Arabic Calligraphy :
At early times, Arabic Calligraphy was considered as a tool for communication; however, with time, people started using this art for coin design, decoration and architecture as well. Although Arabic tribes were in favor of memorizing poetry and texts; the first Muslims took the step to document all details into Qur’an Kareem, the holy book. There are so many interesting facts about how these scripts were developed in the form of such complex and beautiful shapes; the secrets are hidden in the history of Arabic/Islamic Calligraphy.
The Arabic Scripts were originated at several locations, in different periods during the Islamic Empire. The objects from various regions and periods vary in overall design while demonstrating the creativity of calligraphy as an ornament. In many areas, it is considered as a prime element for decoration and can be easily found in frames and backgrounds as well.
Iqra اقرأ Arabic Calligraphy in the shape of a flower by oroarabic.
Arabic Calligraphy pens:
The pen used for Calligraphy is better known as Kamish kalem, and it is made up of reed that grows near watercourses. Most of the time, the thick kalem is designed using bamboo whereas the thin ones are designed using rose stems. You will find them having maximum length somewhere between 24 to 30 cm, and the diameter usually depends upon the type of script that the artist is planning to create. This type of pen has been used for over 500 years by calligraphers and is good beginners choice. There are other pens such as Celi pens which are used to write larger calligraphy.
Celi pens, used for broader and larger Arabic calligraphy.
Arabic Calligraphy ink:
At early days, the knowledge of ingredients that were used to develop calligraphic ink was kept the secret between calligraphers; the artists used to follow their unique recipe. In general, the hemp oil soot is mixed with the gum Arabic, and a few other items are added to this mixture like indigo, henna leaves, and various natural dyes. After this, the prepared mixture is stored for almost five days and then perfumed, strained and thinned using water. Further, the correct consistency is maintained with the help of hedgehog/porcupine quill. This ink is finally poured to the inkwell that contains raw silk fibres which can be used with the pens. In this day and age any type of calligraphy, acrylic or Indian ink will work well as long as you use the right paper.
Arabic Calligraphy paper:
Calligraphy is not written on white paper due to contrast issues, however students do use white glossy paper for practising. Artists prefer to use a special type of paper for this writing style, and it is prepared by boiling the raw materials such as hemp or banana fibre in a vegetable dye that is preferably made up of onion or pomegranate skin. Once the paper is dried after treatment, it is coated using ahar (mixture made with egg whites and alum) and then after few days burnished using polished flint to give a very smooth surface. Some papers are left to age for at least a year.
Arabic Calligraphy scripts:
There are numbers of scripts that are followed by artists to create Islamic calligraphic décor elements and for communication as well. Some of the most popular ones are Arabic Musnad, Al-Jazm, Kufic Script, Thuluth Script, Naskh Script, Ta-liq Script, and many more. They were originated during different centuries and gained popularity for their unique beauty. The decorative appearance of these scripts is highly popular among artists of different Dynasty. Although few of these scripts are harder to learn; beginners can get started with the simpler versions. The most popular out of all the scripts is Thuluth. It is possible to improve the skills and tactics with continuous practice and determination. Practice makes perfect. Usally students study under a master of calligraphy for any years to get the diploma from their masters which then allows them to go forth and teach others. Each letter is measured using diactric dots called Nuqta.
Allah (practice) Written by oroarabic on handmade hemp paper using Celi pen in the thuluth font.
Modern Day Arabic Calligraphy:
In this digital era, the traditional methods of Islamic Calligraphy are modified by computer generated arts and digital techniques to create fonts and Arabic logos, and are now even printed on canvases, T-shirts, mugs and many more accessories. Arabic Calligraphy is expanded through social media and the pen, our aim is to spread the beauty of Arabic calligraphy to every household and wardrobe.