Have you heard of IAMPETH, aka the International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting? If not, and you are into calligraphy, read on!
IAMPETH is an incredible international organization that brings calligraphers together to practice, share knowledge, and preserve the art of calligraphy, engrossing and penmanship. One of my favorite things about IAMPETH is the annual conference!
Every year, calligraphers gather in a different location around the United States to participate in an entire week of calligraphy related classes! 2019 location was Denver, Colorado!
Monday is usually the day we check in and attend the opening banquet. Tuesday – Friday, we attend 8 hour classes taught by Master Penman and other amazing calligraphers. Seriously, learning from these people is an absolute honor! Each night during the week, there are different events like the round robin, speakers, an auction, book signings, and member’s display of work. Every single night, we have the opportunity to gather with friends and study calligraphy til the wee hours of the morning and enjoy gawking over all the pieces in our archive room. Plus, amazing vendors from all over the world come to sell the incredible calligraphy supplies from handmade pen holders, blotters, ink, marbled paper, watercolor journals, antique ink wells, fountain pens, books, etc! Save all your money for shopping at Iampeth! I mean, I ate peanut butter sandwiches all week so I could buy calligraphy supplies! Saturday night is the closing banquet, where we get fancy! Basically, it’s calligraprom!
2017 was the first year I attended IAMPETH and it was a major game changer in my calligraphy journey. I began learning calligraphy in 2014 and was mostly self taught. I thought, I’m doing pretty good! I should go this international conference to see what it’s all about. When I got there, I quickly found out how much a novice I was and what calligraphy #goals really looked like. At the conference, I was among the best of the best – a level of skill I had not seen before. It was eyeopening and made me obsessed with improving my script.
2019 was my second year at IAMPETH and I had the chance to take classes like Pictorial Flourishing with Master Penman Jake Weidmann, Intro to Spencerian with Chief White House Calligrapher, Pat Blair, Wedding Certificate Design with Angela Welch, Graphite Gestures and Uncial with Barbara Close. You guys, I was in the presence of greatness and I absorbed every bit of it!
Not only is IAMPETH about learning, its about a calligra-family, a community. The first year I attended, I met 8 amazing women whom I have kept up with for 2 years via text, calls, and visits. I cannot tell you how helpful this is when I have questions or need advice from a fellow artist/calligrapher. These women have become family, and this year, I met new people whom I can’t wait to see next year in Atlanta! It is also kind of surreal to meet people you follow or look up to on Instagram. The people I have met are so down to earth, friendly, and kind! I always try my best to be cool even though secretly I’m fangirling over meeting some of them!
There are so many things you can do to improve your calligraphy, but going to IAMPETH is truly a must. It’s a week of immersion, and learning from the ABSOLUTE best in the calligraphy world. There is no other experience quite like it! It will also help you see the type of teachers you need to seek out to help you improve your calligraphy.