Amity Parks

C511 Form and Function: Calligraphic Collage on Canvas

Five Day Class
Lettering, Design, Tools & Materials

This class will be fast paced and fun! We will be learning a variety of techniques to create beautiful surfaces on canvas and paper that can then be turned into useful and visually powerful objects. We’ll start by designing some lettering to incorporate into the work, and learn ways of reproducing it in multiples so it can be used in a variety of pieces. Then we’ll prepare our papers for collaging by dying them using the rich earthy colors of Bister inks. With our papers ready we will create the collages on canvas that will become the basis for the objects you will be making. These methods create a lovely material that behaves a lot like leather and is durable and strong. We’ll go through all techniques of creating several finished and functional objects out of our collages. We’ll put our measuring, cutting, stitching, and folding skills to the test, so if attention to detail and craftsmanship is something you appreciate, then this is the class for you. Patterns will be provided for creating lovely folders, covers for Midori journals, bags, cases, and other finely crafted three dimensional works of art that feature your calligraphy in an exciting combination of form and function.

Supply List
  • A few of your favorite calligraphy pens or writing tools, medium to large sizes
  • 4-color set of Bister Inks for writing and dyeing papers. (available at John Neal Books)
  • Mechanical pencil (.5) or wooden pencil with HB lead
  • White eraser
  • 18" steel ruler
  • X-Acto knife and blades
  • Scissors
  • Cutting mat
  • Bone folder
  • Hole punch and awl, if you have them
  • Pad (11" x 14") of writing paper such as Strathmore 400 series drawing paper or similar, for writing on and making signatures for journal project
  • A sheet or two of a heavier 90 lb watercolor paper such as Arches hot press, Fabriano Artistico, or Rives BFK
  • Medium size jar of acrylic matte medium
  • Roll or pack of sheets of Asian sumi paper
  • Several clean, cheap bristle brushes in a few sizes: 1"– 3"
  • Old credit cards to use as squeegees
  • A stack of scrap paper for pasting
  • 2 sheets of stiff plastic for pasting and dying papers (Dollar Tree thin plastic cutting board in their kitchen section works great)
  • A cheap dollar store plastic table cloth to use as a drop cloth for dying papers
  • Words/texts that have meaning to you; several short quotes or a longer text you like
  • Drawing board to stretch paper on; as large as you can bring with you
  • Water containers
  • Paper towels
  • Notebook for taking notes
  • Masking tape
  • Apron
  • Optional (but nice to have): 2" x 18" C-Thru ruler or ruled clear plastic quilting ruler; wet wipes
Materials Fee
$25: covers the full color handouts, extra Bister inks for dying papers, PVA, canvas, latex sealant, use of laser printer, snaps, fasteners and rivets, cord, needles and thread, paper tape and double stick tape, drying line for papers, and misc. other tools and supplies for class

Amity Parks is an artist and calligrapher living in Missoula, Montana. For many years she has been studying calligraphy in weeklong and private tuition classes with internationally renowned instructors. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Tulsa, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Montana. Her work has been featured in national and regional exhibits and publications. She has been a long-term active member and teacher in her local and state calligraphy guilds and travels within the U.S. and internationally to teach workshops, including serving on the faculty for multiple International Lettering Arts Conferences, for the SSIW Conference in Melbourne, Australia, the Midwest Art and Lettering Retreat, Letters California Style and LaRomita School of Art in Umbria, Italy. She spends many hours in her studio on her personal and creative work, finding a balance between her teaching commitments and her busy family life. More information and artwork can be found on Facebook, Instagram and at her website,