Friday, October 14, 2011

Calligraphy Flourish Friday - Designing a Creativity Award

©Jane Farr Calligraphy & Design LLC
The Calligraphy Guild of Indiana Members' Show, Busy Pens & Brushes II, is in full swing at the Indianapolis Central Library.  I was responsible for creating the Barb Thurston Creativity Award to be presented to the member whose piece best demonstrates thinking outside-of-the-box.
©Jane Farr Calligraphy & Design LLC
 I started by reworking a piece of Arches text with sumi and watercolor. I crumpled it up while it was still wet and then let it dry completely before ironing. (Learned that fun technique from Barb Close!)  I lettered "Barb Thurston Creativity Award" with a Zebra G nib and Dr. Martin's Pen White. (Learned the lettering style from Gwen Weaver!)
©Jane Farr Calligraphy & Design LLC
 I wanted to use glass, test tubes to represent how our creative efforts are often times experiments:  some work, some don't, but we can learn from the "failures" as well as the successes.  I wanted to wrap the test tubes with pieces of lettering, but I needed some other bits and bobs - soooo...I dug into my catchall bin. (Don't we all have them?!)
©Jane Farr Calligraphy & Design LLC
 I placed a spent/used nib inside each test tube, then added either a cork or a wooden cap with glue to seal.  I first attached charms and beads to some of the corks before gluing. I wrapped the test tubes with various papers, fabric, and fibers. You may recognize some of the papers from past Flourish Friday posts! :)  
©Jane Farr Calligraphy & Design LLC
 I placed a glue dot on each test tube to hold it in place while I stitched the test tube to the Arches using gold thread.  I had planned to use jewelers' wire and crimps, but after trying that on the first tube, I switched to thread.  Not visible is a flexible piece of board behind the Arches to help give more support.
©Jane Farr Calligraphy & Design LLC
After I had stitched on all the test tubes, I mounted a length of carpet tape onto the backside of the Arches. Using hot glue to force the issue, I wrapped the Arches around a 3" diameter, battery operated (flameless), candle.  I used a candle as the foundation for the award to represent CGI and how each member 's unique creativity can be a source of light and inspiration to others.  I used a flameless candle so Tom could sleep at night. :)
©Jane Farr Calligraphy & Design LLC
I adhered a broad edge nib and a pointed nib in front of Barb's name to finish the piece. Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of knowing, or even meeting, Barb.  She lost her battle with cancer in 2004. From what I understand, she was a very, creative, "out-of-the-box" artist, and this award was established in her  memory. I think that is a pretty special legacy to leave behind.
©Jane Farr Calligraphy & Design LLC
Here are a couple of close-up shots of all the bits and bobs. 
©Jane Farr Calligraphy & Design LLC
So which CGI member's piece best demonstrated thinking-outside-the-box?
Photograph ©Jane Farr
Merri Kay Mikoryak!
Merri Kay is pictured here with the award in front of her amazing and winning piece.
Each of these birds (and two bats!) were handcarved by Merri Kay's husband, David, and hand painted and lettered by Merri Kay.  Merri Kay is also a Certified Zentangle Teacher, so of course some of the bats and birds have been tangled. David made the wonderful tree to give their winged creations a home to roost. Merri Kay and David are launching a new business for their creative efforts, and "Dovetails, LLC" will soon take flight. Congratulations Merri Kay! Congratulations David!
©Jane Farr Calligraphy & Design LLC
If you will be in the Indianapolis area this month please visit the CGI exhibit.  The atrium at the Central Library is a beautiful venue for the show.  Big thanks to Wendy Dougherty for arranging yet another great exhibit!

“Busy Pens & Brushes II:
2011 Calligraphy Guild of Indiana Members' Show”
At the Central Library
One Library Square
40 E. St. Clair St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Exhibit Dates:
Monday, Oct. 3, 2011 - Sunday, Oct. 3o, 2011
During Library Hours

In addition to street parking, The Central Library has their own parking garage accessible from Pennsylvania Avenue just south of Ninth Street
Library hours and parking information can be found by clicking here.

Have a great weekend everyone.
Go forth and flourish!


  1. Jane, that is wonderful! Barb would have appreciated the creativity for sure. Congratulations to Merri Kay. I hope I'm able to get to Indy to see the exhibit in person. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Very cool - the award, how it was crafted & the winner's piece! Thanks for posting.

  3. They chose the perfect person to create this award. Very touching ~ and a beautiful piece of art.

  4. I love the award. Although I didn't know Barb well, she took the Reggie Ezell class with me in 1994, the same year she was diagnosed with cancer. I did stay at her home one weekend and greatly admired her work that was displayed throughout her home. I think your award perfectly illustrates 'Thinking Outside the Box'

  5. It looks like a beautiful exhibition; and Jane I love how you went about this prize. It's fun, creative, filled with care and thoughts - a great prize for a great piece. Congratualtions!

  6. You were the perfect person to make such beautiful award! I think you made a wonderful tribute to Barb and congrats to the winner. I didn't know Barb and I haven't personally met you either but I feel as though I know you and your friends through your blog.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Well, Jane, I really mean it when I say that I prefer your offering....yes, I congratulate the winner but I love what you did with the test tubes and I was really chuffed when I saw the nibs inside them....I love the whole thing - thanks for the inspiration!!

  8. You did a fantastic job with the award, really inspired, love it!


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