Lucy Edmonds: the Londoner reviving the art of calligraphy

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

Meet Lucy Edmonds, the woman behind Quill London – home of one of the city’s newest and coolest calligraphy workshops, and makers of some of the prettiest stationary you ever did see. Lucy is passionate about making this age-old traditional part of people’s everyday repertoire of skills.

Where do you call home?

Brockley, South-East London

Why is calligraphy, or the art of letter writing, important to you?

Admittedly I’m not brilliant at letter-writing myself – I’d love to be better at it. However, I do think that commemorating an occasion with a card or hand-written note – rather than an email or text – is a lovely tradition that should be preserved. I love looking back at cards I’ve been sent, and I’d hate for that to die out. Hand-written thank you notes for gifts and weekend stays shouldn’t be neglected either. It shows an appreciation that can’t be conveyed digitally.

Letter writing with Quill London

What could we expect to learn at a Modern Calligraphy workshop?

Quill London’s modern calligraphy workshops are great fun and perfect for beginners. We introduce you to the basics, from how to use your pen, nib and ink, to writing different letterforms. We also show you how you can start to develop your own style, as that’s really the joy of modern calligraphy – it’s expressive and you can make it your own. By the end of the beginners class you’ll be able to write a word or short phrase confidently. Modern calligraphy is a lot harder than it looks and it takes time to practice and perfect, so we give you the know-how you need to develop your style in your own time. It’s worth persevering as it’s a lovely skill to have!

Calligraphy for Beginners


Tell us about a day in the life of the Quill London team?

We’re a very small team so we all get stuck in. Our day always starts, most importantly, with a cup of tea. In the morning we’re responding to customer enquiries and packing up orders to send out, as well as sorting out any workshops we might have that week. Afternoons are spent progressing new projects, such as planning new workshops, working on our in-house stationery collections, and sourcing new brands for the store – all accompanied by more cups of tea of course!

Any new projects you’re working on?

We’ve just opened a new store showcasing our personalised stationary collections, some of our online stock, as well as other Quill products soon to be launched. The shop will play host to all our current workshops, plus a host of new ones coming later this year, including on chalkboard lettering, sign-writing, origami wallhangings and marbling.

Quill London Shop

Is collaboration important to you? 

Collaboration is so important to us. It’s inspiring to work with like-minded people, aspiring to the same goal and making it happen. Plus we know our strengths and weaknesses, and it’s also great to team up with people that are fantastic at the things that we’re not.

We recently launched our personalised notebook collection, in collaboration with British stationery brand StudioSarah. We worked with Sarah on an exclusive set of colourways for our notebooks, and we monogram them with customers’ initials. We’ve been inundated with requests since we launched them a few weeks ago, it’s been so exciting!

Any tips for keeping stationery organised/tidy?

No – tell me when you find out!  I embrace the chaos.

Name one stationery item you couldn’t live without?

I can’t do without a notebook. I love technology, but digital list-making just doesn’t work for me.

Notebook khoollection from Quill London

Best Kept Secrets

I khoollect a few … 

In general I’m quite a minimalist and don’t have much ‘stuff’, but I do hang on to menus from restaurants I’ve gone to on special occasions, as well as cards and bits of stationery picked up on trips to Japan. Also, I can never resist lovely glass drinking tumblers.

Favourite corner of the Internet?

Does Netflix count?!

With time rarely on my side, I prefer the immediacy of images – Instagram, Pinterest, blogs like AnOther magazine, Cereal, and whatever rabbit holes they might lead down.

Inspire us with your most incredible holiday memory?

The furthest I’ve been is New Zealand and, as I was only three years old at the time, I don’t remember much. But I do have this incredible memory of being surrounded by glow-worms in a dark cave.

I haven’t been yet but I’m incredibly excited about spending this Christmas and New Year in the Swedish and Finnish arctic.

A life lesson that you’d tell your younger self?

Don’t worry so much, it’s all going to be ok!

Khoollect meets the Londoner behind Quill London

What’s your secret ingredient or top tip in the kitchen?

I seem to find a way to put fennel seeds in almost everything! I especially love it in a bolognese – I always sprinkle a few in when frying off the onions.

Urban Favourites

Top three specialty/design stores in London?

I could buy everything in TwentyTwentyOne.  Luna and Curious for quirky colourful pieces and Darkroom for all things geometric and monochrome.

Where to find the best cup of coffee in London?

I prefer tea – I’ve been drinking Choi Time green tea for ten years.

Most beautiful outdoor space?

I recently discovered the gardens at the Horniman in Dulwich – a beautiful surprise.

What to do on a rainy day?

Dive into the V&A in London – there are always interesting nooks and crannies. Or I’ll happily spend a wet weekend tucked up watching old movies and finding new inspiration in my pile of well-thumbed magazines

Where to spend a Sunday morning?

Sunday mornings are for brunch with friends

Best place for fresh produce?

I still love Borough Market.

Interested in learning more about mastering the art of calligraphy? Get the details on Quill London‘s calligraphy workshops and read about Khoollect’s first-hand experience.

Quill London, 37 Amwell Street, London, EC1R 1UR

Find Quill on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

Have you tried your hand at calligraphy? Tell us in the comments below how you got on.

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