Waters Rising: An Evening with Sheila Waters & Julian Waters
Friday, October 7, 2016 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm (refreshments at 5:30)
The Grolier Club, 47 E. 60th Street
Free and open to the public. Refreshments served. Books available for purchase.
Please RSVP here.

5:30 pm – Refreshments
6:00 pm – FILM The Restoration of Books: Florence 1968
The 40 minute film by Roger Hill, script by Peter Waters.
6:45 pm – LECTURE Sheila Waters & Julian Waters
How events unfolded following the flood, with many photos.
7:30 pm – BOOK SIGNING
Books will be available for purchase (pre-order with RSVP to guarantee a copy).

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Florence Flood, Sheila and Julian Waters will describe the events detailed in Sheila’s new book, Waters Rising: Letters from Florence, chronicling her late husband Peter Waters’ leadership in saving 100,000+ severely damaged rare books at the Bibliotec Nazionale Centrale di Firenze following the flood, work which still continues today.

The book contains over 100 letters between Peter in Florence and Sheila in England from late 1966 to mid 1967, a day-to-day history of a pivotal time. The 496 page book contains 283 photos, including heart-wrenching images of flood damaged volumes, restoration procedures, and many of Peter’s designer bookbindings from age 14 though his mid 30s. After Florence, Waters was appointed Chief of Conservation at the Library of Congress, Washington DC, and has had a lasting influence on book and paper conservation worldwide.

A complimentary DVD is included: The Restoration of Books: Florence 1968, showing flood damaged books, fabrication of equipment and work stations, hand techniques and rare footage of Peter Waters making a leather binding.

Sheila (b. 1929) and son Julian Waters (b. 1957) are both internationally known calligraphers, designers and teachers. Julian Waters was a consultant and co-designer of Waters Rising.

Waters Rising: Letters from Florence will be available for purchase ($50), along with other signed books by Sheila and Julian Waters.

Download pdf with more information about the program and books available for purchase here.


Our Fall 2016 Classes & Workshops have been posted!
Details, descriptions and registration here.

But that’s not all! Please save the dates for these upcoming events:

Saturday, September 10 – Paper & Ink Play Day
Friday, September 30 – Calligraphy Conference Night (Show & Share!)
Friday, October 7 – Waters Rising with Sheila Waters & Julian Waters, Grolier Club
Sunday, November 13 – Annual Holiday Fair, Brotherhood Synagogue
TBD in Nov/Dec – The Calligraphy of Alice Book Signing, The Grolier Club
TBD in Feb – Calligraphy Show & Share Night with Alice
March 6 through April 1, 2017 – Members’ Open Show, National Arts Club
(Subject to change. Details will be posted soon!)

Coming in Spring 2017: Loredana Zega, Paul ShawVivian Mungall, Cherryl MooteHeather Held, Harvest Crittenden! (Subject to change until officially posted.)

(Artwork above: James Fazz Farrell, Contemporary Pointed Pen on September 23/24, 2016)


We couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming publication of The Calligraphy of Alice, and we’d like to celebrate Alice’s work by giving away three autographed copies of her new book!

To enter, please reply/share/tag on Facebook —or— send a handwritten postcard with your name and address to:

Society of Scribes, Ltd.
The Calligraphy of Alice
Post Office Box 933
New York, New York 10150

All postcards must be handwritten, and must be received by August 30, 2016. (You can include a note or question for Alice; we’ll make sure she gets them!)

Please follow us on Instagram and Twitter and/or like us on Facebook.
Please help us get the word out by re-posting, re-tweeting and tagging your friends!

We will randomly choose three winners, and we’ll be happy to ship anywhere in the world. Winner(s) will be posted in early September. Books will be mailed in November/December when they are ready. Additional rules and conditions apply and can be found here.



Friday, September 23, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 703A
Free and open to the public. Guests are welcome. Refreshments served.

James’ weekend workshop is sold out, but everyone is welcome to attend his Friday night lecture…

James has developed a new modern style inspired by nature and the cosmos, based on historical Spencerian and Round Hand scripts into an exciting new pointed pen “look” — a continuation of the Golden Age of American Ornamental Penmanship for use in our modern age.


Here’s a preview of our Fall Schedule…  All dates/classes are still subject to change until they are officially posted on our Classes/Workshops page. Current members will get 24-hour pre-registration links around 4/5pm on August 19; links will be posted for the public on August 20. (Some workshops may be added later.)

Introductory Classes
September 17/18 – Laura Di Piazza, Intro to Copperplate
5 Saturdays starting September 24 – Anna Pinto, Italic-I
5 Sundays starting October 9 – Elinor Holland, Copperplate-I
October 22/23 – Marcy Robinson, Copperplate Intensive
November 12/19 – Marcy Robinson, Copperplate Intensive

September 17/18 – Patricia Buttice, Cancellaresca Corsiva (pictured above)
September 24/25 – James Farrell, Pointed Pen
September 25 – Kathy Milici, Modern Storybook Script
October 1/2 – Elinor Holland, Arabic
October 2 – Debra Dick, Brush Lettering
October 15/16 – Leslie Watkins, Watercolor Decorative Borders
October 23 – Kathy Milici, The Flourished Envelope
October 29/30 – Barry Morentz, Boxmaking
November 13 – HOLIDAY FAIR!
December 3/4 – Anthony Bloch, Drawn Letters
December 10/11 – Paul Herrera, Slate Inscription Cutting


“The Calligraphy of Alice”
Kickstarter campaign: June 24 – July 30, 2016

While Alice’s work is known to scribes all over, the vast body of her graphic output remains unseen and uncollected. With your help, this first-ever compilation of Alice’s art will change that. Jerry Kelly has written an introduction and selected, with Alice’s active participation, over 150 illustrations, showing the breadth of her artistry. Donald Jackson has contributed an eloquent appreciation of his friend and colleague. And, to the delight of calligraphers, sketches and preliminary layouts will offer a rare glimpse into her working process. The book will run to over 140 pages in large format, with many color illustrations. It will be printed on archival paper, hardcover, with a sewn binding using imported cloth.

Download a pdf prospectus for the book, with more information and sample pages, here.

The Kickstarter page is live until July 30th; you can see it here.

There will be early subscriber discounts, and various premiums will be available, including original calligraphic samples by Alice, as well as deluxe limited editions with special additional material.

— Jerry Kelly



Paste Paper Play Day!
Saturday, June 18, 2016 from 12 to 4pm
SVA Annex, Room 702A
Please register here.

We had so much fun in Anna Pinto’s Paste Paper workshop last month — we’re setting up a “Play Day” to make even more papers! Hope you can join us for a fun and colorful afternoon! Newbies are very welcome, but space is limited.

More details and registration here. There’s a small fee ($5–10) to cover the cost of paste; everyone will bring their own papers, paint colors, and supplies.


This year marks the tenth anniversary of Paul Shaw’s lettering tours of New York’s five boroughs for the Type Directors Club, and the 20th anniversary of the Legacy of Letters tours of Italy, originally done with Garrett Boge but now with Alta Price.

During these years Paul has taken photographs of urban lettering everywhere he has traveled and has held lettering tours in places other than New York and Italy including: Atlanta, Boston (three times including Cambridge), Buffalo (twice), Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles (four times), New Haven, Philadelphia, and Portland (Oregon). And later this summer he will be hosting walks in San Francisco and Seattle.

More importantly, he is finally doing a lettering tour of nearby Newark, the largest city in New Jersey and once an economic powerhouse.

The tour takes place on Sunday, June 19 (yes, Father’s Day) from 10 am (meeting point in lower Manhattan will be disclosed nearer the time) until 2 pm. The cost is $20 for students and members of the Society of Scribes, AIGA, TDC, ATypI, SoTA, and APHA. All others the cost is $25. This lettering tour is limited to 15 people, and only a few spots remain.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity. You can sign up by emailing Paul (paulshaw@nyc.rr.com) and paying via PayPal or cash. Paul hopes to see you in “Joisey.”


There’s still space available in this summer’s 35th Annual International Calligraphy Conference, to be held at Warren Wilson College near Asheville, North Carolina. We’ll have a number of SoS members in the New York contingent—join us and join the fun! More details, classes and registration here.


Typographics: A Design Festival for People Who Use Type
June 13–23, 2016, Cooper Union, New York City

We’re happy to be one of the sponsors of Typographics, a design festival of interest to our members…

Typographics is an 11-day design festival devoted to contemp­orary typo­graphy, with talks, work­shops, and tours focusing on where typo­graphy is today and where its future may lie. It will be held at The Cooper Union in New York City.

Workshops & Tours: June 13–23
A series of workshops and tours have been scheduled with Type@Cooper before and after the conference, with options focusing on everything from hand lettering to responsive typography.

Conference: June 17–18
The highlight of Typographics is an intensive two-day conference centered on the use of type for publications, advertising, corporate identity, and user interfaces. Registration is open to the public.


Michael Knies: The Golden Age of American Penmanship
Thursday, June 9, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Type Directors Club, 347 W. 36th Street
TDC members $5, non-members $22.09, students $16.82
Register online here.

Members may be interested in this lecture, sponsored by our friends at the Type Directors Club…

We know type and text more than we write by hand, and the art of beautiful everyday writing has all but disappeared. But once, penmanship was an esteemed skill, a sign of education, refinement, and good taste. For centuries, correspondence, advertising, even business transactions and records, were exquisite documents created by skilled penmen—members of a profession that has shrunk to a rarefied few. Some penmen learned their exacting craft in the newly created business school movement, while others took to the roads as itinerant writing masters. These virtuosi produced pen-flourished artworks and calligraphic alphabets used in diplomas, commemorative documents and advertisements. Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian at the University of Scranton will discuss the history of American penmanship and present the work of master penmen from the spectacular Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection.

More information on TDC website.


Sell, Swap, Share, Show!
Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 12 to 4pm
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Rooms 703A
Free and open to the public. Guests are welcome!

Be sure to join us on Saturday, June 11, at our usual camping grounds: SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room703A, for Summer Sweep! All members are invited to take a table and to sell any materials from your studio that you no longer want, but that others will find useful and desirable. Pens, markers, inks, paints, papers, books–anything. The condition and/or amount of use these items have had does not matter. At bargain basement prices no one can complain. And you will be creating valuable space in your studio to make room for all the new materials you will undoubtedly buy in the coming months.

Unsold, unclaimed merchandise will be donated to the New York Public Library, the Ronald McDonald House, and/or the students and staff at SVA.

And there will be a display of the creative envelopes you have received from your calligraphy pals around the world. Please bring a handful of them to be mounted on the walls–and don’t forget your camera!

There is no charge to take a table! But you must register here… and we’ll see you on the 11th!

(Artwork and text by Barry Morentz)


Friday, June 3, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 703A
Free and open to the public. Guests are welcome. Refreshments served.

Georgia Deaver, of course, was a stunningly original, influential and fluid calligrapher who specialized in commercial lettering and illustration as her profession, for which she was known world-wide, and brought the same impossibly delicate touch and sensitive sense of line to her own artwork. This career-long retrospective was compiled by a one-time teaching partner of hers, who had access to Georgia’s own files in preparation for their classes together, and shots from the enormously generous donation of her work to the SFPL’s Harrison Collection — more than 800 pieces of roughs, sketches, and artwork — from Georgia’s family, plus shots of unique day-to-day work and play from her former roommate. The slideshow will feature work from these sources and more, and, frankly, it’ll knock you out. If you didn’t know that she was (and, in our mind, always will be) one of the world’s leading lettering artists, this will persuade you of that.


(Artwork by Georgia Deaver)

Psych BrushUnc

“Georgia: Each Letter is a Person” Slide Lecture with Carl Rohrs
Friday, June 3, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 703A
Free and open to the public. Refreshments served. Guests are welcome.

Psychedelic Calligraphy: Written & Cut with Carl Rohrs
Saturday/Sunday, June 4 & 5, 2016
$160 members/$200 non-members
Details and registration here.

Contemporary Rustics with Carl Rohrs
Monday, June 6, 2016
$80 members/$100 non-members
Details and registration here.

We’re so excited to offer a free slide lecture — and not one, but two NEW workshops with one of our favorite instructors, Carl Rohrs! Members’ exclusive pre-registration begins May 7th. Registration will be open to the public on Monday, May 9th.



Brooklyn Historical Society, Free Fridays
Friday, May 6, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm
128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn
Free and open to the public.

This month’s theme is “Keep in Touch” and there will be many related activities, tours, and readings. The Society of Scribes will demo calligraphy and hand-lettering from 5 to 8pm: If you’d like to see some calligraphy in action, have your name written on a bookmark, ask questions about classes, or take a pen for a test drive, please come by!

More information here. Directions here.


Friday, April 29, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 703A
Free and open to the public. Guests are welcome. Refreshments served.

Pat Blair’s workshop sold out in just under two hours, but everyone is welcome to attend her free Friday night lecture.

Calligraphy can be an important element in designing any social correspondence, and Washington DC is front and center for events and protocol. Choosing the lettering and color palette are part of the many decisions to be made when creating the overall design when planning an event, as well as preparing for successful printing. We will take a look at how calligraphy shapes the look of events, and becomes a footnote to history.


Paste Paper Party!
Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 702A
Details and registration here.

Letters Mingle Souls… but first let there be paper! As early as the 16th century, a mix of paint and paste was used to decorate paper for covers and endpapers for books. Artists today adapt this technique using acrylic paints mixed with paste. Lettering and paper artists further adapt this method for creating invitations, journals, books, cards… the possibilities are indeed up to the imagination. Although it is often referred to as “finger-painting” for adults, it is so much more. Imagine your favorite quote, passage or poem, layered atop a visually textured paper providing a focal point or emphasizing text. Paste papers invoke mood and set tone, further engaging the reader’s response. They can be artsy and flourished with circular or angled brush strokes and bold color or quiet and subdued with minimal texture. You have absolute power over design, color, and texture. The beautifully formed line patterns can serve as guidelines for your calligraphy, further enhancing your text or it can have very little lines and have shapes instead. You decide. Either way, the tactile properties created by the paste provide up close and personal interaction between the artist and the paper, the paper and the text and finally the artist, the finished piece and viewer. What a way to mingle souls!

Some time ago B.C. (before calligraphy and the Society of Scribes), I took a paste paper class and enjoyed it. I stored the papers away however, not knowing what to do with them. Recently, in Anna’s Layout class, I understood the impact these papers can have! Anna’s painted papers—to quote Pablo Neruda: “ignited my soul!” Anna’s beautiful paste papers fanned the flames of which Neruda speaks. I understood how paste paper can be the first layer in the design process. They can be further enhanced by colored pencil, inks, gouache, gel pens, crayon resists, stencils and chalk pastels—or not. Anna’s Paste Paper Party is one step in the design process. It is not just finger-painting for adults, it is a playground for exploring painted paste as a layer, design, and embellishment for text. Color and texture adds tone, sets mood, provides focal point, creates rhythm and embraces text. Indeed, paste paper is a venerable tradition worth learning. You can do anything you want with this painted paper that you can do with any other kind of paper.

This is one party you don’t want to miss. We will leave this party with paper ready prepared for lettering, or for anything else you wish. Consider the colors and lines invoked by your favorite quote, poem or phrase. Have these ideas in mind as you explore paint and texture. I will be there and will bring plenty of mark making tools to share! Sign up for this party—it’ll be a lot of fun!

—Text by Ana Rodriguez; artwork by Anna Pinto


Sunday, April 17, 2016 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 703A
Free and open to the public. Guests are welcome. Refreshments served.

Nancy will show a recently completed unique book entitled Ojitos Flora. She will discuss and answer questions about process, text, calligraphy, illustrations, binding and clamshell box. She will also bring along some pages from a book that she’s currently working on now.

There’s still one spot left in Nancy’s workshop, The Versatile Versal this weekend!


Friday, March 11, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 703A
Free and open to the public. Guests are welcome. Refreshments served.

Still two spots left in Carol’s popular workshop: Bone Alphabet on March 12/13.

Join us for the fun on Friday night as Carol DuBosch presents the many possibilities for using your art to make unique envelopes for your everyday mail! We all love to see our name “in lights,” and creatively addressing envelopes to friends and family is a great way to let them shine and know they are special. Carol will discuss simple techniques to make your mail a piece of art. In addition, she will show a library of resources for “Envelope Art” ideas. Carol regularly enters and wins awards in the annual Graceful Envelope Contest. She will show her layouts, sketches and copies of her many winning entries.

Top Ten Reasons for Lettering Envelopes
1. You never  have to decide what to write (name & addresses are a given).
2. Nobody will be offended by your choice of words.
3. Choosing the right paper isn’t a problem — commercial envelopes are just fine.
4. Only knowing one letter style is not a problem.
5. You have a practical place to try out new hands.
6. You can quickly get your efforts out of view — pop them in the mail.

… for 7, 8, 9, 10 and MORE join us for Carol DuBosch’s presentation of Envelope Art!


Fancy & Fearless: Flourished Script Caps with Kathy Milici
Sunday, March 6, 2016
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
$80 members/$100 non-members

This workshop is not for the faint of heart! Ramp up your existing pointed pen style by learning the detailed principles and structure of successfully super-flourished script capital letters, indepth techniques and alternate stroke combinations.

First we will observe and study historic examples from English, French and Dutch writing masters, like Bickham, Van den Velde, Milns, Girault, and Ames. With exercises to loosen your hand and challenge your brain, we’ll then move to basic strokes that gradually increase in intricacy and difficulty. We’ll play with capital stem extensions, loops, ovals, intricate spirals, graceful direction changes, unusual shapes, tricky intersections and turned exits. Close attention will be paid to managing visual space. The result is super flourished, classic caps with character!

Kathy believes that anything worth flourishing is worth over-flourishing. Come build your repertoire and have FUN!

Please Note: This is a design class. Knowledge of pointed pen script lettering (Copperplate, Engrosser’s Script or Spencerian) is necessary to fully benefit from this workshop.

More details and registration here.

(artwork by Kathy Milici)