In calligraphy I give a lot of importance to craftsmanship. I like a piece of calligraphy well done — the way a craftsman makes a functional object. I feel a calligraphy piece has a function and I try to keep it in mind. I don't like decorative pieces without meaning, but I have to do them sometimes for commercial reasons.
In general when we speak about calligraphy, we in technical aspects or in terms of creativity, originality, personality, personal expression. Maybe we are forgetting something. Whether calligraphy is considered a craft or an art, the spiritual aspect should be considered as part of the whole thing. I cannot separate or ignore so important a thing. Calligraphy brings me something that a computer would take away from me, an opportunity to encounter myself that I can only compare to meditation, some kind of meditation in movement. I feel it is a spiritual discipline. The most important for me is not the result but the process, the moment in which I can see this hand moving by itself, and I can observe it doing strokes on a page.
I love what D.M. Dooling says in “A Way of Working”: “The craftsman as well as the alchemist, knows that his central task is the creation of himself; and it is above all for this aim that he strives with endless patience — as it is said in the Emerald Tablets of Trismegistus, separating 'the subtle from the gross, softly and with great care', to make what his hands touch turn gold”.
I love also what Henry Tracol says in the magazine Parabola, issue of August 1991 on craft: “I try to make myself available in such a way that I can be conscious of the forces that pass through me in order to understand better their direction and orientation, and adapt myself better to them; to try to become a good instrument — and a conscious one”.
If I could advise some reading I would give you the following titles:
Christian and Oriental Philosophy of Art
by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy ( Dover )
A Way of Working
by D.M.Dooling ( Parabola Books, NY)
The August 1991 issue of the magazine Parabola on craft.
Нandmade paper, black ink, square nibs, 40x24 cm, 1984.
Handmade paper, black ink, square nibs, gilding, 59x13 cm, 1984.
Handmade paper, black ink, square nibs, gilding, 51x50 cm, 1984.