Denis Brown • • •

Ewan Clayton

Ward Dunham

Thomas Ingmire

Stan Knight

Charles Pearce

Carl Rohrs

Michael Sull

Diane von Arx

Julian Waters

Sheila Waters



Evening Programs


J U N E  2 5 — J U L Y  2  •  2 0 0 6

Trinity Lutheran College • Issaquah, Washington

Denis Brown has been inspired by Ireland’s ancient manuscripts since his schooldays; his formal training in traditional calligraphy was at London’s Roehampton Institute. Now his work explodes from and extends those traditions in the form of innovative modern works of art, with awards and commissions over four continents. As a recognized leader in his field, he shares his knowledge in workshops and at conferences. More about Denis and his work can be found at his website,

Celtic Script— closed
Developing a contemporary hand from ancient sources
5 days

Detail of 'Pangur'; click to enlarge

This week-long class will begin with an appraisal of The Book of Kells, one of the most complex and wonderful manuscripts in all history. It has been a continuing inspiration to Denis ever since he was a schoolboy! He will point out subtleties of decoration and script including demonstrations of incredible pen manipulations used in its writing. This majestic script has been much studied but rarely, perhaps never, fully understood. Students will practice an adapted version of Insular half uncial appropriate to their level of experience (i.e., a simplified form for all but the most advanced).

However, since the ancient half-uncial form is generally inappropriate for contemporary use, we will soon turn our practice to a more modern hybrid, blending insular characteristics with italic principles. This script is one Denis developed for use in cases where a Celtic feel is appropriate, but without indulgence in pastiche. Since italic will be the second parent of the hybrid script that will be developed (half uncial being the first), Denis will give an in-depth explanation of his principles of italic, in terms of structural relationships in a whole variety of italic forms, and with reference to rhythm and fluency. This will be aimed at helping students improve their own italic, over and beyond the specific Celtic hybrid script that will be practiced. A range of advanced pen techniques and manipulations will be incorporated into the hybrid script for those students ready for them, although slightly simpler options will also be demonstrated for intermediate level students.

Celtic decoration and illumination techniques will be explored also, though the main focus will be on letterforms. This class is appropiate for intermediate to advanced students.

  • Supplies:
    Broad edged calligraphy dip-pens (Brause nibs size 3mm or 4mm particularly suggested in addition to students own preferred brand), ink, gouache paints, palette, mixing and loading brushes, water jar, pencils, ruler, scalpel or scissors, sable watercolor brushes (sizes 000, 0 and 2), pad of practice paper 11 x 17, a few sheets of quality paper for finished work, eg. hot pressed watercolor paper such as Saunders Waterford 90 lb, or Arches text wove, or your own preferred brand.

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