Cari Ferraro has been practicing calligraphy for over thirty years. Her design business, Prose and Letters, has fulfilled calligraphy commissions for weddings, corporations, institutions and individuals since 1981.

A dedicated reader and collector of quotes from a young age, she obtained a degree in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1976. Her self-taught calligraphy skills grew through affiliations with calligraphy guilds, and by attending conferences and workshops around the country. She has studied with many of the finest calligraphers teaching today, and has taught broad pen calligraphy to children and adults. Her work has been published in Letter Arts Review, Somerset Studio, the Calligrapher's Engagement Calendar, and Victoria magazine, as well as three wedding books. She is the artist featured in two recently published books by Walter Foster, Beginner's Guide: Calligraphy and Illumination, and Discover Calligraphy and Illumination, part of a calligraphy learning kit.

During her career, her work has ranged from traditional illuminated manuscripts to abstract art. She uses many media in this pursuit, including not only pen and ink, but also watercolor, oil and chalk pastels, colored pencils, acrylic paints, and metallic leaf. Writing tools can range from quills and brushes to popsicle sticks and ruling pens, on surfaces as varied as paper, skin, bark, cloth, and ceramic. Her calligraphic manuscript books are collected by individuals and libraries around the country.

Of her artwork she says: "When does word become image? My paintings 'speak' with calligraphy, symbols, and color. Texts explore sacred mysteries, the natural world and the human heart. Calligraphic art is a way to express and share the power of language."

For a look at more recent work, primarily handmade books, and an online journal of process and inspirations, please visit www.cariferraro.com.

Photo by Cherri Lakey.