What's New

Journal

This page is essentially an archive now. For news of exhibits, appearances , new publications and workshops, please visit the Journal link above. This will take you to my other website, www.cariferraro.com, which has galleries of current and past work, a library of articles, and my online journal which includes any current news about Prose and Letters. You can follow this tag to find recent posts about my web storefront, and my actual gallery in downtown San Jose.

Book Arts Jam

Saturday, October 15, 2011
10 am to 4 pm
Foothill College 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, California
Free admission; parking $2

I'm happy to once again be showing my work at the 2011 Book Arts Jam.

In the Exhibitor's Hall, I will have a table and be showing new work (a sneak peak shown here). This is my only local book show of the year, so come by and say hello and meet the books. I will also have prints with me this year. More details to follow as they become available. I have been doing this show since 2002 and it is such a great opportunity for me to meet people and see how they interact with the books.

Book Arts Jam 2011 is a one-day regional celebration of the book, print, and paper arts, co-sponsored by the Bay Area Book Artists and Foothill College. This year's event features an exhibition of artist's books, an Exhibitors Showcase with work by more than 60 artists and craftspeople, a silent auction, and a full-service onsite cafeteria. A very educational day as well as a fabulous opportunity to buy art directly from the artist and talk with them about their process. And remember, books make great gifts.

For more info, go to www.bookartsjam.org

Hope to see you there!

Book Arts Jam

Saturday, October 16, 2010
10 am to 4 pm
Foothill College 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, California
Free admission; parking $2

I'm thrilled to be showing my work at the 2010 Book Arts Jam.

In the Exhibitor's Hall, I will have a table and be showing new work, including two of the five iterations I've made of Alice Walker's beautiful poem "We Have a Beautiful Mother"; also the first book of Spelling Words and other work created over the last several years. I will also have some of the last remaining copies of my 2004 limited edition book The First Writing which this past summer was accepted into the registry of permanent works of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (and now waits the formality of committee approval). These and other book works will be available for reading and handling at my table all day, plus a new origami oddment of the Five Sacred Elements. Teaser! In the Bay Area Book Artists Members Exhibition, I will be showing the collaborative book "Color" that was produced by my calligraphy study group, pictured above. This is my only local book show of the year, so come by and say hello and meet the books.

Book Arts Jam 2010 is a one-day regional celebration of the book, print, and paper arts, co-sponsored by the Bay Area Book Artists and Foothill College. This year's event features an exhibition of artist's books, an Exhibitors Showcase with work by more than 60 artists and craftspeople, a silent auction, and a full-service onsite cafeteria. There will be an ongoing speaker's series all day next to the Member's Gallery, on the subjects of Create, Collect, Construct, and Curate, which will include lots of show and tell and much information about tools, materials, process, and inspiration. A very educational day as well as a fabulous opportunity to buy art directly from the artist and talk with them about their process. And remember, books make great gifts.

For more info, go to www.bookartsjam.org

Hope to see you there!

Letter Arts Review-Alphabet AncestorsSeptember 16, 2010

This summer saw my work published in two different calligraphy journals. Letter Arts Review chose my work, Alphabet Ancestors, to be included in their 2009 Annual Juried issue, my fourth appearance in this prestigious journal. I am as always grateful to the judges who choose my work, and glad to be included in a such a fine collection of the work of some very talented and inspiring artists working with calligraphy and illumination today, redefining the field with new forms and interpretations of what hand lettering can be used for. This journal is always filled with cutting-edge work which never fails to inspire me.

The second journal to publish my work was Alphabet, the journal of the Friends of Calligraphy, published in San Francisco. My thanks go to Judy Detrick who included my six-page article, "Sacred Script" in her last issue as editor of this journal. The essay, well-illustrated with photographs of Neolithic artifacts inscribed with marks that could very well be the first writing ever found in Europe, was for me the culmination of many years of reading and study on this subject, beginning in 2002 when I first discovered Marija Gimbutas' Alphabet-Sacred Script articlebook The Civilization of the Goddess and her catalog of signs, carefully compiled from her many years of archeological finds in eastern Europe. In my concluding paragraph, I wrote, " . . . the idea that writing may have been a means of enacting a magical practice that is thousands of years old and may have originated in response to women's mysteries as the life-givers is far more exciting than those old Sumerian accountants." This thesis has been the foundation of my work for many years now, and the alphabet style I devised from Gimbutas' marks is one I have used in many books since I first created it in 2004 and used it in my first limited edition book, The First Writing. Much more research has since been done in this field by many other scientists and archeologists, and the article is well-documented with an extensive bibliography. I will soon have it available for download from my website for you to read in its entirety.

May 15, 2010

Abecedaries
May 20-June 19, 2010
Reception May 21, 5-8 p.m.
in the Reading Room

910 Santa Fe, #101, Denver, Colorado 80204
www.abecedariangallery.com

Gallery hours: Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays 1-5 p.m.
First and Third Fridays 1-8 p.m.
720.282.4052 or 303.340.2110

This juried exhibit of abecedaries, or books that are collections of the alphabetic letters, promises to be an interesting collection of contemporary book artists. My book, Alphabet Ancestors (the second in the series of three, detail above) will be on display for the duration of the exhibit. More background on the concept and making of these books can be read at my blog, here, and at the above link to the page on this website. My limited edition book Star Spell is also available at this gallery and is listed as a "prudent pick."

March 1, 2010

Pennies in a PurseThese days most everyone is feeling the pinch economically, and many of you are more aware of the environment and our effect on our world. With this in mind, I've made a few changes to my product line, lowering a few prices here and there. This was possible when I began to look at the packaging I was using, and just by going a little "greener" I was able to reduce prices on my bigger prints. And by offering a lower price on cards bought in lots of six, I can reduce packaging and therefore reduce prices on those as well. These prices are available for website orders only. Prints and cards that are sold in stores do need the extra protection of packaging, but those sold from my website are not handled by anyone but me as I prepare them for shipping.

I hope you appreciate these reductions and will consider purchasing my cards, prints or books for yourself or for gifts.

December 1, 2009

Spelling Words study detail 400pxMy local gallery outlet, Kaleid, will be opening their holiday shopping month with a reception and opening of the San Jose Glass Artists exhibit on Friday, December 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. Part of the First Fridays tradition in downtown San Jose, many galleries stay open late and there will be plenty happening around town. I will be at the reception on Friday, December 4 to say hello and show some new work. Unframed art, drawings and paintings, priced for bargain shopping, will be on display at my space in the gallery (detail of one piece above, a study of letterforms for the Spelling Words book series. I will also bring along a few of my limited edition book works, which I can not normally display at the gallery as they are by nature fragile. If you are in the San Jose area, come on downtown! There is free street parking in the evenings, and the gallery itself is at the ground level of a big parking garage which can be entered on Fourth Street or San Fernando Streets. I'd love to see you.

November 14, 2009

Her Blue Body in case Here is my newest book work, a sculptural kind of book entitled Her Blue Body containing the text of Alice Walker's lovely earth poem, "We Have a Beautiful Mother" (used with permission). The slipcase concept was a collaboration with Don Drake of Dreaming Mind Bindery in Castro Valley. The quality of Don's work is outstanding, and I love what he has done here with my quarter-round book. It let me play with the dome of Earthrise as it looked to us forty years ago, from picures taken from Apollo 11's moon landing. More pictures and details about the book soon on my website; some of the background of its creation here on my blog.




October 10, 2009

The eight annual Book Arts Jam will be held on:

October 17
10-4
at
Foothill College 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, California.
Admission; Free
Parking; $2.

More information about this show at this link:
http://www.bookartsjam.org/

This will be an opportunity for me to share some early book works, some books I've made and kept in my private collection, and some of my current works in progress (including new work using Alice Walker's poem "We Have a Beautiful Mother.") Some of these books will be going back east to be shown and hopefully sold at the Boston Book Fair in November, so this is my chance to show them off before they go to new homes.

Books will not be for sale at this event, but will be able to be handled and viewed (by clean hands of course). And of course, many other book artists will be sharing and selling their treasures at this popular book arts show, including demontrations, materials, artists books and and every kind of bookish goodness you can imagine! And if you are interested in purchasing, you are free to contact me outside of the show.

I very rarely exhibit or enter shows anymore, so if you'd like a look at what I've been up to in my studio these past few years, please come on by and say hello!

July 10, 2009

Letter Arts Review cover annual 2008I have a four-page gallery of my book work featured in the center spread of the latest Bound and Lettered, the journal of calligraphy, book arts and papercraft.

Suzanne Moore's work is on the cover, one of my favorites of her books which she collaborated on with Daniel Kelm in 1991. Still as fascinating today as ever.

I do need to set the record straight regarding the caption for the image on the back cover, from the book Portal. It should read: "I am still discovering things about this book. For example, a page has a corner turned down, as pages are often 'dog-eared' to keep your place. But this placekeeper is on the only blank page of the book, which faces one of the most enigmatic images."

More musings here.

June 10, 2009

Kalligraphia is the triennial non-juried exhibition of the Friends of Calligraphy, and is a wonderful representation of modern calligraphy. Here's a review of the show on my blog. My Spelling Words book in its black , white and grey form is on display, along with the wonderful box made by Dreaming Mind for the book and its backstory booklet.

June 10 hrough August 23
Skylight Gallery, top floor of the main San Francisco Library, 100 Larkin Street (at Grove)

Exhibition viewing hours:
Sunday 12-5
Monday 10-6
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9-6
Friday 12-6
Saturday 10-6

In addition, every Saturday from 2-4 FOC will present demonstrations of calligraphy techniques and tools by noted Bay Area scribes, in the Latino-Hispanic Room, lower level main library. June 20 through August 15, with the exception of Saturday, July 4.

May 24, 2009

Letter Arts Review cover annual 2008I've been honored to be included in the latest Letter Arts Review, the annual juried issue for work submitted in 2008. That funky U majuscule in the center of the cover is from A Goddess Alphabet and derives from forms I've been studying on Old European artifacts. One of the Spelling Words books was also accepted.

There is a wonderful selection of contemporary and very international calligraphic applications and media in this issue: books, type design, ceramic, steel, slate, plywood, embossing, woodcut, encaustic, collage, watercolor, beach writing, letters as room divider, traditional and deconstructed letters; even a fascinating exhibit in Germany of gilded and colored pieces of paper hung from the ceiling of a industrial-style gallery space and the wall pieces that went along with them (would have loved to experience calligraphy like that), and several entries from the international WOR(L)Ds exhibition, a collaboration between letter carvers and letter artists that exhibited in Belgium.

All in all, this issue is a real feast of letters!

April 9, 2009

Begin ItSince I made this print, it has come to my attention that Goethe is not, strictly speaking, the author of these words, although apparently provided the source for a translation. So, to set the record straight, here is the complete quote, correct attribution and source:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy,
the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness
concerning all acts of initiative (and creation).

The moment one definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision.

Whatever you can do or dream you can,
Begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now.

-W.H. Murray
The Scottish Himalayan Expedition
J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1951

usually attributed to Goethe

Source: The Millionth Circle, by Jean Shinoda Bolen. Also here is a good link exploring how this quote probably did evolve from Goethe, according to the Goethe Society anyway.

I continue to trust the fact-checking of print editors more than internet sources.



February 5, 2009

New paintings uploaded to the Art section. These are mostly from my early days doing paste paper, 2001-2003. Working with this medium was wonderfully freeing for me; playing with pigment and paste on the paper without always knowing what text I would use, not having everything planned out. Learning to welcome the happy accidents.





October 11, 2008

Spelling Words title page 250pxToday I've uploaded photos of my new book Spelling Words, in all three of its variant forms. I began painting pages for these books in 2006, but didn't get around to the actual lettering and binding until January of this year. But I have been exploring the word "spell" for several years: previous forays into the subject can be seen in Eucalyptus Spell from 2000 and Abracadabra from 2001. I will probably post more of my thoughts and process on my blog in the coming days.


October 9, 2008

Portal book thumbnail 250pxI'm finally getting some photos and web pages uploaded for new books from the last year. Today it's a page about Portal, a book I made the summer of 2007. This book represents a change in my way of working, because it has no words, just images, symbols, paint, and stitching.


September 28, 2008

Updates to the website:
Shows: an artist talk in October
Publications: the Ampersand article about my work is now available as a PDF to read

September 10, 2008

Making of Star Spell article pageThe new issue of Bound and Lettered has an article I wrote entitled "The Making of Star Spell."

Since so many people had questions about my production process I agreed to write the article for this journal of calligraphy and bookbinding. It includes some in-depth discussion of my handling of digital files and printing, since so much of the compositing of this book took place in Photoshop.

There are also some other great articles in this issue, including another article about producing a book using hand calligraphy and Photoshop by Sherrie Lovler, which also has much detail of her digital process. It's great to see other artists combining hand work with digital process. The computer is a great tool.

There's also a short review of my Beginner's Guide: Calligraphy and Illumination by Alice Koeth. For those who don't know Alice, she has been a professional calligrapher and lettering artist in Manhattan for over fifty years, and she is more commonly known by her first name only. As one of my early teachers, her influence on me was great, and she set the bar high for letterforms . I am honored to have her review my book.

July 19, 2008

Spelling Words #1 boxThe gallery section of the Bay Area Book Artists website is now launched. Here you will be able to browse through images of many amazing and beautiful books, and information about the artists. BABA is the sponsor of the annual Book Arts Jam every October at Foothill College, which I have participated in almost yearly since 2002.

My section of the gallery shows books I have made, old and new, including a sneak peek at my new book Spelling Words. The photo at right actually appears in Don Drake's section of the gallery (and was taken by him). He made the wonderful box for the book. I will be posting more photos and information about the book project, but it is not quite complete yet.

To visit the new BABA gallery, click here or on the picture at the right.

April 5, 2008

Barnes & Noble kit smallMy calligraphy kit (originally published by Walter Foster in 2006 and still available here) was repackaged and reissued for the 2007 winter holiday season by Barnes and Noble, under the name Classic Calligraphy and Illumination (pictured at right).

Many thanks to all of you who called or emailed me to let me know about the problems with this kit.The publisher regrets the errors in this recent production of the calligraphy & illumination kit offered by Barnes & Noble.

December 26, 2007

I have extended the pre-publication price for the standard edition only of Star Spell through New Year's Eve, December 31. So you don't have to go to the mall to find a bargain!

December 5, 2007

Star Spell Edition fan pages 250oxToday marks the release of my new limited edition book, Star Spell. In honor of the Yule season, I am offering it at a reduced pre-publication price between now and Christmas. It is being made in a standard and a deluxe edition. After Yule it will go out to a larger audience and the price will necessarily go up. Some of you may have seen the first version of this book at the Book Arts Jam in October.

I will be at Kaleid Gallery on Friday evening, December 7 between 7 and 9 with my books. These are not ordinarily available through the gallery, as they are too fragile to be handled in a shop environment. I will have Star Spell there, as well as The First Writing. I'd love to see some of you there, but if not, stop by in cyberspace and say hello.

The original book Star Spell is now in a private collection, along with most of my other original books. I make a limited edition every few years so that my book work will be accessible to more people.

November 25, 2007

A few changes to my product line: a couple of card packs, and some of the bigger prints now available in a smaller size; both in the interest of offering your a little better value for your $$!

November 13, 2007

If some of you tried to visit this website on the weekend before last, you would have been disappointed to find "Server Not Found" messages instead. My host was involved in a complicated move of the servers and unfortunately some of the websites were affected. This site was down between November 3rd and 5th, so if you visited then, so sorry, and I am glad you came back! We don't anticipate any more problems.

September 21, 2007

Sincere apologies for posting the wrong date on my Shows page for the artist's reception at the Kaleid Gallery for my solo show. The Friday part was right, but the date was wrong. The reception is on October the 5th, Friday evening. Hope to see some of you there!

August 27, 2007

Mother of Us All detailCheck out the Shows page for two upcoming appearances of my work in October. I will be having an exhibit of framed calligraphic art at the Kaleid Gallery in downtown San Jose, as one of their two featured artists per month. I found when pulling together artwork for this exhibit that I had thirteen pieces going back thirteen years, beginning with fairly traditional lettering and illumination techniques, moving into paste paper and abstract marks about seven years ago, and returning to traditional techniques while preparing work to be included in the Walter Foster beginner's book. So there is an interesting range, but they all share in common my desire to "enlighten" the words with gilding, color and design. Thus, the title of the exhibit, Illuminations: Enlightening Words. I never fail to be enlightened by my text while working on it: living with a set of words for a period of time reveals more nuances of meaning, like a meditation. I will be at the artists reception at the gallery on Friday evening, October 5, from 7 to 9, and would love to see you there. At right, a detail from Mother of Us All, one of the pieces in the show.

The other October show is the sixth annual Book Arts Jam at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. Books are where I'm putting most of my creative energy these days: lettering, painting, sewing, gluing. I plan to have a new limited edition ready by then, plus some original books. This show will have many incredible books artists, so if you are bookish, you will not want to miss it!

August 11, 2007

Uploads today include a few new sample images of handlettered names on my Garden Wedding Certificate, and my Elements Wedding Certificate.

February 4, 2007

Sage Woman magazine has published a review of my work in the winter issue, on sale now (the cover theme is Joy). Primarily a review of my book The First Writing, it also covers some of my other work, and kindly includes my website in the title of the review (though there is an erroneous website, FirstWords.com, printed in the body of the article). I'm very pleased to be recognized by this publication of the Goddess community, which has done so much to nourish my creativity and provide inspiration for my work.

January 10, 2007

To my great surprise, Walter Foster has rushed through a second publication of my new book, in their very affordable Beginner's Guide instructional series. This oversize paperback book (10.25" x 13.75") preserves the 13 alphabet exemplars at the 100% size they were written, and fixes a few other problems with the original book (much better fonts, for example). It will probably start appearing in arts and crafts stores soon, and will be available from me in person or through this website within the week. Click here for more information.

Previous to 2007: Books and Publications:

Discover Calligraphy and Illumination by Cari Ferraro, published by Walter Foster, Inc., 40 pages, 2006. An instruction book and kit, includes tools and materials to do the projects shown in the book.

Beginner's Guide: Calligraphy and Illumination by Cari Ferraro, published by Walter Foster, Inc., 32 pages, 2007. Oversize workbook include the same material as the book above, but sold separately as a book only.

Sage Woman Issue 71, Winter 2006-2007 (the "Joy" issue)
Includes a review of my work, primarily a review of my book The First Writing, it also covers some of my other work, and kindly includes my website in the title of the review (though there is an erroneous website, FirstWords.com, printed in the body of the article). I'm very pleased to be recognized by this publication of the Goddess community, which has done so much to nourish my creativity and provide inspiration for my work.

Letter Arts Review Volume 20, Number 3, 2006
The fine art magazine for the lettering arts
Annual Review 2005,
A page spread from The Charge of the Goddess was juried in to this competition.

Ampersand thumbnailAmpersand Volume 23, Number 4, Summer 2006
The quarterly journal of the Pacific Center for the Books Arts
A profile article about my work, and calligraphic manuscript books in general, appears in this issue. You can also read it here, or click on the image at right.

Ampersand Volume 23, Number 2 & 3, Winter/Spring 2006
The photographic catalog for 2006 Bookworks the triennial member show of PCBA
It includes my book The First Writing, in an edition copy.

Bound and Lettered Volume 4, Number 2, 2005
Review of A Leap of Faith, an exhibit at the Susan Hensel Gallery in 2004. My limited edition book, The First Writing, is pictured on the cover as well as in the article inside.

Letter Arts Review Volume 19, Number 1, 2005
The "Black-and-White" issue
This juried issue includes a version of my "goddess" alphabet.

Somerset Studio March/April 2004
Features a two-page portfolio of my work and another page devoted to my painted cloth prayer flags, including instructions on how to make them.

Ampersand, Winter/Spring 2004, Volume 21, Number 3
Photographic catalog of Bookworks 2003, the triennial member show of PCBA
It includes my book Rainbow People.

Calligrapher's Engagement Calendar 2002
A version of the Five Sacred Elements artwork is in this juried calendar. Back issues are available from John Neal Bookseller, and a review of the calendar and its significance in the calligraphic community is here.



The Perfect Wedding by Maria McBride-Mellinger, published by Harper Collins, 336 pages, 1997. Photos include some of my wedding work.

Wedding Invitations, Announcements, and Place Cards and More by Bette Matthews, published by Quarry Books, 128 pages, 2001. Includes photos of some of my wedding invitation work.