Workshop with Italian Calligraphist Francesa Biasetton
I was honoured to take a workshop at the cultural association Maryclar with Italian calligraphist Francesa Biasetton. Her workshop took us through the structure of Roman uppercase letterforms found on Tranjan’s column. We reproduced letterforms using an italic nib and later learnt the basics of the brush pen.
We become familiarised with the Roman uppercase letter form as children just learning to write. What is not divulged to us as kids is this: square + circle = the harmonious and geometrical Roman skeletal form.
We studied the minimum and maximum width made by calligraphy nibs and how the angle we position our hand influences the mark on paper. Continuous and upward strokes on a paper gain rhythm, creates pattern and becomes a sort of launching pad which the italic letter form takes flight.
We switched over to the brush pen, a tool I never knew how to use properly (don’t push down on the point), even if I had collected several over the years waiting patiently in a box. We focused on making marks and then letters within the Square + Circle paradigm. According to Biasetton, the larger the letters with the brush pen, the better. Marks made on paper started to take on an illustrative effect to my mind.
And this is what distinguishes Biasetton, an aficionado of asemic writing, which children are so naturally inclined towards.
During the class she had vaguely mentioned a petition to sign. The Handwriting Manifesto is meant for school authorities to safeguard “handwriting as a practical tool and significant cultural resource”.
After the class I was curious to understand more about this petition, and in the process learnt Biasetton is acting president of the Italian Calligraphy Association. Their association, as one would expect, bolsters some of the absolute most noteworthy Italian calligraphers. At their website there are some lovely videos of them practicing and upcoming workshops in all of Italy.