Learning Modern Calligraphy with Merrie & Bright

I’ve been wanting to do a calligraphy class for a couple of years now, but put it off and tried to teach myself using books. When I say ‘tried’, I mean I’ve done it maybe three times at home, and got frustrated that I wasn’t as good as everyone on Instagram.

Over the past couple of months, my life has become a real routine – work, gym, sleep, and so on. While a routine isn’t always a bad thing, I decided I wanted a new hobby, and so I turned back to calligraphy!

After a ten minute google, I came across a class run by Merrie and Bright at The Jam Factory in Oxford (such a beautiful bar/gallery, see the pic below!).

Merrie is a fine art calligrapher, specialising in whimsical calligraphy. She’s trained in calligraphy since 2012 and now shares her skills with others in her workshops.

There was around 15 people at the workshop, which took place over two hours (costing £54). We all arrived to what was the most Instagrammable table setting I’ve ever seen (I mean, how perfect is my name written in that copper ink!!).

Supplies were all included in the price of the workshop, so Merrie firstly introduced us to  what was sitting on the table, including a potato strangely enough, and we quickly got started on some basic strokes.

These started off really badly. Our instructions booklet was filled with perfect looking ‘basic’ strokes, which felt far from basic to begin with. However, after a page or two of ugly ink smears, I started to get the hang of it! Merrie made sure to spend enough time with us individually to check that we were doing everything correctly.

img_0062img_0063Now for the lettering! What I didn’t realise about calligraphy beforehand, was that it’s completely different to normal handwriting. Each letter has to be a work of art! I definitely found capital letters easier to write, which is a shame because I much prefer the look of lowercase. After lots of practice I finally got the feel for it and it was time to move onto joining the letters up to make some pretty words.

I started off a bit wobbly with my wording – Merrie suggested the word ‘flamingo’ as it tends to look pretty in calligraphy! The best thing about Modern Calligraphy is that the baseline of the letters don’t have to be straight, meaning that you can make all of your letters different sizes, which looks pretty, and best of all, hides any wobbles!

I wish I’d got to spend longer than two hours doing this. Everyone was so lovely, including Merrie, and calligraphy is extremely relaxing. I’m so excited to keep practicing my new skill, and have recently bought an iPad and Apple Pencil to do it digitally as well (more to come on this in the next few weeks!).

Thank you to Merrie from Merrie and Bright for making everyone feel so welcome and for teaching us this beautiful skill. I’d highly recommend her workshops to anyone that wants to give calligraphy a try!



  1. August 4, 2017 / 1:38 am

    I’d love to do something like this! Looks so interesting!

    • August 4, 2017 / 7:52 am

      Definitely recommend! Such a relaxing experience too 😊💖

  2. August 4, 2017 / 5:20 pm

    This looks so fun, I’d love to be involved in something like this! Your writing looks lovely, you clearly did a great job!

    Faye Jessica x

    • August 4, 2017 / 9:35 pm

      Thank you! Was such a fun day 😊 xx

  3. October 16, 2017 / 10:57 am

    I might also get into this 😊 I’ve always been good at doing precision work with my hands so this might be a good new hobby to try.


    • rosieslifexo
      October 29, 2017 / 4:55 pm

      I highly recommend it, so therapeutic:) xxx

  4. November 5, 2017 / 5:41 pm

    I would love to try this. I wonder if I have enough hand strength.

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