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What was CalligraFest? The Washington Calligraphers Guild
held this day-long event nine times between 1999 and 2010. 

Graphic Spiral


  • Free demonstrations throughout the day by Washington's top calligraphers.

  • Mini-workshops for all levels at nominal cost.

  • Vendors selling calligraphy and related art supplies, hand lettered artwork, much more. Have you name lettered by a world-renowned calligrapher!

  • Silent Auction: Artwork, items of historic value and unique lettering accessories. The Silent Auction closes at 3 pm, when the highest bidder listed on each item's sheet is announced. 

  • Raffles for great prizes.

  • Calligraflea (gently used art supplies and books at bargain prices).

  • Try it yourself table -- play with calligraphy pens.


Mini-workshops for all levels
$20 per session ($18 in advance).

2007 mini-workshops:

  • 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.

  • 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. 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.


2010 mini-workshops:

  • 10-11:30 -- Parallel Pen for Beginners and Experts with Brenda Broadbent. Learn how to use this sharp and convenient pen for fun and professional work. 

  • Noon-1:30 -- Foundational with Shane Perry. Introduction to this important lettering style that is the foundation of many hands.

Free demos offered in 2007:

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. 

Free demos offered in 2010:

10:30 - 11:30 am: Tips and Techniques of Envelope Addressing with Mary Lou O'Brian. Learn how to letter envelopes using a lightbox with a template, how to work with lined/unlined envelopes, how to handle unusual paper surfaces, etc.

11:30 am - 1 pm: Pointed-Brush Lettering with Jennifer Nicholson, calligrapher for the U.S. Department of State

1 - 2 pm: Copperplate Script Lettering with T.M. Stoneburner of Gracestone Calligraphics Studio. At her vendor table, Tamara will demonstrate pointed pen lettering and compare various nibs as to their flexibility, strength, and hairlines.
Throughout the day: Sheila Waters and Julian Waters will demonstrate calligraphy at their vendor tables while lettering bookmarks with the broad-edged pen to benefit the Guild.
Thousand Pound Press will be printing samples of calligraphy on their vintage letterpress.
Michael Gilbert of Dark Horse Gallery will use gold leaf to gild a wooden frame.


Vendors in 2010: 

  • Paper & Ink Arts (huge selection of unique art supplies, tools, books and gifts from the Woodsboro, MD store owned by Brenda Broadbent). 

  • Sheila Waters will be selling her acclaimed prints. She will also letter names on bookmarks to benefit the Guild.

  • Julian Waters will be selling his acclaimed prints. He will also answer questions about calligraphy.

  • Tamara Stoneburner will display her framed scannography and photography. From 1-2 pm she'll demonstrate script lettering with the pointed pen. 

  • Letterpress printer Jason Taylor of Thousand Pound Press will be creating a plate from calligraphy and printing samples. Learn about historic printing techniques and why letterpress is enjoying a revival.

  • Michael Gilbert of Dark Horse Gallery will be demonstrating goldleaf gilding throughout the day. Michael specializes in frame restoration and gilding and is a member of the Society of Gilders.

  • Parchment and vellum maker Pergamena, represented by Stephen Meyer, will be selling whole skins as well as cut sheets to make vellums more "accessible" to calligraphers.

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