16 | 09 Gwyneth Hibbett – Pencil Gothic

Saturday 16th September 2023, Felindre Village Hall, 10am – 4pm.

This workshop takes a familiar tool – the pencil – to practice and create gothic letter shapes and use them in combination with a variety of different artistic effects.

The versatility of pencils and their range of “hardnesses” give the calligrapher scope for shading and many different textures, which can take your lettering in
different directions.

Soft graphite greys give a subtlety that sometimes the harsh black ink of ‘blackletter’ doesn’t, and the ease of adding some pencil embellishment can re-ignite a love of Gothic.

10 | 06 The Mariner’s Compass

Zentangle® Inspired Art Sheila Murray

Saturday 10 June 202310 am to 4 pm

Felindre Welfare Hall, Felindre, Swansea, SA5 7NA 

After our very enjoyable Zentangle® workshop last year, Sheila is paying us a return visit.

Following The Zentangle® Method, we will create a piece of art with a maritime influence known as The Mariner’s Compass.

During the creative process we will hand draw and use various ‘tangle’ techniques to enhance and decorate our compass design. Our finished piece will be flourished with cardinal pointers to the North, South, East and West.

We will also learn more about the history of the Mariner’s Compass and how it has been used for many centuries.  Don’t worry if you didn’t attend last year’s workshop – this one is still suitable for everybody.

Tea and coffee will be provided but please bring your own lunch.

Contact our Secretary – Alison to book your space

2020 Workshops confirmed

29th February | PETER HALLIDAY

Getting to grips with Rustics (and a little gilding)

Book before 4th February for this workshop.

Venue | Felindre Welfare Hall, Felindre Swansea, SA5 7NA
Time | 10 am to 4 pm

Cost £30 for members of South Wales Scribes (£35 for non-members). Minimum 10 places, maximum 18-20 places

For further information see FUTURE WORKSHOPS


Expandable sketchbook journals and what to put in them

Lucia Leyfield Instagram

Venue | Felindre Welfare Hall, Felindre Swansea, SA5 7NA
Time | 10 am to 4 pm

Booking information to follow.

Silence is Golden

In April this year members of South Wales Scribes took part in ‘lifelong learning’ demonstrations during The Swansea Learning Festival.

Swansea is one of only three UNESCO Cities of Learning in the UK and the intention of this city-wide event was to encourage members of the public to take up new learning activities.

Over two days an enthusiastic group of scribes spent a most enjoyable time working in the serene atmosphere of St Mary’s Church. The intention was to work towards creating a collaborative ‘Book of Silence’ (inspired by similar projects undertaken very successfully in Bruges and Cambridge) whilst inviting visitors to ‘have a go’ themselves under the guidance of tutor Judith Porch.

We were very pleasantly surprised to have so many interested visitors and the experience was a great success.

Members have been putting the finishing touches to their works and the gallery shows the results of our labours along with photos from the event.

Adapted and updated by Lesley Romano from an original article for the South Wales Scribes’ Newsletter by Gordon Wood

Lady Star of the Sea

To celebrate a hundred years of worship at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Mumbles, a flower festival  was one of many events held to mark the centenary. The theme was nautical and I was asked to write out the text of a hymn dedicated to the Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star.

I chose formal Uncials as their calm stillness seemed fitting in a church setting. The initial letter of the four verses is a painted versal which allowed me to use some colour and illustration. I used a square edged nib on Saunders hot press watercolour paper.

by Norma

Colourful collaboration

Grace Birt presents the finished Colour Collaboration Book | 2019 AGM

The idea for this collaborative project was originally discussed in the 2017 AGM. After a short discussion we settled on a book with the theme ‘colour’ and members were invited to contribute pages. 

Our Treasurer Grace has made a concertina book with a gorgeous fabric cover to hold the pages and the above photo shows our combined efforts. 

When looking at the contributions at this year’s AGM, we were fascinated by the different interpretations people had made of the theme.  Here are some of their thought processes and inspirations.

GRACE BIRT | As a child of the fifties and sixties I can remember the gradual change from all things grey to fabulous colour.  Britain became ‘MOD’ with chunky lettering, big patterns and vibrant colour everywhere.  I’ve tried to convey this huge ‘sixties revolution’ in my tiny nine by nine centimetre piece on a dull mat black background.
GORDON WOOD | An experimental idea for a page of pattern to add a variety of image and use of colour within the booklet. Powdered pastel was blended through a metal stencil with cotton wool to provide a graduation of colour within each separate design.

Freedom of Swansea for Alun Wyn Jones

Most of us know that South Wales Scribes founder member and CLAS Tutor Judith Porch produces exquisite freedom scrolls for those honoured by the City and County of Swansea. 

They are all personally tailored to the individuals concerned, acknowledging their contribution to Swansea, Wales and the  world more widely. 

Here is Judith with Alun Wyn Jones (Wales Rugby captain – Grand Slam 2019, just in case you didn’t know!) at his presentation in June 2019.

2016 | 09 Divine Inspiration

“Divine Inspiration”, the 95th Anniversary Exhibition of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators took place in York Minster from 3 – 18 September 2016.

Judith Porch had an amazing piece in the exhibition entitled “Monolith” which she hoped would surprise and intrigue.  Here is what she said about it:

“Is Divine Inspiration within you? Or is Divine Inspiration without you?

I began by considering what the words ‘Divine Inspiration’ meant to me. I quickly realised that creativity, its origin and how it manifests itself would be my starting point.

When we experience that ‘light-bulb’ moment what is it that sparks it? I came up with two opposing answers.

The first is that Divine Inspiration is within us – a brain synapse, the result of chemical messengers leading to the formation of strong neural pathways made stronger from years of practice and experience.  The second is that Divine Inspiration is without you – a flash of inspiration which has an external source or which has no input from you – a touch from God.

I began to consider how I would represent this concept and as is often the case with my work – light played a central role. I found myself drawn to the idea that if I had light coming from the top of the box, projecting the words ‘Divine Inspiration’ it would look ethereal; people could put their hands through it yet not touch it. My next challenge was how to create this effect? I found the answer with motion sensor lights.

If I asked you ‘Is Divine Inspiration within you or without you’ what would you say?”

Monolith:  Brush lettering, plywood, chalk-board paint, motion-sensor lights, Doctor Martin’s Bleed Proof White, Winsor & Newton Gouache, printed acetate.  1mx950x450mm