The Beauty that Hands Create

Late last night I was too tired to read much of anything but needed the comfort of a book. I forget where I got this book … it may have been a garage sale and I had forgotten about it till last night. The book is called, Free-Hand Lettering: A Treatise on Plain Lettering from the Practical Standpoint for Use in Engineering Schools and Colleges by Victor T. Wilson, M.E. This book is a first edition from 1903 with a print run of a thousand and it is in very good condition.

The beauty of hand-lettering has always been something I love to look at and appreciate, to imagine the hands creating them carefully and lovingly. I am also enjoying Wilson’s pragmatic and precarious writing style … this book will be lovely to search with … erasures … the poems that I know are hidden within this gorgeous book.

There is something so very inspiring about this book. The alphabet has taken on another meaning and beauty to me … the skeletons of language, the atoms and neurons of it. The constant potential for truth. Image.

In “A Point of Age” from Berryman’s collection, The Dispossessed, there’s this: “Images are the mind’s life, and they change.”

We should all try our hand at lettering … marrying language to image, image to language … creating the amorphous images for the lives of our minds.

Go ahead and try it … nothing ever bites hard enough to keep us from trying.

Published in: on March 11, 2007 at 4:54 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Have you been hiding this from me in fear that I will steal it? .. Yea, probably right.

  2. Lately I’ve been browsing comic books — which are typically hand-lettered — picture the little word balloons. I was thinking how similar the lettering is from one comic to the next (in MOST comics), but then became completely enthralled with picking out the tiny little nuances and differences in the lettering that made it great — an art form — and was thinking how much would be lost if they get rid of the hand letterers and switch over to computer typefaces to save a buck.

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