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Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy: A Step-by-Step Manual (Lettering, Calligraphy, Typography) Paperback – May 8, 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Developed by English handwriting masters in the 18th century, copperplate calligraphy is admired for its fluidity and beauty. It is the most popular style for social correspondence, invitations, and other communications requiring an elegant hand.
In this practical manual, a noted calligraphy teacher offers a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for the student. Beginning with a brief but fascinating history of copperplate, she moves quickly to an in-depth examination of the alphabet, numbers, and punctuation. Each letter is demonstrated stroke by stroke with a clear explanation.
Readers will also find detailed discussions of writing in color, using the proper paper, and learning how to retouch, correct, and crop. Ms. Winters then shows how copperplate can be used to write a simple paragraph, a short quotation, or poetry, and explains how to use the script commercially for addressing envelopes and writing name cards and invitations. With this easy-to-follow manual and some practice, calligraphers will be able to create copperplate scripts with the rhythm, grace, and ease of the great writing masters.
Unabridged Dover (2000) republication of the edition published by Watson-Guptill, New York, 1989.

About the Author

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Eleanor Winters has been exploring New York City on foot for several decades. A commercial and fine artist specializing in calligraphy, she has written five books for calligraphers, all of which are currently in print: Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy (3rd ed., Dover Publications, 2001), Calligraphy in Ten Easy Lessons with Laurie Lico (2nd ed., Dover Publications, 2003), Calligraphy for Kids (Sterling Publishing, 2004), 1-2-3 Calligraphy (Sterling Publishing, 2006) and Italic and Copperplate Calligraphy: The Basics and Beyond (Dover Publications, 2011). She also served as editor of The Calligrapher's Engagement Calendar from 1979 to 2005. Eleanor lives half the year in Brooklyn and half in Paris and teaches calligraphy to beginners as well as professionals in Europe and the United States. She exhibits her artwork widely and is represented by the Franklin 54 Gallery + Projects in Manhattan. Eleanor has a master's of art from New York University.
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Product Details

  • Series: Lettering, Calligraphy, Typography
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Lettering, Calligraphy, Typography edition (May 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486409511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486409511
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After studying calligraphy through workshops and lessons since 1989, I decided to add Copperplate to my repertoire. I found learning this style requires a whole new "think" on writing: different flexible pen nibs, pen angles, paper slant, stops, bold and hairline strokes, and of course incredible(albeit refined)embellishment. This book holds prime position in my library, is ink-stained and spotted, has pages unbound from overuse, and is the most perfect way to learn this hand as any I have ever seen. Every time I want to use Copperplate on a commission or project, I haul it out to have beside me, to remember all the little specifics that make Copperplate so beautiful. I love this book!
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By JimT on January 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
I was looking for a book to explain everything from soup to nuts. This is it. A little history, an equipment guide, and then into the basics. Advanced and commercial techniques are covered also. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a number of books on Copperplate. This is the most thorough, and produces the best results. Winters sweats the details, both in the letterforms (which all the books cover), but in the fine details of them, details of posture, help in choosing paper and ink (A real issue when trying to learn copperplate -- the right paper can make all the difference).

Absolutely, if you're trying to learn Copperplate, get a copy of Winters and read it. It will make all the difference.
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Format: Paperback
First to Eleanor--thank you thank you thank you! For giving me a handwriting style that will last centuries yet.

Ahem... Copperplate hand is beautiful, and instead of having to guess how to go about making it right from a one-page sample, you have a kind and considerate teacher walk you through a complete tutorial in a real-world classroom pace--with every intention of actually passing down this beautiful hand--warts and elegance--all--from her years of experience into your fingers. This text will be your guide to teaching future generations this beautiful hand. I am honored to have found this book and even more honored to have the chance to learn this hand from a true master. I hope you will find it, as I did, that her tone is considerate, experienced, and helpful every step of the way--she made _every_ _word_ _count_. She will never bore you.

At this moment I plan to work on this hand whenever I take notes. I have a Namiki/Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen, and although the default nib cannot vary stroke width through pressure--it's a hard nib--I have every intention of enjoying the styling of copperplate in my everyday writings. Like any others who have recently rediscovered the pleasure of writing a journal, I am using a fountain pen or a roller ball on a Moleskine brand notepad. There are many blogs and online write-ups helping you get into this fun activity. Check them out. But I realize I need a cursive hand to work on, otherwise my handwriting would remain illegible! But thanks to Ms. Winters--I am saved!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must have for the new calligrapher. It shows the various letters, but also gives variations on some of the letters. It is an invaluable resource. One final tip. I took my book to a local Fed Ex/Kinko's and had a spiral binding placed on it. That way I can open it up flat when I am working on my calligraphy and need to reference a letter. In fact I do that to all my craft/instructional books that I use a lot.
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Format: Paperback
I used to do Italic Calligraphy but I haven't done anything for 10 years. My son is getting married and asked me to address his wedding invitations. I thought this was a good time to learn Copperplate. This book was great. It tells you everything from what kind of nibs to use (I liked Gillott 303), which type of oblique nib holder to use, ink, holding the pen, posture, what paper to use for practicing (you do need special paper), and letter formation. I followed everything she said and practiced for two weeks to make sure I was comfortable with the letters and the letter connections. The invitations are now addressed and look very professional if I do say so myself. My daughter said it looked like I had been doing Copperplate for years, not weeks. Thanks Eleanor for such a thorough book
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book that goes into great detail about how to write each letter. The author knows so much about copperplate and she offers great advice and tips. Listen to her advice! Instructions are very easy to follow and I got a really great understanding of writing copperplate. Great for beginners or for those with experience who want to work on technique.
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Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful! Mt daughter got interested in calligraphy after a project in school about colonial America. I bought this book for her to try to learn one of the styles of that period. It was a bit much for her, but I became fascinated by it and quickly began to improve my own penmanship. This style of writing is not the easiest form of calligraphy out there, and I wouldn't reccommend it for someone just learning to use a calligraphy pen, but after a little practice holding the pen and some basic calligraphy like unical or roman, an older child or adult will find this a very helpful book.
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