Watershed Lettering: Creating Art and Celebrating Handwriting
Andrea Avey - Watershed Lettering
Tulsa Teacher Celebrates Handwriting Through Artful Business Venture
I have been concerned about the lack of handwriting in elementary curriculum for some time. Some of you may know I actually have a degree in Elementary Education, and when I was teaching in 2003, we were still teaching handwriting. Since I'm not in the classroom anymore, it hadn't occurred to me that handwriting, particularly cursive, wasn't in our curriculum any more!
My kids have been learning cursive, so I reached out some teacher friends to see what the deal was. Several no, not at all, that there's just no time with all the other requirements. Several others said they try to keep it in because they feel it's important, even though it is no longer required.
Is cursive still important?
Katy Steinmetz writes in her TIME magazine article titled Five Reasons Kids Should Still Learn Cursive Writing, " Research suggests that printing letters and writing in cursive activate different parts of the brain. Learning cursivve is good for children's fine motor skills, and writing in longhand generally helps students retain more information and generate more ideas. Studies have also shown that kids who learn cursive rather than simply manuscript writing score better on reading and spelling tests, perhaps because the linked-up cursive forces writers to think of words as wholes instead of parts."
What's a teacher to do?
Recently I met a Metro Christian Academy teacher named Andrea Avey, who is the owner of Watershed Lettering, a company she founded, which sells beautiful handmade art pieces, one of a kind greeting cards and much more.
I absolutely love meeting entrepreneurs who inspire me, so I was thrilled to hear Andrea's story and wanted to share it with Tulsa parents. I'll let her share her story in her own words:
I was born and raised in Tulsa. I've never lived anywhere else, outside of my four years at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. From a young age, I was always fascinated by art, handwriting, and handmade crafts. I loved to color, play around with different styles of handwriting, and write and read stories. I've always been a lover of language, and I continued to pursue it at OSU where I double majored in English and Spanish. As graduation approached, I opted to impart my love for language and literature to students through teaching. I am currently a freshman English teacher at Metro Christian Academy and enjoy studying works of literature and appreciating the beautiful ways in which words get woven together to create something unique and meaningful.
My journey with Watershed Lettering, the hand lettering art business I have just launched, began earlier this year when I attended a calligraphy class in Plano, TX with Heather Bloem of Design Roots. She and I made a great connection and now I have the privilege to teach those classes on her behalf here in Tulsa. We operate out of the Workshop space at Made in the Pearl District. During that first calligraphy workshop, I felt more invigorated and fulfilled than I had in months. The ability to create something beautiful, something unique, something by hand is so special and inspiring to me. The idea of Watershed really came into being this summer as I was able to spend more time doing that which makes my heart full - bringing language to life and complementing it with watercolor, a calligraphy nib and ink, or a canvas and some paint. I offer a variety of artistic services ranging from personalized canvases and celebratory cards to wedding invitation addressing and decorative prints. I work out of my home studio in Tulsa, OK, and am happy to bring anything your heart desires to life through my work.
Language is a source of inexhaustible magic, and to be able to package it in a way that is beautiful and captivating is another kind of magic altogether. I treasure the way calligraphy looks – its distinct and lovely appearance – but also the stories calligraphy depicts, the power and experience of language. Creating beautiful art full of deeper meaning and significance is a privilege, and it is an honor to serve and teach others with this gift.
For inquiries about custom art, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calligraphy Classes in Tulsa
If you or your children are interested in learning calligraphy and an appreciation for handwriting as an art form like Andrea, check out the following calligraphy classes right here in Tulsa:
See you around town!
Missy David, the Honeybee Mama