We rolled up our sleeves and learnt how you can really make a wedding your own at Quill
Heather Steele Photos:
This stationery shop in Islington’s Amwell Street is an Instagrammer’s dream. Set in a row of Victorian townhouses, it’s a bright space defined by a huge bay window, filament-bulb lights, and rows and rows of covetable notebooks, invitations and fountain pens.
A handsome stationery pack awaits each of us as we take our seats. Led by pro calligrapher and Quill founder Lucy Edmonds, we start at the very beginning. After assembling our pen, we open up our exercise books and get cracking on a series of practice shapes and strokes. She explains we should treat each letter as an individual design rather than handwriting – so you need to use the creative bit of your brain, rather than the practical part. It’s also key to master the level of pressure you exert, depending on whether the stroke is up (light for a thin line) or down (firm for a thick line).
I start off well. Lucy encourages me by saying that my capital A is the best in the class. But, midway through, I get flashbacks of art lessons in school and it turns out I’m pressing down too hard on the nib and gripping too firmly on the pen. I’ve now also managed to contract ‘calligrapher’s claw’.
One of the best things about the class is how often Lucy manages to get around the group of 10 to assist and put us back on the right track. Eventually, my letter forms are much thinner, and some of my fellow classmates have absolutely nailed it.
Lucy makes it clear from the off that this skill is all about practice: she recommends dedicating an hour a week to really up your game. After just a little more time at home with my nice new exercise book, I hope to be sending out some beautifully written invitations soon.
Beginners’ modern calligraphy workshops at Quill last 2.5 hours and cost £60pp. The price includes refreshments and materials.
37 Amwell St, EC1R 1UR
020 7833 8562
You can also learn how to make your own cake decorations and bouquets for the big day.
This article was first published in SquareMeal Weddings 2017