CALLIGRAPHY AND LETTERWORK

I was a fine arts major before I transferred to CMU to become its first calligraphy major in the Graphic Design program. I had the privilege to work and later teach with master calligrapher Arnold Bank. (see more in About me)

During my early career as a calligrapher and graphic designer in the 1970’s, calligraphers were pushing the edges of craft and beginning to explore mark-making and abstract work. The emphasis on legibility and perfection was being replaced by striving for free expression.

I feel comfortable in both traditional and contemporary forms of letter making. As a result of some recent commissions for decorative lettering and sign painting, I have gained a renewed appreciation for the traditional craft roots of calligraphy.

Personally, I love being in my studio, knee deep in materials doing lettering. And there is a deep satisfaction in belonging to a craft guild that goes back hundreds of years and carrying on that tradition in a time when these skills are being lost.

Interview with Sarah by artist/graphic designer Jörg Fricke in the design publication 22/10 by achtundblau
JF: You’ve been doing calligraphy professionally for 35 years. Is it just a technique you’ve mastered or are there aspects to it that have influenced other areas of your life and art?
SZ: Even during the first 10 years when I was completely immersed in calligraphy, I still was doing fine art and graphic design alongside.

(rest of interview available soon)