These are the courses I currently teach, mostly at the Arab British Centre in London. More are being developed, to be added in due time.
This is a complete introduction to the finest of the Abbasid scripts calligraphy. We learn to use the pen and gallnut ink associated with this style, then we cover the complete script grammar, starting with each letter individually before learning how to combine them. We practice with short sentences before learning how to plan a full-page layout, complete with red vowel marks and golden punctuation. The student is then fully equipped to create work in the historical tradition, or to explore a more contemporary direction.
This course is not suitable for Zoom teaching, but will soon be available online on Domeštika.
The Geometry of Kufi
In this course, we take a close look at the letters as individual constructed shapes. We analyse the quintessence of each letter and its manifestations in different styles of Kufic to arrive at an understanding of what makes each letter, what is essential vs. adaptable, and the formal relationships that link some letters together. We also look at how flourishes and compositions are developed. The objective is to equip students with the understanding of principles that run through the entire Kufic family, so they can work with historical styles or reinvent the script according to their own creativity, while preserving the spirit of the tradition.
The next session will take place over Zoom, on Thursday evenings, June 17 to July 22, 2021. Information and sign-ups at the Arab British Centre.
Also known as Masonry Script or khatt banna’i, this style developed as an architectural style to be rendered in brick or tile, often on a monumental scale. Yet it is equally at home at the much smaller size of paper or textiles, and even, today, in the tiny canvas of pixel art. It is unique among calligraphy styles in that it adds to artistry a dimension of puzzle-solving.
In this course, we learn the rules and principles of Square Kufic, how to compose by manipulating the letters and using rotations to fill a surface or to create a repeating pattern. From the basic square grid, we move to variations in grid proportions and shape, including three-dimensional effects and circular compositions, opening up the creative potential of this technique. Finally, we cover how to transfer a finalized design to art paper, to finish in class or at home depending on time.
A Zoom version is in preparation, provisional date Autumn 2021.