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Calligraphy is a beautiful addition to any wedding, so we spoke to local calligrapher, Kate Ridyard to find out more about her business.
"I have loved handwriting for as long as I can remember and first picked up a calligraphic pen aged nine, inspired by a primary school teacher who always marked our homework with a broad edged pen. He was quite elderly, imposing and a little frightening but his writing was beautiful and I grew to adore him. It was he who recognised my intrigue and enthusiasm for handwriting and allowed me to be the first in the class to use a fountain ink pen! No surprise that he ended up being my favourite teacher and the only one I still remember vividly to this day.
"Having initially graduated in graphic design, I decided, as a mature student, to pursue my fascination for letterforms and return to full time education to study for a diploma in Calligraphy and Bookbinding at Roehampton Institute (now University of Roehampton). This was the only full-time course available at the time (but sadly no longer exists) and students came from all over the world to study there. We were fortunate to be taught by world-renowned calligraphers, artists and craftsmen and women, learning all aspects of the subject including quill cutting, painting, gilding, and illumination. We also studied and analysed historical manuscripts and practised the traditional methods and techniques used by mediaeval scribes.
"My portfolio includes an extensive list of commissions for advertising, brand design and packaging, as well as bespoke commissions for weddings, events and commemorative pieces for special occasions. As the go-to calligrapher for Petersham Nurseries, I also collaborate with my husband, who is also a designer, to produce much of the marketing material for Petersham Nurseries in Richmond and Covent Garden.
"I bring a highly personal touch to weddings and events, often incorporating watercolour botanical paintings within my designs. I can deliver everything from initial guest invitations to placement and venue accessorising for the day itself, wherever your venue. All my work is bespoke and handcrafted.
"I love working together with the bride and groom to discuss their own personal vision for their special day and we will often meet up to to discuss colour schemes, themes and papers etc and to generally exchange ideas. But for couples who are not local it is just as rewarding to communicate via email, phone or zoom, and even if we don’t actually meet up I usually feel I know them pretty well by the end of the process. Invariably, when the day itself is over, they share photos with me, (as I am fairly demanding in my requests to see the dress!) and I have even received a couple of postcards of thanks sent from honeymoon destinations which is really lovely.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.kateridyardcalligraphy.co.uk or follow @kateridyardcalligraphy on Instagram.
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