My relationship with calligraphy came about fairly recently. In fact, when I first set up Quill as a stationery brand and boutique, I didn’t really know what calligraphy was all about. 

We eventually started classes in 2014 – very unexpectedly! At the time, I couldn’t really find it happening over here in the same way as, say, America; initially it was a case of wanting to find a space for our stationery-loving customers to allow them to try something a little bit different. You could say I’ve been learning for as long as they have!

Lucy Edmonds in her Quill London studio.

Of course, the fact that I love (and have loved) pens and paper meant that, from the start, it was really a no-brainer… And yet, there’s also this whole meditative element to calligraphy, which I didn’t realise until I tried it! To be able to get off the computer once in a while and do something manual – the majority of us don’t have the opportunity to do that in our day-to-day job. It’s a beautiful thing to be so absorbed in something that you forget about notifications or answering messages or checking your phone. That’s really significant in this day and age. 

Pens and pencils at Quill London.

Perhaps that’s why modern calligraphy has become so popular. Yes, it is beautiful and aspirational, but it’s also accessible; in reality, not everyone has the time to put real long-term commitment towards learning one of the more formal scripts, but my modern way is slightly more ‘forgiving’. While it is still a skill that has to be practised (it’s definitely trickier than our first-timers imagine!), people can pick it up and put it down and fit it in when life allows. 

Perfect pieces for decorating your desk.

Modern calligraphy is about drawing forms as opposed to writing them. Basically, even if you have beautiful handwriting, you may not pick it up immediately! It sounds like that should be really scary – but it’s nothing to feel frustrated by, I promise. Practising calligraphy is equally as meditative if you’re a novice or an expert; far from being hard work or labour-intensive, it’s therapeutic. Plus, you’ll start to see improvement within a day or two!

Calligraphy inks in every colour of the rainbow.

That’s not to mention the freedom it gives to develop your own style. By comparison with traditional calligraphy, my aesthetic is fairly minimal – definitely on the contemporary side. But, you really get to make it your own and that’s what’s so exciting. While writing with an actual feather does, admittedly, feel extravagant, modern calligraphy isn’t about that! It’s about expressing yourself, developing a skill and getting back to working creatively with your hands. 

That can only be a good thing!

Enter stationery heaven! Click here to book onto a Quill London calligraphy workshop.