Calligraphy: Revisiting the Great Ancient Way of Writing
History is the root that connects people from the present to revisit the rich culture of the past. Well, everyone is saying that there will be no tomorrow if there is no yesterday. So, as you can see people gives importance to the things that remind them of the good old days where they should be thankful of their today’s existence. One of the best reasons why history is being handed down from generation to generation was through writing. Have you ever heard of the famous style of writing called calligraphy?
The ancient way of writing
Calligraphy is a writing technique using a pen brush and other writing instruments that gives the design and the completion of lettering. This writing-related visual art gives the unique lettering created by the ancient people for a better medium of communication. In view of modern-day calligraphic practice, it’s an art that gives shape to signs in skillful, harmonious and expressive way. A calligrapher is the one who performs this art. They were the ones who made it possible for developing and treasuring the work of art in writing.
The evolution of calligraphy is best seen on both of its modern and classical way of writing where different functions and designs were created by skillful calligrapher. The modern way of this art is unique in design and formal inscription to art pieces. On the classical side, it is unique in non-classical hand lettering and typography where calligraphers are given the chance of practicing both of this great difference. Today, this art is still evident on invitations, religious art, memorial documents and many more. It simply means that this art is still alive and will flourish until the coming days.
The artistic tools
The most important tools used by calligraphers are a brush and round-nibbed or flat-balled pen. Sometimes they may use steel-brushes or multi-nibbed pens to suit their decorative purposes. Some works that they used are ballpoint or felt-tip pens but it does not give any angled lines like the famously used tools. Of course, to carry out this art, an ink and paper is highly of great importance. Inks are used in different purposes like the oil-based ink that are used in painting while the less viscous water-based ink is great as a writing ink in calligraphy.
Only the high quality of paper that is consistent in its porosity enables the calligrapher to achieve cleaner lines. To wipe away imperfections, a vellum or parchment is commonly used. Sometimes knife can also do a great job like vellum. It is just common for them to place the paper over the light box to write in straight lines without even bothering of marking lines with a pencil. Ruled papers are great in both the direct and light box use and are half, quarter or inch spaces were ruled to use in calligraphy.
Calligraphy and the World Traditions
It is given that wherever part of the world you are from, it is for sure that you have a unique calligraphy. There are great evidences from this particular art of the world were even at this present time, people are still performing the ancient way of writing. Each of these has different history, technique and style of writing. Know more with the following:
- • Europe – their calligraphy or writing used Latin script and believed that appeared in 600 B.C in Rome. The Christian Churches are encouraged in developing this writing through copying of the bible. That is why as years have passed different rulers have exerted efforts in improving writing as well as paving its way to the improvement of its styles and letters. There were even rules and shapes that were strictly followed for the benefit of quality writing. Aside from the regularity and rhythm to letters in geometrical orders, each of these characters has also followed a precise way of stroke order. That is how the western people give aesthetic value to their writing.
- • East Asia – this composes the Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and Chinese calligraphy. The characters used in this art of writing are considered as most appreciated and highly important features in the East Asian culture’s aspect. There are similarities that bind the above-mentioned cultures but they are highly different in strokes, lines, shapes, the brushes’ hair type, the ink’s water and color density and the absorption speed of paper for ink have all influenced the difference of each of the characters.
- • South Asia – Tibet, India, Thailand and Nepal are the countries that have develop great writing. Their scripts are highly influenced by their culture and religion. For example, the Tibet’s script have originated from the Indic scripts, the Sanskrit was the first form of writing in Thailand, Ranjana Script was for the Nepalese and in India, they have followed the Indic writing of the style of Asoka.
- • Islamic World – the Islamic calligraphy was developed along with the Arabic language and Islam. It comprises the works of all the Muslim calligraphers coming from Andalusia in china from modern Spain. The way of writing is connected with arabesque or the geometric Islamic art that is commonly seen on walls and ceilings. This is not something associated with the spoken word but it is regarded as the highest art of the spiritual world. It is because it gives a link between their religion and their language. Qur’an, their holy book was said to play an important part in the evolution of the language and the writing itself.
It is a great honor to revisit the rich history of this visual art as it is being referred into. Through these writings, there is always an embedded history about culture, tradition and the people themselves. It is not a wonder that some chose to become calligraphers in order to preserve this art. It will be great if there are still calligraphers in the near future, hoping that the great history will be passed from generation to generation. Every stroke, shape or line that the brush or pen made has all played an important role in the birth of calligraphy.