The Glory of Written Forms of the World — Dr. Mark Van Stone

Dr. Mark Van Stone
2.5 days
All levels
No materials fee

Instructor Bio
Dr. Mark Van Stone likes to learn, teach, and inspire. He is a self-taught scribe, illuminator, and historian of written forms. As part of his Guggenheim Fellowship to study calligraphy of the world, he traveled to 17 countries to research and photograph inscriptions and manuscripts. In 1978, a young Ken Burns filmed him illuminating a carpet page opening, in “In the Irish Tradition – Two Artists for Boston Museum of Fine Art’s Treasures of Early Irish Art exhibit.” He also completed an apprenticeship in Netsuke carving in ivory with Sensei Saito Bishu in Kawaguchi, Japan. He has worked as a clay-animator for Will Vinton Studios and led calligraphy tours in Ireland, England, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and Greece. He taught on the calligraphy circuit in 44 US states, 7 Canadian provinces, and 11 countries. His Ph.D. dissertation was on identifying individual Mayan artists by their handwriting.

Class Description
This class includes a field trip to the Rare Books collection at University of Utah; a shuttle will be provided for the 45-minute drive. The curator of their fine collections there will bring out several rare manuscripts from Medieval Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as superb facsimiles and beautiful examples of early printing. We shall learn proper procedures to handle them with care, and handle them we will. Get a taste of the manifold exotic ways that cultures have beautified writing. The great calligraphy traditions of China, Japan, Tibet, Islam, Maya, and Ancient Rome each have their preferred tools, methods, and media. But they all utilized sublime writing as a propaganda tool. All these cultures displayed calligraphy in public spaces, whose population was almost entirely illiterate. In the true spirit of “The medium is the message,” the written forms themselves communicate the importance of their makers by their stately, balanced, lively forms. This practice still prevails in advertising. This is why artists who design movie titles, for example, are paid $10,000 or more for as little as a single word.

Supply List
• Good paper
• Non-bleeding ink (Higgins Eternal, sumi)
• Your favorite edged pens
• Fine line pens (Pigma Micron .005 – 2)
• Ruler
• Pencils
• Eraser
• Compass (optional)
• Watercolors and brushes (optional)
• Hunt “Globe” bowl-point nib (Its sharper cousin, Hunt “Ex-Fine Bowl Pointed” nib is okay, too. These nibs are great for laying tiny solid patches of watercolor into fine ink drawings).