Fall programs will be held online on the Zoom platform. WCG members will receive Zoom links closer to the dates. (Don't miss emails from the Guild: put [email protected] in your contacts or address book.)

Presentations will begin at 7:30 pm ET but attendees are invited to log on at 7 pm for conversation and assistance with technical issues, if needed.

October program:
“From Pen to Penknife: Unique Acts of Creation in Walters Art Museum Manuscripts,”
Tuesday, Oct. 4, 7/7:30

The Walters Art Museum’s rich collection of nearly 1,000 manuscripts is world famous, yet there are still secrets to be discovered from within their pages. Please join Lynley Anne Herbert, Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, as she reveals recent discoveries, including the world’s earliest lace-cut book (pictured) and unusual working methods and experimental approaches now long forgotten or overlooked.Walters

Lynley’s article “A Cut Above the Rest…? Challenging Assumptions About the ‘Lace’ Margins of the de Bars Hours” will be published in the Journal of the Walters Art Museum later this year. She is also co-editor of the forthcoming book Illuminating a Legacy: Essays in Honor of Lawrence Nees, which includes her article on “An Ode to Epic Hair: The Exegesis of Christ’s Green Beard.”

Information about the Walters extensive collection of manuscripsts

December program
Maryanne Grebenstein's manuscript of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 7:30 pm

It took Maryanne Grebenstein over three years to hand letter the 29,000 words contained in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Please join Maryanne as she discusses the plan, the process, the ups and downs, and the surprises she encountered while creating her manuscript.

“Creating a one-of-a-kind manuscript containing 143 pages of completely hand-lettered text can be considered nothing short of a labor of love. And for me, that’s exactly what this project was. I have always loved this story and had in mind that someday I would like to create a hand-lettered manuscript of it.

“Several years ago, I learned that The Morgan Library in New York (the owner of Charles Dickens’ original manuscript) had published a little book containing a facsimile of the manuscript alongside a transcription of it. Perfect! I could use Dickens’ actual words – in the raw – to create my manuscript. My hope was to keep this as close to Dickens’ voice as possible, so I transcribed it verbatim. I began working on it in March 2016 and completed it in January 2021.

“Since there are over 29,000 words in the book, I knew that most of the manuscript would be spreads of all black text. And I did not want to use traditional illustrations in my manuscript (no images of Marley’s face in Scrooge’s door knocker for this project!). I wanted to illustrate with words. I selected passages from the text that I thought were particularly poignant or meaningful and highlighted that text by standing it on a page all its own with color and gold decoration to emphasize its meaning.”

Maryanne Grebenstein is a professional calligrapher and owner of The Abbey Studio in Marblehead, MA ( She studied under Sheila Waters, Jeanyee Wong, Robert Boyajian, and other notable calligraphers. She teaches workshops in calligraphy, manuscript gilding, and layout in her Marblehead studio/shop. She is a former teacher at North Bennet Street School (, and a former Adjunct Professor at Massachusetts College of Art ( She is the author of Calligraphy: A Course in Hand Lettering and Calligraphy Bible, both published by Watson-Guptill.

Below, Barry Morentz lettered Shakespeare's narrative poem Venus & Adonis (lines 505-510) for WCG's 45th Anniversary Scripsit.

Barry Morentz.

November program:
Parchment Production Today
Wed Nov 2, 7/7:30

Pergamea Learn about parchment production in the modern world from Jesse Meyer, who expanded his family's leather tannery to refine the age-old process of hand-making parchment. Jesse will compare how parchment was made in the past with Pergamena's processes. Jesse brings a unique perspective, as the Meyer family first took up tanning and leatherwork back in 1550 in Eisenburg, Germany.

In addition to running Pergamena, Jesse is working with the Smithsonian, Pennsylvania State University, and the National Library of Medicine on research into traditional methods of leather tanning and manufacture. He has been involved in the conservation of priceless manuscripts at The Cloisters, The Folger Shakespeare Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Morgan Library, and in 2013 was invited to a UNESCO World Heritage Site Symposium in the Turkish City of Bergama, the birthplace of parchment. Jesse also teaches workshops on parchment production.

For additional information, please see the tannery’s website at

[image: dyed goat parchment produced at Pergamena in Montgomery, NY]

BOARD MEETINGS are held monthly via Zoom on the 3rd Wed, 7pm.

2022: 10/19, 11/16
2023: 1/18, 2/15, 3/15, 4/19, 5/17

Note: WCG Board meetings are open to our general membership. If you are interested in observing the current process, issues, and topics that our elected and volunteer Board members undergo and discuss, you are more than welcome to join us.

WCG Board meetings: At Guild Board meetings, the annually elected Board of Directors develops and carries out Guild policies as well as leads the committees of volunteers that prepare Guild activities. Many board members are relatively new to calligraphy, but devoted in their interest. Contact President Marilyn Davis to find out how you can help the Guild grow!

Jean Larcher

Alphabet by WCG member Jean Larcher for the new Speedball Handbook 23rd edition

~ ~ ~

Highlights of past meetings

Sheila WatersAnne Lane

Former WCG logos by Sheila Waters (l) and Anne Lane.

Julian Waters

Julian Waters

Right: Julian Waters' demo for Blackletter workshop; larger view


Left: Fractur by Julian Waters


Below: Peter Thornton

Peter Thornton


Washington Calligraphers Guild Home Page  |   About the Guild  |   How to Become a Member  |   WCG Meetings
WCG Journal Scripsit  |   History of Lettering and Type  |   Zapf Fund to Further Calligraphy Education
Calligraphy Classes  |   WCG Workshops  |   Exhibits & Special Events  |   WCG Library  |   Photo Albums
Related websites  |   Freelance Calligraphers in the VA/MD/DC area