Friday, September 7, 2012

Flourish Friday - IAMPETH Reflections: Pointed Pen Favorites - A Closer Look with Pat Blair

Day three at IAMPETH brought Pat Blair from the White House for Pointed Pen Favorites - A Closer Look.  All the classes on Thursday were half day classes.  I only have two pages of practice, because I spent most of the morning just drooling as I watched Pat work.

Pat's beautiful, flowing work.

Pat's work on screen. She notes all the oval shapes within a larger oval on the capital B. She cautioned that many calligraphers tend to make the lower bowl too large.

Pat's work on screen. (Beautiful!) She reminded her students to keep their flourishing full and lively - not pinched.  I think that's what strikes me most about Pat's work; it is so full and lively. It breathes. It flows. It waltzes. 

More discussion about keeping the flourishes full and filling a space.

Pat's work on screen.  She taught us the importance of paying attention to the shape of the white space captured when flourishing.

During the break Pat and students discuss *not* pointed pen but share photos of grandchildren. :)

The night before this class was the Round Robin.  At the Round Robin (not in her Pointed Pen Favorites class), Pat demonstrated a wonderful technique using watered down Dr. Martin's Bleedproof White and a particular brush.  I keep calling it "Pat's Magic Brush," but it's actually called the Miracle Wedge.  Of course we all ran to John Neal's shop at the convention, and bought one!

I want to spend more time playing with this cool brush. Jody Meese found some helpful tips on the manufacturer's website.  You can find info on the Miracle Wedge - including loading the brush with three colors - on page 5 of their brush tips pdf by clicking HERE.

While at IAMPETH I mentioned to my sweet friend, Pam Salatich, that I'm always worried those little cylinder, plastic brush guards will bend the bristles on my brushes. (and brushes are so expensive!) The next day in Pat's class, Pam gave me this little device. It is a braided sleeve for make up brushes, but Pam uses them for her artist's brushes. Pam always knows the most useful things!!

You slide it on from the base of the handle...

...and slide it up over the bristles. To take it off,  you slide it up over the bristles - always moving the sleeve in the same direction in order to prevent damage to the bristles. Genius.  They are really called "Brush Protectors," and Pam gets hers from Sephora.  You can find them HERE.

I was so happy IAMPETH President, Debi Zeinert, made changes to the classrooms so more people could take Pat Blair's class.  I love, Love, LOVE Pat.  I've shared before that she came to Indy in 2005 to teach a Spencerian workshop, and I just fell for her style and grace.  She's so laid back but still does a great job teaching, explaining and instructing.  Before class, I had the pleasure of talking with Pat and her son, Tim, while standing in line at Starbucks.  Tim is also a great calligrapher!

Visit Pat Blair's website HERE.
Visit Tim Blair's website HERE.

Have a great weekend everyone.
Go forth and flourish!


  1. Looks like you've got it goin' on with the magic brush! Thanks for another great recap. Makes it worth getting out of bed on a Friday! MIss you...

  2. Thanks, Jane, for sharing your Iampeth memories so beautifully. Ever since I took her classes with you in 2005, Pat Blair's calligraphy has been my gold standard. I could look at her graceful lettering and flourishing all day long. I am one of those who often makes the bottom bowl of my B too voluptuous, lol. I will have to work on that!

  3. Hi, Jane, thanks for your Flourish Friday! I heard Pat speak at Letters of Joyna couple of years ago. It was the best Friday night speech that I had ever heard there. She is amazing but your letters are amazing too!

  4. I took a class from Pat in Virginia and then at Iampeth - and I too LOVE her style!

    Thank you for introducing me to the Magic Wedge! Now I have to have one of those too. :)

    You always sharing such wonderful tips. Literally! haha


  5. Thank you for your post! Gives me a taste of what I missed.


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