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LOJ Archives

Letters of Joy 2019

was our featured speaker! Gemma is an artist, teacher and calligraphic-designer from Tasmania, Australia. She received a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship to study in Europe and is an Honored Fellow and Fellow of the Calligraphy & Lettering Arts Society, UK. Gemma runs a successful studio practice and teaches for art, calligraphy, bookbinding and craft organizations across Australia. Gemma has also joined the faculty at international lettering-art conferences in Italy, Germany, the USA, Canada, Sweden and the UK. Her work is housed in private and public collections and is also represented in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK, the European Parliament, Letterform Archive San Francisco and Parliament House Canberra. Her major works for the Commonwealth Government include the Apology to Australia’s Indigenous People, the National Apology to the Forgotten Australians, the Former Child Migrants and the National Apology for Forced Adoption. A fourth manuscript, National Apology to Victims & Survivors of Institutional Sexual Abuse, has just been completed.

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The Letters of Joy instructors and the classes they will be teaching are:
Gemma Black: Alphabeats Truncated
Kathy Barker: Playful Pointed Pen
Suzie Beringer: The Magic of Parallel Pens
Janice Berkebile: Letter Me This! Watercolor Lettering
Kristen Doty: Drawing Letterforms
Gretchen Ehrsam: Scavenged Design
Selene Fisher: Books in the Round
Brigitte Hefferan: Fraktur
Carrie Imai: What Works on Black
Kay Lewis: Chopstick Sumi
Katherine Malmsten: Off the Shelf Letters
Sally Penley: Pointed brush Calligraphy
Nan Robkin: Hedi Kyle fishbone Book
Linda Schneider: Lettering on Mirrors
Cathy Shiovitz: The Hebrew Alphabet – Then and Now

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Letters of  Joy 2017

Write On Calligraphers held the 35th annual Letters of Joy (LOJ) conference on May 5th and 6th, 2017 at . The keynote speaker was Louis Lemoine. He is a “Visual Magician”: designer, lettering artist and illustrator; educator and entertainer. He retired in 2015 from Walt Disney Imagineering, a division of the Walt Disney Company, where he worked for more than 32 years helping to create memories for Disney Parks guests worldwide. Before leaving, he received the Disney Legacy Award, the highest honor the company can bestow on a cast member. When Louis closed his Imagineering chapter, he began on chapter two: promoting his art and perfecting his magic, skateboarding and motorcycling skills. There is never a dull moment to be had. Louis has a Master of Arts Degree in art, with emphasis in the area of design, from California State University at Los Angeles, and has a valid-for-life community college teaching credential, which he made use of by teaching at Los Angeles Trade Technical College in the mid ’80s. Louis’s work has been published numerous times in Letter Arts Review (having been a “Featured Artist” in one issue), Bound and Lettered and Somerset Studio magazines, among others. He has also had work in both juried and non-juried shows. In 2014 Louis was on the faculty for the IAMPETH lettering conference. In 2011 he was the IAMPETH keynote speaker, and he was a speaker, as well, at the international lettering conference, “Legacies 2”, in Dallas. He has taught lettering workshops for calligraphy guilds in California, Iowa, and Canada and was one of the selected guest speakers for the “Reimagine Conference” (a conference for creatives) in 2015. Besides all of his lettering and design prowess, he is a magician member of Hollywood’s famous Magic Castle, a private club for magicians and magic enthusiasts. He resides in Temple City, California.

Louis Lemoine: Writing With BIC Pens
Nancy Anderson: Modern Rustic
Jim Ballard: Paper Folding Techniques: For Calligraphers and Designers
Kathy Barker: Floral Inspirations
Suzie Beringer: Tea Time Lettering
Janice Berkenbile: Letter Me This
Anne Bingham: Small Folded Books (Flex Books)
Mare Blocker: Cloth and Paper Box Enclosures
Caitlin Dundon: Painted Backgrounds
Gretchen Ehrsam: Monoprinting For Anyone
Brigitte Hefferan: Gothicized Italic
Karyn Jeffrey: Little Black Book: Gouache, Metalics and White Revealed
Katherine Malmsten: Amazing Ambigrams
Katherine Malmsten: Multipurpose Monoline
Maude May: Your Story Unfolds
Laura Norton: Lettering On Silk
Linda O’Neil: Watercolor Word Gems
Cora Pearl: Typewriter Inspired Lettering With the Radius Cut (Parallel) Pen
Sally Penley: Design and Composition – It’s Not Rocket Science
Nan Robkin: Back to Back Book With Asemic Writing
Linda Schneider: Beautiful Color: Calligraphy: Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace
Cathy Shiovitz: Hebrew: A Walk Through History
Rebecca Wild: Stencil Art

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Letters of Joy 2016 

Barry Morentz was the Keynote for LOJ2016. He holds an MA in medieval history, but he abandoned pursuit of a doctorate for an even less-likely career in calligraphy. Initially self-taught, he began formal studies, primarily with Sheila Waters, in 1977, and eventually with almost every internationally recognized master. Semnal were participation in Hermann Zapf’s 1985 master class at Rochester Institute of Technology and subsequent paleography studies in Rome and at the Vatican Library. He has taught numerous workshops throughout the U.S., in Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and at five international calligraphy conferences. In his mid-town Manhattan studio, he creates calligraphic works, books, boxes and portfolios. Clients include The Estée Lauder Companies, Cartier, Columbia University and The Museum of Modern Art, where he has been The Living Anachronism since 1986. His day-to-day work comprises illuminated resolutions and awards, publication headings, book and portfolio design and a wide range of lettering applications. A life-long love of Shakespeare informs and inspires his personal work. In 2002, he realized a long-time goal of studying classical mosaics in Ravenna, Italy, where he learned to execute letters in an ancient format. He remains inspired by the visual and emotional power of letterforms to communicate on a deeply felt level and challenge the viewer to discover and interpret the layers of meaning within a text.

The Letters of Joy instructors and the classes they will be teaching were:
Barry Morentz: Monogram Design
Nancy Anderson: Got Rocks?; Sketch ‘n Wash ‘n Color
Jim Ballard: Expressively Laying Down the Ink – the Power of the Brush
Kathy Barker: Beautiful Botanicals
Suzie Beringer: Peeling Back the Layers
Anne Bingham: Multi-Layered Pop-Up Accordion Book
Jocelyn Curry: The Foundational Hand; Window: the Art of Fenestration
Carol DuBosch: Stamp Carving
Caitlin Dundon: Inktense Play
Gretchen Ehrsam: Big Writing/Writing Big
Brigitte Hefferan: Artful Letters
Dewey Henderson: The Elegant Touch: Gold
Carrie Imai: Funky Foundational; Carrioka & Other Dances; Italic Fix-It Shop
Karyn Jeffrey: The Nitty Gritty of Gouache
Katherine Malmsten: Pointed-Brush Letters; Flat-Brush Letters
Maude May: Quilted Collage Canvas Journals
Cora Pearl: Art Nouveau Lettering
Sally Penley: Adding Color with Soft Pastels
Pamela Pincha-Wagener: Those Cute Medieval McMurthly Bunnies
Nan Robkin: Puzzle Book Variations
Linda Schneider: Pointed Pen & Brush Dance Together
Christy Schroeder: Negative is the New Positive
Cathy Shiovitz: The Beauty & Elegance of the Hebrew Alphabet

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Letters of Joy 2015

Write On Calligraphers 33rd Letters of Joy Annual Conference was held on May 1st & 2nd, 2015 at Edmonds Community College. The keynote speaker was . She teaches calligraphy full time in Portland, Oregon. Passionate about sharing her knowledge and skills, she has taught calligraphy, and related classes throughout the country and at several International conferences. When not in the classroom, Carol does freelance calligraphy and commissions. Carol was director of the 1987, 1991, and 2012 International Calligraphy Conferences held in Portland, Oregon.

Carol taught and demonstrated a variety of fascinating techniques, interesting tricks and convenient short cuts for calligraphers at the Friday evening lecture.

The LOJ Instructors and classes included:

Carol DuBosch: Jubilee Script Meets Parallel Pen
Nancy Anderson: Drawing Made Simple
Kathy Barker: Fun, Fancy Flourishes for Italic Chancery Script
Suzie Beringer: Classy Calligraphic Beads
Anne Bingham: Recycled Vellum Binding
Mare Blocker: Embroidery on Paper
Lee Ann Clark: Classy Caps; Monogram Mania
Jocelyn Curry: The Personal Letter as Manuscript
Kristen Doty: Classy Carolingian
Caitlin Dundon: Painted Alphabet Exemplars
Gretchen Ehrsam: “Party in an Envelope”
Brigitte Hefferan: Basic Black
Dewey Henderson: Sure You Can-From Lettering to Finished Art
Kay Lewis: It’s Not Carved in Stone
Katherine Malmsten: Off the Shelf Letters; Adding Up Color
Pamela Pincha-Wagener: Fun Tangling With White Vine Illumination
Nan Robkin: Make Your Calligraphy Pop!
Linda Schneider: Beautiful, Colorful Calligraphy: Anytime, Anyplace
Cathy Shiovitz: The Beauty and Elegance of the Hebrew Alphabet
Tonnie Wolfe: Shrink Your Letters

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Letters of Joy 2014

We gathered on May 2nd to May 3rd at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, WA. Letters of Joy 2014 featured as the keynote speaker. She gave a lecture on Friday, entitled “Casting Out the Seven Devils, A Guide to Participation in the Creative Pattern”, inspired by a Marie Howe poem, “Magdalene – The Seven Devils”.  “As artists and makers, we all have obstacles blocking our way to creative, meaningful work. Marie Howe’s poem is a testimony to how we get sidetracked and lose our way. The naming and shedding of these barriers opens the way to go deeper into our work. Casting out the seven devils is a practical guide to putting aside the things that pull us off course and bring us into harmony with the particular gift each one of us has been given.”

Laurie recently completed a series of paintings for an exhibit titled, “Another Night in the Ruins”. These oil paintings are all a response to Galway Kinnell’s poem by that name. Galway Kinnell’s permission for Laurie to use his poem ignited 16 other poets and musicians to respond to her paintings This culminated in a  lively Poetry and Improvisation Night at a gallery in Lexington, KY.  Her work revolves around the interplay between calligraphy, poetry and painting. A book of the poems and paintings is on her website.

The LOJ Instructors and classes included:

Laurie Doctor: Art Responding to Poetry
Nancy Anderson: Quick! Capture the Message Live!
Kathy Barker: Artful Architectural Letters based on Frank Lloyd Wright
Suzie Beringer: Rise Above the Ordinary with Dry Embossing
Mare Blocker: Linked Blanket Stitch Binding
LeeAnn Clark: Working with Weddings & Simply Social
Jocelyn Curry: Versals for Everyday Use
Kristen Doty: Drawing and Lettering & Classy Carolingian
Caitlin Dundon: Paper, Paint, Pattern and Pen
Gretchen Ehrsam: Easy Stamp Carving
Brigitte Hefferan: Pointed Pen Pinwheels
Carrie Imai: Italic Fix-It Shop & Funky, Fun Letters
Kay Lewis: Parallel Pens are not just for Lettering
Katherine Malmsten: Charming Chalkboards
Maude May: Tape it up! Transfers for Collage
Nan Robkin: Coptic Envelope Book
Linda Schneider: Beautiful Brush Script
Christy Schroeder: Whimsical Letters
Cathy Shiovitz: Making Foundational Pop
Tonnie Wolfe: Enhance your Calligraphy with Stencils

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Letters of Joy 2013

Letters of Joy 2014 featured as the keynote speaker. He is an internationally known Belgian calligrapher and artist noted for his distinctive free gestural lettering and experimental art. Other features of his work include dramatic capital letters and unusual compositions. He has worked extensively with Brody Neuenschwander, and been influenced by others including Thomas Ingmire, Gottfried Pott and Peter Thornton. Born in Ypres, Belgium, he has been a full time calligrapher since 2000. In his presentation he will talk about his life and work. What is it like to produce letters from morning to evening? Can one seriously make a living doing this? What should a calligrapher worry about? He will talk also about his commissions, which include works for individuals, corporations and galleries.

Yves is the author of Thoughtful Gestures: The Calligraphic Art of Yves Leterme, and his work is in collections around the world. Visit his website or see his blog at

The LOJ Instructors and classes included:

Yves Leterme: Changeing Speed and Rhythm … and its Consequences
Nancy Anderson: Bubble Backgrounds
Meredith Arnold: Resin Collage Charms; Etched Letters
Kathy Barker: Lovely Layered Letters – Rotunda
Suzie Beringer: Small Calligraphic Art Pieces
Mare Blocker: Linked Baseball Stitch Binding
LeeAnn Clark: Working With Weddings; Monogram Mania
Jocelyn Curry: Foundational; Balsa Wook Art
Kristen Doty: Classy Carolingian; Drawing and Lettering
Caitlin Dundon: Handwriting Life: Artful Journeys with Handwriting
Gretchen Ehrsam: Pointed Pen Play: Inside, Outside Around the Box
Brigitte Hefferan: Pointed Pen Gothic
Dewey Henderson: Unraveling the Acanthus Leaf
Janice Long: Woven Chevron Binding; Woven Checkerboard Binding
Liesel Lund: Watercolor Textures Sampler
Katherine Malmsten: Living Color; Know How to Fold ’em
Maude May: Let’s Play with Accordions!
Suzanne Moore: Full Spectrum
Pamela Pincha-Wagener: Tangling with White Vine Illumination
Nan Robkin: Fun and Easy Album or Sketchbook
Cathy Shiovitz: Running with Akim
Tonnie Wolfe: Lettering on Fabric

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Letters of Joy 2012

This year, was our keynote speaker. She has been a freelance calligrapher, graphic designer and instructor for a number of years. Her studio is located in Santa Ana, California, where she currently teaches a series of calligraphy classes as a year-long certificate program which she designed herself. She has taught many classes and workshops in various states of the country and in Canada.

Looking at her work, you can tell that she thoroughly enjoys her creative passion and the exhilaration of discovery in playful experimentations with paints, collages, lettering and other mixed media. She also enjoys teaching a variety of classes that range from calligraphic styles to other unique assortments of classes.

Barbara has taught for several International lettering Conferences and at many International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teacher of Handwriting Conferences. She also taught several classes for the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana and has lectured in many states as well. She has designed the logo for Somerset Studio Magazine and a calligraphic font cartridge for ProvoCraft’s Cricut Machine entitled “The Calligraphy Collections”.

Her philosophy “Follow Your Heart” still stands as it did many years ago. Putting one’s self into a piece of work always turns out better and shows the true passion of the creator. Her love of lettering and design continues to grow.

The LOJ Instructors and classes included:

Nancy Anderson: Exploring Pen and Ink Illustrations
Barbara Close: Gestures of the Pen
Kathy Barker: Sneak a Peek Over Sheila Waters’ Shoulder: Gothicized Italic
Suzie Beringer: Playful, Pressurized Letterforms
Brenda Broadbent: Tiny Successful Watercolor; Parallel Pen Wizardry
Lee Ann Clark: Simply Social; Classy Caps
Caitlin Dundon: Heart and Soul Mixed Media Collage
Gretchen Ehrsam: Easy Monoprint
Brigitte Hefferan: Pointed Pen Variations
Dewey Henderson: Uncials Transformed
Gina Jonas: Find Feeling and Spirit in Your Text
Kay Lewis: Creative Life Journaling Techniques
Janice Long: Knot Just Another Origami Card; Going Postal
Liesel Lund: Illustrated Words
Katherine Malmsten: Flat Brush Lettering
Maude May: Accordion Folded Postcard-like Booklet
Randi Parkhurst: Star Book Structure
Mary Peterson: Explorations with Paper Fabric
Pamela Pincha-Wagener: Red Line Filigree Versals
Nan Robkin: Carve Your Monogram
Linda Schneider: Designing with he Pointed Pen
Christy Schroeder: Uncial: An Ancient Ancestor
Cathy Shiovitz: Shrink Your Monoline Mark
JuLee Wolfe: Colorful Domino Fun
Tonnie Wolfe: Creating Letters in Metal

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Letters of Joy 2011

Pat Blair was the keynote speaker. She has been a professional calligrapher for 25 years and is currently Chief Calligrapher at The White House in Washington DC. Her work has appeared in Letter Arts Review, The Calligrapher’s Engagement Calendar, Scripsit, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Tabellae Insatai. Sharing and teaching what she loves is a high priority. She teaches at the Loudoun Academy of the Arts in Virginia, and has been on the faculty of several international calligraphy conferences. Pat has served two years as President of the Washington Calligrapher’s Guild, has chaired The Graceful Envelope Contest, and was co-director of Letterforum, the 26th International Calligraphy Conference.

Pat’s love of pointed pen lettering led her to study Copperplate and Spencerian letterforms. The International Association of Master Penman and Engrossers recently awarded her the honor “Master Penman” for her work in this area.

Friday night, Pat gave the keynote address, Pens and Protocol – Calligraphy of Official Washington. She spoke of what an important element calligraphy is to designing any social correspondence, and how Washington DC is front and center in social and ceremonial events. Choice of lettering, methods of printing and overall design are parts of the event-planning process.  Together, we took a look at how the work of calligraphy shapes the look of state events, becoming a footnote to history.

The LOJ Instructors and classes included:

Pat Blair: A Flurry of Flourishes
Brenda Broadbent: Celebrate Life’s Milestones; Parallel Pen Empowerment for Beginners or Experts
Barbara Close: Floral Journal Workshop
Jocelyn Curry: A Fanciful Voyage – 16th C. Map Calligraphy
Patricia Grass: A Slinky Book; A Palm Leaf Book
Brigitte Hefferan: Pointed Pen Variations
Dewey Henderson: Running With Romans; Lindisfarne Redefined
Gina Jonas: “Onomatopeia”  A Word Exercise Series; Pencil Play
Kay Lewis: More Unique Watercolor Cards
Janice Long: Variations on Jacob’s Ladder; Reversible Starbook
Katherine Malmsten: Off the Shelf Letters
Maude May: Manila Folder Magic
Nan Robkin: Australian Flat Piano Hinge Book
Linda Schneider: Designing With the Pointed Pen
Cathy Shiovitz: Shrink Your Mark
Christy Schroeder: Akim Swing
Elizabeth Walsh: Oh, My Achin’ Bones; Neuland, Variations for Snail Mail

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