Each class focused on one of the basic design principles: line, shape, value, color, positive and negative space, and texture to create something using only simple supplies, such as paper, pencil, ink, pen, wax, and paint.
In another class, we worked with color using watercolor as our medium. On a small piece of paper, we brushed on circles of color, then turned the blobs into whatever caught our imagination. Then we blended color in a palette using wet-on-wet and dry brush techniques. Once these were dry, we could use a black permanent marker to add Zentangles, another class offered at Trivial Pursuits.
We practiced flourishing, using line to add decoration to letters, in another class. But first, we warmed up by drawing circles over and over across the page. Then we tried S curves with a pointed pen that helped us generate thick and thin lines. With enough practice, we could move on to flourishes around lettering. We also learned to make wax seals, which calligraphers use on hand-lettered documents, much like what has been done for hundreds of years. Nowadays the seals are mostly for decoration and add texture to a design.
The last class required folding skills as we shaped origami stars from leftover practice calligraphy sheets. We folded eight pieces of paper and then interlocked them to make a star. What a treat they will be to hang next December.
Each of these classes, though only an hour long, made us slow down and focus on one practice. In the room full of 40 people, harmony, another design element, prevailed. Like meditation, Trivial Pursuits gave us time to work with the basics of design, to use simple materials and brought us all to a quiet state where we focused on our work and encouraged each other in our endeavors.