Sunday, March 8, 2009

You can't Judge a Book by it's cover... or Can You?

One of the many benefits of being a member of the San Antonio Calligrapher's Guild (SACG) is having access to it's mobile library. Housed in eleven traveling boxes this collection includes books bought by or donated to the guild. Many are rare, out of print or where only ever printed privately. Where else would you find such a dedicated collection of calligraphy resources. With my love of books it was easy for me to volunteer to provide one of these boxes a home between guild meetings allowing me to peruse it's contents at my leisure. Most recently I have been working with the library committee to enter the contents of the library online at for all our members to view at their convince. This task is putting me face to face one book at a time with the library's entire contents. So what better an opportunity then this for me to share some of my finds from this unique resource. Here are a few gems from library boxes eight and ten.
We've all heard the phrase, "you can't judge a book by it's cover". Well, sometimes you can. Here a fabulous example, Three Classics of Italian Calligraphy an unabridged reissue of the writing books of Arrighi, Tagliente and Palatino. The cover only alludes to what is held in the 248 pages inside its' covers, hand lettered examples originally printed in the 16th century. The beauty of the form makes understanding the Italian text unnecessary to the enjoyment of the work.
With all of today's methods for quick and easy communication the written word executed pen to paper, stamped and mailed carries with it a significance no phone call or email can possible bring. There is something special about the commitment of writing something that will not be read for days, with a permanence not easily deleted or forgotten. The Calligrapher's Book of Letters by George Thomson provides tips for writing such letters. The book itself is a compilation of letters responding to questions on how to compose letters of interest. Full a valuable tips this book as enjoyable as much of the information as for the letters themselves which serve as examples of the very instruction the writer intends to provide.
In box eight I came across several cooks books my favorite being the 1984 edition of Pots and Pens created by Valley Calligraphy Guild (VCG), in Eugene, Oregon. Handwritten and designed by the members of VCG this book is page after page of treats like the item below by Betty Locke which I hope she does not mind me sharing with you here. I enjoyed it so much I thought you might too.

Page 10 of Valley Calligraphy Guild's Pots & Pens Three

by Betty Locke

And we have only just begun our efforts with the online catalog of the SACG libary. There are still over seven boxes of books yet to enter. To view the potion of the collection entered to date visit I'll keep sharing my personal favorites as I discover them along the way. Hope you enjoy them as I have.

1 comment:

Nicole V Lozano said...

I have been informed that Pots & Pens FOUR may be ordered by sending your request to:
Valley Calligraphy Guild
C/O Susan Gunter
3590 Bardell Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401

Please send $8.00, plus postage/handling. Postage for one book sent to Pacific & Mountain Time zones add $3.00; Central and Eastern Time zones add $6.50; Canada add $4.00. If ordering more than one book, add $2.00 for each additional book being sent to the same address. Make check or money order payable to the Valley Calligraphy Guild.