Symbolic Calligraphy

Symbolic Calligraphy

Symbolic Calligraphy: Unique Expression of Symbol and Script

Symbolic calligraphy art is crafting the beautiful handwriting of calligraphy into the form of a symbol or symbolic meaning – creating an end result of motion, art, and meaning. It is an art form that utilizes creativity, meditation, and of course, symbolism.

Symbolic Calligraphy by Avia
Symbolic Calligraphy by Avia
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Avia’s Experience with Calligraphy

My mom taught me the art of calligraphy when I was a kid. She was so good at it. My great aunt is a master calligrapher too. So is my great uncle. He even scripted invitations for one of America’s presidents! I’m not telling which one, because my uncle is a private dude, and I don’t think he’d appreciate me divulging.

Anyway, you could say calligraphy runs through my lineage. Moreover, it just made good sense for me. I love writing, art, and communicating emotion in unique ways. Calligraphy is a fabulous way to express oneself.

What’s more, symbolic calligraphy helped finance a portion of my college education (which was a total joke, however, I was an A+ drop-out). Throughout my torrid college stints, I hand-scribed invitations, envelopes, menus, posters, etc. to keep myself solvent.

Later, I started “bending the lines” with my calligraphy. I wish I could say I had a grand epiphany that prompted me to twirl scribed phrases into symbolic shapes, but I can’t. It was laziness that gave me the idea.

Any good calligrapher will tell you the excellence of a final piece is all in the lines. Angular perfection. Straight lines managed and adhered to consistently throughout the piece is what makes good calligraphy.

Symbolic Calligraphy by Avia
Symbolic Calligraphy by Avia
Click to Enlarge

The Idea of Symbolic Calligraphy

Well, one day I got lazy and decided to forego the use of straight-line rulers in laying out a poem I was scribing for a project. I wrote the poem purposefully along a wave. The effect was liberating (and very cool looking). From that moment on, I started playing around with calligraphic lettering in the shape of symbols and simple designs.

The symbolic calligraphy examples on this page are some examples of that fooling around without the limitation of lines.

Traditional italic calligraphy is the most familiar territory for me, but I also hand-craft pieces in Celtic-style print as well as Copperplate (a script that looks like the US Declaration of Independence). I use traditional dip-pens, nibs, and inkwells. I do have a feather pen – it was a gift and works rather well. My favorite dip-pen has a gold-plated nib in the shape of a hand. The index finger is dipped in the ink. Very cool, but the weight of the strokes is too thin with this nib, so I don’t use it very often. I also have a glass dip-pen. Grooves in the tip hold a store of ink (but not much). It’s a lovely piece, but highly impractical. I’m dipping for more ink every 3rd letter! Ehem, did I mention I have a bit of a pen fetish? Ha ha!

In the past, I sold calligraphy pieces on this website and occasionally offered my scribing services for commission work. But, I am no longer a scribe-for-hire. Scribing can be murder on the hand (which I try to keep nimble so I can keep typing on my websites!), and hugely time-consuming. However, I still scribe occasionally for close friends and family.

Symbolic Calligraphy by Avia
Symbolic Calligraphy by Avia
Click to Enlarge

Try Symbolic Calligraphy for Yourself!

I hope all this inspires you to take pen-in-hand and try it for yourself! There are tons of starter calligraphy kits on the market today.

Go to an art supply store and pick up a kit (some are under $10 US). You can even get pens with ink cartridges in the cylinder – no dipping – easy-peasy! Most of these kits come with a little instruction book (but honestly, most of your learning will be up to you, unless you have an awesome-cool mom to teach you :).

Heck, you don’t even need a calligraphy pen to do symbol calligraphy art. Pick up a carpenters pencil and shave the lead to get a good square tip. Scribe your letters with that square tip at around a 45 degree angle. Bam! Calligraphy! Now do this in a shape, and you’ve got a simple start at your own symbol calligraphy art!

Give it a try. There is something about combining the power of words, symbolic shapes and the art of beautiful writing that really unleashes creative forces from within. You may find symbol calligraphy art is a phenomenally rewarding method of self-expression.

Thanks for reading about my sojourn into the realms of symbol calligraphy art. And I hope this shop-talk inspires you to take up your pen (or carpenters pencil) and start symbol-scribing today!

Mighty brightly,

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