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Montreal calligrapher bringing 'lost art' back to life

Montreal calligrapher bringing 'lost art' back to life

It’s Friday morning and Amy Jade Lore is sitting at a desk in her home studio, crouched over a small grey tile, eyes unblinking and left hand moving with precision.

She’s writing “Karine” in beautiful cursive — just one of a handful of name cards she has left to do for an upcoming event with David’s Tea.

Lore is one of a few Montreal-based calligraphers leading the revival of hand-drawn art.

“It’s definitely a lost art where you think … even, going back, I see that my mum has letters that my great-grandfather wrote to my grandmother and the handwriting is beautiful,” she said.

“Everyone’s lost that. They’re all on their computers now and you ask them to write something and it looks like a six-year-old wrote it.”

A graphic designer by training, she quit her corporate 9-5 job last November to pursue calligraphy and design full time.

“My grandmother was an art teacher and she also did a lot of calligraphy, so when she passed away, my mum gave me all her art supplies,” she said.

“There was this little tin full of calligraphy nibs, so I just picked it up and started playing with it and I had no idea what I was doing.”

Lore’s portfolio includes Fedex and Mandy’s Salad, and she often teaches workshops at Anthropologie in downtown Montreal for anyone who wants to learn the skill.

“I was definitely awful [when I started], also I’m left-handed, so apparently it makes it a little bit more difficult,” she said.

“It’s about practice, taking your time and learning from there.”

Her biggest clients right now? Brides to be.

The NDG native has been asked to do everything from seating charts with hundreds of names, to rustic wooden welcome signs — she buys and stains the wood herself.

Lore insists you don’t have to have good handwriting to do calligraphy.

“It’s all just shapes you attach so anyone can do it,” she explained.

“It’s nice to see something on paper that isn’t perfect, that not every letter is going to look exactly the same, but it still has a rawness to it and it’s something you can keep.”

Despite her “old school” skills — she even has her own wax seal —  Lore is a millennial at heart, making most of her connections on digital platforms like Instagram and Etsy.

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