We’re holding two special events at the Bella Figura Flagship Store later this month! Join us on Saturday, May 14th from 2-6pm to meet calligrapher Ted Clausen, sip champagne, and enjoy sweet treats from Madison Lee’s Cakes! We’ll be debuting our new Flora Collection, and Ted will be offering on-the-spot calligraphy, so you’ll have the chance to have your name or favorite phrase calligraphed on a keepsake card! Check out some of Ted’s beautiful work below for a preview of the cards. We’re also hosting a trunk show with Designer of the Month Brenda Fox and Client Coordinator Sarah Sadler on Wednesday, May 18th. In addition to sips and sweets, we’re offering a trunk show special at both events: buy 75 invitation sets or more and get 25 free!
We love Ted’s story on how he got started in calligraphy:
One of my earliest memories is of walking into my first grade classroom and seeing the letters of the alphabet hung above the blackboard, and thinking to myself ‘Oh, BOY, do we get to do THAT now!’ I was ecstatic! Throughout grade school my handwriting grade was the most important mark for me. I loved writing and everything about it. I studied other people’s handwriting and borrowed letters from them: I would take your ‘m’, his ‘w’, her ‘y’ and do them over and over until I liked them, and then change them to make them mine. I have been addicted to letters ever since.
When I was in high school a friend showed me a gift she had received from her brother: a series of Zen Buddhist stories written out in hand italic calligraphy. I remember asking her ‘What kind of printing press did your brother use to make this?’. She replied, ‘No, he wrote them out by hand’. Within two days I was on the phone to her brother’s teacher, the legendary Lloyd Reynolds in Portland, Oregon, to find out how I could learn to do ‘that fancy writing’.
I spent a number of years studying with a long list of impressive and generous teachers, including Lloyd Reynolds, Herman Zapf, J. Savaren, D. Dehn, and Donald Jackson, scribe to Her Majesty the Queen. I studied typeface design in this country and at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel, Switzerland. I worked for a number of years designing type before ultimately deciding to leave the ‘constructed letter’ in favor of the handwritten one. And that’s where I still am, still learning, still liking your ‘M’ better than mine, and still loving the act of watching that pen dance across the paper.