Write On Calligraphers | Workshop: Rhythm & Ergonomics; Asemic Writing with Andrew van der Merwe - BeachScriber

Workshop: Rhythm & Ergonomics; Asemic Writing with Andrew van der Merwe – BeachScriber

Date(s): 09/20/2019 - 09/21/2019
9:30 am - 4:00 pm

North City Water District 1519 NE 177th St. Shoreline, WA 98155


Rhythm & Ergonomics; Asemic Writing; Sand Writing with Andrew van der Merwe

September 20 and 21 for the Workshop; $130.00
September 23 Sand Writing (additional fee required)
9:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Contact Lisa Tsang to register
Lisa Tsang: [email protected]

Registration Information: AndrewvanderMerwe

16 students
Tsang – Redmond Workshop
17595 NE 70th St.
Redmond, WA

Andrew van der Merwe
Short Biographical Statement

A client once said something to me which has stuck with me the full duration of my career. I presented a completed illuminated address to him and he told me he thought that was the most precious thing you could give someone – a written acknowledgement—the written word. I named my young freelance business Written Word. I have produced numerous illuminated addresses, civic, societal, academic and military. I fell into it at the deep end with the Freedom of the City of Cape Town for Nelson Mandela in 1997. Since then, other recipients of my work have included Hermann Zapf, Barack and Michelle Obama and many prominent South Africans.

Rhythm, Technique, Ergonomics, Kinaesthetics and Proprioception (2 Day)

This workshop is for anyone who notices their pen wanting to go somewhere different to where they want it go. It’s about bringing the two together. It’s about getting your pen to fly, glide and land with speed, purpose and precision.

Unlike dance or music, calligraphy produces a static result that can be dissected, measured and reconstructed according to the measurements. We have pen angles, writing angles, x-heights, proportions, ovals, circles, entasis, axis, etc. and these are nice as training wheels or scaffolding but ultimately calligraphy is movement and must stand on its own as such. It is born in movement and the whole pleasure of the result is in the movement it implies. Good structure is important but the holy grail of calligraphy is speed and grace of movement. Without good movement your calligraphy is like a stuffed bird and personally, I’d rather have a limping live one than a perfect dead one!

The workshop will delve into how rhythm and speed naturally affect the forms. When you get the rhythm and speed right, you can do it blind – well, almost! The workshop will also apply the fascinating concepts of ergonomics and kinaesthetics to calligraphy. At the ergonomics level we will discover how your work space and posture relate to your calligraphy right down to how it affects letter forms. Prepare to encounter some cool medical terms like pronation and supination of the wrist. At the kinaesthetics level we will work on sensing the body’s ideal movement and posture for the natural production of specific features in your calligraphy. There will be stages in this workshop where we attempt to take awareness away from the letters and shift it to the body. This may seem counter-intuitive but it is good for producing intuitive and lively letters.

Overall, the workshop will enable you to improve technique, speed and ease of writing.
Asemic Writing
Workshop description:
“Asemic writing has a tradition going back millennia, from illiterate scribbles resembling writing to the likes of the Voynich Manuscript, Luigi Serafini’s Codex Seraphinianus and the Codex Rohonczi (pics of all three attached). Asemic writing exists on a continuum which includes ugly modern scribble at one end and beautifully crafted constructed language (called conlang and conscript) at the other, sometimes for the purpose of a sci-fi movie or book. Tolkien’s famous Tengwar script is a great example.

Apart from being a wonderful, cathartic, therapeutic load of fun, asemic writing can inspire interesting innovation and provide some good new perspectives on traditional calligraphy. Emptying your writing of all meaning leaves you faced with naked form and you see things you don’t usually get to see when your writing is clothed in meaning!

This workshop will introduce you to a few historical sources of strange and wonderful writing – African writing systems, Greek ligatures from the early days of type, my own asemic beach calligraphy, among others – and then set you going on a journey of your own, either to invent a code, a conscript of your own, Latin letters with a twist, or just a pretend writing system or hoax like we find in the Codex Rohonczi.

This will not be a scribble workshop! 🙂 We’ll focus as much as possible on calligraphy techniques in order to have this workshop support what we’ll be doing in the Rhythm and Movement workshop. We’ll be looking for poetry and grace in form, a sort of visual music without the words.

Bring lots of paper, your favorite writing tools and inks, and come prepared to have some fun at legibility’s expense!
For our 2 day workshop, Andrew is willing to do one day of his Rhythm class with one day of Asemic writing. And he will do a beach writing demonstration at Golden Gardens (weather permitting). Fee will cover cost of refreshments.
September 19, 2019, Evening Lecture at Chinook Middle School 7-9PM
Open to all SCH/WOC Members, free

September 20-21, 2019, 9:30AM-4:30PM
At Redmond Warehouse, 17595 NE 70th St, Redmond, Washington 98052 (next to Blazing Bagels)
$130 WOC Members; $160 Non-Members; $165 Non-Member Canadian

September 24, 2019, 8AM- dependent on weather
Golden Gardens Park, Ballard, WA
$25 Open to anyone to attend, please bring a clean tin can to be modified into a sand writing tool

Mail on or after August 5, 2019 Early applications will go to the bottom of the inkwell.
Confirmation will be sent via email. Priority will be given to SCH/WOC Members.

Make check payable to WOC and send with registration form to:
WOC Workshop, c/o Lisa Tsang, 15818 SE 45th PL, Bellevue, WA 98006

Refund Policy: Full refunds will be given one (1) month in advance of a workshop. No refunds less than two (2) weeks before the workshop, unless the spot can be filled from the waiting list. All refunds are subject to a $10 administration fee. Questions: Contact Lisa Tsang at [email protected].

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