Modern Pen Techniques with Carl Rohrs


In the beginning we all learned a nice smooth stroke and the cores of our letters. But as we move along in our lives as calligraphers, we head for the edges of the big picture. This class is about the specific techniques for flat pen that move classic writing into the attention–commanding contemporary headline department. We’ll explore bounce, angularity and compression; split letters; using & losing contact with the paper: getting up on the corner of the pen, ragged edges, rocking and strokes that taper; the four basic lifts and flicks for the edges of our letters; a finer awareness of pen angle and the choices that can give us a greater range of feel and weight. These techniques will be useful for all alphabets, and this class will be fine for all levels of experience.

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About the Instructor

Carl is a lettering artist and sign painter in Santa Cruz, CA since 1977. Teacher of Lettering & Typography and Graphic Design at Cabrillo College since ’ 4. Workshops and conferences since ‘86 in U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan & South Africa. Editor of Alphabet, the Journal of the Friends of Calligraphy ‘89–’92 and again 2015 to the present. Has taught at every ABC Alberta since the start in 1990. 

Materials List

Bring your pens. These techniques will work with all of them, BUT some are much better than others. My favourite is the Horizon folded flat pen, 5/16″ size from Paper and Ink Arts (1/4” & 3/8” are also good. Don’t go bigger than that). Old Coits and Hiro folded pens are similar.
The big sizes of Parallel Pens are okay, but you must have ink to dip in. The ink that flows through the pen is not wet enough. Brause, Tape, etc. are good, Automatics are also okay, but both Automatics and Parallels have sharp corners that are not as friendly to some of these techniques as the folded flat pens like the Horizons. If you are ordering from Paper and Ink, be sure to specify FLAT folded Horizons, because they have Horizon Folded RULING style pens as well.
Paper with tooth or a little bit of texture.
Non-waterproof ink.
Ruler, pencil.
There will be a $20-25.00 fee for the work book that goes along with this class.
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