Openinkstand Art & Calligraphy

A Pirate Map!




A few months ago, a client asked me a fun request… he needed calligraphy for his kids’ party and wanted me to write instructions on a pirate map. He had the paper all done up by an artist and just needed me to write the words. Of course I said yes!


What a super fun idea… so he sent me this beautiful artwork and I gotta say I was nervous before starting. I gotta admit that broad pen is not my best script, but I think it fits the more ‘childish’ and rustic theme of the art. The rest of the words were written in a simple cursive, and I just prayed his kids can read cursive.


The letter is supposed to be sent by King George to his kids Elizabeth and Henry. So for those important names, I knew it had to be illuminated in gold.. but I also knew I couldn’t use real patent gold (are you kidding? For a kids treasure map?) but I also didn’t want to just use gold ink, which is kind of boring. So I wrote the names first in black ink, filled in the space with Instacoll (a gilding adhesive), laid gold embossing powder on, applied heat and voila! Embossed gold letters. It’s nice and textured too, which adds nicely to ye ol scalawag theme.

I did the same to the King George signature, but for the rest of the important clues, I just used gold ink and iridescent red paint. On the bottom I laid two gold seals plus a tassel. I think it looks pretty authentic, don’t you think? Those lucky kids!


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