Calligraphy – italics, uncial and foundational with Gaynor Goffe

Ref: SWE13125

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About this course

Through practical calligraphy using a broad-edged nib, gain an understanding of formal writing by using a basic script, such as: uncial, Renaissance italic or foundational hand. Practise your skills on short quotations.

Course Description

Practical calligraphy using a broad-edged pen is the focus of this course. It is aimed at those who have very little or no experience of this craft. You will gain an understanding of the basic principles of good formal writing, while learning and using a basic script – uncial (a modernised, 8th Century, round script) or foundational hand (a basic, roundhand script, modernised from 9th/10th Century scripts) or

Renaissance italic.

You will gain the ability to handle a broad-edged pen with some confidence, and some understanding of the potential uses and development of your new skills.

You will be introduced, in some detail, to the workings of the broad-edged nib and to writing with ink, and introducing colour in the pen and in simple pastel backgrounds. You will have time to practise skills, working towards using these in writing short quotations. The tutor will give frequent demonstrations and one-to-one tuition. Progressive exercises are suited to each individual’s understanding and skill starting point.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • A3 smooth surface cartridge paper, 60-70 lb

What students need to bring

  • Any tools and materials listed in the available to buy section, if you already have them or can easily obtain them
  • Source a few short quotations you may like to try writing out
  • Tissues
  • Apron to protect your clothes (optional)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • The following are usually available subject to availability:
  • Mitchell square-cut roundhand nib size 2 (sizes 2.5, 3, 3.5 – optional). (Left-oblique 2 nib, if left-handed)
  • Slippon reservoir and penholder
  • Pelikan 4001 black ink, or black gouache paint (as an alternative)
  • HB pencil, ruler, Pritt gluestick, scissors
  • If you wish to write in colour:-
  • A tube of Winsor & Newton designer’s gouache (series 1 or 2 are suitable) – the following colours flow well in the pen: turquoise, ultramarine, lemon yellow, spectrum red, alizarin crimson, permanent white and lamp black
  • Small mixing palette with compartments
  • A cheap mixing brush
  • Available from tutor:
  • Spare nibs, reservoirs, penholders

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Gaynor Goffe

Gaynor Goffe has been a professional calligrapher and teacher for 35 years. She trained in Calligraphy,
Illumination & Heraldry in the mid 1970's at Reigate School of Art & Design, then spent three years as assistant to Donald Jackson. She taught calligraphy at the Roehampton Institute and on many short courses in Britain and abroad. Publications include 'Calligraphy Made Easy 'published by Paragon/Robinson, and 'Calligraphy Step By Step' by Harper Collins. Gaynor is a fellow of the Calligraphy & Lettering Arts Society, the Society of Scribes & Illuminators and a full member of Letter Exchange.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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