Saturday, June 30, 2012

Calligraphy at Hogwarts West

The Portland Society for Calligraphy was the sponsoring group for the 31st Gathering of Lettering Artists that was The International Calligraphy Conference on Tuesday June 26. It was held at Reed College in Portland, Oregon under the auspices of Calligraphy Northwest. This is a big deal. Reed College is a century-old temple of learning nestled in the trees of the Woodstock District of Portland -one of the oldest parts of the city.
The night before the show we went to the famous Powell's Books in downton PDX and they had a show of local calligraphers' works.
It was in a corner of the ground floor near the Orange Room. And you have to agree with Rosanne Rosanadanna, it is always somethin'.

Powell's is the largest new and used bookstore in the world. If you have never experienced Powell's City of Books, it's four floors, at least, in what used to be a car dealership building. It's an entire block on Burnside and people like Chris, above, are not only helpful but can be essential. That info booth is just inside the door and you can get a map to the place (you'll need it). Great coffee shop in house BTW!

The conference drew 500 attendees and dozens of instructors and teachers from all over the world. We were in the student union building with about 20 other one-day vendors. Check out the cool sculptures hanging from the rafters. They're made of balloons! Chihuly on the cheap!

Grip-All Jaws was specifically invited to this event by the organizers and they had us right next to the main entrance! We, of course were showcasing the Orbital Easel. Between classes and during lunch and dinner, people came in and tried out this new thing they had not seen before.
We did pretty well and had a great repsonse. One of the attendees said that this new tilting and swiveling easel was what everybody was talking about in the classes. As one student put it, "This thing is all the buzz." Cool!

One of the vendors there was truely amazing! Tim Leigh is a master calligrapher and one of the nicest people in the world. He was there selling his folded nib pens. Check out his web site for the whole story. Calligraphy is a right-handed persuit but Tim is left-handed. He realized one day that, lefty or not, a 45 degree slant is the same right-side up or upside down. So he taught himself to write upside down - and backwards! Check out the video of him doing it.

We have to say that we had not had such a good time as we had here in Portland. The organizers and tireless volunteers with Calligraphy Northwest were just the best. Check out the Facebook Page. This conference was efficient, well organized, and the people were more helpful than we could have imagined. And to the lovely and talented Angelina who ferried us to and from the parking lot in the funky, steam-powered golf cart, a special thank you. To all the great folks with Calligraphy Northwest, a campus-sized thank you from all of us here at Grip-All Jaws.

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