Washington Calligraphers Guild home page ~
WCG Meetings ~
Calligraphy Classes ~
WCG Workshops ~
~ Exhibits & Special Events ~
Scripsit, the WCG journal ~
~ How to become a member ~
Freelance calligraphers in the DC area ~
~ Links to related websites ~
History of lettering and type design ~
the Washington Calligraphers Guild
The Washington Calligraphers Guild is a thriving
organization of more than 500 letter lovers of all skill levels, from professional scribes to enthusiastic beginners and even some non-calligraphers who appreciate the lettering and book arts. Founded in 1976 by internationally
known calligrapher Sheila Waters and a group of her associates,
the Guild is a nonprofit organization that promotes all aspects
of the lettering arts and related crafts. Today we are recognized
as one of the most active groups in the world, as evidenced by our
international membership roster. Membership
is open to anyone regardless of calligraphic ability.
annually elected Board of Directors is responsible for developing
and carrying out Guild policies as well as leading the committees
of volunteers that prepare Guild activities. Many volunteers
are relatively new to calligraphy, but devoted in their interest. Information about the specific activities of the Board of Directors can be found in their Annual Report for 2009-2010.
meetings offer the fellowship of calligraphic colleagues. Each
meeting features a visiting, well-respected lettering artist or
a local expert who shares information and examples
on topics related to calligraphy.
In July 2006 the Guild hosted its third Letterforum international gathering of lettering artists. Periodically the Guild holds a one-day fall fair called Calligrafest.
Our Bulletin newsletter, published four times a year (September-June), features timely notices about exhibits, meeting dates and workshop schedules,
and news of events sponsored by other calligraphic societies. Scripsit,
our journal, is an exceptional calligraphic
publication with in-depth articles and art of the highest
The Guild exhibits members' artwork in shows, both
juried and unjuried.
We offer an extensive workshop
program in the fall and spring aimed at all levels of skill.
Our teachers include internationally renowned calligraphers as well
as local talent.
WCG also encourages calligraphic study by offering scholarships.
The Guild maintains a list of freelance
calligraphers who are members of WCG and displays their artwork online. Our website is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the lettering arts, as is our extensive library of
books, slides, and publications.
Since 2001 the Washington Calligraphers Guild has administered the Graceful Envelope Contest celebrating the art of calligraphy in correspondence.
(term extended due to covid-19 restrictions)
President: Tamara M. Stoneburner
Vice-President: Karen Daly
Treasurer: Nancy Markisohn
Secretary: Gilda Domingue Penn
Member-at-Large: Ginny Lockhart
Statement of Purpose: The Washington Calligraphers Guild, Inc.,
exists to promote the appreciation of calligraphy, its history and
to foster a wider understanding of calligraphy as an art and as
to conduct studies, to undertake research,
and to carry out education programs directed toward these ends.
SHEILA WATERS, first president and founding member of the Washington
Waters graduated from the Medway College of Art in Kent and the
Royal College of Art in London. She developed her calligraphic skills
under the tutelage of Dorothy Mahoney (assistant to the great pioneer
of calligraphy, Edward Johnson). At 22 she was elected a Fellow
of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators and began a career devoted
to commissions for royalty, museums, libraries, collectors and publishers.
Her work is included in most of the important books which have been
published about calligraphy. A gifted teacher, Sheila shares her
extensive knowledge and techniques with calligraphers the world
the photo, taken at the 25th Anniversary Exhibition opening on July
20, 2001, Sheila Waters holds a document she lettered in 1976 about
the founding of the Washington Calligraphers Guild that invited
calligraphers to join as charter members.
More on Sheila Waters:
Sheila Waters on the importance of passing on the "great legacy" of calligraphy
Sheila Waters on the pursuit of excellence in calligraphy
A Retrospective Exhibit of 60 Years in the Calligraphic Arts
Sheila Waters' 2006 textbook, Foundations of
Artwork on this page © Sheila Waters