The art of calligraphy thrives in Dallas.

IN THE contemporary world of rockets and computers, calligraphy -the ancient art of beautiful handwriting -is making a comeback.

Once the craft of monks who labored over manuscripts, calligraphy survived the invention of the printing press. Four centuries later, it endured the threat of the typewriter and emerged as a fine art. Exhibited in museums and libraries, calligraphic art has been studied to reveal the histories of civilizations: Greek, Egyptian, Chinese, Roman, Hebrew, Italian, Irish and English.

Today, calligraphy is flourishing again in advertisements and logos and on special certificates. And with the increased interest in entertaining, businesses and socialites are keeping calligraphers busy designing invitations, addressing envelopes and lettering place cards and menus.

Throughout the country, more and more calligraphers are hanging out shingles. Calligraphy classes and workshops fill to capacity. Brides and hostesses want to write their own invitations. Business people and homemakers seek hobbies. Teachers and teen-agers learn to letter posters and design Christmas cards. And some people simply want to improve their handwriting.

“We offer two sections of calligraphy a semester,” says Mary Miller, dean of SMU’s School of Continuing Education. “They always fill immediately, and we have waiting lists.” Miller believes the classes are popular because students want to develop a personalized, special way of communicating.

Many students take calligraphy for a creative outlet. Others say it’s relaxing and therapeutic. And for some, calligraphy provides additional income. “A beginner, who has had only one class, can make an average of $500 a month addressing envelopes and writing place cards,” says teacher and studio owner Susie Melissa Cherry.

Another benefit calligraphy may provide children is better grades in school. Former schoolteacher Barbara Horner teaches calligraphy to youngsters beginning at age 9. She says, “Children who learn to write beautifully want beautiful things to write. So, they start reading more. They search through books by authors like Shakespeare.”

Whatever the reasons for pursuing calligraphy-whether as a form of self-improvement, an avocation or a profession – calligraphers seem to have a common goal: to share and promote their art. Two years ago, several calligraphers formed Kaligrafos, The Dallas Calligraphy Society. The organization publishes a newsletter, meets once a month and sponsors programs and workshops. President Alan Furber invites anyone interested in joining the guild to call membership chairman Betty Barna at 234-4075.

HERE IS a sampling of Dallas calligraphy shops, services and free-lancers. Prices vary for designs and also vary according to size, style and volume of work. The closest price estimate we can give is the approximate cost of addressing an envelope. Listed, too, are classes offered in some homes, churches, colleges, recreation centers and stores.


Calligraphic Arts, Inc. and The School of Calligraphic Arts, 4227 Herschel, Suite 309. 522-4731. Most local calligraphers give owner Susie Melissa Cherry credit for starting the calligraphy craze in Dallas. She helped found Kaligrafos and with partners John and Maxine Morgan opened the Calligraphy House. In addition, she has taught calligraphy to more than 6,500 students. She and her staff design logos, advertisements, invitations, holiday cards, stationery -just about anything the customer wants. They address envelopes on an overnight basis for $1.25 to $1.75 per envelope with a three-line address. The school offers a selection of six classes and seven all-day seminars, ranging from beginner to expert and are for both children and adults. “Our classes are more expensive than many, but are small, and we give a lot of individual attention,” says Cherry. Classes are taught year-round, ranging in price from $125 to $185 and are limited to six students. Seminars, also limited to six students, cost $65 to $85 with supplies included. Call for a brochure and enrollment form.

Calligraphy House, 6104 Luther Lane. 691-8236. “This is the only pure calligraphy shop in the Southwest,” says John Morgan, an owner and manager of the store. Morgan, a retired hospital administrator, provides calligraphers’ supplies, books, classes and services. Members of his staff have done everything from design book covers to letter marriage vows. They charge a minimum of $1 per piece for addressing envelopes. Daytime and evening courses and seminars are taught continually by a staff of six instructors. Classes for beginners, intermediates and experts -for children and adults- range in price from $40 to $75. For those who want to teach themselves, Morgan sells “how to” books. He recommends The Italic Way to Beautiful Handwriting by Fred Eager ($5.95) and Tom Gourdie’s Handwriting for Today ($3.95).

Craft Studio, 6627 Snider Plaza. 368-4192. Salesperson Sally Rosenberg does the studio’s calligraphy, and craftsman Grace Ann Vanderpool teaches classes. Rosenberg says, “I prefer the unusual, one-of-a-kind things -like the poster of bizarre sayings I lettered on parchment for a customer. But I also design birth announcements, invitations and Christmas cards.” She charges 10 to 15 cents per letter with a $10 minimum. For envelopes, she charges 50 cents to $1.50. Vanderpool’s daytime and evening classes are limited to eight students and cost $30 to $40. Her philosophy is to teach only one style of lettering during each course. “Students get confused when they learn several alphabets at once,” she says. Vanderpool also teaches at Calligraphy House, American Handicrafts, Highland Park Presbyterian Church and in her studio at home.

Alan Furber Studio, 811 S. Central Ex-pwy., Suite 546, Richardson. 690-9222. Commercial artist Alan Furber has been a calligraphy enthusiast for more than 30 years. “1 wanted to make a living with calligraphy back in the late Forties, but found [that people had] very little interest in it then,” he says. But eight years ago, with the demand for calligraphers waxing, Furber opened his own studio. He combines his art and calligraphy talents to design and letter advertisements, magazine and catalog covers -even fertilizer bags. He enjoys designing invitations and greeting cards, but doesn’t do envelopes. Furber is the president of Kaligrafos and teaches at the Calligraphy House.

Horace Herron Designs, 4227 Herschel. 521-5131. Herron designs annual reports, brochures and logotypes. Primarily, he is an advertising designer, but he also does calligraphic art for invitations and certificates, and will address envelopes. He quotes prices upon request.

Needle in a Haystack, 6911 Preston Road. 528-2850. This needlework, gift and stationery boutique will provide cal-ligraphers when invitations and paper are purchased at the store. The shop sells all sorts of invitations – for weddings, parties and bar mitzvahs. Charges for addressing envelopes range from 75 cents to $4.50.

Party Service, Preston Tower, Suite 123, 6211 W. Northwest Hwy. 363-9366. For 20 years, Party Service has coordinated the debutante season and planned parties for Dallasites. Its services include the designing of party and wedding invitations and the addressing of envelopes. Owner Ann Draper says, “We do more invitation designing than addressing. When we do address, we prefer to use cursive, but we can do other styles of lettering.” The service charges approximately $1.50 to address a three-line envelope and $1 per line to design an invitation.

Tricia’s Folk Art Shoppe, 207 Keystone Shopping Center. 231-7035. Harry Joiner, husband of the owner, does calligraphy for the shop and also teaches. A geophysi-cist by profession, Joiner became interested in calligraphy through his love for books and manuscripts. “Most of my work has been personal rather than commercial,” he says. “I’ve calligraphed poems, quotations and wedding invitations.” Joiner asks customers to leave their work at the shop for an estimate. He charges approximately $1.50 to address an envelope and requires payment in advance. Classes meet one night a week from 7 to 9:30 for six weeks and cost $36. Beginners learn Roman and Old English alphabets; intermediates concentrate on italic and uncial; a third class stresses layout and design. Supplies are available at the shop.

Write Selection, 314 Preston Royal Shopping Center. 750-0531. Invitations for parties, weddings and bar mitzvahs can be selected from approximately 50 sample books or can be designed by the store’s in-house artist. The shop will arrange for calligraphers to letter invitations, stationery -even stickers and ribbons. Envelopes are addressed for $1 for three lines.


Jill Bell, East Dallas. 343-6477. Bell considers calligraphy both a fine art and a useful craft. She has exhibited her work in galleries in New York and Los Angeles and currently teaches at the Calligraphy House. She charges a minimum of $1 to address an envelope and has a $10 minimum for all jobs.

Bobby Carr, Garland. 272-1839 (call after 6 p.m.). As Southland Corporation’s word-processing manager, Carr can produce a word in one-tenth of a second. As a calligrapher, she spends one or two minutes on the same word. She also teaches at Cedar Valley College. For name tags, she charges approximately $1 per line; for addressing envelopes, from $1.20 to $3.50 each.

Susie Egnew, East Dallas. 328-7840. “If it’s lettering related, I do it,” says Egnew. She has painted drivers’ names and numbers on racing cars and has done lettering on 18-wheelers. Recently, Egnew completed a smaller project: a family tree on canvas with gold leaf and illumination. She enjoys most calligraphic art, but doesn’t like to address envelopes. She teaches private lessons in her home and at Eastfield College. Her home lessons cost $20 per hour; each class lasts two hours and continues for as many sessions as the student wants.

Shirley Hammer, North Dallas. 352-9292. Hammer teaches at the Paint Box, Brookhaven College and Park Cities Baptist Church. She was recently employed by the Mary Kay Golf Classic to print scoring sheets and to letter the leader board. She also designs greeting cards and invitations and addresses envelopes. She charges approximately $1 per envelope.

Nita Harkey, Bluffview. 350-6200. A graduate of SMU’s School of Fine Arts, Nita Harkey has been a calligrapher for 20 years. She letters certificates for her alma mater’s business school and school of continuing education. Recently, Harkey designed and lettered the 100-page Book of Gifts for the Episcopal School of Dallas. She charges $3 to write a name on a certificate in Old English script and a minimum of 50 cents to address an envelope.

Barbara Horner, North Dallas. 931-5879. Former schoolteacher Barbara Horner became concerned when she couldn’t read the handwriting of students in her accelerated classes. She learned calligraphy and has taught the craft to both children and adults for four years. Horner teaches at Fretz Park, the Doll Collection and the University of Texas at Dallas. Her custom work includes the lettering of posters, poems and invitations and personalizing of books and greeting cards. Her fee for addressing envelopes is $1 minimum per piece.

Marsha Levine, North Dallas. 361-5203. Levine teaches at Brookhaven and also teaches both Hebrew and English calligraphy to high school students at Congregation Shearith Israel. She does Hebrew lettering on bar mitzvah invitations for Needle in a Haystack and Write Selection and on a free-lance basis. She also letters itineraries for party and wedding weekends and addresses envelopes. Her price is 85 cents for a single envelope and $1 for a double.

Charlotte Miller, Irving 254-8001. A tole and decorative painting Pennsyl-vanian, Miller learned calligraphy to coordinate it with her painting. She teaches classes and workshops at North Lake College and does a variety of custom calligraphy. Miller charges $1 to $1.25 to address envelopes.

Leta Nelson, Carrollton. 245-2858. A public-school teacher for 10 years, Nelson now uses her teaching expertise in classes at Richland and Brookhaven colleges and at the Old Craft Store. She has lettered posters, business cards, invitations, poetry and envelopes. Her minimum charge is $1 per envelope.

Terry Porter, Park Cities. 363-1465. While Porter studied calligraphy, one of her friends kept taking her practice scraps. Now Porter’s calligraphed and illustrated scripture verses are in Christian book and gift shops around the state. Although she doesn’t address envelopes, she does design business cards and fliers and does personalized work such as birth announcements and scriptures.

Diane Wernick Sampson, North Dallas. 369-8200 (office number). Realtor and former art teacher Diane Sampson has been a free-lance calligrapher for 20 years. She does lettering in Hebrew and specializes in bar mitzvah invitations and ketubot (wedding contracts). Her price for addressing envelopes is 50 cents each.

Mike Sours, McKinney. 1-542-7198. Sours is a portrait artist and calligrapher employed in the designs and exhibits department at the Dallas Public Library. He makes signs and illustrations for the downtown library and for all its branches. His custom calligraphy includes the designing of greeting cards and lettering of quotations with illuminations. Sours does not address envelopes and charges a minimum of $50 to design a greeting card or invitation. He teaches at Richland College.

Don Tale, Arlington. 469-9735. A vice president of Commercial Life and Accident Company, Tate teaches at the Calligraphy House and does calligraphic art work on a free-lance basis. His price for addressing a three-line envelope is approximately $1.

Grace Ann Vanderpool, Lake Highlands. 341-3006. Vanderpool believes that calligraphy is not limited to paper and pen. She applies her lettering to tote bags, folding chairs, chalkboards – even rocks. For the more conventional job of envelope addressing, she charges 50 to 75 cents per piece. She teaches classes at several locations and in her own studio at home. Her home classes -three two-hour sessions, which are limited to five -cost $30 to $40 and are taught every month except December and August.


Highland Park Methodist Church, 3300 Mockingbird Lane, School of Creative Learning. 521-3111. Susie Melissa Cherry teaches five styles of lettering in five weeks. As many as 50 students are in the nighttime classes, and two to three teachers assist. The price is $12, plus $20 for supplies. New classes begin each spring and fall. Child care is available when requested at registration. Enroll in room 213.

Highland Park Presbyterian Church, 3821 University, Hunt Building, third floor. 526-7549, ext. 265, call Jim Riley. Three two-hour classes are taught by Grace Ann Vanderpool in the spring and fall. The courses cost $25, plus $8 for supplies. Limited child care is available.

Park Cities Baptist Church, 3933 Northwest Hwy., activities office. 369-8211. In the spring, Shirley Hammer will teach a six-week course limited to 15 students for $30. Supplies, which are available at the church, cost between $5 and $10.


Brookhaven College, 3939 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch. 620-4715. Calligraphy I classes begin January 18. This beginners’ course is $25; supplies, $10, are offered at the first lesson. An intermediate course, Calligraphy II, will begin March 18. Saturday workshops in italic lettering and crafts will also be offered. Call the community service office for dates, locations and times.

Cedar Valley College, 3030 N. Dallas Ave., Lancaster. 372-8258. The college plans beginning and intermediate courses for the spring and summer semesters. The two-hour sessions, which will last eight weeks, cost $30.

Eastfield College, 3737 Motley Dr., Mesquite. 324-7113. Beginning and intermediate classes are offered each semester. The 24-hour courses are taught at night and cost $34.

El Centro College, Main and Lamar streets. 746-2148. Program development specialist Nancy Faris is planning a four-session course for the spring semester.

Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Ave. 333-8612. Eight-week evening classes (two hours each) are taught year-round. The fee is $25.

Northlake College, 5001 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving. 659-5205. Beginning and intermediate classes will be offered in the spring.

Richland College, 12800 Abrams Road. 238-6005. Beginning class will begin January 20 and will meet Thursday nights 8 to 10 p.m.; the classes are taught by Mike Sours. Fee is $5.

Southern Methodist University, SMU campus. 692-2339 and 692-2340. Each semester, five alphabets are taught by Susie Melissa Cherry. She also introduces basic layout structure and illustration. Classes are limited to 20 students and cost $50 with an estimated price of $25 for supplies.

University of Texas at Dallas, 2601 Floyd Road. 690-2204. The spring semester will include three courses and one workshop, all taught by Barbara Homer. Introduction to Calligraphy, February 23-March 30, 7-9 p.m., $55. Supplies for the first lesson are included. Calligraphy for Kids (9 and older): February 18-March 25, 3:45-5:45 p.m., $45, includes supplies for the first lesson. Calligraphy for Teens (grade 7 and up): April 8-May 6, 3:45-5:45 p.m., $45, includes supplies for first lesson. Workshop: invitations, place cards, etc. April 9 and 16, 9 a.m.-noon. Fifty-dollar fee includes supplies.


Recreation Centers. The centers listed below offer classes each semester. Fees range from $10 to $38. Call each location for additional information. Dealy, 361-8010. Exline, 428-2243. Fretz, 233-8921. Harry Stone, 327-8822. Ridgewood, 368-7705. Skyline, 341-5830.


American Handicrafts, 141 Medallion Center. 368-2702. Owner Anna Essler suggests giving a course in calligraphy as a Christmas present. Classes, limited to 10 students and costing $30 to $40, will begin after the first of the year.

The Doll Collection, 6959 W. Arapaho. 458-7823. This doll specialty store also stocks calligraphy supplies. Owner and calligraphy hobbyist Pat Robbins is a former student of Barbara Horner’s. Horner teaches afternoon and evening classes for six to eight students in the store’s workroom. Four two-hour sessions cost $35.

The Old Craft Store, 1110 W. Third, Carrollton. 242-9111. Leta Nelson teaches morning and evening classes, which last six weeks. Both Calligraphy I (basic strokes for five styles of lettering) and Calligraphy II (layout and design) are offered. Classes are limited to 10 students and cost $30. Supplies may be purchased at the store.

The Paint Box, 3065 N. Josey #24, Carrollton. 492-2563. Morning and evening classes are taught year-round. Classes are limited to 14 students and cost $20.


Richardson Branch. 515 Custer Road.231-7201. Program Director Sandy Prainois planning classes for spring.


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