I'm Julia Allen, a designer in Napa,
California. This blog is my place for
gathering and sharing inspiration.
It's also where I can share ideas and
processes for my design work.
(and sometimes, you might just see
a posting for the rant, of just because
a moment needed to be shared.)
Please feel free to say hello &
share your tendencies at
I had the pleasure of a visit from my friend Robert Swartley, one of the foremost talented engravers in the country. He brought over his current project, an antique gun. You can see the workmanship in the pistol grip, eventually gold to be applied in the deep grooves. He's a master. I am always in awe of his skills and artistry... and he has such a sweet heart. (hint hint, he works slow these days, but still is actively working!)
I'm finally indulging in a world of yesterdays... where the written word was studied.. earnestly and wholeheartedly, expressed in ink with a steady hand. Memorized letterforms in excrutiating precision, hand and arms free for the gesture and captured in a legacy of hand, where a master's style is passed down in the way a letter is written, in the way it is written, recognized by those before me, who can say, "Ah, you are the student of so and so, I can see it in your "Y" and how you pause and lift your nib." So simple yet so complicated. Humbling, yes. Gratifying, OMG! Potentially exciting for the future?... holding my breath. So much potential, so much practice and deeply nourishing to discover yet another layer of me.
An intensive course, over the course of 6 weeks, weekends awash in inks of black, gold, silver, and white. Hunched over for hours, geeking out over the beauty of a w, an s or the 52 degree of a slant... and let's not forget the embellishments.
I have much to learn, to see where my abilities take me, but for now, this first taste of Spencerian... it has rooted deeply so pationately and so soulfully.
I leave you with a few examples. Typos, erros, guidelines in place... but already... an idea is forming, for where to take this new art form, yet to soar within.
I'm side stepping away from Folia stuff and am doing a plug for my dear friend Lori Wear of Spinelle Fine Jewelers, who has launched a limited edition jewelry line, inspired by the lotus. Only 150 being made and 91 sold as of today. Each $150, made with non-tarnishing silver, lovingly hand-made, and set with a red spinelle.
Receive a beautiful charm in exchange for the ability of manifesting her dream of motherhood.
If you want to contact Lori Wear of Spinelle Fine Jewelers, call 707.253.7789 or find her on Facebook.
Spanish illustrator Xavi
Garcia created his stunning ‘Handmade’ banknote illustration as a
reaction to soulless digital design. “This note pretends to remind the
viewer the amount of work, hours, patience and love that artisans put
into the handicrafts they produce and stress how valuable they are,
replacing currency for the amount of time spent working on it (3 months
were given for this project). Entirely drawn by hand, using different
printing techniques, it features security measures common in banknotes
such as watermarks, tactile elements, see-through images and invisible
UV ink.” On the front it says “Tempus Neminem Manet” meaning “Time waits
for no one” and on the back it reads “Tempus Fugit” meaning “Time
Flees.” As you stare at his work, it makes you wonder about the world it
may have come from… and i love the concept of time as currency. After
all ~ Time is Money, right? How nice would it be to be paid with one of
these 3 month notes? How would you spend it? See the details up close on
the next page…
Drypoint, screenprint and stamps on newsprint.
Bernard Maisner, an internationally renowned master calligrapher and stationer, who's name is
synonymous with luxury and the most high-profile
society events and special occasions. Well, wouldn't you know it that tonight he lectured and presented this video for The Art of Craftsmanship at the Parsons School of Design.
Bernard, if you only knew... I'm searching myself in works like yours. Beautiful.