One of our goals for 2012 is to interview several area wedding vendors in the hope of answering questions that many brides and their mothers may have while planning their weddings. For our first interview, we talked with our mother, Marsha Wood, who has spent the last several years studying the Spencerian script and completing jobs for clients. Her work has included designing wedding invitations, hand addressing wedding, Christmas party, and fundraising gala invitation envelopes, and designing monograms. Included in the interview below are some sample pictures of some of our mother’s work. We hope you will find the interview and pictures helpful. Check back soon for interviews with other area wedding vendors!
1) How did you become interested in calligraphy, and specifically Spencerian?
We received a catalog at our home in the mail that offered a variety of items, including learning to write in Spencerian. It was beautiful calligraphy and it really grabbed my attention. That year for Christmas I requested the items for gifts and received them. I initially attempted to teach myself using the materials. I was not progressing very well on my own. I contacted the author of the materials, Michael Sull, and he suggested that I attend the Spencerian Saga that he teaches in Ohio annually. I did attend the Saga but again did not become very skilled. A couple of years went by and when our oldest child, Emily, became engaged to be married, I really wanted to be able to address her wedding invitations in Spencerian. I again contacted Michael Sull and arranged for private lessons from him. After one on one time with him my writing improved to the point where I would not embarrass my family in sending out my writing for public viewing.
2) How long have you been studying Spencerian and completing jobs for clients?
It has been 8 years since I attended my first Spencerian Saga and began my instruction in this calligraphic journey. Our daughter’s wedding was my first calligraphic job and I have done calligraphic work for 8 years now.
3) What types of fonts do you offer?
I have branched out to also include various styles of Copperplate Calligraphy in my offerings to clients.
4) What is your favorite part of being able to write in calligraphic fonts?
Producing lovely writing is a joy, and helping clients’ special occasions to be enhanced by hand written calligraphy brings a sense of satisfaction.
5) What is your favorite font?
Since I began learning calligraphy using the Spencerian font it may be my favorite.
6) What has been your favorite job so far?
My favorite jobs have been to work on our daughters’ weddings and enhance their invitations with calligraphy and art work.
7 ) Can you work with out of state brides?
Working with out of state brides is not a problem. Mailing envelopes back and forth is so simple now. The computer is a wonderful vehicle for viewing samples, communication, lists, etc.
8) How far in advance of a desired completion date do brides need to start working
When a bride selects her wedding date she must begin contacting vendors and it is important to contact the calligrapher as early as possible as well.
9) What are some of the most important things that help you get your job done, but many brides forget to do when working with you?
The guest list is the biggest thing to do properly to make the calligrapher’s job as efficient as possible. I send clients a sheet of guidelines to follow in preparing their guest list. That way there is no confusion.
A bride has many choices of calligraphic fonts to use in her wedding invitation and in the style of envelope addressing. It is a matter of personal taste. Some brides use traditional black ink on their invitations and yet many color choices are available to them. I can color match almost any color of ink a bride might choose for her invitation to be printed in addressing the wedding envelopes. Monograms are sometimes used on various stationery (invitations, napkins, seating cards, etc) for the wedding. Designing monograms for clients is a fun project.
Fun Facts about Spencerian:
-It was the font of the original Coca-Cola logo
-It was considered the standard writing style for business correspondence in the US prior to the use of the typewriter
-It was developed in 1840, and began soon after to be taught in a school that Platt Rogerts Spencer established specifically for that purpose. The graduates of Spencer’s school began replicas of it across the globe, and thus Spencerian Script began to reach more and more schools.
Marsha Wood may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org