January 20, 2023
I’ve come across hundreds of lefties who think that writing calligraphy isn’t possible. It’s simply not true. Our very own Laura is a left-handed writer without any prior experience of calligraphy, so we have set her the task of giving it a try! Find out how she got on with The Calligraphy Box below.
Calligraphy is a beautiful art form that requires patience, practice, and skill. As a left-handed person, I have always approached tasks differently. Sometimes it can be a case of left or right hand roulette, leading to hesitation and confusion when deciding which hand to use. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that calligraphy is manageable for left-handed learners, thanks to The Calligraphy Box!
On a sun-kissed winter day in Scotland, I set myself up for an enjoyable and productive afternoon of learning calligraphy. My first tip is to create a calm and quiet environment. This helps to minimize distractions and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the experience. To enhance the ambiance, light your favourite candle, brew a delicious cup of coffee, and take a moment to relax.
The beginner’s kit provided all the necessary tools to create beautiful calligraphy, and the tutorial video, led by The Calligraphy Box founder Jenni, guides you through the process while addressing the unique challenges lefties face. Jenni’s instruction makes you feel relaxed, confident, and included in the learning process.
Before beginning, I took a moment to appreciate the aesthetic beauty and luxurious feel of The Calligraphy Box. The sense of learning together is a powerful aspect of the experience. As I pressed play on the tutorial video, a feeling of calm washed over me. When learning something new, it is natural to feel unsure, but Jenni’s instruction makes you feel relaxed and confident. Throughout the video, Jenni explains the unique challenges left-handed individuals face and the typical movements associated with being left-handed. This ensures that you do not feel ostracized and instead feel like you have your own private tutor guiding you through the process. As a result, you feel empowered and confident.
Learning calligraphy can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and guidance, it can be a rewarding experience. As a left-handed person, I faced some unique challenges when starting my calligraphy journey. One of the main obstacles I encountered was positioning my body and paper correctly. The Calligraphy Box workbook provided instructions on how to sit in a way that feels comfortable for me and in a relaxed position.
I adopted the typical “left-handed pose” of holding the paper turned 90 degrees, but I also added my own twist. I sat with my left leg tucked under my right leg, as it helped me feel more stable. Holding the straight pen with my fingers close to the metal nib gave me a secure and controlled grip and allowed me to have excellent control when releasing and adding pressure during my practice. I encourage you to explore what feels relaxing for you because this will help you find your own rhythm.
Another challenge faced by left-handed individuals is smudging and splodging. At first, I didn’t have an issue with ink splodging, but I did struggle with the scratching or pulling of the nib on the paper. I found that simply twisting my left hand slightly solved the problem and created a beautiful ink flow. However, I did encounter the splodging hurdle at the bottom of each page. To overcome this, I held the paper with my right hand for extra stability and slowed my writing down. I also lifted my left hand slightly and moved it around in the air to create space between my skin and the paper. Even the smallest adjustments can make a big difference. It was also helpful to move the paper further away from me as I got to the bottom of the page. Calligraphy is all about natural and confident movements, and I believe that is half the battle. Don’t be afraid to constantly adjust your body position or to do what feels natural to you.
An aspect of calligraphy that I had never considered before was breathing. It took me some time to develop a good breathing pattern, and even though it’s covered in the beginner’s video, I had to remind myself to let go and breathe. I found that my writing became much more fluid and seamless when I wasn’t holding my breath and I was able to achieve “my jumps” to the letters more easily when I felt weightless. My writing looked beautiful and effortless, and my body felt less rigid when I inhaled and exhaled regularly while being mindful of my breathing. To me, this was probably the main challenge and I was surprised that it wasn’t related to being left-handed. It’s not a usual thing to remember to breathe as it comes naturally to us, and I almost forgot that I was left-handed.
The excitement I felt when I first saw my completed letter, which looked almost regal, was indescribable. The act of dipping the ink and tapping it on the jar helped me reset and take a pause. I felt proud of myself for mastering a skill that has been an important aspect of history. The beginner’s kit is the foundation of the calligraphy process, and I highly recommend giving it a try. It transports you to a world of calmness and relaxation. The box is specifically designed to cater to both right and left-handed learners, and it truly makes the learning process manageable and enjoyable.