Friday, December 29, 2023



Onward and upward! Last year was a bit rough for me as is obvious in the lack of content in the 2023 Blog. Hopefully things will be better this year.

I only posted twice last year, and you would think I did nothing all year, but that is not true. Though the year was a struggle for me I was busy taking classes and learning things. Just wasn't very productive. So, this year I will work on that, and part of my problem is lack of organization so that is the first thing I must tackle. 

For the last couple years MCG has gifted the members with a workshop. The only rule was that their membership had to be paid in full. Last year we had a workshop with Sally Penley on the art of Etegami and here is an article written by our own Denise Gooch.

What a wonderful gift to the Michiana Calligraphy Guild members! On October 28, 2023, all the current members were invited to a free zoom class with Sally Penley titled "The Art of Etegami".

The premise of Etegami, which was started by Kunio Koike in the 1970"s, is a postcard with simple painted images and a few words or a haiku to reflect the image that are mailed to a friend or loved one. These are done on 140# watercolor postcards with sumi ink, a sumi brush and up to three watercolors loosely applied to the image, often running off the paper. Each is signed in vermilion ink or cinnabar paste with a chop, which the artist can carve from a white ]plastic eraser. This "chop" is used in lieu of a signature and can be the artist's name, initials or something meaningful to the artist.

What truly resonated with me was the concept of wabi-sabi and that imperfections are ideal. The motto of Etegami is that clumsy makes it better. You don't correct your mistakes! While this seems contrary to calligraphy, it does allow for us to spread our wings. The lettering on an Etegami postcard is to be written in a simple, easy to read style as well as minimal, the fewer words, the better. Allowing the image(s) to speak is key. White space is also important, including within the image.

Sally shared sources for traditional Japanese art supplies, including Akashiya postcards, as well as her choices for materials. She also colored with pastel dust, which are shavings from Faber Castell soft pastel sticks that she applies with pieces of cotton balls or Q- tip type applicators for a softer look. She had a plethora of tips and products to help in our creative process and her freezer paper for tossing brushes when you're too caught up in creating to clean is genius!

Sally created postcards as we watched and did two power point presentations during her class. These included many eye-catching examples from her creations and also others who practice Etegami. And in order for it to be true Etegami, it must be mailed to another person.

I found the class and Sally as an instructor to be refreshing! I prefer a teacher who is open to questions and open to more than just the topic; Sally was resoundingly both. I personally use my calligraphy in card making and I absolutely love to mail things I make. Even if you don't think this is for you because the loose, less precise art form isn't your preferred style (like me), go and watch the video replay that Renee posted for the Guild. I found multiple ideas that Sally shared that I can use for other projects. I ordered the corner rounder she recommended because she hit the nail on the head when she said every other one, she has ever tried didn't cut cleanly.

Going forward, I am thinking that I can easily share this with my ten-year-old niece, who loves to make artwork with her old Auntie. Who can you encourage with some Etegami? Sally showcased a gorgeous postcard that said "Give Joy! Get Joy!". I am running with that idea. Thank you, Michiana Board, for such a great opportunity to learn and grow.

Denise Gooch,
grateful guild member

Here are some wonderful examples!
Angie West

Angie West

Ginny VanderHey

Judy Theuerl

Judy Theuerl

Judy Theuerl

Judy Theuerl

 CALENDAR for 2024 
 January 6: Meeting and Demo of simple geometric design by Renee 
February 3: Meeting and Demo by Angie on Versals in pencil. 
March 2: Meeting and Demo by Ginny on Brush Letters. 
April 6: Meeting and Etegami revisited (from our Sally Penley workshop) 
May 4: Meeting and TBD 
 June 1: Meeting and TBD 
 July13: Meeting change due to holiday TBD 
August 3: Picnic TBD 
September 7: Meeting and TBD 
October5: Meeting and TBD 
November 2: Meeting and TBD 
December 2: Christmas Party TBD 


To Be Determined

 P.O. BOX IN SOUTH BEND Due to a lack of much mail at our Post Office box in South Bend we have suspended any mail sent to that address. If you have anything to send to the Michiana Calligraphy Guild, please send to Angie Wesr 1212 Elder Court, Niles, Michigan 49120 or Renee Tuveson, 928 Finch Dr., South Bend, Indiana 46614. 


Our workshops seem to have people sign up and then decide not to attend. We have been very generous in returning monies paid for the workshop if someone decides not to attend at the last minute, but we are going to have a change in this policy. There will be a nominal fee if you drop out of a workshop. If there would be an emergency, for instance the birth of a grandchild, illness, etc., then the board will take this under advisement to decide on a course of action regarding a refund. Also, if the workshop is filled, and there is someone to take your place, that would also qualify for a refund. So please, if you want to sign up foe the workshop, make sure that you put that date on your calendar as a commitment. We have a small calligraphy group and we struggle to fill workshops at times. We need all of you to attend as many as possible so that we can continue to have quality instructors. 


If so, look up your favorite calligraphers, because they are on Facebook also. I like to look at Barbara Blose, Reggie Ezell, Julian Waters, John Stevens, Rachel Yallop, Pendragons, Capital City Scribes, Yukimi Annand, etc.. 

Just a reminder that if you order from American Frame, please mention MCG, and they will give us a small stipend. 


Annual dues of $20 are due at the July meeting. Our annual dues have not changed in many years and are put to good use for supplies for our Make It/Take It at meetings and our annual raffle in August, and in December our donation to local charities. Please remember to bring your dues to the July meeting or send to Angie West, our treasurer, 1212 Elder Court, Niles, Michigan 49120 

 Renee Tuveson, President and Blog 
Angie West, Treasurer 
Judy Theurel, Secretary
 Ginny VanderHey, Advisor