I would be delighted to create a calligraphy piece for you! Here's how it works:
•Wedding certificates: I'll need to know your names, wedding date, vows (if applicable) and design ideas. Wedding certificates generally require 4 weeks for completion, but in some cases a quicker turnaround may be possible. Prices usually range from $250 to $500 depending on length of text and complexity of decoration; most certificates are in the $300 - $400 range. Shipping is additional. I usually ship each certificate to arrive about a week before the wedding.
•Quotes, poems, lyrics, and other works in calligraphy: Contact me and describe your piece, and I'll give you a quote. My minimum fee is $40; most pieces on my website are in the $200 to $400 range. Turnaround time is generally 2 - 4 weeks.
What kind of paper do you use?
I use ivory-colored Arches 90# Hot Press watercolor paper for most pieces. I also offer the option of Pergamenata vegetable parchment paper, available in cream parchment color or ivory parchment color. All papers are 100% archival. I will consider other papers and colors -- contact me.
What other materials do you use?
I write the calligraphy in either black Sumi ink or Winsor & Newton gouache paint, available in a wide range of colors. Both options are colorfast and permanent. The decoration is painted in Winsor & Newton gouache paints. Gilding in 22-kt gold is also an option.
Are your pieces done by hand?
Yes!! All original pieces are created completely by hand. The prints available in my store are printed.
How do I design my wedding certificate?
Decide how you would like your text to read, and be sure that all words and names are spelled correctly. There are many sample texts on the wedding certificate pages, and I am happy to suggest wording. Choose a type of paper and the calligraphic hand (font) in which you'd like me to write. I offer Italic, Straight Italic, Gothic (Old English), Uncial (Celtic), Bookhand, and Arts & Crafts. I will need to know how many guests you expect, as I will pencil in a grid of signature spaces for them to sign. It's helpful if you can decide on a basic layout. Some options include full border, decoration at top and bottom, or just at the top or bottom, floral arch, omega-shaped floral arch, and more! I am happy to suggest ideas. Some couples like to use their favorite flowers, their state flowers, their favorite colors, their pets, their favorite nature scene, their college -- the sky's the limit!
What pen should I use for signing?
It's best to use an archival pen for signing. I will include one or more pens (Pigma Micron 02) and a white plastic eraser to erase the signature lines.
What size is the finished piece?
The finished size will depend on the length of your text, the complexity of the decoration, and in the case of wedding certificates, the number of signature spaces. Wedding certificates usually range in size from 16" x 20" to 30" x 40". I try to design pieces to fit standard frame sizes, but it is not always possible. Let me know if you have a preferred size.
Will I get to see a practice version before the final piece is completed?
Yes. I will write out a practice version of your text in calligraphy for your approval, and then I will email you a full-color practice version of the piece including both decoration and calligraphy. I am happy to make as many changes as necessary.
I have been pursuing my love and study of calligraphy since high school, when I first became enamored of the beauty of Medieval illuminated manuscripts. I was a self-taught calligrapher for many years and learned much from the books of Margaret Shepherd. After college and post-grad work, which included courses in art, composition, graphic design, and illustration, I studied calligraphy seriously with John Prestianni, an elected member of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, and most notably with Carla Tenret of Albany, CA. I have been creating calligraphic works of art professionally in the San Francisco Bay Area for about 10 years.
Selected art shows:
"The wedding certificate Margaret Davis illuminated for us is stunning. Its twining vines, golden leaves, and budding flowers complemented the beauty of our marriage ceremony. Davis has the true gift of a natural scribe, and we will cherish this document forever."
"Working with Margaret was perhaps the easiest part of the planning process. Her design was beautiful and in the exact style that we had requested, and she matched the colors perfectly to our expectations. The final result was a wedding certificate that we'll proudly hang on our wall for years to come - thanks again, Margaret!"
"The certificate is EXQUISITE! We love it! Thank you also for the pen and eraser and for packaging it so well ... Thank you for doing such a beautiful job."