Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Letter a Week (ALaW)

A couple of calligraphic friends (Gemma and Pam) and I have set ourselves a little challenge for the year - to write a letter a week, creating 52 letters, which must form 2 alphabets, by the end of 2010. We have few rules - any medium, any style - but the letters must be written on a 7cm x 7cm square. None of us thought we could commit to a letter a day; and 52 weeks equals 2 x alphabets so perfectly anyway!

We can choose our own theme; we can choose what we do with them at the end; we can write any letter any week - as long as we end up with 2 alphabets. We aim to do a monthly sharing of our progress (method to be determined) and may even try to have a showing or mini-exhibition of the end results next year.

I am definitely doing one experimental alphabet - forcing me to use different materials, experimenting with techniques and tools - and one other alphabet which I am still not sure what my theme will be. Hopefully inspiration will arrive.

I spent some time today preparing and tearing paper, as well as cutting up some copper, some timber and some perspex. No idea if I will use any or all of it but I'm keen to try!

Here is my little stash so far; as well as an experimental 'A'. I wrote on really fine kozo paper with a purple marker; then went around it with a water pen/brush and liked the way it blurred. This letter may or may not remain; but the project has already encouraged me to play which is the whole idea.

We are open to other people (calligraphers and non calligraphers) joining us - I think Barry already has a metal alphabet underway!


  1. I did a letter a week a year or so ago. I'm almost embarrassed to show you as I am not a calligrapher up to your standards by any means, but I had fun with it and the letters ended up going in a book for my grandson.

    If you want to take a peek, you can see it here.

  2. Thanks Kim - it looks like it was a fun project, and the letters were lovely. I think it will be fun to experiment and have a 'little something' to do each week.

  3. Hi Fiona, this is a FANTASTIC idea and I would like to partake if the invitation extends to me? Cheers, Kim

  4. Hi Kim

    You are abosolutely welcome - I think it could be a fabulous mixed media collaboration! I'll send you some more information separately

    Enjoy! Fiona

  5. that darling gemma has posted the 'letter a week' idea over at calligraffia (mentioning your name too I must say) as well

    I hope it turns out to be a great project - I'd love to be putting my hand in the air - but over the next 52 weeks I have to slip in a slab of full time study (MFA conversion PhD..... yeah NASTY) so I'll have to just admire the results

  6. Best wishes for the study Ronnie - you will no doubt enjoy it in a weird and occasionally painful way! My folks just moved from Tathra so I know your corner of the world a little...

    It's good to have friends like Gemma join me in my 'challenge'- we seem to be collecting folk all over the place!


  7. Hi Fiona,
    can I pretty pleeeeeaaaaaase join in with your ALaW, I would do it in clay of course. It's just such a good idee, I love it!
    cheers, Mieke.

  8. Hi Mieke

    Welcome on board! I think we'll have fun and it will be lovely to see the alphabet expressed in so many different ways. I'll send you a few bibs and bobs separately.

    Go well Fiona

  9. Hi Fiona,
    I've just discovered your blog and it's wonderful!
    I'm not a calligrapher but I am very inspired by it
    and I would love to participate in your challenge if that's okay. My email address is on my blog.


  10. Hi Jane

    Thanks for your comments - I am more than happy for you to join us; it is turning into an interesting adventure! I'll email you separately the bibs and bobs

    Go well



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