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Handcrafted Writing Instruments + Creative Tools


Gemma Milly - Meet the Calligrapher

Gemma Milly - Meet the Calligrapher

Hey Folks!  So I've been thinking for a while about creating a journal featuring the world's most talented, interesting and innovative calligraphers as a place for those beginning calligraphy or the seasoned pro to find out about the awesome work of others.

Kicking us off is my wonderful wife and calligrapher extraordinaire Gemma.  Over to you Gem...

Hi, I'm Gemma I'm a calligrapher, illustrator and designer based in Dorset. I'm also married to Tom from Tom's Studio! I run a boutique wedding stationery and calligraphy studio.

When did you start calligraphy?

At school when I was 12 years old. My parents bought me a calligraphy set and I first learnt how to write in copperplate.  Over time I've developed my own style of writing and now teach modern calligraphy workshops in the UK, with a slightly nicer pen than I started out with (thanks Tom!).

What do you love about calligraphy?

Practicing calligraphy forces you to slow down and be present; I love that it's completely absorbing and therefore a great way to switch off from social media and technology. Letters are more like art forms that writing, so it's really satisfying to see the ink form beautiful shapes on the page. I also love to see peoples faces or reactions when I've designed them a logo or wedding invitation using my pens - it brings me a huge sense of joy to know I've made someone's day.

Can you share any top calligraphy tips?

Slow down your writing; calligraphy is meant to be written slowly, not at your normal handwriting speed. This will make your letterforms smoother and neater. 

For the perfect flourish turn your paper 45 degrees and draw them vertically - this way you'll have lovely up- and down-strokes in the right places .

Finally, angle your paper not your wrist to achieve writing on the perfect slant (which, for the geeks amongst you, is 55 degrees.)  I could go on....

When you're not practicing calligraphy, what do you like to do?

We live by the sea, so my chill out time is early on a Saturday morning when I go to a yoga class by the beach whilst Tom hangs out with our 18 month old daughter Elodie. I also do pilates every week to help strengthen my aching back from spending all week hunched over a pen and ink. On my days off I like to paint or bake with Elodie, and have just taken up crochet! I've been crocheting a hat for Elodie for the past week, and have probably unpicked more than I've actually made!

visit Gemma's site www.gemmamilly.com to see more of her Beautiful calligraphy and wedding stationery.

Photo credits: products (Imogen Thoburn, Cornelia Lietz) Portrait Cecelina Tornberg

Crooked Calligraphy - Meet the Calligrapher

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