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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

New calligrahy club Inklings creates space for creativity and exploration

<lligraphy Club was formed this past summer by club president Florence Solomon ’20, who utilized her passion for art to found the club.

“I have been deeply in love with calligraphy and I’ve been super interested in beautiful words and the intersection between beauty and truth,” said Solomon. The club is also combining the interests and talents of leaders Joshua Crotts ’19, Clara Finkelstein ’19, and Julia Truten ’19. 86 students signed up for the club at the activities fair this September.

The club has had three meetings since school started. After meetings, practice lettering can be seen on chalkboards in various classrooms. Skill and comfort levels with writing calligraphy vary among the club members.

“They presented a Chauncy Italic script first. What I found most interesting was an exercise of taking a piece of chalk and putting it at a 45 degree angle, and when you write, almost everything just looks better and calligraphic,” said member Daniel Ashurst ’22.

Because so many students are new to the art of calligraphy, the club took time to establish some background and basic practices. “They gave us a lovely presentation on some alphabets and the history of calligraphy and just discussed how it would run. And they polled the group for what was important for us,” added group member Sydney Marie Jones ’22.

Club treasurer Julia Truten believes people should have a personal connection with their fountain pen. She spoke with members of the club to figure out their preferences to match them to a custom pen. “We ask them, what are you going to use it for most, do you prefer a thick or thin line, heavy or light pen, long or short pen, ink color group and ink properties that stand out to you,” said Truten. The club is awaiting funding from the CSA to provide these materials for group meetings.

“It’s clear that care has gone into thinking about how to welcome people in a way that calligraphy is not overwhelming. You can see all the different kinds of pens and papers, but they will introduce you to it in ways that will get your interest going,” said Ashurst.

Solomon also plans to accommodate students who are unable to attend the meetings on Wednesday nights. Last Saturday, she held an event in upper Sayles.
“At the calligratea-party yesterday, there were these cool picture books, so I was transcribing the letters and different scripts of calligraphy. You can look through a book or ask someone if you want to learn a specific type of thing,” said Charlotte Zinda ’22.

Creativity will also go into the preparation of materials. The club plans to make their own pens and inks out of recyclable items. “I learned how to make a bunch of inks out of things you find in your refrigerator, and you can also make ink out of walnuts,” Solomon said.

In addition to being a creative outlet, calligraphy has several academic benefits. “It’s changed me as an English major to write with a fountain pen. It’s more permanent. You have to take more responsibility for your thoughts and ideas. Fountain pens, when working properly, should be a dynamic, loose relationship. You have to be very aware of the flow of ink, it’s a capillary system through the feed,” said Truten.

The club attendees have demonstrated improvement and enthusiasm over the past several weeks. “I’ve been blown away by how quickly they’re learning. They’ve been sitting down and learning so fast. It makes me excited how excited people get about it. It was after the first week that one of the first years emailed me afterwards and told me she had made a calligraphy birthday card for her friend, using her newfound skills. I’m excited to see them use their calligraphy skills to encourage the people around them. And make beautiful things,” said Solomon.

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