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Carl Rohrs • • • •

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J U N E  2 5 — J U L Y  2  •  2 0 0 6

Trinity Lutheran College • Issaquah, Washington

Carl Rohrs has been a freelance lettering artist and signpainter in Santa
Cruz, CA for almost 30 years. He's been teaching lettering and graphic design at Cabrillo College since 1984 and workshops for unsuspecting calligraphy societies around the country and in Canada & Europe for what seems like a long time, too, and has managed to keep the splashing of ink on students to a minimum.

Pen/Brush/Stiletto • 5 days

Penmade letters detail; click to enlarge

Destination: contemporary lettering, however we have to get there. What that means is specialized and specific technique instruction in conjuring modern calligraphy out of each of the four main calligraphic tools: flat pen, flat brush, pointed brush and ruling writer. We’ll explore different ways of handling each tool to make its lettering unique—the wonderful texture and exacting control of a flat brush, the swelling, feather shaped stroke of a pointed one, the enchantingly inconsistent mark of a ruling pen and new ways of dealing with paper contact with our flat pens, plus the shadow of influence each tool casts on each other. We’ll be working with all kinds of new and classic alphabets, as well as inspiration from past masters. Your instructor has been up late in the laboratory this past year, and new styles for all tools will abound: caps, scripts, uncials, mono-linear styles with flat tools. There will be more source material than time to deal with it.

But our ulterior motive is to give us source material for transformation, as we turn our calligraphy into simple, elegant cut-paper creations and multiple layered, collaged, decorated-letter extravaganzas with photos, patterns and textures -- the conference organizers may even allow us to use color. The cutting of paper will begin the first day and will continue as the week and calligraphy techniques continue to unfold.

The class will be structured so that everyone can focus on what they’re interested in learning and working on, whether it’s an intensive study of just a couple of things or an exposure to the full gamut of festivities planned. (i.e. You don’t hafta cut if you’d rather write.) The class is appropriate to all levels of experience.

  • Supplies:
    A large pen you can push (1/4", 5/16" or 3/8"), plus any pens you already have; 1/2" flat brush, plus any other flat brush or 2 you already have; Pentel Color brush and any other pointed brushes you already have; some sort of ruling pen, if you're interested; paper with tooth for flat brush; ink and a tube or two of gouache; water jar and palette; pencil and ruler.  OPTIONAL: dark or colored papers, bright or light colors of gouache and/or a jar of Pro-White. For the cut paper part of the class you'll need: an Exacto knife & #11 blades and a cutting mat 8.5 x 11" or bigger); black paper, assorted papers &/or fabrics and collage material.

  • Katherine Malmsten & Karen Kant, Co-Directors
    Contact: Katherine, 425-821-7919; or Karen, 253-589-3994
    bwconference@hotmail.com