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14/05 - Automatic Pen, exclusive online with Master Calligrapher Kirsten Burke

A rare and exclusive opportunity to learn with Kirsten Burke - £100

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14/05 - Automatic Pen, exclusive online with Master Calligrapher Kirsten Burke
14/05 - Automatic Pen, exclusive online with Master Calligrapher Kirsten Burke

Time & Location

14 May 2024, 19:00 – 21:00 BST


About the Event

Gestural Automatic Pen Calligraphy - Discover how to form expressive lettering, using an automatic pen. 

Kirsten Burke is known for her gestural, mark-making aesthetic - a style that lends itself perfectly to the speed and energy involved in automatic pen lettering. She will show you how the creativity and gestures of the scribe, along with the splashes and splatters of the pen, come together to form a one-of-a-kind, spectacular work of art.

When you book, you will be asked to give her up to three words/names you would like to be made into an artwork. Kirsten will turn them into an original piece that will arrive with your workshop kit. 

This special workshop explores the sensory reactions we have to hand-lettering, throwing light on the exciting balance between happy accidents and pen control. With the right amount of force, an automatic pen lifts on its edge to create a hairline that can become a flourish, and if you work quickly, splashes of ink will fire from it when the corner of the blade catches on the surface of your paper and create an eye-catching spray of colour!

In the mid-1950s, most posters for shops were lettered using a brush. Originally invented as a tool for creating large-scale lettering, the automatic pen was designed to replace the brush lettering and ‘automatically’ do the solid, thick downstroke. Popular with Blackletter calligraphers, they can be used to create medieval styles that work in the same way as a broad-edged nib.

You will also look at how to form an alphabet using fast, frantic marks, layers of colour and dynamic lettering - you'll look at the small 'caps' alphabet, which can be created with a brush or nib to complement the artwork you complete.

By the end of your time with Kirsten, not only will you feel fantastically inspired and empowered to continue creating expressive, confident lettering, you'll have created your very own artwork to enjoy (or perhaps gift to a loved one) along with the memories of time spent with a true master of their discipline.

Your Kit

In advance of your workshop, you will receive:

- A3 traditional white Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper (this is extremely high quality, mould-made, 100% cotton paper that is both chlorine and acid-free. 

-  Size 5 automatic pen

-  Beautiful red, blue and yellow pigment ink

- A small paintbrush

You will be asked to provide your name (or the name you'd like Kirsten to write for your template) during the booking process.


Included within this ticket price is postage to the UK mainland only, no Islands or Highlands. For other UK and international locations, please email Nadine at with your name, address and workshop/course title and date you would like to attend and she will be able to let you know the additional postage charge and eta for your kit via Royal Mail.

PLEASE NOTE Once your kit has been posted, workshop tickets are not refundable. This does not affect your statutory rights.

Cancellation/Refund Policy

We are unable to offer refunds for this event. We can however move you to another date should this one no longer be suitable.

System requirements

This workshop will be hosted via Zoom. Your Zoom invite will come with your booking email confirmation, and we'll send it to you in your reminder email 3 days before your workshop. Please check your Spam folder in case the emails end up in there.

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