The Abbey Studio
Calligraphy & Design Studio
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© 2012 & 2018 The Abbey Studio
Marblehead, MA

The Abbey Studio offers classes in calligraphy and realted arts. Currently all workshops are held online. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will return to offering workshops in the studio/shop in Marblehead, MA as well as continue to offer online workshops. Please click here to see a complete schedule and register online.

Course descriptions of our core classes (Italic Lettering, Copperplate Script, Uncial Lettering, Versal Caps, Manuscript Gilding, and Bestiary Painting) and samples of lettering styles are shown below. Register online at

Suggestions for courses? Please click Suggestion Box and let us know your thoughts!

Questions? Send us an email at or phone us at 781.740.9000.

Italic Calligraphy Class
The sample shown above is Italic lettering. This is a 15th century style of broad-edged lettering that is taught three times per year in the studio, and several times per year at North Bennet Street School (
Copperplate Script Class
The sample shown above is in the Copperplate Script style of lettering. This style of lettering, which became popular during the Victorian era, is done with a pointed pen, and is taught three times per year in the studio and several times at North Bennet Street School (
Maryanne Grebenstein's book Calligraphy: A Course in Hand Lettering is the text used for the broad-edged lettering classes. It is available through most book stores and online through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Read customer reviews of it here.
Uncial Calligraphy Class
The Uncial style of lettering, used in The Book of Kells, will be studied in depth in our Uncial Class. Large images of leaves from The Book of Kells help participants understand pen angle and line spacing. All the lovely and intricate symbols and drawings of Kells make this class especially fun and interesting.
Versal Caps
The concept of punctuation is a relatively new invention, and it didn't exist when the illuminated manuscripts of the middle ages and Renaissance were written. Large capital letters, known as Versal Caps, were used to indicate a new thought, chapter or verse. In our Versal Caps course, participants will take a close look at how the capital letters were drawn, and be introduced to the 'hierarchy of size' that was used in the manuscripts.
Manuscript Gilding
The process of manuscript gilding has changed very little since the days of medieval scribes. In this class, we use gesso, 23 karat gold leaf, and an agate burnisher to apply gold leaf to paper or vellum. A natural 'go together' with Versal Caps.
Preparing Hand Lettering for Commercial Printing
In this class, participants will learn about the best ways to prepare artwork when the end use is for a printing process - not for the original piece to be framed our bound. Some experience in calligraphy and familiarity with Adobe graphic software products will make your experience in this course more enjoyable.