Arezzo Italy - Books by Hand workshop 2011

Arezzo 10/16 September 2011
Instructor : Monica Dengo

Download the program.

Books by Hand is a calligraphy and bookbinding workshop held every year in Arezzo, a medieval art city in Tuscany, near Florence. Students study and work at the Palazzo Pretorio, site of the Public Library, and in another spacious and comfortable room at walking distance from the city center. They accommodate in a holiday home facing the gorgeous Piazza Grande, or in a youth hostel also well located in the city center where it’s easy to find small trattoria’s and typical restaurants, sit at cafés by the piazzas and enjoy the many beauties of this medieval town.


This year we will study XVI to XVIII century correspondence and documents written in a multiplicity of italic hands. We will also have the opportunity to study directly on manuscripts from various periods, paying special attention to spacing and page design.

Students will then develop their own personal Italic hands, taking special care about letters and line spacing, page design, rhythm.
We will study and experiment with the different possibilities of writing fluently and legibly or more expressively and experimentally.

At the end of this workshop students will learn how to make a folded book for their notes and studies and a sewn book for all the experimental works. They will learn how to use the right papers and make the sewing, and how to measure, mark, fold, cut and make the covers with handmade paper.

If you are a designer, with this script you can develop your own font (the font design part will not be included in the class); if you are an artist or you have a passion for handwriting this class is a great opportunity to learn a hand directly from the source and to develop your own script.

Students from many parts of the world have participated in this workshop which has become a well known yearly event among lettering artists, calligraphers and bookbinding lovers.

View Photo Album 2009 edition.

The library where the class was held:

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