Over the weekend, I took my first in-person calligraphy class with Swell Anchor Studio, based in Patchogue, New York. I have long loved the art of calligraphy and could easily get lost watching clips of people “writing pretty” on Instagram. So a year ago I decided to try my hand at an online calligraphy class. It was a great introduction and I enjoyed practicing on my own thereafter.
Since I had no formal instruction, I was left to assume that the ink splatters on my paper when I tried writing certain letters and the drag I felt on the page were normal and would eventually subside as I improved. Still, it would have been nice to have some guidance as I progressed. I wanted to follow up with an in-person calligraphy class, and when Swell Anchor Studio (whom I had found on Instagram) announced they were holding a workshop on Long Island, I jumped at the chance to sign up.
I am glad I did. When I was thinking of something to gift myself for my birthday, I could think of no better present. Not only would I continue to improve my craft, but I would meet other local Long Islanders who shared my interest in calligraphy.
This was the first time I met Christie, the owner and calligrapher behind Swell Anchor Studio, her husband, Ian, and sister, Lindsay, who were assisting with the workshop. The class was held at The Dusty Attic, a specialty décor and accessory boutique right in the heart of the village of Patchogue. If you are feeling creative, definitely stop into this place for some inspiration (and supplies!). The space was ideal for holding a calligraphy workshop and it really helped me get my creative juices flowing.
When I arrived, I was greeted with pumpkin spice cupcakes and autumn-themed mimosas. Yes, please! Lindsay made the pumpkin spice cupcakes, and they were out of this world. It’s a good thing there was not an unlimited supply of these delicious desserts or else I would have eaten them all (#sugaraddict).
I found my seat, which displayed a beautiful name tag that Christie created for each of the participants. We were provided with all of the supplies we would need for the session – ink, nib, holder, tracing paper, and a clipboard.
Christie worked on a small chalkboard at the front of the table as we watched her write each letter, first in lowercase and then in uppercase. She instructed us on which part of the letter should be thick and thin, and Lindsay walked around to ensure that the nib and holder were held at the correct angle. Once we were comfortable with the alphabet, we began tracing words that Christie had provided for us and she talked about how and where to connect the letters.
I had a great time learning from Christie and her team, and I am grateful that I got to meet her in person and that I have someone who can guide me as I progress with calligraphy. Before we left, Christie presented us with a small tote that she personalized with our names. I’m keeping my bag in my home office as a reminder to take Christie’s tip of practicing for at least 15 minutes two to three times per week.
Thank you, Swell Anchor Studio, for a wonderful workshop!