A couple of years ago I went to a calligraphy workshop. As well as doing English Calligraphy we also tried doing Arabic script (I don’t have much memory of it). I do remember we used sticks cut down to make a chiseled edge to write with. Then like children learning the alphabet we wrote each letter over and over again until we started getting the shapes right.

I enjoy drawing patterns so it was really interesting to see how this style of writing worked. The artist who taught us showed us some beautiful calligraphy. Unfortunately I did not take any photos of his work. Calligraphy is clearly an art in its own right. I would love to learn more.



I guess you can make a bit of art out of anything. This was an attempt to draw a peacock feather. I thought of how feathers have been used for centuries to make quill pens?

How many million words were created and written from ink and a feathered quill?

Then I thought about what ink is made of. I used to use something called quink ink. When you use it with water it splits from black into blue and brown colours. I would paint pictures with it. This was years ago, it may have changed now. Ink used to be made of  things like oak galls. It is interesting that before paper was used in the west vellum was the surface people wrote on. Many of the laws set down in this country’s parliament was written down with quill pens onto vellum. Other countries used ink and brushes, and I think you can see the different characteristics of the shape of letters depending on what mark making tool was used.

Feathers have been used for so many things. Pillows, duvets, feathered dusters, cushions, even burnt under peoples noses to revive them when they fainted.

It is interesting that dinosaurs sometimes had feathers and birds evolved from them, so feathers have been around for millions of years.



Cat card ideas

I found some surreal drawings I did a few months ago in an old sketchbook….


It was just before Christmas and I was thinking of ideas for cards that would incorporate cats and pottery. I was experimenting with cats keeping warm, or towering over bottle ovens, their poise as they step across and round objects.

I was also playing with scale. Why should the cat be tiny and the bottle oven huge? After all there are no written rules for art.

These are just sketches, and the photos were taken on my phone camera so I don’t think they are very clear. But you get the general idea. I may take them further by colouring them and tidying them up.

Cats rule x

Last year I learned about Batik.

I’ve always wanted to learn this.


I have a friend called Belinda who runs various art classes. So last year I had a go at doing batik.

It’s a while, so I don’t recall the technique, but first you draw out a design and use hot melted wax on top of it to add areas which will resist the coloured inks that make up the bright colours of your design. This was to give us an idea of how to make an art work. I drew fish in a Piscean sort of pose.

Once we had done this we went on to draw our designs on a peice of cotton in wax ( you could use silk). After the wax had dried we then painted inks onto the design. I had done a yin yang kitties design …see photos.

But you then have to remove the wax. This is done by putting the material between  paper and ironing with a hot iron. As you heat the cotton up the wax melts again and is absorbed into the paper. you can add more wax and build up more layers of colour. I would say start with the lightest inks or dyes first as you would with watercolour painting.

Finally I added some stitched details on the cats faces to define their eyes and noses.

I was surprised with the result, very happy with it, and I think that was down to the teacher.  All the people at the group were pleased with their peices.

I would recommend anyone to have a go at this. I have since had the peice mounted and framed.