Hello! My name is Marie and I live in Sweden. This blog is dedicated to the craft and art aspect of my life, with calligraphy and lettering in all shapes and forms dominating my free time.
I have loved letters of all kinds for as long as I can remember, and when someone gave me a bottle of ink and a calligraphy steel nib at the age of 12 I was in heaven. Calligraphy is not a common hobby in Sweden, but I have studied calligraphy internationally via correspondence courses over a long period of time and I consider myself to be a fairly competent calligrapher today. There’s always so much more to learn in this craft (art!) and I constantly strive for beautiful letter shapes. I don’t think I will ever stop learning. There is a deep satisfaction in seeing the occasional “perfect” letter drop from the nib, and that makes it worthwhile to spend hours and hours and hours just practicing.
I have seen calligraphy etchings done by a handful of people over the years. It’s not very common among calligraphers, but some know how it’s done. I consider myself being inspired most of all by fellow calligrapher Anne Van Tassel of Virginia, USA. She is sadly no longer with us, but she gladly shared her technique for etching copper some years ago. However it wasn’t until January 2010 that I finally got my hands dirty and tried to do what she had explained to me.
Sterling silver pendant with oxidized hand made calligraphy
A lot of experimenting followed. Hunting the web for more information, finding the best masking technique (and to learn what to use for touching up when the masking wasn’t 100% good), learning how to cut and shape and polish metal, trying different etching methods, testing copper and stainless steel and sterling silver, exploring patinas and oxidizing on copper and silver, drilling, riveting… and I had a blast! I usually tire rather quickly once I’ve learned a new “technique”, but this has been fun all the way – and still is. I’m hooked! Apart from the initial introduction by Anne, I have learnt this technique completely on my own, and I’m rather proud of it too.
Calligraphy etched on stainless steel, mounted on leather cuff bracelet
Considering the popularity of letters incorporated in jewelry at the moment (just search Etsy for hand stamped jewelry and you will get more hits than you asked for), it wasn’t a far stretch for me to start shaping the metal into simple jewelry items (in British English that would be “jewellery”, right?). I first made copper pendants, later tried my hands on stainless steel that turned into steel-and-leather cuff bracelets, and finally sterling silver that became pendants.
Since I have a background in calligraphy, I consider hand written letters to be a lot more expressive and personal than any font. There is a warmth and personality in letters hand made with a steel nib that is impossible to achieve with computer made or stamped designs. The calligraphy show traces of the human hand that made them – my hand. So whoever buys one of my etched items will receive a piece of jewelry that is unique and not like anything else you will ever find.
Etched copper pendant
I had a hard time coming up with a good username for my Etsy shop, but I finally ended up using Marie of Sweden. I figured that most people I have learned to know since I discovered the internet 15 years ago know my first name and know where I live, so… well, an Etsy shop name was born, as well as a Facebook page. You will find my shop at www.etsy.com/shop/MarieOfSweden and my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MarieOfSweden.
I’m not quite sure what direction this blog will take, but my initial thoughts are to keep it related to the etching and metal stuff I do, perhaps with the occasional calligraphy related post, I don’t know yet. We’ll see with time where it will take me, right?
Are there any specific subjects you would like to see covered in this blog, don’t hesitate to let me know – just add your thoughts in the comments below!