Deborah Nadel, Calligraphic Illustration
February 6 – 26, 2016
Syosset Public Library Art Gallery
225 South Oyster Bay Road, Syosset, New York 11791

About Deborah… beautiful lettering and calligraphy, luxurious paper and printing…

Longtime SoS member Deborah Nadel is a graduate of Pratt Institute in New York and a former art director for various design groups. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a designer and lettering artist. Her company Deborah Nadel Design is a full service design studio specializing in custom invitations in New York and Long Island, calligraphy for weddings and special events, and fine hand lettering.

Her work has been recognized by Brides, Brides Receptions, Modern Bride and Martha Stewart Weddings. Her past clients have included Tiffany & Co. and Crabtree & Evelyn.

In 2009, Deborah was chosen by Tiffany & Co. to create lettering for the Tiffany Notes jewelry collection. The words “I love you” and “Tiffany & Co.” in Deborah’s elegant script adorn rings, charms and lockets.

Free and open to the public.
For directions, hours, and contact: www.syossetlibrary.org

(If you’re interested in taking the train to Syosset on 2/6 or 2/13, please email us @ info@societyofscribes.org. If there’s enough interest, we can try to arrange a field trip!)


A la Mémoire des Enfants Déportés
January 27 – May 15, 2016
The Holocaust Memorial Center
28123 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills, Michigan 48334

SoS instructor Eleanor Winters’ delicate yet powerful calligraphic artworks evoke the memory of the 11,400 French Jewish children who were deported—and the vast majority murdered—between 1942 and 1944 through the complicity of the Vichy Government. Inspired by the plaques erected throughout Paris, the poetic phrasing of the exhibit reflects an almost tangible sorrow and shame through which the artist’s message shines: Ne les oublions jamais (We must never forget them).

Gallery and more about the artwork here. Download exhibition evite here.

Watch Detroit Fox 2 television segment about Eleanor’s show here.


Our Spring 2016 Classes & Workshops have just been posted. Details, descriptions and registration here.

But that’s not all! In addition to those already-posted, please save the dates for the following soon-to-be-posted workshops:

Late Spring/Early Summer Workshops!
Fancy & Fearless: Super Flourished Script Caps with Kathy Milici

Sunday, March 6, 2015 (registration will open on/around February 15th)
Pointed Pen Sketchbook with Pat Blair
Saturday/Sunday: April 30 & May 1, 2016
Paste Paper Party! with Anna Pinto
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Contemporary Rustics with Carl Rohrs
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Psychedelic Letters with Carl Rohrs
Sunday, June 5, 2016
Arabic with Elinor Holland
Saturday/Sunday: June 4/5, 2016

More Copperplate Classes!
Copperplate-Intensive (April) with Marcy Robinson
2 Saturdays: April 2 & 9, 2016
Copperplate-Intensive (May) with Marcy Robinson
2 Sundays: May 15 & 22, 2016
Copperplate II with Marcy Robinson
2 Sundays: June 12 & 19, 2016

Dates/classes are still subject to change until they are officially posted. Registration for new classes will open in mid-February/early March.

Plus! Coming this Fall: Cherryl Moote, James Farrell!
And in 2017: Vivian MungallHeather Held!

(Artwork above: Christopher Haanes, Vitalize Your Hands on February 20/21, 2016)


Calligraphers everywhere are invited to participate in the 22nd annual Graceful Envelope Contest, conducted by the Washington (DC) Calligraphers Guild and the National Association of Letter Carriers. The contest is open to all ages, with separate categories for children. There is no entry fee.

This year’s theme: Communication

Ever since Benjamin Franklin became America’s first Postmaster General, many of our most important messages arrived inside an envelope. Now your challenge is to design the outside of an envelope to highlight this—or any other—mode of communication. Your Graceful Envelope could honor the mail or the internet; the telegraph, telephone or television; person-to-person conversation or whatever kind of communication inspires your imagination. Address it artistically to:

The Graceful Envelope
100 Indiana Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001

POSTMARK DEADLINE: Monday, March 28, 2016

Winners will be chosen based on artistic hand lettering, creative interpretation of the theme and effective use of color and design, including incorporation of postage stamp(s).

Download Call for Entries here. More information and complete rules can be found here, where you can also view glorious winning envelopes from past contests. Here is Hannah Holder’s 2015 Best-in-Show envelope:

Hannah Holder

We hope you will be inspired by the many ways each year’s theme has been interpreted, by each artist’s use of calligraphy and decoration, and by how so much creativity has been channeled onto the small canvas of an envelope.


Here’s a quick preview of our Spring Schedule…  Please be aware that all dates/classes are subject to change until they are officially posted on our Classes/Workshops page. Members’ Pre-Registration links have been emailed to our current members. Registration links will be posted online for everyone on January 19 @ 9pm EST. (Some late spring/early summer workshops will be added later.)

Introductory Classes
5 Saturdays starting February 13 – Eleanor Winters, Italic-I
Feb 13/14 – Marcy Robinson, Copperplate Intensive
March 5/19 – Anna Pinto, Fine Tune Your Italic
5 Sundays starting March 6 – Elinor Holland, Copperplate-I
March 12/13 – Laura Di Piazza, Intro to Copperplate
3 Saturdays starting April 9 – Eleanor Winters, Italic-II
May 7/14 – Eleanor Winters, Foundational
May 15/22 – Marcy Robinson, Copperplate Intensive
June 12/19 – Marcy Robinson, Copperplate-II

February 20/21 – Christopher Haanes, Vitalize Your Hands
February 27/28 – Paul Shaw, Textura
March 6 – Kathy Milici, Fancy & Fearless: Flourished Copperplate Caps
March 12/13 – Carol DuBosch, Bone Alphabet
April 10 – Kathy Milici, Modern Storybook Script
April 16/17 – Nancy Culmone, The Versatile Versal (artwork pictured above)
April 30/May 1 – Pat Blair, Pointed Pen Sketchbook
May 14 – Anna Pinto, Paste Paper Party!
May 15 – Debra Dick, Intro to Uncial
May 21/22 – Kristen Doty, Drawing for Calligraphers
June 4 – Carl Rohrs, Contemporary Rustics
June 5 – Carl Rohrs, Psychedelic Letters

Coming Fall 2016: Cherryl Moote, James Farrell!

All dates/classes are still subject to change! Our Spring Schedule will be posted and registration will begin around mid-January. As always, current members will get a 24-hour advance registration period.


From A to Z: “Against the Odds” to “The Zorn Suite”
Friday, December 11, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm
School of Visual Arts Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 703A
Free and open to the public. Guests welcome. Refreshments served.

Anglo-Welsh poet, David Annwn will show images from and talk about some of the most recent collaborations involving the work of celebrated calligrapher, Thomas Ingmire and David’s own poetry. These will take us from St John’s Fragment/ Against the Odds, involving the oldest fragment of the New Testament, to the artists’ work with the music of famous New York musician, John Zorn. The talk will also include discussion of the processes of calligraphers and poets working with each others’ ideas and images. Questions are very welcome and these can also be sent to David in advance: please send them to info@societyofscribes.org and they will be forwarded.

(Image from Pulse, a recent collaboration between Thomas Ingmire and David Annwn)


Monday, November 23, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm
National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, Trask Gallery
Free and open to the public. Refreshments served.

Join us for a reception and gallery talk to celebrate our 2015 annual open members’ exhibition.

The show features over 40 works by the following members: Alice, Linda Abrams, Maureen Chen, Ethan Cohen, Cynthia Dantzic, Debra Dick, Anat Even Or, Richard Gottfried, Noa Guy, Margaret Harber, Ted Kadin, Judy Kastin, Carmela La Gamba Bode, Belén La Rivera, Brooke McDonald, Adrian Morehouse, Barry Morentz, Anna Pinto, Emily Brown Shields, Susan Steele, Chavelli Tsui, Kathy Wallace, Tanya Yeremeyeva, Lynne Yun, Jiaxuan Zhang. To download an index of the show’s artists and artwork, please click here.


Monday, November 16, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Rose Auditorium, Cooper Union, 41 Cooper Square
Free and open to the public. Please RSVP here.

A look at the thematic visual elements and relationships of letterforming from a craft & image-making perspective. Although great skill is required for the best calligraphy, one can get lost in the minutiae. Thinking in terms of visual language (not forgetting content) frees us to say what we really want to say or express.

Co-sponsored by the Society of Scribes and Type@Cooper.


Monday, November 9, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
The Grolier Club, 47 E. 60th Street
Free and open to the public. Refreshments served. Please RSVP here.

It was said of the great British architect, Sir Christopher Wren (1632–1723), “if you seek his monument – look around you.” Well, that may be true if you were standing in certain parts of London, but in the case of Hermann Zapf, if you want to see his monument, you can look around you almost anywhere in the world. Today, virtually every personal computer has some Hermann Zapf typefaces in use, from Book Antiqua (Microsoft’s name for their version of Palatino, originally designed in 1948 and adapted for various technologies since); to Zapfino, released in 1998 and since a component of the Mac OS.

Please join us from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on Monday, November 9 (the day after what would have been Zapf’s 97th birthday) at The Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, for a celebration of the life of the greatest type designer, calligrapher, and typographer of our time: Hermann Zapf, 8 November 1918 – 4 June 2015.

Zapf’s calligraphy has been inspirational for several generations of calligraphers. He set a new standard, and one might even say a new direction for the art; a direction which has become so much of a standard over the past fifty years or more that it is hard to notice from such a close vantage point that a seismic shift has occurred.

It is through calligraphy’s sister art, type design, that Zapf is best known. His Palatino design of 1949 would prove to be one of his most popular and admired typeface designs, still used widely today, almost seventy years after it was drawn. Like his hand lettering Palatino represented a sea-change in the art of type design, and was hugely influential to succeeding generations of type designers. As with Zapf’s calligraphy, his influence on type design became pervasive. Perhaps Zapf’s most revolutionary typeface design is the Optima font issued in 1958. Not so well known, but also exemplarily, is Zapf’s work as a book designer and typographer.

It is difficult to sum up such an enormous figure in the history of the letter arts in a few words. The type designer Adam Twardoch has written: “The word legend should be used sparsely, but Hermann Zapf definitely deserves it.”


Friday, November 6, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:00pm
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 703A
Free and open to the public. Guests are welcome. Refreshments served.

We’re so happy Georgia Angelopoulos is joining us this weekend! Looking forward to her workshop, Things Greek & Gilded, which has resulted in so many beautifully colorful pieces at past conferences and garnered so many raves from attendees (including our own Barry Morentz).

Tonight, Georgia will be speaking to the origins of the Greek letters and how and why they shaped the look of the Roman letters, but also those of emerging cultures/civilizations. Don’t miss it!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 8:00pm
National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South
Free and open to the public. Guests are welcome. Refreshments served.

Come and meet some of New York’s most distinguished scribes, who will display recent works in several languages and writing styles and demonstrate their special techniques. Now that cursive handwriting is no longer taught in schools, (it’s true, alas), this is a fine opportunity to experience the beauty and appreciate the value of writing by hand. Steve Jobs studied calligraphy at Reed College in Oregon for eighteen months after he officially dropped out. It is said that much of his inspiration came from this singular art, which he deemed “beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture.” According to one practitioner, “to do it properly requires a total understanding of the art and culture that gave rise to particular modes of writing. When you write in an Italic hand, you are making the same kinds of motions that Queen Elizabeth I made when she practiced Chancery Cursive as a teenager; the same motions as Michelangelo.”

The recently released book, 100 New York Calligraphers, by Cynthia Maris Dantzic, featuring works in 21 languages. Attending scribes, including SoS members Jerise Fogel, Elinor Holland, Ted Kadin, Barry Morentz, and Jim Zhang will be pleased to sign their pages. All proceeds from the evening’s book sales will go directly to The National Arts Club.

As a special souvenir, those attending this event will receive a complimentary booklet, Lines from William Shakespeare, featuring thirteen works by the bard seen in 100 New York Calligraphers. This is our October salute to the Shakespeare Guild which hosts a monthly program at the NAC.


Friday, October 23, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:00pm
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 703A
Free and open to the public. Guests are welcome. Refreshments served.

[NEWS FLASH! There is space available in Lee Ann’s workshop this weekend! It’s been sold out for weeks, but we’ve just had a couple late cancellations. Join us if you can! — You won’t regret it!]

We are beyond excited to welcome the talented Lee Ann Clark to New York City! While her wildly popular weekend workshop is completely sold out, everyone is welcome to attend Lee Ann’s slide lecture on Friday night. You can read more about Lee Ann and see some of her breathtaking work here.

writing with punctuation
working at the intersection of flourishes and distractions (comma) a perspective on making a living in calligraphy (period) and then some (ellipsis)


Linear Language: Annual Members’ Open Exhibition
November 3 through November 27, 2015
National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, Trask Gallery
The National Arts Club is free and open to the public Monday–Friday from 10 to 5.

Reception & Gallery Talk on Monday, November 23, 2015 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

Featuring artwork by our members: Alice, Linda Abrams, Maureen Chen, Ethan Cohen, Cynthia Dantzic, Debra Dick, Anat Even Or, Richard Gottfried, Noa Guy, Margaret Harber, Ted Kadin, Judy Kastin, Carmela La Gamba Bode, Belén La Rivera, Brooke McDonald, Adrian Morehouse, Barry Morentz, Anna Pinto, Emily Brown Shields, Susan Steele, Chavelli Tsui, Kathy Wallace, Tanya Yeremeyeva, Lynne Yun, Jiaxuan Zhang. To download an index of the show’s artists and artwork, please click here.

Submissions: All current members are invited to submit pieces for hanging by Monday, November 2nd. All artwork must contain some form of hand-lettering, and all pieces must be framed behind glass or plexiglass, wired and ready-to-hang.

Special thanks to Noa Guy, Maureen Chen, Alice and Margaret Harber for their help and hard work with this year’s installation.


Society of Scribes Annual Holiday Fair!
Sunday, November 1, 2015 from 11am to 4pm 
The Brotherhood Synagogue, 28 Gramercy Park South (between 3rd Ave/Irving Pl)
Free Admission! Open to the public, guests are welcome!

Join us for the event of the year, celebrating calligraphy and our love of hand-lettering and hand-made treasures! This year’s Fair will feature both new and traditional attractions: * Paper & Ink Arts on-site calligraphy boutique * NEW! Decorative rubber stamps, scrapbooking and paper crafts from The Ink Pad * Marbled artwork by Katherine Radcliffe * NEW! Letterpress & Book Arts from Intima Press & Furious Day Press * Calligraphy demonstrations * The SoS Scriptorium with Karen Gorst * Sakura pens! * Vintage 1890s Warren’s Pens * The SoS Kibitz Café (featuring NEW! premiere espresso/coffee from Cupa Cabana and assorted pastries from 11 to 3) * plus lots more to see and do! (We will continue to update this post as more vendors and demonstrators are confirmed, so please check back for the latest info!)

You can see pictures from last year’s Holiday Fair here.
(Photographs by Grayson Dantzic)

SoS Scriptorium w/ Karen Gorst – 2nd Floor! from 12 to 3
Featuring Modern Copperplate and Pointed Pen/Broad Pen flowers, leaves, and dingbats. Make a small Japanese accordion fold book!

Calligraphy & Art Demonstrations!
All Day
Alice – Pilot Parallel Pens
Christopher Calderhead & Anna Pinto – Collaborative Piece
Cynthia Dantzic – 100 New York Calligraphers
Barry Morentz – Gothic Capitals & Horizon Pens

Leslie Watkins – Watercolor
Marcy Robinson – Copperplate & Light Box
Ana Rodriguez & Chi Nguyen – Gelli Plate Prints
Carol Zack – Inks
Jeri Fogel – Papercutting
Elizabeth Hunter — SliderWriter
Ted Kadin – Hebrew
Jim Zhang – Chinese
(Please note that all times and demos are subject to change.)

Silent Auction! Featuring one-of-a-kind artwork by Christopher Calderhead, Anna Pinto, books and prints from Luca Barcellona, Yves Leterme and more.

White Elephant Table! We are asking members to bring gently used, unwanted calligraphy and art supplies: We’ll find them a good home.

Volunteers Needed! Please volunteer, we still need your help to make the Holiday Fair happen. Email us: info@societyofscribes.org

(Holiday Fair by Paul Shaw)


Last month’s field trip to the Big Eye Gallery in South Westerlo, New York, brought half a dozen voyagers upstate to view “Face to Face,” an exhibition of the drawings, photographs, calligraphy and books by Cynthia Dantzic and Virginia Cantarella.

Among the group were founding member Alice, and longtime member Jeanne Poland, who may be seen signing their pages in Cynthia’s new book, 100 New York Calligraphers.


Roman Capitals: Brush with John Stevens
Saturday/Sunday, November 14–15, 2015 from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 703A

John Stevens Lecture: Expression in Form, Rhythm & Movement
Monday, November 16, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square
Free and open to the public. Please RSVP here.

We had expected it to fill quickly, but John’s workshop sold out in a record-breaking 60 minutes. John has allowed us to add 3 additional seats, which we will fill by Random Integer Lottery on October 5th. To enter, please add your name to the Wait List here by 5pm EST on 10/05/15. (One entry per person; multiples will be deleted. Winners will be notified via email by 10/06 and will be given 48-hours to register. After that, we’ll go down the Wait List in order.)


We’ve also added several NEW Copperplate classes in October, November and December. Dates, details and registration here.


If you’d like to join a small group traveling upstate to see Cynthia Dantzic’s exhibition, “Face to Face,” on Saturday, September 26, please RSVP to info@societyofscribes.org by Thursday 9/24. Drivers are especially welcome to join the group for a day in Catskills filled with art, good company and fresh country air!

The exhibition at the Big Eye Gallery, near Hudson, New York, features a series of portraits Cynthia and Virginia Cantarella have been drawing of each other for many years during their 50-year friendship. Also in the show are works of Chinese calligraphy, nature photographs, drawings of other subjects and over half a dozen of their art-related books including Cynthia’s just-released 100 New York Calligraphers.

Face to Face: History of a 50 Year Friendship Sharing a Passion for Art
Art and Books by Cynthia Dantzic and Virginia Cantarella
September 3-30, 2015
Big Eye Gallery, Corner of Route 405 and 401, South Westerlo, NY 12083

Text and photo by Cynthia Dantzic

Bone Alphabet
Due to the impending hurricane, our weekend lecture & workshop with Carol DuBosch must be cancelled — for now — to be rescheduled (future dates to be determined).

Way back in 1985 at the International Calligraphy Conference in Los Angeles, I met a calligrapher from Portland, Oregon whose work was so fresh, so imaginative, and so dynamic that the first word that came to mind was “dazzling.” Not dazzling in the sense of having so much bling and glitz, but dazzling from the utter simplicity of line that at the same time displayed a masterful command of the tricks of the trade. My eye was continually drawn to her pieces and with every look I found something new that inspired me to revisit some of my own pieces to which I was especially attached.

The calligrapher whose work so motivated me is Carol Du Bosch, who this term graces our shores with her alluring “Bone” workshop. Carol’s resume is most impressive, having studied with the legendary Lloyd Reynolds, one of the most important American scribes to have furthered the understanding and study of calligraphy in this country. To quote her: ‘I fell in love with the tools immediately, and have really never gotten over the way the ink comes out of a broad edged pen like a ribbon! I’m completely hooked by the idea that words can be written to contain their meaning from the inside and not just “reading.” Calligraphers can inject the nuances of content directly into the forms. How cool is that?!

My favorite design trick is one that I learned from Lloyd Reynolds. When asked how to approach layout for a text, Lloyd replied, “Oh, that’s easy. You simply go into a dark room with the words you want to write and wait for the light to come on.” The layout answer will always be in the words to be written. It is important to me to imbue my work with meaning.’

At each annual conference Carol has set up shop during Serendipity time to demonstrate the latest tools and techniques. Crowds quickly gather around her as she displays a breathtaking virtuosity with every pen, pencil, brush, ink and gouache she employs.

The “Bone” workshop goes far beyond just learning another alphabet. Rather, it teaches you the subtleties of pen manipulation while simultaneously training your eye to recognize the alluring shapes that emerge from putting the words together. These seductive counterspaces then suggest a frame or overall shape for a text that transcends a traditional layout while maintaining an amazing economy of means.

There are still a few places available in this workshop on October 3/4. Come and be dazzled! (Carol will also be giving a free slide lecture on envelope art: Friday, October 2, at SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 703A from 6:30 to 8:00pm. )

—Text by Barry Morentz; artwork by Carol DuBosch


So, you have studied letterforms, practiced on a regular basis, captivated and wowed your friends and relatives with the birthday card you have designed for them, and now have dreams and ambitions to create a piece of calligraphic art that you hope will become a treasured family heirloom. Or that you are going to set up shop and blissfully produce awards and poetry and logos and movie titles and greeting cards for all occasions and anything else that can possibly be immortalized on paper.

But… you are besieged with doubts that you will succeed in translating to paper that which you so clearly envision in your mind’s eye. What holds you back? You are surrounded by design everywhere you look, from billboards to posters to magazines and newspapers, to television and movie ads; some good, some bad, some indifferent, some memorable, and sometimes even laughable. Surely, you think, it is possible to absorb the fundamentals of good design just by observing the innumerable printed works that bombard us on a continuous basis.

Well, maybe. But then again, not necessarily. Some people are blessed with an instinctive sense of design, or have had some background in fine arts, but many of us enter the world of calligraphy with little or no experience in the graphic arts and feel that we are at a loss and cannot design to save our lives.

So now comes the Great Awakening, when you realize that although you are comfortable with the pen and are producing beautiful letters, somehow, for reasons you cannot fully articulate, your piece is missing something. And this is where the study of layout and design is of critical importance, for no matter how lovely the forms are they cannot rescue a piece that fails to exhibit fundamental design principles. On the contrary, a well-designed piece of calligraphy can compensate for weaknesses in the letterforms. It is therefore critical that at some point after having learned to write an alphabet you take a workshop or two or an ongoing course in which you learn the significance of line, rhythm, contrast, form and space, balance, symmetry/asymmetry, movement, and appropriate use of color. A proper understanding and application of these essential elements will minimize the angst that often accompanies the production of a calligraphic work, and will make the entire process easier and more enjoyable.

This November/December noted SoS scribe Anna Pinto will conduct just such a workshop that is certain to put you on the road to creative and imaginative design. Anna’s work combines the awareness of classic design principles with a fresh contemporary perspective that will give your work punch and pizzazz, while tearing down the stumbling blocks that often lead to inertia. After this class you will no longer say  “… but I can’t design.”

Please Note: There are just a handful of seats left in Anna’s Layout & Design workshop on 2 Saturdays: November 21 and December 5.

NEW! Work/Share Sessions: An informal day of working on your own project; the next one is Saturday, November 21 from 10am to 5pm. Details and RSVP on our Events Page. We’ll invite experienced calligraphers/designers to come and give suggestions, encouragement, advice, critique. Come and be inspired!

– Text by Barry Morentz; artwork by Anna Pinto


Our Fall Classes & Workshops have just been posted. We’re so excited about our All-Star Fall line-up! More details and registration here.

All three Copperplate classes sold out in days, so we are working to add a few more.

Intro to Copperplate (Oct) with Laura Di Piazza
Saturday/Sunday: October 17 & 18, 2015
Copperplate-Intensive (Nov/Dec) with Elinor Holland
2 Sundays: November 22 & December 6, 2015
Copperplate-Intensive (Dec) with Marcy Robinson
2 Saturdays: December 5 & 12, 2015

Plus! Please Save-the-Date! Coming soon …
Roman Capitals: Brush with John Stevens
Saturday/Sunday: November 14 & 15, 2015

Registration for all new classes will open after Labor Day.

(Artwork above: Georgia Angelopoulos, Things Greek & Gilded on November 7-8, 2015)