Finding the Breath-like Flow: An Introduction to Arabic Script
We are all beginners.
This will be an excursion out of our usual world of Roman letterforms. Imagine yourself about a thousand years ago. The continent of Europe is in darkness but there is light shining in the Muslim lands to the south and east. A great civilization is flourishing and from its pen flows the beautiful Arabic script. Translations of Greek philosophy and science, which later inspired the Renaissance, are being translated and copied in Arabic! In Baghdad, a school of calligraphy is flourishing and forming the basis for the great Ottoman calligraphers. A particular lettering style called Thuluth is in its youth, waiting to be developed by years of practice by many devoted scribes. Returning to this century, we now have the great fortune of enjoying the fruits of the labors of our calligraphic ancestors. Thuluth is a wide-spread, multi-use hand, elegant and flexible, and being taught by the current masters in Turkey. Even if you don’t read the languages written in this script, its beauty shines through. With its horizontal strokes and many curves it embodies a breathlike flow.
We will introduce the alphabet and its historical use in calligraphy before moving onto trying reed or bamboo pens and ink to get a taste of the experience of writing. We will not expect to master this script, but rather expand our horizons technically, visually and culturally. Everyone is welcome!
Pens and paper will be provided by the instructor for approximately $20. Please bring Higgins Eternal ink (half a bottle is sufficient).