B.A., art major from DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana
‘Mr. C’ taught strings and orchestra in school. I was in 7th grade when he offered free lessons if I played string bass. Earlier piano lessons had taught me to read music, Mr. C taught me a new kind of discipline - if you weren’t going to practice, why bother? He also made violins and repaired instruments of many New York Philharmonic musicians. For a couple of summers he arranged for me to study with a Philharmonic bassist who started me back at the beginning. From Mr. C, I learned about craftsmanship, disciplined practice and to love music.
Werner Torkanowsky conducted the Bangor Symphony Orchestra for about 10 years bringing with him retired friends from Chicago, New Orleans and New York symphonies. He was demanding, funny, passionate and brilliant. During a Shostakovich rehearsal, he complimented the French horn player on her solo, “That was perfect. But tomorrow, I want you to go for the dishes!” When I am about to make a mark with a wide brush filled with black ink, I hear Werner’s cry, “Go for the dishes!” Don’t be timid, shatter glass, take a risk.
After teaching myself calligraphy for a few years, Peter came from England to teach a class in Maine. That class began my formal training in Edward Johnston’s English tradition of lettering, quill cutting and gilding.
Several years later, I took Sheila’s 2 week class at her home. We began with Roman capitals and worked our way through calligraphic history. We wrote all day and read and talked about letters at night. It was a wonderful foundation to learn and grow from.
A small group from Maine went to study with Ieuan in Wales and spent a week drawing Roman capitals, pencil to paper. We took an excursion to the National Library in Aberystwyth where the librarian had laid out about a dozen manuscripts that we could touch and look through, the oldest from the 9th century. I was stunned by a 14th century (I think, no notes) book in which every page had 3 or 4 blocks of text in a different arrangement written in black and some red. I still can’t believe the varied pages made without the computer’s easy click and drag, quick change of font or size.
And so I love to listen to music, make marks and write many words.