Before automated text, the renowned Culinary Institute of New York needed someone to pen certificates. Lori Sparacio, an employee of the Institute at the time, had taken calligraphy classes some time earlier so she could have the decorative script on her wedding invitations. She became the Institutes unofficial calligrapher, and her passion for the art continued to grow. Since then, she has turned that passion into a career, and now owns and runs her own business, The Write Occasion Calligraphy.
Sparacio moved to Charlotte with her husband, a tax accountant, after living in New York her entire life. She started The Write Occasion and is one of the only professional calligraphers in the Charlotte area. Her website, www.thewriteoccasioncalligraphy.com, showcases her work and has served as a great creative asset to her clients, but Sparacio says her best marketing tool is word-of-mouth.
“If someones daughter is getting married and I did a good job on the invitations, next thing you know their son is getting married two years later and they will ask me to do theirs too,” says Sparacio.
Neat stacks of envelopes, place cards, and labels sit in her home office in Waxhaw among colored pencils and handcrafted European calligraphy instruments. Most of Sparacio’s customers are brides, wedding planners, and stationers who trust her for the meticulously crafted designs she creates.
“One of the hardest things about what I do is the amount of time it takes,” Sparacio says. A wedding is a hard thing to plan, and it takes a while to do two hundred or more invitations.
I have to be patient and so do my clients, it goes both ways but the result is always incredible.
And her designs dont stop at typical paper products. One of Sparacio’s most distinctive pieces appeared in the third season of the popular Showtime TV series Homeland. The piece features Hebrew writing with a scroll-like border, and it sits above a characters desk for the entire 12-episode season.
Sparacio’s other custom works include drink menus, song lyrics, Christmas cards, baby announcements, menus, and even a 73-page calligraphed book for a professional magician.
”I had to write each page to mimic the writing of a young girl in the 19th century. That was really different from wedding envelopes!”
In addition to custom designs, Sparacio offers calligraphy boot camps at a private clubhouse in Waxhaw and classes at Paper Source in Phillips Place. Her classes require intense focus and a steady hand, but students will see remarkable improvement in just hours.
”By the end of the day, you’re wiped out, and all yo’ure doing is pushing around a two-ounce pen,” says Sparacio. ”It’s a lot of fun for all penmanship levels.”
As far as Sparacio is concerned, “the art of calligraphy will not soon be a just another tale of the past. You can do a million things on a computerits all very automatic. But calligraphy adds emotion and interest,” Sparacio says. ”Thats what I love about it.”
For a bit more info: thewriteoccasioncalligraphy.com