Ebru Kefeli Lettering talks about painting with lines.

Posted by Darling Spring on

Our darling designer, one-of-a-kind modern calligrapher Ebru Kefeli empowers women through excellent crafts(wo)manship. Her inspiring messages are masterfully hand-calligraphed on natural materials including paper, leather, leaves, fabric, and porcelain.

We are proud to work with her as her handmade collection is designed with the utmost care and attention to the subtleties of masterful modern calligraphy as well as sustainable materials.

Hand-calligraphed "One is not born, but rather becomes a woman" on linen banner with nib and ink on the side

Hi Ebru, can we meet you? 

Hi! I‘m an architect who became a calligrapher 2,5 years ago. I worked as an architect for 15 years. I had the privilege of working in fantastic locations like Mali and Turks and Caicos Islands. In 2013, I had a son and decided to take a sabbatical to raise him. When he was 2 years old, I started working again as an architect. But something was different, my world view and how I perceived architecture had changed. In 6 months, I realized I no longer wanted to work in the creation of spaces, but rather, wanted to do something more meaningful to me. I had a lifelong love for ink, paper, pens, colors, but I didn’t know what to do with them until I discovered calligraphy.

Hand-calligraphed "Nevertheless, she persisted" on linen banner hung on a pine tree

Being a calligrapher, was that a hobby, passion, aim? How did it become a job?

Architects have the tendency to draw or write; basically, we try to express our feelings with a tactile material which is mainly pen and paper. My go-to system was always writing. I met modern calligraphy when I was trying to write the names of my closest friend’s in an aesthetic way on their wedding gift. I started with faux calligraphy with a fountain pen and discovered brush pens. For almost a year, I wrote with different brush pens, brushes, and pens. All my notes and presents turned into something I did with those pens, and it was a hobby. I created my first product, which was a set of new year’s postcards for a friend’s NGO. I did some posters and a set of milestone cards for babies. But the idea was always creating something until I found a way of using my architectural formation in a proper job. During those months, I saw many calligraphers working with nib and ink. I always thought that was amazing but there was nobody around I could learn writing with nib and ink from. Until I decided to write something special for my father’s 70th birthday party. I tried it on my own. It took almost 10 days to write 40 place cards and 10 menu sheets, but I learned how to use them, and that was when I fell in love with nib and ink.

Hand-calligraphed "Unicorns are real" on linen banner hung on a white wall

What is the difference between calligraphy and handwritten notes?

Handwritten notes are mainly made with your handwriting, and it is one’s own form of lines to transfer thoughts into a written form. Modern calligraphy is basically 7-line forms coming together to form letters and words. For me, handwriting is mostly a fast way of expressing myself on paper. Still, when it comes to calligraphy, it’s kind of painting with lines. I concentrate on how lines form and how they connect aesthetically, creating a form on the paper rather than the meaning of the words. When I write, I aim to create a flow with each and every stroke.

Hand-calligraphed "Reset" and "Breathe" on Porcelain Christmas Ornaments

What is your favorite kind of paper, pen, ink?

I love different materials, so I try to write on everything. As a world-view, I try to use natural materials and exclude any plastic. My favorite medium for writing is a wooden oblique pen and a nib. The sound of the nib moving on the paper is like music, and concentrating on lines is very meditative. I prefer handmade papers, which I admire the workmanship and knowing that I am creating something which is crafted with so much hardship with natural materials is fantastic.

Shop Ebru's works here.

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