Image
Top
Navigation

Letter-carpets

the basics of rhythm and harmony with different tools

calligraphy selection 014

Whether you know the basics of calligraphy or not, whether you know what a «Carolingian Minuscule» or a «Fraktur» is, letters, ink and tools offer you the possibility to experiment with composition. In my university calligraphy classes, we were introduced to the concept of creating letter «carpets», meaning writing random words (usually song lyrics or poems) not focusing on the letter shapes but rather on the emotion they are supposed to express.

Exploration of the strokes a comb paint brush with splattering.

Exploration of the strokes a comb paint brush with splattering.

Imaginary alphabet with a pointed-nib pen.

Imaginary alphabet with a pointed-nib pen.

Some exercises include writing a letter carpet with only one line, going from slow-fast, becomming wider and wider, illustrating abstract terms like «aggression», «peace», «silence» or «rush». These exercises are very important to understand the power that the body and the tools have on the image.

When your hand moves quickly while holding a ruling pen, the ink splatters. When holding a brush pen, a fast stroke is not as dark as a slow stroke. The quality of the strokes is not only defined by our formal knowledge of letters, but very much by the physical way we use our body and tools to express the strokes.

Speedball pen and invented alphabet.

Speedball pen and invented alphabet.

Speedball pen and some strokes replaced by a dot.

Speedball pen and some strokes replaced by a dot.

Rhythm carpet exercise with pointed-nib pen

Rhythm carpet exercise with pointed-nib pen