July is pretty much going to be the month of classes for me - but it's all fun stuff! I started off with a calligraphy class. Learning calligraphy has interested me for a while now but I couldn't justify the cost of an over $100 class offered in town but when a local store offered one for $60 right around the time my wedding invitations came in I took it as a sign it was time to learn.
The class was offered on a Saturday morning at Falling Into Place on broad avenue. The $60 (plus tax) class fee cover 2 hours of instruction, an alphabet guide, practice sheets, a nib holder, three nibs and three inks.
Although I am glad to have learned the basics if I had to do it again I'd cough up the extra funds for a different class.
For starters there were 13 attendees but the class was only set up for 12, both the instructor and store owner were very unapologetic to the 13th lady to arrive, who had to borrow materials from other ladies during the class and didn't get supplies to take home. Luckily for them I was not the last to arrive because I certainly would have demanded a full refund right then rather than sit through the class without my own supplies.
Once #13 was squeezed in the instruction began. First there was an overview of the nib holder and types of nibs and then it was time to practice. We were taught the entrance curve, downward loop, upward loop and o . . . That's it! After each curve we were able to practice and the instructor walked around to offer feedback - which was nice. After practicing the curves and a few letters she said "the rest of the class time is going to be for you to practice the alphabet" - this was an hour into the class. And she repeatedly said not to worry about running out of practice paper because she had plenty more but the additional paper provided was unlined, which was not very helpful when trying to practice on my first day.
During the hour of practice time the instructor did walk around answering some questions but she spent a lot of time away from the class chatting with the store owner which I thought was rather unprofessional of both. I understand that a lot of learning calligraphy, which at the end of the day is just writing neatly in cursive with a fancy pen, is practice but if no one needed feedback than the class could have been shown some other techniques - such as adding flourishes which lets face it is what really makes it look fancy. Basically, I feel like we should have had the undivided attention of the instructor the whole time.
Falling Into Placr is a really cute store and a nice setting for the class, the owner even brought out water and coffee cake which was a nice hostess thing to do but ultimately we came there to learn and she should not have participated in the instructors inattentiveness to the class.
Did I learn what I went there to learn? For the most part yes but I feel like there could have been more instruction. With YouTube and plenty of books on the subject under $20 off amazon I don't think this particular class was a good value - there was one attendee who had already practiced at home and honestly her letters looked nicer than the instructors. I think there can be value in in-person instruction so I wouldn't discourage anyone from taking a class - just take a different one.