Massimo Polello

C513 Monotype and Calligraphy

Five Day Class
Lettering, Printmaking

I discovered the Monotype technique years ago with the American artist Wendy Orville, a student in one of my workshops. It was artistic love at first sight. Monotype is a unique print, typically painterly in effect, made by applying paint or printing ink to a flat sheet of metal, glass, or plexiglass. The painted image is transferred to paper either by manually rubbing or using a press. It can be an additive or subtractive method, adding or removing the ink or paint using a variety of tools, including brushes, rags, or the artist’s fingers. Calligraphy and monotype unite mark, gesture, rhythm, and atmosphere in exciting, innovative ways. This workshop will explore the intersection of monotype and calligraphy. We will work together to explore the gesture and rhythm of signs and marks, using both western and eastern letters and shapes, as well as asemic writing. Then students willl learn a wide range of subtractive and additive monotype techniques, focusing on creating atmospheric grounds to layer with calligraphic writing and forms. We will play with how lines and shapes dance in space creating an expressive, personal language for each participant.

Supply List
  • 10 to 12 sheets Fabriano Rosaspina or other printmaking: color cream (220/250 gsm), approx 25.6" x 19.7"
  • A3/tabloid size paper: scketching pad, approximately 90 gsm (with at least 200 sheets)
  • Speedball nibs in a variety of sizes
  • Automatic pens: #5 or #6
  • Pointed pens
  • Ruling pens and/or folded pens (if you have already)
  • Black sumi ink
  • Several colors of gouache
  • Rags or paper towels
  • Cut up credit cards or a plastic spatula, for removing ink
  • Apron
  • Bone folder
  • X-Acto knife or snap-off knife
  • Ruler
Materials Fee
$25: covers the cost of various printmaking supplies we will all use

Based in Turin, Italy, MASSIMO POLELLO has worked as a calligrapher for over 20 years. He has explored calligraphy’s classical and contemporary applications in visuals arts and graphic design. His work includes packaging design, signage, corporate branding, logo design, as well as executing his original designs on walls, in films, and in art videos. Massimo has exhibited and led workshops in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, Canada, Pakistan, Japan, and Europe. Massimo has taught on the faculty of four international calligraphy conferences held in the US. He contributed to The Rijksbook, a prestigious limited edition book for the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, and toTraité de la peinture-Extraits with Editions Alternatives Publisher of Paris. Massimo has also worked with artist and filmmaker Peter Greenaway and with director Luca Ronconi on the installation of the 150th anniversary exhibition of the unification of Italy He is President of the Turin calligraphers’ guild Dal Segno alla Scrittura and works in his Turin studio, Gallery ABC Atelier. He sums up his approach to calligraphy best, “…letters become a means to exist outside myself… going beyond the letters, captured by a sole need to see. They become signs, images, evocations, urgent needs, emotions.” For more information, please visit