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Modern Moves & 20th Century Masters
Saturday & Sunday, April 12 &13, 2008

IMG_2103aA weekend workshop with Carl Rohrs is like taking a two week class in a two day time span, without a minute or a detail lost! Carl is an instructor and person of highest quality. The commitment and dedication to his art is clear, as is his commitment and dedication to teaching and sharing.

Carl’s energy is catchy and he imparts this to his students. We actually covered ALL 138 pages of his “Modern Moves from 20th Century Masters” Workbook. Inspired by these master's letterforms, Carl studied their construction and then created modernized versions. The hard work and dedication resulting in his amazing accomplishments are impressive. From the “old” he has developed and created an entire array of modern forms. He inspired us to broaden own calligraphic skills.

His tireless demonstrations detailed the old and new leIMG_2099atterform structures for our improved understanding, as we diligently practiced with brush, broad pen and ruling pen. Carl prefers the expressive, continental letterforms to that of the traditional English.  Of particular interest was the “Linz move”…a detail revealed from the depiction and study of Alfred Linz’s calligraphic hands. Breaking down letterforms gives a better understanding of its structure. Then you can rebuild and invent the modern form, as Carl has done. He expressed, “The letters explode!” In his demos, we saw them dance and have incredible life.

A few workshop vignettes of information follow: We learned about basic pen lifts, including the “bounce terminal”, leading corner flicks, “fishtail” strokes at the end of descending, flourished strokes…to give credit and thanks to Friedrich Poppl for discovering the expressive capabilities  the mechanical ruling pen has to offer…learning the nuances of colored pencil and gouache for shading…simply, deeply respecting the  amazing marks our tools make…the  appreciation of the transition between the conventional to unconventional letterforms by “breaking the rules of tradition”… to be bold and change proportions for letterform transformation to fit the project…to “claim freedom for ourselves!” Wow! Very powerful!…just like Carl Rohrs.

He encourages adventure in our lettering pursuits while remembering the foundation needs to maintain strength of each letter.

We were all very fortunate to have the opportunity to study and learn from this modern day master. Thank you Carl!

by Wendy Watson Diedrick

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Carl Rohrs watched by Lita Gates, Jean Igoe, and Rose Smutko

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Lettering by Carl Rohrs. He did all our names!

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Janice Shigehara and Sue Mann

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 Susan Richardson

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Lettering by Susan Richardson

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Sue Mann

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Britta Brice (left and above) Viviana Lombrozo (below)

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Janice Shigehara and Claire Meacham

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Lettering by Kingsley Benfield

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Carl Rohrs, Kingsley Benefield,
and Yvonne Perez-Collins

(Left) Elizabeth Kenny

Techniques with gouache and colored pencil

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Using colored pencil with light lettering on dark paper

Next: Using colored pencil with dark lettering on light paper

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Yvonne Perez-Collins

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