Learn Gothic Calligraphy and Lettering – Online Calligraphy Course


Gothic Video Based Course Logo - SQ

UPDATE: The Video Based Training Course is Now Available!

Learn Gothic Calligraphy & Lettering in this online calligraphy course. A portion of the proceeds will be given to the Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto. All available as a digital download:

Learn Gothic Calligraphy & Lettering Video Based Training & eBook ($99.99 via PayPal or Credit Card)

Learn Gothic Calligraphy & Lettering eBook ONLY ($39.99 via PayPal or Credit Card)

Learn Calligraphy & Lettering Materials ONLY ($39.99 via PayPal or Credit Card)

Calligraphy Review Service (including eBook ($79.99 via PayPal or Credit Card)  


For the Calligraphy Review Service all you need is a camera or scanner, and ability to send your images through the internet (e.g. email).  It is as easy as taking a photo with your mobile phone and sending it.  I then review and comment on your work.

View Steve’s portfolio at http://flickr.com/photos/steveczajka

Below is a listing of the course topics . . .

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The Gothic Illuminated Letter Workshop

Workshop with Debbie Thompson Wilson:
The Gothic Illuminated Letter

We’ll start the day by learning to gild (using real gold leaf) and illuminate (using watercolours and gouache) on some simple examples of Gothic art and lettering. We’ll be using some modern gilding materials and Debbie will demonstrate some quick and easy ways of applying gold leaf as well as explaining historical methods. In the afternoon we will work on gilding and illuminating an initial letter of your choosing (examples will be provided) from the Middle Ages. We’ll also construct a simple book in which to keep and protect these small gems of art.

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Gearing up for the 2014/2015 Year

We welcome returning and new members to another year of informative meetings, educational workshops and inspirational exhibitions with the CAGT!

Please keep in mind that CAGT membership has 2 parts – becoming a member of Neilson Park Creative Centre makes you eligible for membership in our guild too. You may pay online or in person at NPCC.


Benefits of NPCC membership include receiving discounts at many arts retailers such as Curry’s and Above Ground, as well as free admission to many art galleries such as the Bata Shoe Museum and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.  And access to an amazing calligraphy library etc…

What’s up with our guild for the first half of the year?

Thurs., Sept. 11 – 7:00 p.m.
Investigating Haiku

Bring practice paper and your favourite nib and ink/markers/pencils as we think about the haiku poetry form and consider an individual calligraphic application. Various haikus will be provided, or BYOH! As well, Mark Lurz will introduce the concept of personal logos and set us up for developing our own.

Thurs., Oct. 9 – 7:00 p.m.
Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century

Calligraphers value the handmade, and this fascinating documentary will introduce us to the world of the late Canadian type designer Jim Rimmer. View the trailer: http://vimeo.com/82013261

Thurs., Nov. 13 – 7:00 p.m.
Your Personal Logo

More information will be provided at the September and October meetings so that you will be able to create your own logo and have a stamp made for ongoing use once it’s done.

Thurs., Dec. 11 – 7:00 p.m.
Seasonal Card Exchange & Social

Many of our members create and share seasonal cards each year. Here’s an opportunity to distribute your cards and enjoy each other’s company as 2014 winds down.

Sun., Jan. 13 – 1:00 p.m.
Chalkboard Lettering

We’re trying something new, a daytime weekend meeting in the winter! Chalkboard lettering has become very popular – it can be seen in all kinds of advertising and even this Weird Al video http://time.com/2988041/let-weird-al-teach-you-about-grammar-in-his-new-blurred-lines-parody/. We’ll de-construct this form and look at applications in our own calligraphic practice.

Watch this space for announcements about Sunday Scribes – informal Sunday afternoon calligraphy opportunities – and the workshops planned for this year as well as the other meetings as the year unfolds.

This is also where you’ll hear more about the exhibition celebrating calligraphy Ontario-wide that will be held at NPCC in May 2015.

Seasoned calligrapher or interested newbie, we hope you’ll join us as the CAGT celebrates 40 years and looks into its fifth decade!


June 12: AGM and Strawberry Social

Members and Friends of the CAGT, don’t forget that the final meeting of our 2013-2014 year is this Thursday, June 12th at 7:00. Join us for a strawberry social, our annual general meeting, and some zentangle fun. Not only will Jeanne Williams be talking about her own zentangle work, everyone who attends will have the opportunity to make a zentangle that might appear as a banner on our website in the future.

Looking ahead: 2014-2015 is going to be a great year for our guild. We have interesting meetings planned, workshops that will be announced soon so you can plan earlier, and also we will be hosting a wonderful celebration of the best of the best calligraphers in Ontario for an exhibit at Neilson Park Creative Centre in May 2105. All four Ontario calligraphy guilds will be represented – the CAGT, Hamilton Calligraphy Guild, Royal City Calligraphy Guild and the Calligraphy Society of Ottawa. We can’t wait!

There are a few spots remaining for the Gothic Calligraphy Course in June.  Sign up soon at http://torontocalligraphyguild.org/2014/05/23/gothic-calligraphy-course-3-days-in-june/


How do you spell that?

On May 29, Ramona Matthews introduced a class of Gr. 1 and 2 students to the word “calligraphy” and had the opportunity to show some of the work from the wall of the studio where we meet – what fun! (And . . . of course one of the girls asked, “How do you spell that word?”)

For the past 12 years the Milkweed Collective has been providing day-long workshops – Exploring Creativity in Depth – to classes who come with their teachers to Neilson Park Creative Centre. After the lunch that follows the morning programme, and before their afternoon activities, there is “show and tell,” usually one of the facilitators sharing his or her own art work. Our guild was highlighted this time around as well! Ramona was able to show our collaborative work from the Heartfelt show and gave the students a look at the writing tools we use. The students were excellent representatives of their school, Wellesworth J.S., and were engaged and interested. Ramona wrote their teacher’s name in Uncial as souvenir of their tiny introduction to the calligraphic world.

Sadly, due to funding issues, the Milkweed Collective will no longer be able to present workshops; this is their last month of operation. I could see how much the kids benefit from a programme like this conducted in an arts centre by artists. What a loss for the children in our area. I hope students who have been a part of their workshops will cherish what they’ve learned and see themselves truly as artists too.


Gothic Calligraphy Course – 3 Days in June

Gothic Calligraphy Course Master 3daysjune

Dates: June 28, 29 and 30th (a Saturday, Sunday and Monday)
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Place: Neilson Park Creative Centre – STUDIO D – West, Toronto (Map)
Cost: $150 (or $135 for CAGT Members & Friends of CAGT)
Register Online : [CLOSED] using your Credit Card or PayPal.




  • I had so much fun during the Spring course that I am offering this new 3 day weekend course.
  • This course will teach students how to perform flat-brush calligraphy while also learning Fraktur, one of the most popular Gothic scripts based out of Central Europe 16 to 19th century.  Fraktur is also one of the most free-style calligraphy scripts around.  Students will:
    • Be presented with some of the best examples of Fraktur from all over the world with a critical analysis of what makes great lettering.
    • See demonstrations by Steve Czajka on different methods of calligraphy including: traditional calligraphy pens, double pencil technique from Roman times, and even wide-format paint markers (used in the Calligraffiti movement).
    • Learn the basics of brush lettering, edge pressure, paint preparation, cleanup, and brush manipulation to achieve amazing looking letter forms. Similar to (video)
    • Learn about basic letter flourishing & decoration techniques.
    • Learn about layout tips and tricks.
    • Work towards a final assignment focused on a flourished capital letter, surrounded by Gothic text of their choice and design.
    • Learn to letter their works onto: paper, cloth, sign boards, dry wall, wood, glass, mural applications, and even coated concrete surfaces.
  • Steve Czajka is a calligrapher with over 30 years of experience.  His work has appeared on tv and in several other applications. Steve was invited to teach at an international calligraphy conference.  You can see Steve Czajka’s portfolio at http://flickr.com/photos/steveczajka
  • Look at some photos from the previous course – Spring 2014.

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With the purchase of this Course, you get:

  • Registration to the three day course taught by Steve Czajka.
  • A digital version (PDF) of my eBook titled: “Learn Gothic Calligraphy & Lettering by Steve Czajka.” These are the course notes we will use for the class.
  • A complimentary Calligraphy Review Service for after the course.  This is where you can upload images of your calligraphy and I review them for you.  In this way you can continue to practice and still have me available to comment and assist you along your way after the course.  Both the eBook and Calligraphy Review Service are a $79.99 value alone, and you get these included in the cost of the course – great value.


Sign up Online ($150.00)

[CLOSED] to sign up for this course using your Credit Card or PayPal.  This is based on a first come basis, and seating is limited so sign up quickly.

A confirmation email will be sent to you upon payment receipt.  There are no refunds, unless the course is cancelled (minus a 3% admin fee).  A link to download the eBook will be sent to you in advance of the course.  The Calligraphy Review Service is set up after the course.  A portion of the proceeds of this course go back into the Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto.

NOTE: CAGT Members & Friends of CAGT pay only $135.00 – (Send your cheques to Steve Czajka directly)

NOTE TO TRAVELERS: There are 4 hotels within a KM or two from Neilson Park Creative Centre.  They range from $60 to $80/night CAD.


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Heather Held Workshops

Heather HeldThe Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto is offering two workshops by Heather Held.

The Artful Flourish

Description of the Course: Offhand Flourishing is an ornate, non-lettering calligraphic art form based on 19th Century pen techniques. It is open to students of all skill levels. Prior pointed pen experience is not required.The flourished designs are spontaneous and meditative and created with very little pre-planning.  The designs are unique to each individual and the results are very rewarding, Historic designs such as scrolls, quills and ornamental cartouches will be explored as well as contemporary floral designs.  During the workshop, the student will explore the essential strokes of these versatile designs and learn colouring and embellishing techniques to add depth and interest. There are limitless possibilities with these ornate flourishes. It is an exciting experience and suitable for everyone.

Date: Saturday, May 31 – 9:00 – 4:00
Cost: members & Friends – $65; non-members – $75.
Skill Level: suitable for all levels – lettering or pointed pen experience is not required
Class Size: max of 15. Placement will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please note that a refund (less 10% admin. fee) will be given only if a replacement can be found.


The Italian Hand

Description of the Course: In this workshop we will explore the beautiful Italian Hand. This elegant mercantile script reaches back to the first decade of the 1600’s and was prominently used until the mid 1860’s. It is a narrow and elegant hand, made distinctive through its unusual use of shading. Often called “blob top or club top” lettering, this hand evolved out of italic hands and appears throughout history in various forms as it was frequently interpreted differently by prominent Writing Masters. Although it was historically marketed as the simplest of all script hands, this gorgeous hand can look confusing until it is demystified. The lowercase forms are very simple to learn. The capitals are varied and can take the form of Standard Roundhand or the more complex reverse shaded letterforms. Throughout the class, we will simplify the capital forms while striving to perfect the shading on the lowercase forms. This workshop is the result of 18 months of study into the history and nuances of the hand. The shaded strokes are easier to learn than English Roundhand and the multiple variations of the hand make it an excellent exploration for anyone. This workshop welcomes any skill level from novice to advanced. Knowledge of the pointed pen is helpful but not required. This hand has very few practitioners but it is my pleasure to work toward its revival. This hand deserves to be studied and Heather is delighted to share her passion for The Italian Hand.

Date: Saturday, June 14 – 9:00 – 4:00 & Sunday, June 15 – 12:00 – 4:00
Cost: members & Friends – $100; non-members – $115.
Skill Level: suitable for all levels – pointed pen experience is helpful but not required
Class Size: max of 15. Priority will be given to members and Friends until May 31. After May 31, placement will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please note the refund policy is: a refund (less 10% admin. fee) will be given only if a replacement can be found.

For Heather’s bio and samples of her work, you can check out her website at: