Workshops

Gina offers workshops for calligraphy societies, organizations, schools, churches, and private groups — each tailored to the interests of the particular group. These workshops may be from one to five days in length. They are based on the ideas and topics she presents in her book, Calligraphy as Art and Meditation: A New Approach (2018).

If you are interested in seeing a course outline based on your timeframe and any topic(s) of special interest, please see the Contact page to get in touch.

Below you will find new and recently given workshops as well as ones given before Gina dedicated herself to writing Calligraphy as Art and Meditation — a six-year project. (See Publications for an extensive overview of the book.)

New workshops

These workshops include Calligraphy as Art and Meditation: A New Approach as a part of the instruction.

“Moto”
This modern Gothic alphabet, featuring movement and touch, offers a foundation in the use of the edge pen. First, double pencils help you get comfortable with two points of contact and nib angle. This prepares you for success with the two-cornered edged nib and dipping it into ink. Other topics include spacing, design topics (e.g., letter structure and text construction), and an introduction to Moto Caps. In my holistic, embodied approach – the eye does not hold the tool! — we cultivate awareness of our senses to better enjoy forming letters. In this way we infuse them with the vital calligraphic qualities of movement, energy, rhythm, and feeling. We also delve into calligraphic variables, e.g., weight and proportion, and write a short text exploring calligraphy as legible and abstract visual expression. It’s a calligraphic adventure!

Upright Italic
In this workshop we practice Italic in an upright posture, rather than at a slope, to better focus on its nuances of stroke direction, letter structure, and nib angle. To cultivate the subtle, graceful strokes of Italic, I’ll introduce “edge shifting”: my technique to help you “graduate” a stroke successfully. Other topics include spacing, design topics (e.g., letter structure and plasticity), and nib turning. In my holistic approach, we cultivate awareness of our senses in support of our visual goals, and to more fully enjoy the process of forming letters. We also delve into calligraphic variables, e.g., weight and proportion, and write a short text exploring calligraphy as legible and abstract visual expression. My aim is to infuse letters with the vital qualities of movement, energy, rhythm, and feeling — and enhance our own vitality!

Exploring Calligraphy as Art and Meditation
This workshop introduces a new holistic approach to calligraphy. Through guided exercises, we integrate mind, body, and feeling to infuse letters with vitality and enhance our own. As art, calligraphy educates the eye through design elements — line, shape, space — and principles such as unity and contrast. Calligraphy becomes an art for our time as we incorporate meditation practices and the values of awareness, patience, and kindness. The conscious breath helps us slow down, relax; tuning into our senses, we vividly participate in the calligraphic qualities of movement, energy, rhythm, and gesture. These provide a foundation for calligraphy as beautiful writing and expressive, visual art.

My new book, Calligraphy as Art and Meditation, maps our journey. With a tool as our vehicle, we first get comfortable holding and moving it. We enter calligraphic territory through a training alphabet called Playball. Yes, it’s unconventional, so please bring an open mind and the spirit of adventure!

“Flower”: A Touch-sensitizing Workshop
This workshop cultivates contact: a crucial, but oft-neglected, facet of calligraphy. Through a variety of tools, alphabets, and embodied meditative exercises, come and develop a moment-by-moment connection with a tool, letterform, and writing surface. Beginning with tactile and muscular sensitization, we explore the dynamics of contact — pulling and pushing letter strokes — using a pressure-release technique. Here, the tension of applying pressure alternates with its release to promote taut, living strokes filled with energy and rhythm. Through a vivid engagement with moving a tool on paper, we also heighten our awareness of moving it off the paper: of relating letters to each other through spacing. Writing exercises with the word “flower” stimulate the imagination and awaken gestural possibilities. I look forward to being your guide to discovery — to helping you find the flow in “flower!”

2019

2018




Previously offered workshops

Dynamics: A New Approach to Calligraphic Letterform

Learning Hebrew Calligraphy and The Ketubah




Teaching experience

2012

2011

2010

Living Letters: Form & Flow in Calligraphy
All skill levels and teachers

This workshop introduces a foundation technique for vitalizing italic letterform: “dynamics.” Realize your calligraphic potential for creating forms with life and flow by reaching beyond ductus, stroke order and direction, to the physical act of strokemaking itself! Through exercises in dynamics delve directly into the formative interplay between body, pen and writing surface. Pen in hand, in motion and in contact, awaken all your calligraphic senses—touch and movement in addition to sight—and discover a path to sensitive, skillful, confident strokes. By so doing we also enter a larger arena of edged-pen technique which can be applied to any edged-pen alphabet. From a firm foundation in pen stroke technique prepare yourself for greater freedom and joy in the practice of calligraphy. In the process of translating visual forms into felt/fully perceived ones, rhythm and gesture emerge and we experience the dance of the pen!

Over a century ago Edward Johnston encouraged us by saying, “Our aim should be to give letters life that we ourselves may have more life.” Let “living letters” become a way to directly experience and explore vital connections to yourself and the life around you!

2009

2008

2007