Celestial Calligraffiti with Diamine inks, bleach and metals

Calligraffiti is about abstracting calligraphy, type and graffiti with traditional precision and modern unbridled self-expression. Working with adults and sixth form students from Medway (non of whom have had any type or calligraphy experience) we have tried to push the boundaries of calligraffiti a little further. Taking inspiration from angelic names and ethereal words we have explored the possibilities of abstracting both the traditional tools and ink mediums in a ground breaking workshop utilising custom made pens and brushes with 10 Diamine inks (Oxblood, Sunshine Yellow, Denim, Apple Glory, Teal, Scarlet, Turquoise, Hope Pink, Majestic Purple and Jade Green), Quink black ink, bleach and Schmincke metal dusts – copper, silver and gold.

Feedback comments included:
‘This is totally new’
‘I never knew there so many colours available in fountain pen inks’
‘The bleach and metallic effects are just awesome!’
‘Could do with a longer day’
‘Why don’t we do anything like this at school?’

Of particular interest to me, a couple of the sixth formers spoke candidly about their school situations. Sadly, it would appear that many schools will no longer tolerate artistic exploration. The schools are so tightly geared towards their ‘stats’ that they can’t afford to risk their numbers dropping with unknown quantities. But to have a generation of able students leaving school with all the intellectual gear but no idea and a fear of making mistakes, I find very troubling. Surely, we can only learn through pushing the envelope and making mistakes? This allows us to make decisions and make the right call when it counts? Your thoughts on this are most welcome.

Cost wise it was another value for money workshop with yet another 100% satisfaction score on the evaluation! My sincere thanks to Rochester Cathedral for letting me run wild (again). A fair amount of the selected work, which looks stunning, will be exhibited in the Cathedral Crypt throughout April 2017 and possibly beyond. If your school, college or organisation is interested in engaging in a thought provoking and testing creative workshop(s) utilising fountain pen inks, please get in touch. The processes are fast, totally unique and visually stunning. But the key thing here is – the students leave inspired!

And here is a taster of the work. Once again, and I can’t emphasise this enough, fountain pen inks are NOT just for writing AND look what you can get from so little. No wonder the students want more! Enjoy:


If you’d like to know more about this and what I’m doing with fountain pen inks, please take a look at the Mission Statement.

All the artworks shown were created on cartridge paper.

Just for the record – I do this for myself, I receive no remuneration what-so-ever and I tell it exactly how I see it.