Reggie Ezell italic
Reggie Ezell | Rightly Done | italic
Reggie Ezell | Child of Hope | italic

Memphis Calligraphy Guild February Meeting

“Italic: The Romantic Hand” (3-Part Series)

Presented by Reggie Ezell


WHEN: Monday, February 5, 2024 from 6:00-8:30 p.m. (Part 1) / March 4 (Part 2) / April 1 (Part 3)

WHERE: Online via Zoom and in-person at Church of the Holy Communion, 4645 Walnut Grove Road, 38117 (SOUTH ENTRANCE ONLY) Room 301

The Guild is happy to announce a special MEMBERSHIP BONUS! Beginning at our February 5 meeting, Reggie Ezell will teach a 3-part series on ITALICS, FREE to Guild members. Reggie has taught numerous in-person and online classes for MCG over many years. Now he is back with something new and update, informative for “TODAY”. An excellent instructor and a true friend to the Guild. For more information about Reggie, visit his website


To join the Guild and participate in this wonderful series of classes for FREE, go to our JOIN page and become a member!
Single $30 | Family $45

You can also mail a check by February 1st, 2024 to join:

Make check payable to:


Judy Bilbrey, Treasurer
8462 Lansingwood Cove
Germantown, TN 38139

We hope to “see” you on February 5, March 4, and April 1, for this wonderful series with Reggie!

Reggie Ezell: “A Basic Italic is sometimes described as the most romantic of all broad edge lettering styles. Whether this will be your first exposure to Italic or brushing up on it, my newly created handouts are meant to be eye openers. We will be lettering the lowercase letter forms in three different nibs sizes as well as enjoying flourished Italic capitals. We will then be using these to do small finished texts.”
Andrew van der Merwe
Signature 01
Andrew Working
sample work 02
Sample work

“Rhythm and Movement in Calligraphy”

Getting your pen to fly, glide and land with speed, purpose and precision…


Presented by Andrew van der Merwe, Calligrapher from South Africa


This meeting is a preview for the upcoming workshop in September 2023. The Memphis Calligraphy Guild is thrilled to announce to be one of the national calligraphy guilds that will sponsor Mr. Andrew van der Merwe’s United States tour. The renown calligrapher guest speaker will make a stop in Memphis for a two day workshop. Please go to “Workshops” to buy your ticket. Seats are limited!!!!


DATE & TIME: Saturday & Sunday, September 16th & 17th, 9a to 5p, with a Meet & Greet Friday, September 15th, 630p 

LOCATION: Appling Farms Police Precinct

PRICE: $150 for members; $200 for nonmembers


This will be an unconventional workshop – a fresh approach to calligraphy.

Calligraphy is born in movement. This workshop will be a systematic study in good movement for calligraphy. Good exemplars and good structure are important but the holy grail of calligraphy is speed and grace of movement. For most of us, speed comes at the expense of accuracy. This does not have to be.

The workshop will begin with a study in hand-arm mechanics and how they can be used for easier precision, for getting your pen to go where you need it to go. For example, you’ll learn how to produce a ruler-straight line freehand, with your eyes closed! And you’ll learn how to get your hand to naturally produce the correct diagonals of letters like A, M, V, K by using hand mechanics.

We will delve into how different rhythms can be used to naturally produce different styles. We’ll apply the useful concept of ergonomics to calligraphy, exploring how your posture and height at the table relates to your calligraphy, right down to how to change it for different hands.

We will explore sensing the body’s momentum and tension for specific movements in your calligraphy, for example, using wind-up and release. The spring of the flesh, and a sense of it, can be used for spring and precision in your writing. There will be stages in this workshop where we attempt to take awareness away from the letters and shift it to the body. That’s kinaesthetics and proprioception. Even the sound of the writing can be illuminating!

As calligraphers we tend to think in two dimensions but learning to see the third dimension will enliven your calligraphy, free it from the flat plane of the page.



The workshop will not have you working towards one major, complete work. Rather we’ll embark on a few smaller projects, each of which focus on training a particular movement/technique skill. For example, we’ll turn what you learn about long straight verticals into a very tall letters project.

In the last session I’ll introduce you all to a lesser-known tradition in calligraphy: asemic writing. This is an apparently pointless practice that goes back over a 1000 years. It’s a controversial one but I can testify to it being more calligraphy fun than you’ve ever had!  We’ll get into it as a way of exercising the technique skills introduced in the previous sessions.


Supply list

– Bring lots of cheap paper. A pad of 100 sheets would be good but scrap paper will do, tabloid size preferable.
– A few sheets of good paper for small projects.

– something for practice and fast writing. A jar of fountain pen ink or Sumi will do, for dipping.
– gouache or watercolors or whatever quality ink you prefer for some projects on the good paper.
– water jar and whatever else you might need for cleaning

The general idea is to bring a range of writing instruments, most importantly what you’re comfortable with.
–  broad edged pens, at least one wide and one narrow. E.g: Speedball, Automatic, Pilot Parallel, Osmiroid, Brause. If you have Pilot Parallel pens, bring a jar of fountain pen ink so they can be used as dip pens.
–  pointed pens, whichever type you are most comfortable with. Not essential if you don’t use them.
–  lettering brushes, at least one pointed (I recommend a Kuretake brush pen) and one flat edged.
–  pencil, rollerball or marker pen

–  NB: One or two stiff cushions with which you can adjust your height at the table, especially if you’re on the short side. Stacking venue chairs also works. Feel free to bring your own height-adjustable chair!


Andrew van der Merwe

Andrew van der Merwe is a calligrapher based in Cape Town, South Africa where he has practiced professionally for over 25 years. He says his love of letters began with his first writing lessons at the tender age of six when a beautiful teacher let her long brown hair fall over his desk while she gave him gold stars for his writing.

He began freelancing part-time as a calligrapher while reading for a philosophy and politics degree at the University of Cape Town. He is mostly self-taught. He specializes in wordmark design for branding as well as in the writing of illuminated addresses. Recipients of his illuminated address work include Nelson Mandela and Barack and Michelle Obama. Van der Merwe puts his hand to any work or art involving letters but he is best known for his pioneering work in what he has called beach calligraphy.

As a calligraphy teacher, his main interest is in hand-arm mechanics, rhythm and writing technique and how these relate to good form. He has also taught Illuminated address and wordmark design and presented numerous beach calligraphy workshops. He has taught in Seattle, Montana, San Francisco and LA, among others, and presented online talks for the Japan LetterArts Forum and IAMPETH, among others.

In all his work Van der Merwe strives to express his philosophy of rhythm and good movement: “Good form follows good movement. Without good movement your calligraphy is like a stuffed bird. I’d rather have a limping live one than a perfect dead one.”

Black letter Capitols

Memphis Calligraphy Guild MAY Membership Meeting with Ann Rabinovitz

When: Monday, May 1, 2023 from 6:00-8:30PM

Where: Zoom and in-person at Church of the Holy Communion (NORTH ENTRANCE – facing Walnut Grove Rd), ROOM 301


Black Letter Capitals after Reggie Ezell.

A more relaxed version of large capitals that can be used for a

decorated letter at the beginning of a saying or paragraph.

SUPPLY LIST | Limited supplies on hand to share with guests.

​​​Pen holder

​​​Speedball C-0 nib

​​​Black ink or gouache

​​​Grid pad—any size

​​​Micron pen size 01


​​​Mechanical pencil

​​​Water container

​​​Brush to load nib

​​​Paper towel

We hope to see you all!

temp, carolingian

Memphis Calligraphy Guild JANUARY TO MARCH Membership Meeting with renowned calligrapher Reggie Ezell

Monday January 9, 2023: 6-8 p.m.

Monday February 6, 2023: 6-8 p.m.

Monday March 6, 2023: 6-8 p.m. 

Where: Zoom and in-person at Church of the Holy Communion (NORTH ENTRANCE – facing Walnut Grove Rd), ROOM 301

Guest Speaker: renowned calligrapher Reggie Ezell
Topic of the meeting:  “Fun with Carolingians” Carolingian Miniscules (January), Carolingian Capitals (February), and Carolingian Free Text (March)


This basic version of Carolingian has everything to do with directness, rhythm, and enjoyment… fun! 21 of the 26 lower case letters are done in a single stroke, making it both user-friendly and easy to develop a rhythm in the writing. We will incorporate an easy set of caps based on Uncials to go with our lowercase alphabet. We will write out texts with at least two different size broad edge nibs.

Come prepared with the materials/ supply list below:

(The guild offers a limited number of supplies to share with guests)

1. Broad edge nibs or markers (preferably broad edge metal nibs) -Sizes: 3 mm, 2 mm, 1 mm (Mitchell, Brause, Speedball C, Brause)
If metal nibs are used, you need Moon Palace Black Sumi Ink
If you are using markers, Zig calligraphy pens ARE highly recommended. The set includes all three sizes above (3 mm, 2 mm, 1 mm). Please order these from either online at Paper and Ink Arts or John Neal. You can buy locally at Menage Stationery at 430 Perkins Extended
2. Other supplies: Pen handle, paper towels, water bowl (if metal nibs used)
3. 8 ½” x 11” Pad of grid paper made for calligraphy. Order from Menage Stationery locally (430 Perkins Extended, Memphis 38117) or online from Paper & Ink Arts or John Neal Books. No other grid paper will do!
4. Recommended “good” paper for copying handouts onto: Pacon 80lb Drawing available at Menage Stationery locally (430 Perkins Extended) or online from Paper & Ink Arts or John Neal Books.
COST: FREE OF CHARGE TO MEMBERS ($30 for one year membership) AND $45 TO NONMEMBERS  JOIN or RENEW by December 31, 2022.

We hope to see you all!

embellished border

Memphis Calligraphy Guild November Membership Meeting

NOVEMBER 7, 2022 | 6:30 p.m. Church of the Holy Communion (NORTH ENTRANCE – facing Walnut Grove Rd), ROOM 301

Guest Speaker: George Harmeling
Topic of the meeting: “Embellished Borders”

Come join us for an evening of learning ways to enhance your calligraphy! Fellow calligrapher George Harmeling will share his wealth of knowledge on incorporating floral borders and flourishing into your work. Come prepared with the materials below:


(The guild offers a limited number supplies to share with guests)

  1. PAPER – drawing and watercolor
  2. 05 micron-pigma mechanical pen
  3. .05 mechanical pencil
  4. Eraser
  5. Ruler
  6. Straight or oblique penholder
  7. Favorite potted nib(s)
  8. Favorite watercolors, gouache. or colored pencils – Finetec paints are fun
  9. Watercolor palette
  10. Watercolor brushes
  11. Water container
  12. Inks

We hope to see you all!

Monoline Thumbnail

Memphis Calligraphy Guild October Membership Meeting

OCTOBER 3RD, 2022 | 6:30 p.m. Church of the Holy Communion (East Entrance), ROOM 301

Guest Speaker: Ann Rabinovitz
Topic of the meeting: “Monoline/Clothesline Alphabet”

Come join us for an evening of fun and learn this whimsical alphabet with fellow calligrapher Ann Rabinovitz who will share with us some of her wealth of knowledge. Come prepared with the materials below:


  1. Grid pad or plain paper such as multi-media paper
  2. 05 micron-pigma mechanical pen
  3. .05 mechanical pencil
  4. Eraser
  5. Ruler
  6. No more than 3 colored pencils

We hope to see you all!

tips and tricks

Memphis Calligraphy Guild SEPTEMBER Membership Meeting

SEPTEMBER 12, 2022 | 6:30 p.m. Church of the Holy Communion (East Entrance), ROOM 301

Guest Speaker: LEIGH ANN DYE
Topic of the meeting: “Tips ‘n’ Tricks to Rustle Up a Good Idea”

Tip ‘n’ Tricks for Layout and Design

Leigh Ann will show us how to showcase what you do best. Learn to develop your own ideas with help from the internet for inspiration. You’ll get a great cheat sheet to start you on the path to finding creative solutions for layout and design. Bring your questions or the problems you encounter when you create. We’ll work as a group to find solutions.

Memphis Calligraphy Guild MAY Membership Meeting

May 2nd, 2022 | 6:30 p.m. Church of the Holy Communion, Parish Hall (East Entrance)

Guest Speaker: Fellow calligrapher Maggie Naylor.
Topic of the meeting: “The Decorated Letter”

Join us for this wonderful presentation to learn how to add a layer of dimension and pop of color to your beautiful calligraphy! The beautiful letters to your left are example of what we will learn.

Materials: See below (our guild will bring extra supplies for those that are coming as guests or for those that don’t have all the materials required).

Supplies to bring:
Waterproof pen (like Micron) any size
Color for your letter: no more than 3 colors (can be colored pencils, watercolor pencils, or regular watercolor)
small brush if you use watercolor

Supplies provided:
Drawing paper (for practice strokes)
Mixed Media paper (For your final letter)

I am also very excited to announce our future meetings for the next three months which are guaranteed to please the eye, soul, and mind!

June, July, and August Speaker and Topic: Peggy Kunkel; 3 part series teaching us the Hand of the St. John’s Bible!

Details will follow in the next upcoming months. Also, come pick up your new member directory and help us celebrate 35 years of existence! Bring a guest if you wish as they are always welcome.


Ana Lucia Flores

Memphis Calligraphy Guild JANUARY Membership Meeting

January 10, 2022 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. Church of the Holy Communion, Parish Hall

PROGRAM: Embossing and tricks to card making with calligrapher George Harmeling

Come and learn how to manually emboss your cards with the calligraphy that you have designed to impress the fortunate recipient of your work. In addition, you will learn how to embellish that card with your painted artwork to add a layer of beautiful dimension.

Materials: None

Memphis Calligraphy Guild JULY Membership Meeting

July 12, 2021  |  6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Church of the Holy Communion – Parish Hall | OPTION: via Zoom

PROGRAM: “Uncials Revisited” with Memphis calligrapher Ann Rabinovitz

Come and explore this ancient calligraphy hand that has remained a classic style throughout the centuries since its early use in 4th century Greece and Rome. Tonight, MCG member Ann Rabinovitz has a presentation in which she will guide us in preparing our paper for lettering and demonstrating the Uncial hand.

Please RSVP to Ann if you plan to attend –

Supply list*:

•  Speedball C2 nib and holder, ink or gouache with mixing pan, brush to load gouache.

•  Orange parallel pen (2.4 mm)

•  Any broad edge marker about 2.5 mm wide.  (Zig, pigma calligrapher, marvy dual marker, or elegant writer 2.5.) Or alternate writing implements if you do not want to use the above.

• Water container and paper towels

•  Grid pad or paper to work on

•  Pencil, ruler, eraser regardless which tool you are working with.

*There will be a limited supply (first come, first served) of some items on hand for your use: parallel pens, ink, paper towels, pencils, rulers and erasers.

We love letters.

Please plan to attend!


Dixie Ryall | 2nd Vice President (Programs)


A Zoom link was sent to members via email from George Harmeling, Recording Secretary ( on the morning of Friday, July 9.

The Zoom classroom will open at 6:00 p.m. for those who want to visit with friends, and take time to make sure the connection is working properly.

June 7, 2021  |  6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. via Zoom

Memphis Calligraphy Guild JUNE Membership Meeting

PROGRAM: “Looking for a Great Idea” with Memphis designer and calligrapher Leigh Ann Dye.

Looking for a great idea? Tonight, MCG member Leigh Ann Dye has a presentation that will show you methods for stretching your creativity. She has worked as a designer for over 40 years. She will share her tips and tricks for developing an idea. Whether you are creating an envelope for an exchange or want to make a work of art, Leigh Ann will show you how to go beyond that first thought, find color palettes and spotlight your best assets.

We love letters.

Please plan to attend!


Dixie Ryall | 2nd Vice President (Programs)


Zoom link was sent to members via email from George Harmeling, Recording Secretary on Tuesday, June 1st.

The Zoom classroom will be open at 6:00 p.m. for those who want to visit with friends, and take time to make sure the connection is working properly.

March 1  |  6:00pm – 7:00pm

Zoom meeting and Program with Angie Vangalis

I am excited to introduce our presenter, Memphis Calligraphy Guild member, Angie Vangalis.

I have known Angie for several years, and she is delightful! Angie is the President of TXLAC, which is the Texas Lettering Arts Council. They exist as a non-profit devoted to preserving and promoting awareness of the lettering arts and related disciplines. I don’t know another group who does it quite like they do!

Angie is also director of Legacies 111 International lettering Arts Conference 2021. What a challenge in these times, but she is doing a fabulous job of putting it together.

Angie will present a program on the eve of the release of the 25th edition of the Speedball Textbook. Angie is one of the authors of the 24th edition of the Speedball Textbook, and she will describe the development of the 24th edition and its challenges and rewards.

Please plan to attend! – Dixie

You can reach Angie at:

Texas Lettering Arts Council
P.O. Box 3126
Coppell, TX 75019

Links to both the TXLAC and the Conference below


Zoom link was sent from George Harmeling, Recording Secretary on Sunday, Feb. 28th.

The Zoom classroom will be open at 6:15 pm for those who want to visit with friends, and take time to make sure the connection is working properly.