Calligraphy has been a huge part of my life, long before ceramics came along. Drawing and writing have always been a part of my creative life, and I have never really thought of it as a skill, because I’ve always been told it was wrong.
Which is silly I know, but when teachers are constantly telling you that the technique you are using is wrong, it kind of sinks in after a while, especially when you are an impressionable teenager. Anyway, one thing my parents have taught myself and my siblings is to “always be a leader, never a follower”, and it is so true. Just lucky I have always been a head strong person and argued the point with my university taught Art teachers, that this is something I was given from birth, not something I have learnt, so why is my way wrong??!
However it has taken me a long time (until I was in my late 20’s) to realize I have a skill that was never learnt, it was a part of me. I used to hide my artwork away in a big folder so no one could see it and drew in the privacy of my bedroom. That was until I met Mic. He had me see that my work was great and I should be so proud of this gift. So, after a long time, I started to show other people…and the response was amazing!
Selling work, exhibiting work and winning awards was a huge shock, but it gave me even more confidence that my way was the right way…for me. I’ve always been a square peg trying to fit into a circle hole, but that changed right around the time I started Marley & Lockyer and I knew somehow I wanted to incorporate all of my talents into it.
~a pencil drawing from a few years ago~
That’s where calligraphy and drawing has become very much a part of my work. I use it in the very popular custom calligraphy Christmas stars, my serving ware pieces and over the last few years in teaching calligraphy in workshops with The Black Hen and next weekend with Launchpad Workshops in Hobart.
It’s been amazing. I love teaching and the skills I have developed from teaching fitness classes has been helpful in putting together the Chalkboard sessions. I love to give others the ability to be able to write and have developed this so others can go off and make money doing calligraphy in their own special font. That’s important because we all don’t want to be doing the same thing, so I teach each ‘student’ how to make their very own lettering that no one can mimic.
It gives me a bit of a chuckle these days, thinking back to those school days where I was made to feel ashamed for doing things ‘my way’. If I could tell my teenage self anything, it would be this…
…and I’m happy to help others sparkle as well.