Today I wanted to share some of the highlights from my workshops in NYC, Greenpoint, Brooklyn to be more precise. The workshops took place on Thursday, July 25th, 2013 at Bellocq Tea Atelier. In January of this year, I made a list of “dream projects”. Teaching a workshop at Bellocq was one of them. I cannot think of anything lovelier than sipping tea and practicing calligraphy, can you?
As we all know, part of achieving your goals is putting yourself out there and making it happen, so I sent an e-mail to Heidi Johannsen Stewart. I received a very nice e-mail back right away from Heidi who knew of my work from her days as a food editor and stylist at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Somehow, she had an old postcard from ten years ago with my alphabet written on it and kept it displayed in her studio – I felt so honored! I explained how I loved the hand lettered the labels for their rare tea collection posted on Bellocq’s Instagram feed and it sparked this whole idea of a workshop. It was created by one of the owners, Michael Shannon. She thought the workshop at Bellocq was a great idea, and once we figured out a date, we announced it on Instagram. Many traveled to NYC for the day just to attend this special workshop with me, some as far as Miami as in the case of photographer Jeanette Polynice of To Love Photographie who took all the beautiful photographs that you see here.
All day long, I was overcome with so many emotions to experience such a surreal moment like this. The space is very romantic, every detail just so. Bellocq is housed in what used to be a pencil factory Michael decorated the atelier with a few branches of Poke weed, (how appropriate for the class as it was used by native Americans to make ink.) Heidi made delicious Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Le Hammeau-Poached Apricots (recipe here) and hors d’ oevres were created by the talented Karen of The Cocktail Party Chef. My friend Jill Lauck made her special caramels for each student, and at the end of each class, a refreshment of Bellocq Majorelle Mint tea, St.Germain liquor, club soda and fresh mint was served. There was no detail spared.
I felt a special connection with each and every student in the class and I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet and share my love of calligraphy in this special setting. The owners, Scott, Michael and Heidi were so gracious and are some of the loveliest people that you will ever meet. Their atelier is a place to be inspired and explore ideas and the teas are magnificent! I hope you will have a chance to enjoy some of their wonderful blends to drink while you practice your calligraphy. One of my favorites is No. 20 Kikuya. For those of you in NYC, they open their atelier to the public on the weekends for people wishing to taste their selection. I hope you will find it as beautiful and inspiring as I shall always remember. xoxo, M