Thursday, May 23, 2024


On May 4th, our Guild hosted a virtual workshop with Suzie Beringer called “Sharp Italic”.  Suzie is always a delight to have for a class!  She willingly answers questions, shows tools she uses and how to care for them and makes the class fun with her genuine love of her art. 

Suzie often adds humor in her presentation which was the case when she explained that she just is not a “mathy person” and how she hides that by using her clear ruler to line things up.  Another funny one was when she said, “I’m a girl and I can change her mind”.  NO one disagreed with her.

Her style of opening spaces, branching off and using just the corner of the tool makes up Suzie’s Sharp Italic variation.  Her goal was to teach us an elegant hand that we could do with a bit more speed than some other lettering styles.  And she wants us to push ourselves to see what type of changes we can try to make our own style. 

I found myself with most of the supplies on her list, however, her using one item I did not have, which was an Elegant Writer, made me wish it had been on the list and I could try it.  It really showed her pen strokes much better than what I had.  She recommended using a broad edge nib such as a Brause or Tape (her preference) no smaller than an 2mm.  I thought I had a Brause but realized I did not the day before.  I had to use a Mitchell and I tried a Pilot Parallel Pen just because I was curious.  The Mitchell nib worked best.  Suzie had trained us, in the past, to use tracing paper and scraps of the same paper we were using for our final piece.  This she calls, “ your dress rehearsal”  so you know how it is going to work. 

In conclusion, if you have a chance to take any of Suzie Beringer’s workshops, please give them a try.  She has a wonderful selection of different classes.  I am glad I took the Sharp Italic and know it will be used often in my future calligraphy journey. 

Submitted by Judy T (5-23-24)

Sharp Italic by Ginny VanderHey

Sharp Italic by Judy T.