The 69th International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting annual conference was held this past August and I was fortunate enough to attend. This year it was held at the Hilton City Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and boy was it a treat! I’ve previously attended IAMPETH conference, my last being in Portland, Oregon in 2016. This year the week-long conference was jammed packed with classes, meetings, and demonstrations. In-fact it was so packed I scheduled an extra day just to tour around the city and do some site-seeing for myself since there was not time during the week.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with IAMPETH it’s a membership based association of calligraphers and penmen from around the world. Based in the United States, anyone can join the association and attend the conference each year. The conference is a week-long meeting of members from around the world located in a different city each year.
The opening day of the conference is all about checking in, picking up your swag bag, and meeting calligraphy friends in person. This is also the time to sleep off that jet-lag because the opening night hosts a reception dinner which gets you amped up for the week ahead and then its straight into calligraphy.
The bulk of your time at the conference is spent in the classroom. Each day you spend eight hours learning a new style of penmanship or brushing up on what you already know. There are four classes a day to choose from ranging in all skill levels and styles of penmanship. After a day of calligraphy you get a break for dinner and then it picks up again with scheduled meetings, lectures, and demos from calligraphers and artisans until bedtime! The conference ends on the 6thnight with a formal closing night banquet where the new IAMPETH committee is sworn in, awards and recognitions are given out, and they reveal the next year’s conference location.
I’m not going to lie, the conference is exhausting. Every day you work hard and you reap the rewards of what you’ve learned. Some days you don’t feel good enough and somedays you are amazed at what you already can do. But you always leave the conference with more knowledge, tips, tricks and new friends then when you first attended.
My goal each year at the conference is to learn a new skill set and brush up on one that needs work, so this ye