Welcome back!

Hello everyone
After the long break we have had in SWS activities we are looking forward to getting things going again.
A date for your diary – 23 October 2021 – when we are planning to
have a get together day. We have booked the hall at Felindre for the day. As well as an opportunity to meet up again, please bring along a few pieces that you’ve done recently or even ones in progress for everyone to see and feel inspired by.

We will spend time working on ideas and discussing plans for our 2022 exhibition . Please let Alison know via email – swscribes1@gmail.com by 30 September 2021 – if you are able to make it on 23rd October.

We are hoping to restart workshops with external tutors next year. Judith Porch has kindly offered to begin these in January with a workshop on using ‘Finetec’ paints. More information to follow.

Workshop Programme

Our programme of workshops is on hold at the moment due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.  We will bring you news of future workshops, including the rescheduling of the much anticipated ‘Journal’ workshop with Lucia Leyfield, as soon as it is practical and safe to do so. 

Stay safe, keep calm and do calligraphy!


Expandable sketchbook journals and what to put in them

Lucia Leyfield Instagram

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.

AGM 2019

Our next annual meeting day is on Saturday 12 October 2019.  Do come along if you can. Those who attended last year really got a lot out of the activities we did and said how much they enjoyed it. 

Concertina books – one of two ‘mini workshops’ held during 2018 AGM

We’re already planning our ideas for this year.  And, honestly, the formal meeting part of the day is interesting – it’s your chance to talk about how the year is gone, what you’d like to see in the future, and to suggest ideas that will make South Wales Scribes an even better group for you, its members.

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.

A Brush with Silence



2 Apr 2019
From 10am until 1pm

VENUE: St Mary’s Church, City Centre, Swansea

Watch modern scribes and illuminators creating beautiful lettering and illustrations using pen and ink and gold leaf in the tranquil candle-lit surroundings of St Mary’s Church.

If you are inspired you will have the opportunity to have a go yourself.

Part of Swansea Learning Festival.


South Wales Scribes are excited to announce a new exhibition to mark our 10th anniversary.

The exhibition entitled The Written Word will open in February 2021 and comes almost exactly 5 years to the day after the opening of our first exhibition Transformation | Trawsnewid .

We are delighted to be exhibiting once again in the historic Swansea Museum.

More information to follow.