Sharon Hanse beautifully practices what is considered a lost and/or dying art form, CALLIGRAPHY. Her new show opens at Artworks Around Town on First Friday, January 2, 2015, at the Centre Market, 2200 Market from 5:00 to 8:00PM. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.
Calligraphy is the art of handwriting in varying forms or fonts. It is an ancient art form whose origins are rooted in the copying of manuscripts of the Bible and in the text written by ancients. Writing was a rare talent acquired and practiced by only a privileged few until the modern era. The average person did not write their own language until the beginning of public schools, which eventually introduced the art of “penmanship”.
Sharon Hanse’s calligraphy is incorporated into beautifully constructed works of art including her own paper marbling, illuminating, and gilding. Writing letters and words in careful fanciful script is only part of the creating of Sharon’s work. Her artwork includes quotes from the Bible and a variety of philosophies and philosophers. Each piece of work has some wonderfully designed background to add to the illustration of the carefully crafted letters. Her backgrounds and added embellishments are lovingly thought out and executed. Watercolor, acrylics, gouache, pastels, and inks are used to illuminate each piece of artwork. Art forms such as collage, etching, gilding, embossing, paper cutting, marbling and hand made paper add to the beauty of each of Sharon’s creations. Each piece of work is carefully laid out and all designs are specifically created to enhance the meaning of the works and increase the visual impact. Each of the letter styles or fonts that Sharon uses creates a particular feeling and is chosen carefully by this artist to interpret the text.
The craft of calligraphy requires practice over and over. Years of practice results in a flowing confidence found in Mrs. Hanse’s work. Her interest in calligraphy began in high school as it does for many of us who are fascinated with the flowing of ink onto paper and the formation of letters. Studying at Cleveland Community College and the Cleveland Art Institute renewed her interest in calligraphy at the age of 35. Then she became a banker for the next 22 years.
Since 1978 Sharon has studied a variety of lettering arts and subjects related to art of working with paper including paper marbling, papermaking, paste paper technique (a creating of permanent design on paper with pigment mixed with paste), bookmaking of all types, illuminating, and gilding. Bookmaking includes tiny few page books that can be used as Christmas ornaments to larger books that can be created as private journals all self-created. Illuminating is the embellishment of letters that are characteristic of manuscript pages beginning with a large single letter or word, highly decorated as an illustration to highlight the remaining text on the page. Think of books of the Middle Ages. Gilding is the art of using gold pigment or gold leaf in illustration work.
Using many different letter styles and art forms, Sharon began to create broadsides of poetry and quotations. This study led to participation in art fairs and exhibits. Her artwork lead to meeting her husband, fellow artist Richard Hanse. Two years later they were married and moved to Barnesville where they now reside with their two cats.
Sharon gives workshops through Artworks and other art centers, which are highly constructive (and fun) for both adults and children. Participants often take her same workshops over and over because the finished products are beautiful, fun to create, practical to use in other art forms, and unusual.
Calligraphy is a satisfying and beautiful art form rarely seen in large amounts or displayed for the public as it will be for this opening at Artworks on January 2, 2015. This is a rare opportunity to see and appreciate a rare art form.