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Masscribes moves hands through time

By Madison Butkus
Hometown Weekly Reporter

While the world has definitely become more tech-savvy, one cannot forget the importance of the written word. To shed some light on this topic, Masscribes - New England Calligraphy Organization, hosted the ‘Hands Through Time: A Calligraphy Alphabet Journey’ event at the Westwood Public Library on Saturday, April 29th. This educational event provided insight into the history of calligraphy and hand lettering through a slideshow presentation. Directly following this talk, guests were allowed the opportunity to experiment with various calligraphy pens with the help of volunteer calligraphers from Masscribes.

Diane Desautelle, president of Masscribes, says she has been doing calligraphy since she was twelve years old. Once hearing about the Masscribes organization from one of her professors in college, she knew she had to join. When speaking about this event, Desautelle stated, “We are here to show that, even today, calligraphy is still very much alive. That’s what we’re about, you know, giving people access to workshops.”

The goal of Desautelle’s presentation focused around where our paper comes from and how our alphabet came to be. Writing, in general, has been quickly taken over by technology and our ability to type on things like computers, tablets, and cellphones. Desautelle is the first to admit this, but goes on to explain, “Probably most of the people in this room are obviously still writing everyday and always have been. But you know the younger generation, less and less, are using letters. Either way, whether you’re typing on the computer or writing by hand, most people don’t know where all these little characters came from that make up our alphabet.”

Calligraphy was born, due to the distinct ways each letter was formed after the creation of the alphabet, and fans of this type of writing want to continue this type of art for generations to come. That is exactly what Masscribes is trying to do. Founded in 1986, this non-profit organization currently has over 150 members across New England. The goal is simple: keep hand lettering alive and support those who have a passion for letters.

For information about Masscribes, please visit their website at

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