Massimo PolelloMassimo Polello

2.5 Days
No Supply Fee

Instructor Bio

Based in Turin, Italy, Massimo Polello has worked as a calligrapher artist for over fifteen years. Since studying calligraphy, he has explored its classical and contemporary applications and potentiality in art and graphic design. These include designing packaging and signage logos for companies, museums and individuals, as well as applying his designs to walls and for interiors design.

He has exhibited, and teaches workshops and seminars regularly: USA, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Pakistan, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, and England. He has worked on several short films and is a contributor to GraphicusTipoItalia and Letters Arts Review magazines.

He took part and was invited to the International Type Designer Conference in Moscow and Istanbul, and the ATypI International Type Designer Conference 2015 in San Paolo-Brasil; and taught seminars at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Concordia University Montreal, and Red Deer College, Calgary.

He was published in 2016 in collaboration with the designer Marcel Wanders in a prestigious limited edition book for the RIJKS MUSEUM in Amsterdam “The Rijksbook”, in 2009 “Traité de la peinture-Extraits” with Editions Alternatives Publisher-Paris, worked with artist and filmmaker Peter Greenaway in “Peopling the Palace”, and with the director Luca Ronconi for the installation of the of 150th Anniversary Exhibition of the Unification of Italy, “La Bella Italia”

He is president of Turin calligraphers´ guild “Dal Segno alla Scrittura” and owner of Studio Gallery ABC_Atelier and collaborated with the Medicea Laurenziana Library in Florence.

He sums up his approach to calligraphy best, “…letters become a means to exist outside myself… going beyond the letters, captured by a sole need to see. They become signs, images, evocations, urgent needs, emotions.”

Instructor Website

Massimo Polello

Class Description

Often the flourishing of the letters and arabesques of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are considered end in itself in order to strike the observer and enchant him or embellish the letters that would otherwise be scarce or poor. Without going into the criticism of what is “beautiful” or less beautiful, decorations and flourishing is often considered superfluous or excessive or otherwise unnecessary.

But in this our historical period and artistic taste in design and fashion, the beauty is often considered something purified from excesses and decoration, often going in the direction of the bad taste, we see today, in my personal opinion, in almost a ”physical” need of Beauty as it was considered in the past.

That’s why I was recently struck and fascinated by the hyper-decorated letters such as the Cadels (or in French Cadeaux that means “gift”) letters that has developed in France since the first half of the 15th century.

But my interest for these letters is not limited only to its elegance and opulence, but also for its formal beauty in their arabesques and crossing lines, a pure enjoyment for the eyes, so at the end not only an aesthetic interest but a formal balance that takes on a more abstract and remarkable unexpected compositional value.

In fact we will use some small sections, after studying the base of their ornament and letters, to work in abstract way on big canvases.

Supply List

Different sizes and kinds of nibs you prefer to use
Speedball C-0, C-1, C-2, C-3, straight pointed nibs for Copperplate (brand not important)
Flat brushes: a range of sizes around from 1” to 4” (not necessarily for calligraphy) We will use that for paint with acrylic colors.
Ink medium as your preference: Sumi, walnut, Indian
A palette of extra-fine quality gouache colors tubes
Possibly (but not obligatory) some pearl colors like Finetec, gold, copper
Canvas not less 16” x 16” (They should be unframed and rolled up for transport.) It should be a square size!
Good quality sketching paper pad
Some sheets of good quality paper (colors of your choice)
Some sheets of good quality black paper
Tracing paper


Massimo Polello Massimo Polello Massimo Polello

Class Catalog

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