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Work in Progress Archives - Plurabelle Studio | Calligraphy & Graphic Design

Instagram Lately: May 2014



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In Behind the Scenes, Calligraphy, Teaching, Wedding, Work in Progress, Workshop


Clockwise from top left:

• Photography studio Vera in August applied the logo I recently designed for them onto wooden USB drives. (Photograph by Vera in August.)

• A peek behind the scenes: the process of envelope addressing from a pile of handwritten lists and Excel sheets to a neat stack of calligraphed envelopes.

• From sketch to polished calligraphy: lyrics from a client’s wedding song calligraphed in black with shimmering gold accents

• A snapshot of my May 17th boston workshop

• White on black – my all-time favorite combination!

• A passage by my favorite author, Virginia Woolf, from her book The Waves. When I took the snapshot of it outside on my porch, the railing cast a beautiful — and oddly appropriate — shadow across the paper.

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A Grand Opening: 826LA at Mar Vista



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In Behind the Scenes, Calligraphy, Work in Progress


Back in November I had the special pleasure to calligraph a scroll of donor names at the grand opening event of 826LA‘s Mar Vista location. I’d been a volunteer at 826’s after school tutoring program for awhile and when I heard they were looking for a creative way to showcase the names of their new location’s founding donors, I leapt at the chance. At the evening’s event, those donors who made sizable contributions to the organization watched me calligraph their names onto a delicate, yellowing scroll. To be precise, it was a vintage player piano scroll of a Greek traditional song, bought for me at the Rosebowl Flea market way back in 2011 by my dear calligraphy friend Mara of Neither Snow. Mara bought an identical one for herself and we vowed to each other that we would save them until the perfect, most unbeatably-awesome excuse to use them arose. I considered this such an occasion. I used a Brause EF66 nib and walnut ink I’d mixed from crystals, which lent the calligraphy an aged, vintage look.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the 826 program, it’s a nation-wide, free tutoring service for kids K–12. From

826 National is a nonprofit organization that provides strategic leadership, administration, and other resources to ensure the success of its network of eight writing and tutoring centers. 826 centers offer a variety of inventive programs that provide under-resourced students, ages 6-18, with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. We also aim to help teachers get their classes excited about writing. Our mission is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

Since its founding in San Francisco in 2002 by award-winning author Dave Eggers and educator Nínive Calegari, 826 has sparked students’ imaginations. Fanning the sparks into full-blown creative wildfires, 826 centers across the country offer free programming for students. Our celebration of writing, learning, and arts education engages under-resourced youth, enabling them to flare up and rise to their full potential. (Read more…)

+ You can read more about the event and my contribution to it on the 826LA blog, here.

+ Learn how to volunteer at one of the eight 826 locations around the country (LA, Chicago, Brooklyn, San Fran, DC, Seattle, and Ann Arbor).

+ Visit 826LA’s Online Time Travel Mart. Proceeds go to the 826LA program.

{ Calligraphy by Plurabelle | Photography by Malktime | Special Thanks to 826LA }

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Seven – A Video




In Behind the Scenes, Calligraphy, Videos, Work in Progress

My new demonstration video is live! In this video I calligraph the word “seven” — one in a series of 22 table number signs I was creating for a wedding in St. Louis. This extra-bold lettering style of mine — which uses double-thick downstrokes and touch-ups with a small paintbrush — is one I call Bunny. (See more of my styles here.) Enjoy!

For those of you learning calligraphy, tell me: is this sort of video helpful? Would you like me to make more? If so, are there any particular techniques you’d like me to share?


Supplies featured in this video:
  • Brause EF66 nib
  • Dr. Ph. Martin’s Pen-White Ink mixed with a little water
  • A very tiny paintbrush
  • Black bristol paper
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Behind The Scenes: Hue Matching




In Behind the Scenes, Color Inspiration, Work in Progress

I’m often asked to do calligraphy in a specific color to match an existing ink. I love using gouache for this, because it’s so easy (and fun) to mix from just a few basic colors, not to mention that it dries to the most beautiful finish and opacity!

{ Photography by Plurabelle Calligraphy }

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Work in Progress: Monogram




In Calligraphy, Lettering, Work in Progress

{ Design & Photography by Plurabelle Calligraphy }

Monograms can be deceptively difficult. A well-designed monogram should look effortless but can take many, many more rounds of editing than full words or larger layouts. Above, a monogram I’m almost finished with – I think this may be the last round of revisions!

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