This sketch, done in one of my ruling pen workshops, explains my goal as a teacher: For me calligraphy is not about copying only but about varying, creating, discovering.

Vary what you have learned.
Create your own style.
Discover the pleasures of strolling through the wilderness instead of following the same ol’ paths, centuries-old.

Rose Folsom (former editor of the LetterArtsReview) once said about my work:
“You look to me like a child that discovered it could play outside the playground, too.”




Ruling Pens Beyond the Rules
Students will learn my freestyle method of using the ruling pen. This kind of writing springs from the sensitive balance of speed  and control, and produces uniquely lively, animated letterforms.
Because the use of the ruling pen as a freestyle tool presupposes a solid mastery of letterforms and a sense of rhythm and texture, this class is intended for students who have had some previous calligraphic experience.
In this course, participants will be introduced to several types of ruling pens, and will have the opportunity to experiment with the great variety of strokes that are possible with these instruments.
The only rule is: There is no rule. This script will have no consistent baseline, no equal heights, widths, proportions  in the single letters; no equal width of the stroke.
Have fun!

Level: Intermediate

Length: 2 or 3 days

Please note:
Over the years I developed a very good step-by-step method of how to understand the technical side of this tool. It takes almost two days to learn it because the ruling pen is so different from any other tool, and the basics are necessary to learn how to be creative with it.
Therefore I highly recommend to offer the subject for 3 days, if possible.


Dynamic Textures
If you want to advance in your calligraphy – to become more expressive or to develop a more individual style – it is essential to free yourself from the basic forms of your classical scripts.
One way to achieve this is to develop textures. Texture can be achieved by condensing, touching, or overlapping strokes. They can be written, drawn carefully, or done with momentum. It can look dense, delicate, or geometric. These very different approaches will be shown and practiced in this workshop that is a more contemporary approach to texture.
Please note: Like in all of my design-related courses, you can participate regardless of the script you choose to work with, but it is important to be familiar enough with it that you can work independently. For this course, the most useful scripts are any form of Italic, optional: Roman Caps.
level: intermediate
length: 2 days

Supply list: Broad egde nibs, Automatic Pens, Speedball B round 2, ruling pen or pointed nib for drawing, your favorite inks or sumi.


Ancient Chinese Secret

Everybody loves Chinese lettering and characters! But to learn how to create and understand them would take you years of intense studies. In this informative and fun workshop Thomas
Hoyer will share his specially-created alphabet that works almost like a secret code.
Participants will learn how to form letters with oriental-style brush strokes using sumi inks.
With words of your choosing, you will create your own handlettered piece on rice paper, in the Chinese tradition.
On the second day you will learn more about varying and designing your letters and how to “cluster” them to more complex looking letters.

Level: All

Length: 2 days

Supply list: A pointed brush about No. 8; or PENTEL Color Brush in black; black ink or sumi; layout marker paper; rice paper



The Alchemist’s Magic

Have you been to all the workshops, gathered scripts, techniques and tools, but never learned the “spells” to turn these ingredients into a piece of fine art?
Thomas Hoyer is one of the few calligraphers with a masters in graphic design and who mainly works as a freelance designer.
Join him for a fun ride into the design world and let your mind run wild and stoke the fire of your imagination. Learn how to design a text, a word, the letters themselves. How to visualize a text’s content. How to add emotion and expression to your lettering. How to twist and turn the usual into the unusual. How to use both sides of your brain. And, best of all: How to break all the rules you have ever learned.
This workshop is not about a finished piece but to create a “spell-book” filled with ideas for to browse through if you have a text you want to write but have no idea how to. Ideas that can be used with any script or calligraphic tool you are familiar with and with any skill level.

Level: intermediate

Length: 2 days (better 3-4 days!)

Supply list: Your basic kit, and everything you like to work with. Some quotes (prose!) with about 10-15 words.



Fraktur, mon amour!

When Blackletter blossoms... In the second half of the 15th century Blackletter evolved into lacy, flourished Fraktur. Some initials of that time appear as an arbour covered with wild proliferous vine.
After learning the basic letterforms we will open the rich treasure box Fraktur has to offer:
- become creative with your letters: little variations in your letterforms enrich every text and make it look more vivid
- enjoy designing flourishes: voluptuous initials with overly flourished parts give your whole piece an aristocratic look
- you don’t want to be limited by the shape of the letter? Learn how to create spacious ornaments around your text to put it in a delicate texture.
This is the one style where there is no such thing as “too much” in creative embellishment and playful details! Fraktur, mon amour--you will love it!
Level: Advanced beginner/Intermediate

Days: 2-3

Supply list: Broad edged nibs, pointed nibs, several inks, grid paper, good paper, ruler and pencil.



Neuland Texture

In this workshop you will learn how to take the script a step further: text becomes texture.
The neuland script with its heavy earthy looking letters is ideal for creating textures. After learning the basics we will discuss how to create different styles of textures: light and dark, even texture versus ones with extra dark or light areas. How far could you go with density while you still keep it legible? Learn how to add contrast by using different sizes of nibs in one text and by adding loose hairlines to the solid strokes of the script.
The last step will be to trace a piece and thereby transform density into the opposite by creating a thin outline. Experiment with different tools to give your line a different look or add some weight in certain areas.

Level: advanced beginner/intermediate

Length: 2-3 days

Supply list: automatic pens, nibs, Speedball B-5, sumi or black ink, pencil.


21st Century Monogramania

For centuries monograms were used as an abbriviation of ones name for representative use or for to mark your belongings (e.g. embroidery in bedlinen). It looks better when 2 or 3 letters are intertwined to an ornament than dealing with the whole name. And a distinctive design made sure they were as individual as their bearer. Till today there is a great demand for them.
This design workshop will show participants step by step how to change letterforms in general to make them fit into each other with enough time for to exercise them with a script of your choice.
In the second part we move on to the 21st century and become expressive, wild and even experimental by using various tools.

Level: Intermediate/advanced

Days: 2

Material: Broad edged nibs, pointed nibs, ink, sketch paper, pencil and any tool you love to work with.