- ABOUT -
Hello! I’m Chantelle Hoffmann - the hand behind Bespoke Strokes Calligraphy.
My own life's journey has gone through many seasons, but having a pen and ink in my hand has been one of the most constant threads that runs through the timeline of my story since I was a young teen. It is a great honor to transcribe words of love on behalf of others and to introduce students to the world of pen and ink!
When I’m not in the studio, you will find me with my three young children and husband – likely pulling blackberries or trying to figure out how to work a tractor on our new farm in the Pacific Northwest. It's a wonder my hands aren't permanently stained by ink and soil!
Thank you for visiting my site. I would be honored to be your partner in creating something "bespoke" just for you.
- My Lettering Journey -
I took my first series of calligraphy courses when I was just 14 years old. There truly was no looking back once I made those first thick & thin strokes. I had discovered an art that my left-brained, analytical mind could grasp!
Skipping forward through a decade of hobby calligraphy, the real change came for me when I left a corporate job at Microsoft, and moved with my husband and young family to a small English village. While living there I joined the Oxford Scribes Calligraphy Guild and began to ramp up my calligraphic study. Shortly after my second son was born, post-birth hormones told me it would be a great idea to officially launch a business. And so, Bespoke Strokes Calligraphy was born amidst sleep deprivation, baby cuddles, and tea over-indulgence. I'd never been happier.
In 2014 I joined the International Association of Master Penmen Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting (IAMPETH) and have had the opportunity to learn from a number of Master Penmen and incredible calligraphers through this organization.
Once we moved back to my Seattle hometown, I added engraving services to expand my calligraphic offerings and began partnering with a number of luxury brand retailers. Shortly after, I began teaching and learned my love for this art only increased the more I got to share it with others.
The adventure continues.... I will never stop learning and sharing what I've learned with the goal of serving the world around me through the gift of beautiful script.
- RECOMMENDED TOOLS -
01/ Nibs: Leonard Principal EF & Nikko G
02/ Penholders: These deuce penholders are great for beginners. I really appreciate my Jake Weidmann holder for when you're ready to make more of an investment in an ergonomic grip.
03/ Inks: Walnut, Sumi, Old World Iron Gall, Gouache, Metalics, White
04/ Paper: Grid Practice Pad, Printing Paper that doesn't bleed, For Finished Work
05/ And there's plenty more. I curated a list on Amazon with some of the items I've found helpful over the years. Of course, I love to encourage others to purchase supplies locally or from the wonderful Paper and Ink Arts and John Neal Books as these companies put their whole heart behind supporting calligraphers.
- just for fun-
A Few Simple Joys
01/ Tea: It's a warm hug-in-a-cup to my ever-freezing body. Harney & Sons is a current favorite.
02/ Beekeeping: I don't think this fascinating learning curve will let up anytime soon!
03/ Early morning Rowing: The pandemic taught me that it's my crew-mates that really make it all worthwhile. Go Sammamish!
04/ Wallpaper, cordless vacuums and audiobooks: because they just make life better
05/ Alone time: As an enneagram two I sincerely cherish times of solitude and silence (neither of which I get much of thanks to my three little human joys). Calligraphy does help make space for quiet, intentional time, though, which is perhaps is one of the reasons why I love it so.