Tanja Bolenz: Stonework, Calligraphy, Bookbinding


Calligraphy involves the love of different scripts, textures, colours, writing tools, and diverse forms of layout and design.

I enjoy writing in a variety of lettering styles, from playful to classical, and I love experimenting with different styles.

As a calligrapher, it is important to me to convey the meaning of a text by designing just the right letters and then executing them, whether with a brush, a broad-edged nib, a ruling pen, or an automatic pen. This can also include creating texture through the text chosen, the writing materials used, or through background colours and patterns of colour.

Lettering can have a vast range of applications, from writing out a piece of poetry or prose, to designing a manuscript book with illustrations, to producing a formal document with gilding.

I was fortunate to study with some world-class teachers, both in North America and in the U.K. From 1994-1997, I studied calligraphy full-time at the Roehampton Institute in London, England, under Gaynor Goffe, Tom Perkins, Gerald Fleuss, Ewan Clayton and others. In the U.S., I participated in workshops with Thomas Ingmire.

Most of all, for me it is important to enjoy the process of writing, looking at and imaginatively responding to lettering, and experimenting with lettering in every conceivable way.