CLIFFORD D. MANSLEY, SR.

April 26, 1927 – May 25, 2021

He was a great Dad and I will miss him! Ninety-four productive years and the second generation calligrapher in our family. He mastered the art of engrossing and shared his heart through the words that he penned plus so much more. His was a life well-lived. A life of purpose, excellence and industry. From a loving husband and father, to a calligrapher, a career with the Boy Scouts, classically trained vocalist, dedicated to his faith in God, and a life of service. You can read his obituary here: CLICK (we forgot to add he was an active Rotary Member)

Dad lettering for a demo….

But this is a CALLIGRAPHY blog, so let me share some memories of my father as an engrosser (aka calligrapher) as I saw him. Cliff, grew up in Philadelphia. His father and my grandfather, Walter, was a teacher of shorthand, penmanship and business courses at a local high school. In the years 1943-1947, Walter was taking a correspondence course at The Zanerian College of Penmanship, Columbus, OH. In a 1946 letter to E. A. Lupfer, Walter asked Earl about their summer Courses. Can you believe! Six weeks of instruction was only $30. So once out of the Navy (age 19), Dad journeyed off to take 2 months of intense study at The Zanerian. Later he completed the Engrossers’ course and worked on the Ornamental Penmanship correspondence courses. Can you believe he practiced 10 hours a day back then!? He became quite good and was even asked to become a White House calligrapher (which he declined and went off to the Wharton School, U of Penn and a career with the Boy Scouts). You can read detail of his Zanerian experience here: http://www.heirloomartists.com/blog/?tag=bound-lettered

Once on a family vacation, Dad took us to the Zanerian College (mid 1960’s) and I recall meeting E. A. Lupfer and receiving a Zanerian pen and pencil set. The college seemed to be phasing out at that time. In the article (link above), Cliff/Dad shares some of the companies that he freelanced for. I do remember when the IBM certificates would arrive at our door. I was in Junior High at the time and Cliff trained me to use a T-square, to draw the pencil lines on the certificates and when he finished the names in Engrossers’ Script, I would erase the lines. A penny a line! Those were the years that my bedroom was right next to Dad’s studio. Late at night he would often be completing a resolution, testimonial or certificates and I would look over his shoulder and watch as he formed the letters and beautiful vine work. These were special bonding moments with Dad. He specialized in Engrosser’s Script, Old English and some other styles from the Zanerian Manual. I sure remember his ink, Gillott nibs, oblique pen holders, his large bottle of Arnold’s Ink, shell gold and agate burnishers.

In 1974, my Senior year, Dad tutored me for a season in the lettering styles that he knew and loved. Then he pushed me to take on some paying projects. Ohhhh! I wasn’t very good, but he insisted. The next year, when I went off to college, he said, now, you can go get a job at McDonald’s or you can work on your calligraphy skills and look for ways to make money with it. He taught me how to find clients and sure enough, I landed some work! To this day, I still work for one of the organizations.

During the late 1970’s the calligraphy world had a revival and national Conferences soon began. Dad and I enjoyed going to the calligraphy conferences together. We attended a few IAMPETH conferences in Ohio, where the penmen would dazzle me with bird flourishes and gifts of pen nibs. Later we met in cities from East to West Coast and Canada for the International Conferences. A great father-daughter shared interest, we sure had fun comparing workshops, meeting new friends and learning how to lay gold leaf together. Dad was an enthusiastic member of the Portland Society for Calligraphy, a very active guild. I would fly out and visit him for the conferences.

Part of a Portland Society for Calligraphy exhibit with William Stafford quotes. Clifford D. Mansley, Sr.

When he retired from the Boy Scouts, he and my mother enjoyed a second career with their home-based calligraphy/art studio, creating designs for hospitals, colleges, businesses and individuals. Words have meaning and Cliff always found deep and profound words to pen. He expressed his heart through his words. Always purposeful, he wanted to build character in young men, so Dad sold his designs and started a fund to keep Chaplains in the Boy Scout summer camps.

Cliff and Jean in their Lake Oswego Studio, a picture that appeared in the newspaper.

Holly and Cliff, together, in 2016, we were featured in the Centennial Edition of the Speedball Textbook.

I’m sure I can think of more, but for now, this brings me up to Cliff’s last several years. As mentioned, he went to Wharton ’51 at the University of Pennsylvania. He enjoyed going to the Alumni meetings and every August, they would host new students from the Portland area. Ben Franklin was the founder of Penn, so Cliff created reproductions of The Virtues and Precepts of Benjamin Franklin (above) and took them to the picnic. Even at 92, Cliff gave a history lesson about Ben and gifted the students with the design, encouraging them to ‘put it on your dorm wall’. ūüôā

My mother had dementia and Dad lovingly cared for her. It broke his heart, when Jean Hollingsworth Mansley passed away in March 2019. Then Cliff had his own health struggles. While in assisted living, he set up his calligraphy table with pen and ink and would letter the names of his caregivers. In the last year, he attempted one last undertaking….I had recreated all of the Founding Documents of our country – the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. www.Patrigraphica.com Dovetailing with that, Dad attempted to start a speaking contest in which kids around the country would focus on an aspect of one of these Docs and learn what our great country is all about. He was not able to see this through. He fell on April 30th, 2021 breaking his clavicle and 2 ribs and just could not recover from this. He passed into Eternity on May 25, 2021. He loved the Lord and loved serving others.

If you would like to see Cliff’s work or purchase reproductions go to Cliff’s website www.HeirloomArtists.com (go to Portfolio and SHOP) or contact Holly at www.HollyMonroe.com and set up a studio appointment to see a broader range of his originals and reproductions.

Reproductions available.

A New Calligrapher in Town!

Two weeks ago,  I had the privilege of an interview with reporter Cliff Newell of the Lake Oswego Review, in my Oregon calligraphy studio. I am grateful for the thorough job he did, covering creative project highlights, a little history and some of my soulful thinking! A huge thank you to Sharlyn Stare, Ryan Thelen and Ronna Schneider for taking the time with Cliff to add their kind-hearted insights about my work.  Trusty photographer Vern Uyetake came, as well, and snapped an interesting array of photos in my studio. Below find the digital article and the paper article. Content is the same, but the photos in the articles are slightly different.

First the digital Article: (you can read the content here a little easier).

“An Artist With Grand Intentions”

Secondly, the real deal in the newspaper: July 7, 2016

IMG_5948

SpeedBall Textbook 24th Edition, Celebrating 100 Years

It’s Easter, and I’m late with this news, but last November 2015, just after I moved from Ohio¬†to Oregon, the Centennial Edition of the Speedball Textbook, A Comprehensive Guide to Pen & Brush Lettering, 24th Edition, finally hit the market! Yah! My father Cliff Mansley, Sr. and I are both honored and grateful to be included among so many accomplished and inspiring lettering artists. I snapped a photo of our pages below and offer you a brief description, plus links to purchase the book.

Speedball Textbook, 24th Edition in which Holly Monroe and Cliff Mansley are both featured.

Holly Monroe and Cliff Mansley, Sr. showing off the cover of the 2015 Speedball Textbook, 24th Edition in which they are both featured.

For a little $15. book the Speedball Textbook, 24th Edition packs a big punch. Students of the written word can see a wide variety of lettering styles as well as fabulous finished examples from contemporary calligraphers of today. The added bonus in this edition, edited by Angela Vandalis and Randal Hasson, is that it salutes lettering throughout the last 100 years.

Speedball Textbook 24th Ed, Cliff Mansley calligraphy of I Corinthians 13

Love bears all things from I Cor 13. Cliff Mansley’s calligraphy in the Speedball Textbook, 24th Ed.

In the front you’ll find a fold out page featuring the covers of 24 past editions of the Speedball Textbook. It moves on to Tools, Tips and Techniques, lettering styles through the ages (pointed pen, broad-edged, brush, hand drawn, etc.), commercial lettering and so much more. If you’re a lover of letters you’ll want a copy!¬†Order from www.JohnNealBooks.com or www.PaperInkArts.com two small businesses that cater to the Lettering and Book Arts community.

Speedball Textbook 24th Ed with Cliff Mansley flourished title

Bottom right: Flourished title of a poem about Scout Leader’s Wives. Lettering/Flourishing by Cliff Mansley, Sr.

Speedball Textbook 24th Edition featuring Holly Monroe's flourishing instructions.

Holly Monroe’s mini-course in flourishing appearing in the Speedball Textbook, 24th Edition, 2015, page 55. For a more comprehensive weekend workshop, FANTASTIC FLOURISHES, contact Letters@HollyMonroe.com.

Ziller of Kansas City – (Sundays with Steve)

Say hello to my dear friend, Stephen A. Ziller, Sr. better known as Ziller of Kansas City. Steve now resides in Cincinnati, OH and I have the privilege of visiting with him on Sundays. He is well known in the calligraphy world for his formulation of Ziller Ink and for his five self instruction books “At Home with Artistic Penwork.” Business Writing, Artistic Writing, Card Writing, Engrossing Alphabets and Bird and Design Flourishing. These books are still being published! He is truly ‘the old Master Penman.”

Ziller of Kansas City

About 10 years ago, just after Steve and wife Della, moved to Cincinnati, Tom McKeirnan spotted my “Falling In Love” design on the back of a magazine. Tom has been a client of mine, Steve went to Tom’s church. Tom, knowing us both, introduced us over lunch and a visit to my studio. (Thanks Tom!)¬† Steve and I have been friends ever since.

Steve and I visit on Sunday’s in his retirement home….we speak about calligraphy, politics, the stock market (which he still follows), spiritual matters, aches and pains and his ever probing question…”how is your love life?”

I hope that I can grow old as gracefully as Steve has. His 98th birthday was celebrated in August. He has an ever present optimistic attitude and cheery disposition.¬† Thank you Steve, for your contribution to the world in so many ways…..through your beautiful lettering, striving for excellence in all that you have done, your gracious family and your kindheartedness to all around you. You are loved!