Artist/Owner, Wasserman Design
Joanne Wasserman has been professionally engaged in original art, custom art services, and graphic design since 1979, when she opened Wasserman Design in Washington, DC, as a studio business. Joanne was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design
Calligraphy, drawing, painting, and graphic design are bedrock art realms that Wasserman uses interchangeably to explore diverse subjects material and create original formations of content and imagery. Her intention for every work of art is the same: to communicate what is most intensely meaningful about the circumstances which shape a subject's identity.
Over the years, Wasserman has produced a singular body of works for business clients and individuals whose interests are focused on serious issues of life in today's world. Her testimonial art honors statesmen and leaders for their career achievements and dedication to public service.
Recently, two exemplary works of calligraphy and illumination were composed for Senator John Warner, of Virginia, and Former Secretary of State Colin Powell. The Atlantic Council of the United States commissioned both of these works of art.
Wasserman's mural painting for the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing is a visual tribute to the school's educational mission across the entire field of nursing practice; the mural was named after an alumnus: The Leona Bowman Carpenter Center for Community Health Nursing.
Other works include several drawings and watercolors that were made to express the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation's advocacy on behalf of all countries in which landmines have been used against innocent civilians, causing the destruction of lives, homelands and national economies.
Wasserman's interests in current events, American history, and the development of writing systems and art traditions of peoples throughout the world are frequent catalysts for her choice of topics; moreover, through her work she cares to express the endearing aspects of living that are all around us.
Change Agents of Culture is an ongoing series of 27 works that address creativity and invention in American society from the late 19th through 20th centuries. The first seventeen of these calligraphy-paintings were exhibited at the Embassy of Japan's Information and Culture Center, in Washington, DC, where the artist gave a public talk about writing systems in the world, entitled, "Picture Writing Then & Now".
Capital Letter Calligraphy - A through D
Calligraphy expert Joanne Wasserman writes capital calligraphy letters A through D.
Joanne Wasserman: Hi! I am Joanne Wasserman and my studio is Wasserman Design and this is the Majuscule version of Chancery Cursive script. The Majuscules are the capital letters and we are going to begin from the beginning. We have ruled our lines on our paper, we have our scrap sheet to test our ink, so the ink that we have the right amount and we will begin with the letter A. The reason I ruled that line, that extra line from the difference from the small letter line is that I will know how large to make my capital A. So I make it only as tall as the seven and a half pen-width rather then two whole sections of pen-width which would be ten pen-width high. This is our pen and each width of this side by side is a pen-width. So, for the letter A, I am holding my pen at 45 degree angle, I am going down to the left and just before I get to the end, I start lifting my pen, so it seems to tape it off to a point. Okay, now that is a little thicker as a first line than I would like to have. So I will make it again. 45 degree angle, there, now that is much thinner. Okay, now I am coming -- I stop before I got to the line, so I am going to put a little foot on the letter, just a little one. I go back to the top of my first stoke and now I am going to go down the right side and put a hook on the second stroke and then a crossbar just like the F or the T. If I like because this looks now little fancy with the crossbar coming out of the letter and the hook and this foot, then I am going to put a little flag and like make it more decorative from top to bottom, not just at the bottom.
So, that is the capital letter A. I will make that one time in a different way. This time I will put -- and I will just leave that. The letter B is very simple. 45 degree angle and I stop, but I am going to -- there is a lot of ways to make these capital letters unlike the small letters which have variations also, but there is infinite number of variations that you can choose to do that fits your liking and fits maybe the personality of the words that you will be writing. So, the small circle, half circle and then the large letter, the large one. Notice that, the ball at top is smaller ball then the one at the bottom. That is because just like the bottom line of a dress or of a something else, the anchor, the weight is at the bottom for gravity, so it is just a balancing mark that have the smaller ball be larger.
Okay, now another way to make the B is to make that same kind of curve, but less of an angle then we did for the letter A and I can put a little foot like I did for the letter A and then I can go a little further to the left, here I was there to make my circle. Now, I am going way over here and it is like I am going to fly again. Fly and then the second one stop when I it gets narrow and then lifting my pen for the last stroke. Now, that this looks so thin for such a distance that is because I am going to go back in and make a little flag this way. It is a little more curvy and I will make this letter one more time.
The letter C is just like the small C; only it is bigger. It is beautiful in its simplicity. It has got good lines and the space that flows from the inside is very nice when other letters are added to it. Now the letter the, so I begin with a hairline and I end it with the hairline and I will go in at this anchor like the anchor for the letter B just to help. Because I am going to now go to the top and make a leap. I am going to fly out way out to the right and then I want to meet with this hairline over at the bottom.
The capital letter D is my favorite letter and it is always a challenge to make because this ball is so large. Now you understand why the capital letters need to only be seven and a half pen-widths wide rather then the ten, if this was a D and a small D, you can see the small D goes all the way up ten pen-widths, but still the small D looks small compared to the capital D.
So because the capital letters are so much wider, they do not need to be as tall. So there is other ways of making the capital D and you could leave it like that or you can put a little ball this in, so another D. Now, not only I can actually go much higher. Okay, so what I did was I started out at the height of small letter D, but I am still making that ball at the seven heights so sometimes there is a more graceful way to make the letter. It adds a flourish and that is how we do the letters A though D and now we are going to learn next the letter E through J.