Classes & Workshops

** Our classes are necessarily small and often sell out quickly. If a class is filled to capacity, please sign our Waiting List: we will try to accommodate everyone — and if possible, we may add another session. To receive an email when new seasons are posted, sign up for our Newsletter. Please read our Registration Policy at the bottom of this page. **


Italic I — (Anna Pinto) 5 Saturdays: September 22, 29; October 13, 20 & 27, 2018
Copperplate I — (Elinor Holland) 4 Sundays: September 23, 30; October 7 & 14, 2018
Introduction to Copperplate — (Laura Di Piazza) Saturday/Sunday: November 3 & 4, 2018


Pointed Brush Lettering for Beginners — (Debra Dick) Saturday, November 10, 2018
Monograms and More — (Barry Morentz) Saturday/Sunday, December 8 & 9, 2018
NEW! Brush Up Your Italic — (Marcy Robinson) Saturday/Sunday, December 8 & 9, 2018

Italic I

Anna Pinto

5 Saturdays: September 22, 29; October 13, 20 & 27, 2018
9:30 am to 2:00 pm
$260 members and non-members
Level of difficulty: Beginner and all levels
Location: SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street (between 2nd/3rd Avenues) Room 702A
Italic is the graceful, elegant handwriting of the Italian Renaissance.  Students use traditional tools — broad-edged dip pens and ink, rather than fountain pens or markers — in this beginner class which covers minuscule (small) and majuscule (capital) letters, numerals and punctuation. Letterform consistency and spacing are emphasized to help students develop their eye as well as their hand. By developing skill with the broad-edged pen, students will be ready to continue their study of Italic or try other calligraphic styles such as Blackletter (Gothic), Uncial, Carolingian and Foundational.

Note: this is a four hour class with a half hour lunch break (9:30-2:00), so please bring your lunch.
Materials List

Higgins Eternal Ink OR small bottle of Walnut Drawing Ink
Two pen nibs:
one Speedball C-2 and one of the following: Mitchell 2½ and a reservoir, Brause 1½, or, as a last resort, Speedball C-4. If you are left-handed, get left-handed nibs.
9” x 12” or 11"x 14" Borden & Riley #37 Boris Marker Layout pad,
or Boris Cotton Comp pad
Masking tape, paper towel or rag

Calligraphy mail order suppliers have everything and are reliable and fast:
Paper & Ink Arts (800) 736.7772
or John Neal Books (800) 369.9598

Basic supplies can be found locally at Dick Blick & Da Vinci.


Anna Pinto divides her time between all sorts of freelance work — from envelopes to awards to props for the film industry — and teaching. Her work is included in The World Encyclopedia of Calligraphy by Christopher Calderhead and Holly Cohen, and Italic and Copperplate Calligraphy: the Basics and Beyond, by Eleanor Winters, and is in the collections of the San Francisco Public Library, and libraries at Rutgers and Yale.

Copperplate I

Elinor Holland

4 Sundays: September 23, 30; October 7 & 14, 2018
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
$290 members and non-members
Level of difficulty: Beginner and all levels
Location: SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street (between 2nd/3rd Avenues) Room 702A
Copperplate is an elegant hand developed during the age of the great writing masters. This script is used extensively for invitations and formal events. We will introduce the use of the flexible pointed nib and learn the basic letter forms for minuscules and majuscules with emphasis on learning to see the underlying basic forms of this hand.

Note: This class runs 5.5-hours each Sunday with a half hour for lunch.
Materials List

Calligraphy supplies can be difficult to find...
John Neal has created an "Elinor Holland" package with all supplies on one page, here:

Higgins Eternal Ink,
Pad of Canson Marker Layout paper (size 9x12),
Dinky Dip,
Oblique (elbow) Penholder for right-handed students,
Straight Penholder for left-handed students,
Nibs: Nikko G, Gillot 303, 404, or Hunt 22
Drafting tape.

Materials fee: $1 to $10 (payable to instructor) for purchase of additional nibs


Elinor Holland works in both Latin and Arabic scripts. She teaches hands-on workshops in both types of script as well as lectures on Islamic Calligraphy. Her calligraphic work scans the range from invitation design to fine art commissions. She continually works toward refinement in her work through study and practice. Clients include Smithsonian Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Public Library and the Linearis Institute.

Introduction to Copperplate

Laura Di Piazza

Saturday/Sunday: November 3 & 4, 2018
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
$160 members and non-members
Level of difficulty: Beginner and all levels
Location: SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Steet (between 2nd/3rd Avenues) Room 702A
In this intensive weekend calligraphy workshop we will examine and practice letterforms in the Copperplate hand, a pointed-pen script that was developed in 16th century England. We will work with an oblique pen holder, pointed pen nib, ink, and guidelines. Our main focus will be on practicing varying amounts of pressure to apply to our pens to produce thick (shaded) and thin (hairline) strokes, letter slant and letter form. We will begin our practice with minuscule and later majuscule letters, which will be grouped according to similar letterforms. Feel free to bring in your favorite quote and/or project ideas for practice and discussion.

See a video of Laura's Copperplate lettering here.
Materials List

• Oblique pen holder (suggested: Speedball or better)
• Nikko G nib or Zebra G nib
• Black ink (suggested: small 2 oz. bottle of sumi ink)
• Dinky dip and pipette or 1/2 oz. or 1 oz. ink jar (glass or plastic)
• Small 4-6 oz. plastic or glass water container to clean your pen nibs (yogurt cups work)
• 4 sheets of paper towels or rag to clean your pen nibs
• T-square, 12" (John Neal sells a c-thru one for $2.50)
• Marker Layout Paper (semi-transparent) 9" x 12"
• Pencil
• Black ballpoint or rollerball pen


Laura Di Piazza (b. 1972, Brooklyn, New York) holds a MFA degree in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Laura teaches calligraphy workshops at Dartmouth College, AVA Gallery and Art center and MAKE! Skilled Hands. She has exhibited artwork in Austria, Canada, Germany and the USA.

Pointed Brush Lettering for Beginners

Debra Dick

Saturday, November 10, 2018
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
$80 members/$100 non-members
Level of difficulty: Beginner and all levels
Location: SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street (between 2nd/3rd Avenues) Room 701A
Learn the graceful art of modern, western brush lettering in this popular one day workshop. The emphasis will be on laying a strong foundation and becoming familiar with the unique aspects of writing with a pointed brush marker. We’ll begin with individual strokes, and build upon them to form expressive, stylish letterforms, numerals and punctuation. As the day progresses we’ll make our way from single letters to dynamic, brush-lettered words, phrases and quotes. During the process of learning we’ll also experiment with letter variations and connectors, try a few simple design techniques, and view inspiring works of brush lettering art.

Whether you’re a rank beginner or already have some calligraphy experience under your belt, “Pointed Brush Lettering for Beginners” will help you gain useful lettering skills along with a thorough understanding of the essentials of pointed brush writing.

Use what you learn in this workshop as a jumping-off point for creating your personal brush-lettering style, and to make greeting cards, signs, logos, monograms, patterns, and much more. No previous lettering or calligraphy experience necessary to participate.
Materials List

Please bring to class:
o Two Tombow Dual Brush Pens (or whatever brand you may already have on hand as long as they are similar in size and flexibility to the Tombow): 1 black; 1 gray -- available at Blick Art stores or online at (scroll down web page to see available colors)
o Marker Layout Pad ( minimum 9” x 12”) Please choose either:
• Borden and Riley Boris Marker Layout pad, 9 X 12, 50 sheets, or….
• Bienfang Graphics 360 Marker Pad, 9 x 12, 50 sheets
o Important Miscellaneous Items:
• 12”--18” Ruler
• 2H Pencil
• White Vinyl Eraser: Alvin Erase-Clear; Staedtler Mars Plastic, or similar
• Scotch brand removable tape (blue label)
• A list of words, phrases and short quotes that appeal to you
o Optional Items for Play time allowing:
• Gel Pens such as Sakura Gelly Roll (suggested brand, but use what you like or what you have on hand)
• Uni-ball Signo UM 153 White gel pen (wonderful opacity)
• Notebook and Pen

Materials are available at local art/craft supply stores, or online at:;;;;;;


Debra Dick became a freelance lettering artist/graphic designer in the early 1990s. Her commissions have included logos, t-shirt designs, corporate resolutions and one-of-a-kind calligraphic art on paper and canvas. Her work has been published in Letter Arts Review and the Calligraphers’ Engagement Calendar. In 2004, Paper Kite Press invited her to illustrate Zoo Haiku, a book of poetry and broad-pen drawings.

Debra became a roster artist with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in 2000, and has since conducted numerous calligraphy-related arts residencies in schools, libraries and museums. In addition to traditional calligraphy pieces, she also incorporates beautiful writing into paintings, drawings, and hand-made books.

Monograms and More

Barry Morentz

Saturday/Sunday, December 8 & 9, 2018
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
$80 members / $100 non-members
Level of difficulty: All
Location: SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street (between 2nd/3rd Avenues), Room 701A
Students will create letters to be used individually and in combination to form a unique pin-wheel effect. A segment of the design will then be copied in multiples to form a border to enclose the letters, thus creating a completely organic image. A by-product of the design process is the creation of new and unexpected letter variations that will increase your repertoire of forms. Different techniques for decoration will be applied including gilding, watercolor, colored pencil mosaics, and pen-made florals. Beginning students with little design experience will learn the essential elements of line, flow, space, rhythm, and contrast, while advanced students will be challenged by the unlimited range of possibilities. A FUN WORKSHOP!

Barry recently published his book Morphing Monograms, which will be available for purchase at the workshop.
Materials List

Usual calligraphic tools, including Mitchell (or Speedball) #1 or 0. Your favorite ink. A few felt-tip broad edge pens, such as Zig; semi-dry are great for texture. Goauche or watercolor, including at least a few complementary colors, white and metallic. 3-H and NB pencils. Colored pencils. Tracing paper and layout bond paper. A few small pieces (5" square) good-quality paper including black

• Please prepare on individual 3” squares of tracing paper at least 10 different letters in different styles and weights. You probably will not use all of them for the final project, but you will have variations readily available that will save valuable class time.

Optional: Phantom liner if you have one, and a tensor type lamp.


Barry Morentz owns and operates his Manhattan studio where he creates calligraphic works and hand-made books, boxes, and portfolios. He holds an MA in Medieval History, but abandoned pursuit of a doctorate in favor of an even less likely career in calligraphy. Initially self-taught, he began his formal calligraphic studies, primarily with Sheila Waters, in 1977, and eventually with almost every internationally recognized master. A seminal experience was participation in the Hermann Zapf Master Class at Rochester Institute of Technology in 1985, and subsequent paleographic studies in Rome and the Vatican Library. He has taught numerous workshops throughout the US, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and at five international Calligraphy Conferences.

In his midtown studio he ministers to the needs of The New York Public Library, Estee Lauder Companies, Cartier, Columbia University, and The Museum of Modern Art, where he has been The Living Anachronism since 1986. His day-to-day work includes Illuminated Resolutions and Awards Design, Publications Headings, Book and Portfolio Design, and the application of fine lettering in a range of areas. A life-long love for Shakespeare informs and inspires his personal work, which can be seen in numerous publications. In 2002 he realized a long-time goal of studying classical mosaics in Ravenna, Italy, where he learned to execute letters in an ancient format.

After more than 34 years, he remains inspired by the visual and emotional power of letterforms to communicate on a deeply-felt level and to challenge the viewer to discover and interpret the layers of meaning within a text. He recently published his book Morphing Monograms which will be available for purchase at the workshop.

NEW! Brush Up Your Italic

Marcy Robinson

Saturday/Sunday, December 8 & 9, 2018
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
$160 members/$200 non-members
Level of difficulty: Intermediate
Location: SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street (between 2nd/3rd Avenues), Room 702A
Is your Italic looking a little droopy? Does it need some sparkle and pizzazz? Than this workshop is for you! The workshop is designed to improve your Italic and to develop variations in order to expand your repertoire of alphabets. We will review the basic letterforms for the upper and lower case alphabet and variations will be discussed and demonstrated. The do’s and don’ts of flourishing will be examined. The basic elements of design will be illustrated. There will also be discussions of types of papers, pens, gouache and ink. Please bring a sample of your work for critique. Bring lots of questions — there is no such thing as a stupid question! Intermediate level student.
Materials List

• Speedball C-1 (or equivalent in other pens) and holder
• Layout bond such as “Borden & Riley” Cotton Comp or “Gilbert” bond paper
• Non-waterproof ink
• Ruler
• Pencil
• Notebook


Marcy Robinson is an award-winning lettering artist residing in New Jersey. She has studied with Julian and Sheila Waters and has taken workshops with many other calligraphic artists. Her work may be seen in Brides Magazine, the Calligraphy Engagement Calendars, Letter Arts Review, Calligraphies in Conversation and other calligraphic publications. Marcy was on the faculty of several calligraphy conferences. In addition, two pieces of her work were purchased by the Richard Harrison Collection of the San Francisco Library. She was one of 12 lettering artists featured in the "Alphabet" - the Journal of the Friends of Calligraphy, Spring 2011 issue. She also did the logo for "Alphabet."