By Gail Mitchell

February 25th 2017 saw a group of intrepid calligraphers gathered at the Aspire Centre for the first of 4 workshops in the CLAS Heraldry for Calligraphers Course. The course is being run by Tim Noad, whose work is familiar to most of us. Tim is an heraldic artist who has worked for the College of Arms for many years. A talented and experienced practitioner, we are very fortunate to have him as our tutor.

The day began with Tim explaining something about the aims of the course, which is not to turn us into fully fledged heraldic artists but rather to show how we might use heraldry to enhance our calligraphy. He followed this by showing slides of work by calligraphers ancient and modern – beautiful and inspiring but, at the end of it, some of us were left thinking maybe now would be a good time to leave!

Following the presentation, Tim then gave a demonstration of how to draw a shield and then it was our turn. Getting the lines on the bottom of the shield to meet proved to be a bit of a challenge if, as in my case, your compass work was not accurate. It was a full day and by the end of it, we had also covered drawing fleur de lys, scallops and roses. During the course of the day, Tim gave several demonstrations and then came round to give help and encouragement as we tried to produce something that resembled what he had shown us. The day flew by quickly as everyone became absorbed in what they were doing. At the end of the workshop, everyone had produced 2 or 3 shields and some fleur de lys. The next workshop will not be until June but in the meantime we have homework to keep us going and plenty of things to practice at home.


Gail’s full report of this year-long course will be included in The Inc., a quarterly newsletter for members. If you’d like to find out more and join the SLLA, please visit our Become a Member web page. 

Heraldry for Calligraphers – Session 1, 2017

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