Ewan Clayton

C502 Rudolf von Larisch: Lettering, Jugendstil, and Art Nouveau

Five Day Class
Lettering, History

Many innovations in art and music can be traced back to Vienna in the early 1900’s. How did this period affect lettering? In this class we will explore the contribution to lettering made by the great pioneers of Art Nouveau and their calligraphic champion Rudolf von Larisch. From sleek, smooth, and sophisticated to fairly primitive, their line is always a surprise and over the decades it transformed itself as inspiration for Spanish Modernismo and 1960’s psychedelia! This class is geared to stimulate your creativity.

Supply List
  • Layout bond (not smaller than 11" x 17"/A3)
  • A few sheets of tracing paper
  • Black ink (not water-proof)
  • Dip-pens (Rexel or Brause or Speedball square cut nibs, Mitchell/manuscript/Rexel in various sizes)
  • A monoliner pen (thin) and/or Speedball B series nibs (wide)
  • Cloth for wiping the pen
  • Some gouache colors (your choice)
  • Water container
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Eraser

Ewan is a calligrapher and professor in design at the University of Sunderland. He grew up associated with a community of craftsmen at Ditchling in Sussex founded by Eric Gill. Ewan has enjoyed a varied professional career working as both a calligraphy teacher and a consultant to Xerox PARC, and he is currently a core faculty member at the Royal Drawing School in London. In 2013 his book on the history of calligraphy and typography The Golden Thread was published and has since been translated into several languages. In 2019 he acted as external advisor to the British Library’s exhibition ‘Writing: Making Your Mark,’ and he is editor of the accompanying publication.