Paris Love Letters 2017

Arriving at Charles de Gaulle airport with a suitcase full of materials and inspiration, I board the south-bound RER B and watch as Paris gets closer. Getting a glimpse of the Sacre Coeur before the train goes underground gives my heart a flutter – I’m here again!

This year’s Love Letterers meet the night before class begins, to introduce each other and drink red wine. I outline the itinerary ahead and show them where we’ll rendezvous.

The New Zealand participant gets a gold star for bringing Whittaker’s artisan chocolate to the table. (It didn’t last long.)

Lettering began: Building up texture and pattern using the double-pronged nib of a Size 10 Automatic Pen.

Our first foray into the bookish city takes us to Relma, for marbled papers, bookcloth and ribbon.

…Then to browse the bookshelves and admire the writing facilities at Shakespeare & Co.

On the way ‘home’ i’m obliged to stop by the heaven that is BHV‘s stationery department. It is SO good. Several fundamental items are acquired.

The writing continues, abstracting letter shapes, merging words, using ink from J. Herbin (of course.)

Our next jaunt is to the paperiest street in Paris! You can see these fruit papers at Calligraine.

Swoon at the spectrum of handmade books at Papier +, try out dip pens at Melodies Graphique…

and don’t resist popping into Petit Pan for some wrapping paper while you’re in the area…

Oh. Do Not Miss the opportunity to gasp at the cornucopia that is Au Petit Bonheur La Chance.

Preparing papers with postal/Paris rubber stamps. I love Cavallini’s boxed sets.

Flea market foraging: A worn patina is what we’re looking for and, my goodness, the selection is incredible.

N.B. Old books are heavy. Take a good bag, or a sherpa.

Here is Charlotte’s haul. Will you look at those airmail envelopes – what a find!

Adeline Klam is a candy shop for paper lovers.

Envelope making. Slow and extremely satisfying.

A diversion to the pastel emporium. These are the most intense, rich and lumnious colours i’ve ever seen.

A drink with a view, to recover and take a breath before perusing the fabulous bookshop at the Centre Pompidou.

Constructing bespoke pockets.

Binding and filling each envelope with letters and little books.

How can five days of making fly by so quickly? Correspondence has been written and bound, the best Parisian paper pleasures explored. Such unique and truly personal books have been produced.

Paris je t’aime!

(If you are interested in attending this most exclusive workshop, please enquire.)

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