Long after the wedding, when your rings are worn in with love, a handwritten proposal will be a treasured keepsake.
I have worked with many people over the years who plan a ring making session as part of their proposal. Each story has been unique to every couple. And while I am honored that some have happened right in my very studio, most are planned as a private moment ahead of time so that the couple can decide on the ring details together. The intention behind the proposal is of course what is most important, but many people want to commemorate the moment with something tangible to give to their partner. So I often I have been asked the question "What should I propose with?"
When I first met Port Townsend based calligrapher and poet Lindsey Wayland I knew that she could help find me a sweet solution.
You can work with Lindsey to create a custom, handwritten proposal that you can look back on for years to come. The length and style of the letter can be customized based on your ideas and what you would like to say. Whether framed on your wall as beautiful, daily reminder or tucked away to pull out and hold in your hands to read from time to time, a handwritten proposal can certainly become a family heirloom to be passed down with the same care as an engagement ring.
What inspired you to become a calligrapher?
The written word has always been important to me, I would spend hours writing poems and stories in my journals as a young girl. The script aesthetic was important to me. In high school, for gifts I would give the people I love poems and mantras that I hand-calligraphed and framed.
The year before I became a professional calligrapher I was enrolled to further my education in Jungian psychology and wilderness therapy. These are subjects I quite love so it felt natural, except my dreams were presenting other ideas. I kept dreaming about postage stamps! And poets who have written their own path. After careful analysis, it became more and more clear that poetry and calligraphy are my true north, so I took the leap and started my business. I am so grateful I did!
What do you think makes a handwritten letter so special?
I believe a handwritten letter is the most generous gift one can give. It is so special because for a moment, the letter is a tangible thing to hold which transports the reader into the relationship she shares with the letter-writer. (This even happens when we read historic letters, either from our personal lineage or famous letters.) Letters preserve who we are, they help us access pieces of ourselves we did not know before, and allow us to share this with someone else. At their core, letters are connection. And connection is essential to our wellbeing.
What are your favorite nontraditional ways to incorporate calligraphy into proposals, weddings, or anniversaries?
I see calligraphy as a warm and creative presentation of our gratitude; in the relationships and milestone events of our lives, I see calligraphy as a way to connect. I work with the ink as the final product, each piece unique, and rarely use printing techniques. My favorite ways to incorporate calligraphy into any project are heavily influenced by the clients: my goal is to connect people to their people via the written word.
Because calligraphy is so mesmerizing, I love event calligraphy. I love to live-calligraph for events! The presentation is such a gift to guests, and if the guests are included in the calligraphy it is such a rich way to connect. For example: I can set up a table at a wedding reception and the guests tell me their marital wisdom and I calligraph it into a book for the wedding couple, or onto postcards to be mailed to the couple for the first year of their marriage.
I love creating Gratitude Packages for weddings. I handle all of the Thank You cards (I design, hand-paint, and hand-calligraph one-of-a-kind cards, calligraph the addresses on envelopes, assemble the stamps) long before the event so that after the wedding, when the couple is still raw with gratefulness and love from their celebration, their thank you cards are ready for their gratitude.
I love love. I’m an advocate of love. I believe in connection and love and calligraphy; in this confluence, I know the result will be beautiful, whether traditional or nontraditional!
What would you recommend for someone who wants to learn calligraphy?
I recommend going to the library and researching calligraphy. Researching a private lesson or a class. Typically these lessons and classes come with the tools for the art. After that, practicing as much as possible.
I have many classes coming up, for those in the Port Townsend area. I teach private lessons, too. On Saturday afternoons, I can be found demonstrating calligraphy at the Port Townsend School of the Arts Downtown Art Experience Gallery at 236 Taylor Street in Port Townsend, Washington.
- 12 August 2018 Introduction to Pointed Pen Calligraphy at Finnriver from 11 am to 2 pm
- 19 August 2018 Write a Beautiful Letter Class at Bainbridge Island Museum of the Art from 1 pm to 5 pm, this class includes a calligraphic element.
- 12 September 2018 to 17 October 2018 Youth Calligraphy class, ongoing weekly, Wednesdays 2-3 pm
- 4 October 2018 to 1 November 2018 Write a Beautiful Letter class, ongoing weekly Thursdays 10 am to 1 pm