Lady and the Tramp, Illuminated Borders and
Spencerian & Beyond


It is with pleasure that I announce a that I’ll be teaching three workshops in Singapore in March 2019. I will be teaching Illumiated Borders and Spencerian & Beyond. In conjunction with Yves Leterme, I will be teaching a 5 day workshop Lady and the Tramp, first offered in Bruges, Belgium in 2018.

In the Lady and the Tramp workshop illumination techniques such as gilding, vining, filigree and dimensional painting are taught in relation to Lombardic letters. There will be a classic approach to the topic; beginning with a brief introduction of illuminated manuscripts, you’ll learn about the proportions and typical features of the initials, the underlying principles of decoration, graceful curvature and filigree designs, the CMYK color palette, the application of leaf and shell gold, etc. However, quite early on in this journey the gracious Lady will team up with the Tramp, who will listen respectfully to what she has to say, but will nevertheless propose to take a walk on the wild side. This dual approach promises to satisfy both the meticulous calligrapher as well as the adventurous spirit.

This five day workshop, open to all skill levels.

Harvest Crittenden and Yves Leterme, two internationally renowned calligraphers, each coming from a different background, join forces in bringing their unique perspectives to this class.

For more information on any of the above classes, please contact Martha Yovi at



Designed for everyone who has an interest in learning or bettering their proficiency in vintage penmanship this class is the perfect place to start. American penmanship played a tremendous role in the education of our citizens during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The skill and teaching of handwriting had a vast influence in the progressive increase of literacy throughout our population, and business writing became the mainstream vehicle for all commercial correspondence. In addition, Spencerian Script touched nearly everyone at that time with the social expression of correspondence, allowing families and friends to stay in touch with one another. Developed by Platt Rogers Spencer during 'the Golden Age of Penmanship' this system of writing is still very revelent today. With handwriting being removed from the classrooms it is even more important to make sure that our writing stands as a fine example to all who see it. This is a perfect class for beginners.

When offered as a two-day class we will cover all the basics of this beautiful script from curvature, movement, contrast and variability. When offered as a week-long class we will delve indepth to all the nuances and variations that this script offers. 


Want to take your Spencerian lettering to the next level? This is the perfect opportunity to do so. Spencerian Script provides endless possibilities for capital letter forms once you understand the underlying structure of Platt Rogers Spencer's system. We will have fun discovering all the ways to make a simple script really sing! 

When offered as a two-day class we will spend time soley with all the capital variations. 

When offered as a week-long class we will spend time with capital variations, beginning and ending flourishes, adding cartouches, white ink on black paper and so much more!

This is an intermediate to advanced class and taking beginning Spencerian is a prerequisite. 


The beautiful, graceful style of lettering that we commonly refer to as Copperplate script, is actually a style of lettering called English Roundhand. There are several styles of beautifully shaded script lettering with slightly different origins that have all been referred to as 'Copperplate' over the years. As many of these styles were popular for lettering when first seen printed from engraved copperplates in the mid 1500's through the mid 1800's, its easy to see why it became known by that term. In 1740 George Bickham published a book that is still widely used by calligraphers today called The Universal Penman. Well known for both his handwriting prowess and engraving expertese, this publication brought the Bickham style of English Roundhand writing to the masses. English Roundhand, as it is both formally and formerly known, is a beautiful style still practiced today although usually referred to as Copperplate.

In this beginning level class we will cover the basic strokes and forms of the lower case letters, the breakdown of the capitals and numerals. A few tips will be given for addressing envelopes and using this script for wedding work.


Beautiful pointed pen lettering is a wonderful place to start, but sometimes you need a little more to really kick your work up a notch. This class is being offered to those who wish to further study the art of flourishing to use with pointed pen or broad edge lettering. Lettering will not be taught in this class. We will spend time going over a variety of entry and exit strokes, flourishing text, stand alone cartouches, the principals of correct shape, size and design. We will spend time going over wedding envelopes and invitations. 

This online class is open to persons of intermediate to advanced skill level. Comprehensive instruction is given in every manner of flourishing, with special attention paid to color work, work on black or colored paper, a variety of stationery that the wedding industry uses, means of lining and using a light table, making corrections, banners and so much more.

When taught as a two-day course we will cover a smattering of all the above mentioned. It is a fast paced fun class.

When taught as a week long course we will spend time really exploring all the birds, feathers, borders, cartouches, banner and ribbons that you could ever want!


One of the staples of any working calligrapher's studio is certificate commissions. They provide a good base income and can lead to a lot of other work as a result of being seen. The Engrossers in our country  perfected this art form from the 1850's through the 1950's. Engrosser's Text is the style that was used to letter the vast majority of these certificates. Not gothic, and not foundational, the engrossers developed a style that suits the needs of a working studio with a stylized look that can be both quick and useful in a variety of applications.  There is a need to pass down the traditions of these men and women and Harvest has taken this need to heart. Learn the beauty of this style as seen all through the Zanerian Manual. There is room for individuality and several of the most prolific scribes have left behind samples to study. This class will include an indepth look at these samples, the ductus and working copies of it's use, and A-Z coverage of how to do this lovely style.

This 2 day class is geared towards beginners to intermediate level. Some experience with a broad pen is preferred but not mandatory.



Certificates serve as an important part in any calligrapher’s skill set. Certificates can be a little daunting when taken as a whole. But when you break down the parts and take it step by step, it all comes together beautifully. In this class we will cover each step and the techniques used to turn out stunning certificates.

Inspired by the American engrossers of the 1850's - 1950's we will breakdown their unique style into step by step directions that we can all follow.  We will play with different alphabets and painting techniques. We will visit dividing caps for painting as well as dark washes to bring out the depth and beauty of large initial caps. We will use a more modern variation of pastels to create the watercolor like washes often used to highlight names. We will cover shadowing and color palettes that work especially well with certificates. We will do some simple gilding and tooling designs as well as cover banners, scrolls and filigree. This is a fun and fast-paced class for all skill levels. 

This class can be taught as a scaled down two day workshop to introduce the students to the skills and styles used in crafting creative certificates. It is also offered as a full week indepth study class at the Engrossing Saga held in Genenva on the Lake, Ohio. 


Angelo Rassu was a gifted engrosser whose work is included in The Zanereian Manual. His collection of work is housed on Enders Island and continues to be an inspiration to those who want to learn the centuries old techniques he used in his borders and illuminated initials. Mr. Rassu had an eye for color and his borders are some of the most beautiful of his time. Varied in style from the simple to complex, this class will focus on four different borders. We will transfer his border patterns and learn different painting techniques with each border and the accompanying designs to be used with them. This is a perfect primer for those wishing to design their own illuminated projecs.

When offered as a two-day workshop we will cover two of the borders, his color choices and his patterns.

When offered as a week-long class we will cover all four borders as well as look at a slide show of all of Angelo's work to discuss his style, his patterns, the way he tracked his time for billing and the unique sensibilities he brought to his work.

This workshop is intended for intermediate to advanced skill levels.


The Zanerian Manual is a source of inspiration to those that love illumination and the engrossing arts. Angelo Rassu was a gifted engrosser whose work is included in The Zanereian Manual. In going through his collection, housed on Enders Island, it immediately becomes apparent that the hours of work he put into learning his craft paid off. His work is meticulous and noteworthy. When his work was bequethed to St. Edmund's Retreat on Enders Island it included his many pages of patterns that he worked out for his illuminated initials. It is rare to be able to see and study the patterns of such a master.

When offered as a two-day class we will cover two of Mr. Rassu's illuminated letter. The pattern will be provided for you so that we can spend our time learning the decorating techniques he used. 

When offered as a week-long class we will go over all of Mr. Rassu's initials and you may choose the two initials you'd like to work on. The week long class will be done on calf-skin vellum.  

Both classes will cover an overview of Mr. Rassu's remarkable style. This class is geared toward intermediate to advanced students. 


Often associated with the Lombardic region of Italy these capitals were widely used in scriptoriums that Charlemagne set up through out Europe. This alphabet of beautiful, decorative capitals dates back many centuries but is best known for its use in the Psalters, the psalm and prayer books used in churches during the Middle Ages. But don't think that these glorious capitals are best left in the past! Lombardic Capitals are every bit as useful today as they were 800 years ago.

This two day class is designed to teach you the delights of this drawn letter form. From the most formal resolution or monogram to the informal card, Lombardic Capitals will fit the bill every time. First, the formal. By looking at historical samples we can see the variety of shapes and uses that are handing down to us. We will begin with the basic drawn shapes that make up the alphabet.

We will cover painting techniques, step by step, to build up roundness and depth of form along with shading, and highlights. There will be a section on filigree and simple gilding. You will even learn how to make your own shell gold. And this is just the first day & half!

Then...we’ll funk it up. Time to twist and turn, modernize and make them your own. We will cover all the tips and tricks for beautiful, fast and fabulous Lombardics perfect for a multitude of applications. We’ll play with colored pencils, markers and other fun applications that complement these shapes.

This is a fun and fast paced class designed for all levels.


Intimidating, aren't they? You look at borders and wonder where the heck to begin, how do you layout a whole border, should I do one side, two sides, the entire page??? So many questions. Now, you can learn the answers.

By starting with very small steps, designing a few leaves, drawing a straight line, a curved line, a few little unintimidating elements you can begin to master the mystery. With just a little bit of math (no calculators needed) a layout tissue and a repeating pattern you can build glorious borders to offset your work. We'll start very simple, and build upon newfound knowledge to expand to more elaborate borders. And once planned, you'll have your tissue to use again and again.

We will tackle aspect of color, how to softly shade, how to add highlights and lowlights, how to shadow...all the elements that will make your border look professional and add to your lettering, not detract from it.

This two day class is a fun, fast paced class that will send you spinning off
with a head full of ideas and looking for projects to add a border to.


Discover the secret of creating full-bodied, voluptous vines. We will start with easy steps and go over the basics of color, shape, layout and sedign of simple vines.

We will move up to more intricate vines and winding vines through text and initials. There are many leaves, many flowers, many shapes to work with as you learn the math of creathing your own gorgeous vines. We will also cover the tips and tricks of creating your own gorgeous vines.

We will also cover the tips and tricks of twisting acanthus leaves to make them oh so much easier than expected. We will use the Gottengen Model book as our guide. This was written in the late 1400's to accompany the artwork in the Guttenberg Bible.

Each student will go home with a fully colored vine entwined with an initial, suitable for framing, and a full colored booklet for reference.

This is a two day class designed for all skill levels.


Because sometimes you just need a little bling, and so do your clients! Perfect to add to your repertoire of skills when the bride, the mother of the bride, or the party girl needs a little something extra.  They can be decorated with crystals, gold, pearls or anything else you can think of. These Spencerian letter forms can be elegant, fun, and gorgeous. Works beautifully with Spencerian numerals as well and look stunning as table numbers.

This two day class will cover the basics of the letterform, color palettes, the pattern overlays, the various mendhi designs to decorate inside the spaces, and how to decorate appropriately. Suitable for all levels.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Spencerian letterforms  letters for tracing will be provided. Learn the techniques then see all the uses you can come up with!



Vellum is one of the most wonderful mediums to work on, yet it can seem mysterious to many artists. This class will show you, step by step, just how delightful this surface can be. We will cover the history of vellum, what determines a good skin, preparing the skin for use, how to transfer a pattern, marking lines, and most importantly- how to correct mistakes! Once properly learned, you’ll never want to work on anything else.

Each student will work on their own 5 x 7 vellum as we prepare the skin, transfer a pattern, and decorate a piece suitable for framing. The class is able to choose the design they would like to work on when booking a workshop. There are 5 different patterns available. 

This is a week long class designed for all skill levels.

The image shown here was done on goat skin with 23k gold leaf and hand ground pigments.


 Gratitude is a powerful force. It helps us to keep our lives in balance in the fast paced world in which we live, it keeps us centered in our faith and focused on all the blessings in our lives. Gratitude can help us to live fully in the moment, to reconcile our past, and to look forward to a future of possibilities. Gratitude can help unlock our creativity, counteract the messages of ‘more, more,more’ we are bombarded with and listen more intently to the still, small inner voice.

This 5 day class is designed to explore this state of mind call Gratitude. The center of this process is taking the time each and every night to think about the blessing of the day and take 15 minutes to write about the things that you are grateful for in a gratitude journal that you yourself will make. Each day will be focused around a particular art project that will be part of building a gratitude journal, exploring a different theme. When the week is complete, you will have learned bookbinding, antiquing paper, image transfers, nature prints, simple pastel and watercolor decorations and many other fun and meaningful ways of expressing your gratitude.

We will decorate the paper that will become our journal cover. We will collage, stamp, letter and paint along with other techniques as we bind our journals using beads, buttons, charms, bookcloth, leather and more. This class is open to all levels. Nor previous experience is required. Just bring an open mind, an open heart, and old clothes to work in. To read the full write-up of the class, CLICK HERE


Step by step, bit by bit this class will go through all the entire process used for painting an illuminated miniature. It can seem daunting when taking the project as a whole, intimidating to say the least! But even those who say they can't draw a straight line will have success with this project. Together we will prepare the calf skin, mix the colors, transfer the pattern and go over every step of the painting process. We will glaze the garment and the landscape, use different painting techniques for each of the animals and use a fan brush to create clouds. While focusing on painting the miniature image of St. Francis and his woodland creatures we will explore the beautiful prayer of St. Fancis in a scriptorium setting. Using the painting style of the Renaissance period, you will learn many techniques including laying the 23kgold and palladium and making shell gold. 

Each student will work on their own 4.5 x 6.5 image on vellum as we prepare the skin, transfer a pattern, and decorate a piece suitable for framing. 

This is a week long class designed for all skill levels.


© HARVEST CRITTENDEN/ACORN ARTS 2019. All rights reserved. The calligraphy, illustrations and illumination contained within these pages are original and covered under copyright law.
Reproduction in any form without expressed written permission is prohibited