanese calligraphy pens. etc.

Hand-lettered and uniquely illustrated envelopes selected as this year's winners of the Graceful Envelope Contest will be on display.


Browse our huge CalligraFlea market for bargains on gently used books and supplies! (Contact Shane Perry to donate supplies.)

We have more than 150 high-quality books in a wide range of topics, from books about illuminated manuscripts, advanced calligraphy techniques, drawing, layout and design, to color calligraphy, brush lettering, and many more -- all at bargain prices. We have an extensive magazine collection, too, with numerous copies of Calligraphy Idea Exchange, Letter Arts Review, Calligraphy Review, journals from the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, and others. There are also many calligraphy supplies, such as papers, inks, a wide variety of nibs, pens, pencils.

Silent auction!

Artwork, items of historic value and unique lettering accessories will be on display beginning at 10:30 am. The Guild is not set up to accept credit card transactions, so only cash and checks can be accepted. [If you have artworks or art-related items to donate for the auction, please contact Tamara Stoneburner.] The Silent Auction closes at 3 pm, when the highest bidder listed on each item's sheet is announced. Participants do not have to be present to win or receive their items, as long as they provide the necessary contact information on the bidding sheet.

Sample of items in the Silent Auction

Raffle drawings for great prizes! Multiple winners at each drawing!

  • $2 raffle drawings at 11:30, 12:30 and 2:30 (must be present to win)
  • $5 raffle drawing at 3:30 (prizes valued at over $50 -- will be mailed to winners not in attendance)


Washington Calligraphers Guild home page  ~  About the Guild  ~  
Meetings, Classes & Workshops  ~  Scripsit, the WCG journal ~ 
 ~ How to become a member  ~  Freelance calligraphers in the DC area ~ 
 ~ Links to related websites  ~  Zapf fund to further calligraphy education ~