Drawing, sketching, writing – give me a pen or pencil and I’m happy. I’ve always had a passion for art and almost anything creative (I say almost as I wouldn’t exactly say I’m passionate about making model railways, unlike my Grandad), so when Sassy was invited to return to Kalo Make Art, I jumped at the chance to check it out.
Last year, one of our fab contributors participated in Kalo’s ‘Mini Quotation Poster’ calligraphy class and absolutely loved it (check out her experience here). I’d heard so many great things about the classes on offer and about Kalo herself, so I was keen to see what all the fuss was about.
The New Studio
Named after the founder Kalo, Kalo Make Art has recently found a spacious new home that’s conveniently located in the heart of Central. Kalo was keen for Sassy to see the new space, which fits two long tables in comfortably, as well as a space for the ‘shop’ (where you can buy a number of calligraphy tools and materials) and a small lounge area. Natural light floods in from the many windows, perfect for practicing the art of calligraphy. I loved all the little details in the spacious new studio – imagine little framed posters, small potted plants, beautiful old calligraphy pens, typography books and other artistic bits and bobs. The studio feels warm and homely, allowing students to instantly feel comfortable and at ease. The relaxed vibe and Pinterest-style decor is perfect for inspiring creativity and getting you in an artistic mood!
I’ve never attempted calligraphy before, so I was curious to see how the three-hour Beginner Workshop would introduce me to the craft. As we settled around the tables, each person found a beautiful, wooden box presented before them with their name skilfully written on a brochure. This starter kit includes a gorgeous wooden calligraphy pen, a nib, a little pot of ink, the brochure information pack and a example card which you can take home after… very pretty indeed.
Kalo was an excellent teacher, running us through all the basic techniques and need-to-know essentials. I felt like she gave a thorough run-down of how to use all the tools and I loved watching her practise her modern calligraphy first-hand as it was much easier to see all the basic brushstroke techniques in action!
Before Kalo carefully explained all the basics, she asked us to just have a go with the pen to get a feel for what writing with it would be like. After running us through the basics, it was time to practice some letters and it was fascinating to see how much we had all improved since our initial tester. As we practiced the alphabet, Kalo came round to see how we were individually progressing and to give us helpful tips on how to improve. The time seemed to fly by, and before I knew it the class was coming to an end!
Before we finished, we quickly had time to play around with some of the white ink on black card. The white contrast on the black background stands out so clearly, highlighting your text. I could see how you could become addicted to trying out different background colours and inks. Kalo offers a number of different classes, from beginner to intermediate to advance, and you can choose from a variety of workshops that focus on coloured ink, monogramming, flourishing and more. Take a look at her upcoming workshops to see if anything takes your fancy and if you’re interested in something more casual, her brand new ‘Pen Meet’ and ‘Calligraphy Jamming’ evenings are the perfect way to socialise and learn at the same time (over a glass of wine of course) – I’ll see you there!
As a complete beginner at calligraphy, I have to say I came away with a real sense of accomplishment. I felt like I’d actually gained some skills and couldn’t get over how addictive practising each letter to perfection could be! It’s an amazing way to unwind and just tune out from the rest of the world in a creative way. I would definitely recommend trying out a class if you’re looking to try something new (see below for all the deets) and I’m pleased to say that I think I’ve found a new hobby!
All the details…
Capacity: Minimum 6 students, maximum 14 students
Language: English (with Cantonese supplement, if required)
How much: $900 for three hours.
*Early Bird Offer is subject to one complimentary Calligraphy Starter Kit per person.