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Chromatic Coffee hosts first Chromaker event on calligraphy

Need a new hobby? Try calligraphy.

Ellie Camp Calligraphy held an Intro to Modern Calligraphy Workshop at Chromatic Coffee in Santa Clara on June 27. The event introduced beginners to the world of modern calligraphy.

The workshop is the first of many events in the Chromaker series hosted by Chromatic Coffee. The series serves as a way for aspiring makers and artists to share their art and craft, especially in the South Bay. Future events include an embroidery night and a macramé wall hanging workshop.

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Rosa Warren, the administrative director at Chromatic Coffee Roastery, came up with the idea for the series. She  hosted workshops at the cafe before, but the idea didn’t emerge until after Julia Pasek, the cafe operations manager, hosted a macramé plant hanging workshop back in February.*

“I enjoy doing these kinds of things, and I was excited by the reactions of the people who came,” Pasek said. “A lot of the feedback I got was that there were not many of these types of craft events and craft-learning events in the South Bay. There’s a lot in San Francisco and Oakland, but not as many here.”

Due to the lack of craft events in the area, demand for space in the calligraphy workshop was high — tickets sold out three days after they went on sale. Attendees came from Santa Clara, San Jose, Sunnyvale and even as far as Davis.

Ellie Camp, founder of Ellie Camp Calligraphy, taught attendees how to use the basic calligraphy tools, perform basic strokes and write the alphabet. Camp said the workshop is a fun way to try something new and connect with people. But her main goal was to spark more interest in calligraphy within the community.

“Something that I’ve experienced being within the calligraphy community is generosity, and calligraphers are exceptionally generous with each other,” Camp said. “Calligraphy is like this old art that seems like it was dying for a long time, so a lot of times we feel that we have this duty to keep the art going, especially during this time period of technology. So putting on the workshops and having more people be interested in it kind of just continues the tradition of calligraphy.”

Many attendees came to the workshop to step out of their comfort zone, look for a new hobby or take a break from reality. For Ede Shinn, it was the latter.

“I wanted to try out calligraphy and take a break from my kids,” Shinn said. “I follow some people on Instagram, but I didn’t know how to start anything.”

Many of the attendees came in with little to no calligraphy experience. April Phan learned a little bit about calligraphy in a high school art class. Although it seemed like a fun and easy hobby to her, she found it a little challenging.

“It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t completely undoable, if that makes sense,” Phan said. “And it was really helpful to have somebody looking over your shoulder to give you specific directions instead of just trying to look at YouTube videos or something like that where you can’t connect with that teacher and ask specific questions.”

Phan found the experience to be a lot more fun because she brought along a friend.

“It was great because I can make jokes with [my friend] while we’re going on about at how terrible we are at it,” Phan said.

Joni Lindenstruth found out about the workshop through her connection with the owners of the cafe and thought this would be a fun night out.

“I definitely need a lot more practice,” Lindenstruth said. “It was fun, and I liked the repetitive kind of meditative aspect of it. It’s calming.”

She said she hopes to improve her calligraphy skills and use it in the future.

“As a career, I don’t know if I can get as experienced as [Camp] is, but to be able to address notecards nicer than my regular handwriting might be fun,” Lindenstruth said. “I’m excited to see what else Chromatic Coffee has to offer.”

If you are interested in coming out to the next event at Chromatic Coffee, click here for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/199161090731067/

* Corrected July 6 at 12:30 p.m.

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