Thank you for taking time to visit, and I hope I am even a tiny bit helpful as I have been helped and blessed by so many others. I have been doing Calligraphy since teens, and card making for many years as well. In 1990 I delighted in the joys of stamping with ink and embossing after a trip to Cairns, Qld. In 2009 I discovered the brayer, 2010 the Cuttlebug, also have now taking to reading up on crafting blogs and lo! Here I am, on one of my own.

I live on the coast of eastern Australia. I am a Christian. I trusted in the LORD down here at the beach, amazingly it is not far from where I now live. It was over 50 years ago, after a Beach Mission Service at the age of 12 years

Friday 11 February 2011

Calligraphy – ah, early days are here again!

Well you may be puzzled by the heading but the meaning will come clear as we proceed. First of all I wish to apologise for the delay in this post! A dentist visit and two fillings were not the nicest part of the day, however at least it is now behind me and have the weekend ahead! Yay! Think a pop down for swim tomorrow at my spot might be on the agenda!

This verse I am posting today refers back to my childhood, and memories of the spot where I now live.
I have done it quite a few times now and have really lost count I am afraid. The reason I have this verse hanging in my lounge room is really quite simple.
I learnt this passage from which it comes to win a book prize I must confess and I conned my sister into doing the same.. just so we could have two books to read. They were a little like hen’s teeth in those days and highly treasured. I still have that book!
The photo of the first execution of this verse was going to be posted with this today but have loaned the photo to someone. I will add it later. It is very different. When I first started I did my texts in Watercolour with gold ink in the ink section. Then I learnt how to use gold leaf and then progressed onto gouache instead of watercolour.
The main reason for this is the colour-fastness and general blending capabilities of Gouache is far superior to watercolour for my work. I will show you in the next post the only other text I have in my house. I only have three which I have done, I seem to give them away, or sell them! The watercolour one is my earliest work I have from about 1988. This text was done in 2001, and since then a number of times at least three I can recall. The photographs are taken from the last twice I did it (2008/2010), as they are digital.
 After learning this passage (1 John 1: 7-9: 
"If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.") 
I was walking back to the tent with my sister’s teacher (yes, we camped here annually for over 20 years, near the beach where I now go swimming).
It was the Children's Special Beach Mission who came there each year, or CSSM as we called them...
My sister’s teacher was asking me as we walked back if I knew what these verses meant. Being 12, I had not really given it deep thought, but as we walked she explained how Jesus had died for all our sins, including mine on the cross and asked me if I would like to take Him as my Saviour. To which I said yes, and so here is the spot (today’s photo) of where I prayed and asked the LORD Jesus to be my Saviour all those years ago. It is kind of hallowed ground to me. I remember I was told that the angels were rejoicing in heaven over a soul coming to Him. My mother burst into tears when I went back to the tent and told her.
Years later (in my 20’s) I asked her why, she said because you looked so happy. And I was. I went down to the beach and sung my head off!! The promise of my home in heaven was what I had found, and a Friend Who would never leave me nor forsake me! No wonder I was so happy. I have found joy where joy would not be possible, in the simple faith of a child believing God and His word.   

I am so grateful I found the LORD early, as I had much hardship and sorrow ahead in my teens especially and only made it through with His help.

Here is a little closer detail of the ornament of the gold leaf. I will try to explain how I do it briefly but in later post I will show it step by step as I have photographs taken of each of the stages to help my students.

I never work first on the paper as I make too many changes and save good paper for the final draft. I work on tracing paper like Architects use, heavy duty in large sheets.
This design is totally original but I have copied  especially in my early days.

The outline takes about half the time and one this size takes approx. 50 hours work, it is like four times A4 in size. I have an order for a new verse of this size and smaller A4 size one, must get onto those!
Once the outline is done (and when you do repeats you can thankfully skip this stage because you have a top-notch copy on tracing paper) it is transferred to final paper (which is usually 100% rag not paper in the strictest sense). 
Then inked in, painted with the blending style (when doing one like this) and then the gold leaf is built up using the glue size and once it is the right level, the gold leaf ( 23 carat) is applied. Then it is re-inked in black, framed and mounted. The blending is very tedious and on my second post you can see how I blend as my blending sheet is shown – I put my work desk up on that post so if you are interested check it out (please click here). It may surprise you to see just how I work! Or those who know me - it will not.  : )

I pray much about the layout and emphases of the Word of God. You will notice I have a capital "A" for the "ALL" sin, and this is for emphasis. As the tabernacle was a picture of Christ's coming, I have also used the tabernacle colours for this verse, the scarlet, purple, blue and gold.
They go so beautifully together. I hope this rather long post has not been too wearying and a great many thanks to all those who have shown interest.
May God bless your day wherever you may be!
 Shaz in Oz.x

PS. I always seem to have PS these days on my posts!! just for you, Lizzy! and many heartfelt thanks also to other dear Encourager's too! you are such a blessing to me.
If you want click on this picture (Lizzy and others) as I have not reduced the size other than to crop it so it will be very large and thus come with all the detail in visible size.

love Shaz.x

EDIT: 2018 Taken me a while to edit this but here is the original of this verse done so many years ago now.. 


Neil said...

Beautiful work! And a very special scripture. I am not great at calligraphy being left handed I can never seem to get it right. But I do appreciate the work.
Thank you for sharing!
I may well ask you to do a small one for me one day of my favourite verse.
Have a blessed day

MaggieC (Silvercrafter) said...

I am definitely in awe of your talent in creating these masterpieces, and if you were not over there in that lovely sunshine(I am not jealous... much), I would be round to watch you.

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Ah thanks for your kind words, and really all glory must go to the LORD as it is His word and I could not do it without His help... and Neil I am delighted to think you may ask me to do one for you one day..all the way over there in England!
Shaz in Oz.x

lizzy giggs said...

Thank you so much Shaz for continuing to do your calligraphy. I appreciate being able to see the close up shots so that I can see the detail. Can you shoot a little closer on the illumination sometime?? I want to see what you did inside the letter "B". It's a good shot...but I can't quite see some of the shading! I love the dark to light letters, and the raised gold is incredible. The scarlet,purple, blue and gold is inspiring me. I'll have to try doing a card with those color choices on a small scale... I'll try to be a little braver. I hope you have a lovely day today! I'll be thinking of you out there in Australia!

HarmonySweetpea said...

Great story. Its always nice to hear the beginnings of someone's creativity. And your calligraphy was beautiful even back then. xo

Susan said...

Gorgeous calligraphy Shaz. So glad that your pink baby arrived all safe and sound. Congratulations! I watched a you tube video on loading an ATG gun and loaded mine while watching! I expect to see it on your desk this Wednesday! Susan xxox

Only By His Grace said...

Hi Shaz!
thank you for becoming a follower on my blog.
I have been looking at your wonderful Calligraphy work and it is fabulous. I tried it once but didn't keep it up which was silly of me.
I still have my pens and ink so maybe one day I will pick it up again. You are very talented.
I am now a follower.
Hugs Maz

SDCrafts said...

It is heartening to see that you are, in truth, continuing the age-old art of illuminated manuscripts, by hand, and with such huge talent. Lovely work, Shaz, and a beautiful conversion story too.

I came to the Lord many years ago, now follow him in a quiet way but trying to be the salt & light wherever they need to be sprinkled & shone.

peggy aplSEEDS said...

thanks for sharing such a heart warming story of when you came the the Lord, and as always, your calligraphy is amazing!

JoZart Designs said...

Your beautiful calligraphy is a wonderful tribute to the scripture. I haven't done any for years but I love calligraphy and I can really appreciate how good you are. Thanks for sharing.
JoZarty x

karen said...

Oh, your work is so gorgeous! I can't even imagine how you do this! I never have thought of caligraphy as having so many colours! Love the shading in the letters! Again, can't figure out how you do it!
And the flower details are amazing as well!

Jocelyn aka JoBear2 said...

So beautiful Shaz! The detail is incredible! And such a wonderful story. {hugs}} Jocelyn

Unknown said...

HI Shaz, this is so very beautiful, I would love to be able to do this as it is skill that can be used many times. You are a very talented lady!

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