Lettering & Calligraphy - Modern Copperplate Hand

Lettering & Calligraphy – Copperplate hand with a pointed pen.

In this calligraphy Copperplate course you will learn how to write with a traditional dip pen. We will cover pen “pressure and release” techniques along with the basics of illustrating letters. Whether you would like to be able to write beautifully, more legibly or neater at speed, this workshop will help you to begin the process of transformation. Learn useful tips, try out different pens and have a go at some practical exercises

Course Content

Copperplate, (Spencerian or English Roundhand: it is known by several names) is enjoying resurgence of interest in its fine lines, hand-made quality and romantic overtones. It was widely used from the sixteenth century and reached the peak of its popularity in nineteenth. The Copperplate hand was often used for legal documents, bonds and insurance policies because it is hard to forge.

We will explore different inks, pens and papers, as well as consider advice on how to choose the best materials for your own work. You will be encouraged to understand the connection between Copperplate letterforms and your own handwriting.

This course will take you through a step-by-step process, letter-by-letter practice and analysis of the script. You will learn by using historical models,
exemplars made by the instructor, as well as demonstrations. You will learn how to write with a traditional dip pen, using lightness and pressure to create beautiful thin and thick strokes. This course will also cover the modern version of the Copperplate with its quirky free flowing forms.

During the course depending on your level and skill you will also complete one of the projects:

handmade card for a special occasion;
deep analysis of a historical script;
script variations made into a concertina book;
hand written letter and envelope or invitation or menu;
simple poem;
decorated/illustrated poem or inspirational art work;

You will learn as well as improve your skills whilst practising the calligraphy and will be encouraged to incorporate your own individuality into your studies
and finished pieces.
At the end of the workshop you will also take home example alphabets, so you can continue to enjoy calligraphy.
There will also be a demonstration of correcting mistakes. The summer term course includes a visit to museum or library to see medieval and copperplate

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for this course you must be 19 or over on the start date of the course.

This course is suitable for all who would like to learn new skill of beautiful writing or to improve their calligraphy. The course will also help to develop your creativity and will give you a lot of ideas for future personal projects.

The course is for both beginners and advanced students. Basic knowledge of Italic Hand is desirable, but not essential. Suitable for left and right-handers.

First Class Requirements

If this is your fist calligraphy class please bring the below:

Layout/photocopy Paper (A3 size);
Eraser, Ruler 50cm, Pencil;
Notebook to take notes during the course;
Advanced students please bring your standard calligraphy tools.
Some materials will be available for purchase during the course.

Additional Information

As a result of the government’s closure of schools and colleges, some of our courses will be delivered through remote learning including video conferencing, (using Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams) and email contact with your tutor.

If your course is indicated as an ONLINE COURSE, you will need either a PC (with a camera and microphone), laptop, tablet, smartphone and access to the internet to be able to join the lessons. Lessons will run at the published time – so be ready and set up to join in.

We hope you will enjoy this new approach to learning – many of our learners have commented on how they are enjoying the classes and have improved their IT and digital skills in the process.

Please don't worry if some of this is new to you - you are not alone! See here for guidance on how to use our simple software. If you are experiencing any problems with connection or installing software for your online class please contact our learning resource team on We are here to help you.

• If you require further course information or advice & guidance that is not answered in this outline, please email

• If you would like general information about the college, for example, fees & finance, funding, term dates or opening times please email or drop in to our main reception area.