Holly Monroe - Lettering on Vellum

This class is part of Legacies III.

John Neal Books is not hosting this class.

Please add item LEG2021 to your shopping cart for supply orders for Legacies III classes.


Lettering on Vellum


Saturday, July 3 at 1:00 PM CDT

All Skill Levels Welcome


Calfskin aka vellum is one of the most delightful surfaces for a calligrapher to letter on. It is commonly called parchment, a skin prepared for writing. Many medieval manuscripts survive today because of the durability of these skins. In addition to calf, sheep, deer, goat (and others) are used for the making of broadsides and books.

In addition to a general education about working on parchment, learn how to prepare and letter on calfskin aka vellum with ink or gouache. Please prepare to use the pen(s) and lettering styles that you are most comfortable with. Broad edge pens or pointed (oblique) pens/nibs will work for this workshop. 

 Prepare skin for Framing: Holly will demonstrate a technique for securing the skin so that it will ‘breathe’ when it is framed. 

 We will touch on the application of gold on vellum. 

Digital Presentation, Handouts


  • Vellum Offcuts (vary in size/price)
  • Sandpaper 320 or 400 grade (wet/dry)
  • Pumice (S319)
  • Mitchell Roundhand Nibs – Holly’s favorite (preferred sizes for this class 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 5, 6) (N04)
  • Double Ended Pen holder for the nibs (H32, H39)
  • And/Or Oblique pen holder – nib of your choice (previous experience with this necessary) (H129, H114)
  • Gouache (or watercolor) – 1 or more colors (WNG1, WNG2, WNG3, WNG4, WNWC1, WNWC2, WNWC3, WNWC4)
  • And/Or Ink of your choice – Moon Palace or other ink (ink should not be too thin) (I70)
  • Favorite Quote(s)
  • Pencil (PL38)
  • Ruler (S270)
  • Eraser – Mars Staedtler or Faber Castell Kneaded Eraser (E13)
  • Waterpot – to rinse pens (S1005)
  • Paper Towels (S817)
  • (OPTIONAL) Stick ink and grinding stone – you may just watch the demo

Try along, as Holly describes, or you may watch the demo and purchase these later:
Talas Bookbinders Glue – Jade 403 (S340)
Irish Linen Thread – 18/3 50 gm (S352)
8-ply rag board – at least 4 or more inches larger on each side than vellum is (purchase from your local framer)
Blue Painters Tape – ½ to 1” wide (hardware store) (S931)

MATERIALS FEE: If needed, purchase directly from Holly’s website in the “For Calligraphers” section of her SHOP > www-hollymonroe-com.myshopify.com/collections/for-calligraphers