Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 2:13PM
Patricia Munson

2019  Annual  General  Meeting and Spring Workshop

April 12-14, 2019 - Asheville, NC

CLAS is pleased to present

Versals –

Convention to Invention

A workshop with Peter Thornton

The Versal letter has served us well for 400 to 500 hundred years - acting beautifully as a signpost to the reader simply by its size, form and color. Historically, Versals have been used as the large uppercase initial capital letter in a paragraph of text, usually the first paragraph of a chapter. Often these initial letters were decorated and sometimes whimsical. Versals can be used in conjunction with other calligraphy styles and can also work very well on its own.  


Peter tells us that this workshop “is the surprise result of much work/play over the past year or so here in my studio. Originally started as preparation for the Seattletters Convention, it seems to have grown to become a rewarding workshop on basic practical skills and thoughtful invention/creativity.

On our first day we will focus on Convention. We will use the pencil to produce the characteristic form of Versals, which includes absolute thick and absolute thin strokes. The letters were generally legible, often resembling Roman and uncial forms. We will then move on to pen and gouache paint to explore some of the many variants that were used in early medieval manuscripts.

Invention will be the emphasis of our second day. We will again start with the forgiving pencil. We shall re-examine the Versal letter, making small adjustments and modifications to create letters perhaps more relevant to our times and needs. A feature as we proceed will be using the subtlety of watercolors as we enclose them in boxed shapes to give ourselves another area - à la Adolf Bernd - to please and satisfy the eye. Throughout our time together many progressive exercises will be introduced that will help when practicing at home.


* Optional items



Peter Thornton has been a full-time professional and an enthusiastic calligrapher for over 45 years. He has taught widely for 28 consecutive years throughout the UK and Europe as well as Japan, Hong Kong, South Africa and the US. This includes teaching at over 25 International Conventions in the US, Canada and Europe. In 2006 he moved permanently to Tennessee to marry Sherri where they now live. They teach weekend and longer workshops throughout the US and Canada as well as private classes at a more focused and student-specific level on Traditional Gilding, Letterforms, Layout & Design etc. in their home. When not teaching, Peter enjoys experimenting (or is that playing?) with letterforms.



We invite you to join us for conversation, hors d'oeuvres and liquid refreshment. At 7 pm, Peter will offer a brief demonstration on versals, addressing background and variations, in preparation for our work of the next two days. Accompanying persons are cordially invited to attend.


8:30AM Registration

9:00 AM - 4 PM Workshop (includes lunch)

4:15 PM Business meeting (the AGM)

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a brief meeting to update members

on behind-the-scenes happenings and to help us plan future events.

Dinner location to be announced.


9:00 AM - 4 PM Workshop (includes lunch)


COST: $160 CLAS members and $190 non-members. This includes lunch both days.

REGISTRATION: ** New procedure**

You may mail your registration form and check at any time. Registration processing will begin on March 1st with a random draw from those registrations received thus far. Registrations received after that date will be processed in the order received. E-mail confirmation will be sent in early March. 

Send your form and check (payable to CLAS) to Patricia Minard, 24 Highbridge Crossing, Apt. 1415, Asheville, NC 28803.

You may also pay your dues for 2019 - 20 with your registration. If you are new to CLAS as of the AGM, your payment will cover the remainder of the current year as well as the 2019 - 20 year.

FOOD AND DRINK: Lunch will be provided on site. There will not be time to go out for lunch. If you have any special needs, please so indicate on the registration form and we will try to accommodate you.

SATURDAY NIGHT DINNER: What would a CLAS event be without the famous Saturday night pot-luck dinner? Your accompanying person is welcome to join us as we gather after the business meeting.

LODGING: Participants are responsible for their own lodging arrangements. A Mountain Scribe may be able to extend hospitality to you. Indicate your interest on the registration form.

REGISTRATION FORM Please write legibly. That would help us all...


Name: _______________________________________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________________________


E-mail: ____________________________________________________________

Phone: _____________________________________________________________


Workshop fee ($160; $190 non-members) $ ________


CLAS dues 2019-2020 ($30) $ ___

Total (make check payable to CLAS) $ ___


What else do you want us to know regarding your attendance at this event?

Make check payable to CLAS and mail to Patricia Minard,

24 Highbridge Crossing, Apt. 1415, Asheville 28803

Article originally appeared on Carolina Lettering Arts Society (
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