Italian Hand: The Poetic Pen 2-day Calligraphy Workshop with Heather Victoria Held
$285 – $325
Italian Hand: The Poetic Pen 2-day Calligraphy Workshop with Heather Victoria Held

Italian Hand: The Poetic Pen 2-day Calligraphy Workshop with Heather Victor...

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Berkeley City Club

2315 Durant Avenue

Berkeley, CA 94704

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Italian Hand: The Poetic Pen

The study of Italian Hand is the key to unlocking all other script hands and will free your hand with the pointed pen. Described as playful, joyful and exuberant by its early writing masters, Italian Hand reaches back to the first decade of the 1600’s and was prominently used until the mid 1860’s.

This mercantile script is a narrow and graceful hand, made distinctive through its unusual use of shading. Often called “blob top or club top” lettering, this hand evolved out of italic hands and appears throughout history in various forms. Although it was historically marketed as the simplest of all script hands, it can look confusing until it is demystified. The lowercase forms are very simple to learn. The capitals are varied and can take the form of Standard Roundhand or the more complex reverse shaded letterforms.

Throughout The Poetic Pen class, we will simplify the capital forms while striving to perfect the shading on the lowercase forms. We will explore various European influences of the capital letters. The end goal of this class is not to copy a historic hand but to help unlock its mysteries and bring it forward into this century. The practice of this delicate hand will help lighten your touch as you approach other script hands.

This workshop welcomes any skill level from novice to advanced.

Supply List

  • Straight holder
  • Medium Flexible Pointed Pen Nib: Hunt 22, Gillott 404 or Zebra G
  • Flexible Pointed Pen: Brause 66 EF, Leonardt EF Principal or Gillott 303
  • Fox & Quills Iron Gall Inks, McCaffery Black, McCaffery Indigo or Walnut Ink (Higgins or Sumi inks are not suitable)
  • 9x12 Pad of Borden & Riley Layout Paper (this is my preference for Italian Hand practice. You may substitute your favorite blank practice paper. You should be able to see your guidelines through the paper)
  • Pencil, Ruler, Eraser, Note Taking Supplies, Paper Towel, water dish, Two Paper Clips
  • Optional: Maruman Imagination Series Graph Paper (size 8.3” x11”) ** for those who prefer to work on graph paper rather than using guidelines.


Heather Victoria Held has been teaching guild workshops and private classes since 2010. An introvert herself, she recognizes the nervousness that many students encounter while attending a workshop or class. Her goal with each student is to calm those inward fears while awkening the artist within. Embedded in her teaching style is the belief that skills can be acquired through intelligent and thoughtful practice. Her manner of teaching and lesson delivery is gentle and encouraging. Through nurturing advice and keen observation, she teaches the student how to think originally and cultivate the necessary skills to advance their lettering and design work.

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Berkeley City Club

2315 Durant Avenue

Berkeley, CA 94704

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