The Society of Scribes in New York City is holding a class in Arabic Script Calligraphy this spring. To register, visit

Course details:
March 20, 27, April 3, 10, 17
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
$350 Members / $390 Non-members
Skill Level: This course can be taken by beginners or intermediates, people familiar with the Arabic language and those unfamiliar. For more information, e-mail:

Arabic script has a long history and has developed into a highly refined artform. This course is aimed at anyone who is interested in dipping their toe into a vast ocean. We will by no means do more than begin the journey but we will do so in the classical method. Beginning with our eyes, we will view slides of fine samples of work. Using traditional tools we will begin the study of letterforms in Thuluth. Pens and paper will be available for purchase from the instructor. We will introduce techniques for cutting and trimming reed or bamboo pens. The letters are taught first as independent forms, then in connecting combinations. These lessons will be demonstrated and practiced in class and as homework. We will also work on a sentence to understand principals of phrasing and spacing.

Our emphasis will be on developing our use of the pen and ink on paper, to develop flow, followed by an understanding of the letterforms. Of course we will spend time viewing masterpieces of calligraphy throughout each class. We do not anticipate producing finished pieces in this class, but rather to work toward that goal in the future. The joy of being a student will be our inspiration.

Higgins ink,
small (thin) bamboo brush (to be cut into a pen),
soft cushion as a writing surface (leather, packing sheets, large magazine),
pen knife (email instructor for info),
a small, wide mouth jar (meat baby food jars are perfect),
a soft pencil,
ruler, and lots of patience.

Paper and reeds for pens will be available for sale by the instructor for $6 – $12.

E A Holland is a freelance calligrapher and mother living in Rockland County NY. Although she specializes in Arabic calligraphy her work includes a wide range of subjects and styles, from envelopes to advertising, copperplate to brush. Elinor has taught adults and children calligraphy for the past 15 years.

All classes and workshops, except where indicated, are held at :

School of Visual Arts (SVA) Annex
214 East 21st Street, Manhattan
(between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)