July 09, 2021

Maker Spotlight: Calligraphy Kit


by Kris Hurst

Are you interested in trying something new but don’t want to invest in all the materials or equipment? Ignite Studio is the perfect place to try your hand at a new artistic medium by checking out one of our kits. Our kits are stocked with all the items you will need to get started. Our featured maker’s exploration of the calligraphy kit led her to start her own business! Devonna Miltenberger answered some questions about her art journey and new business.

When did you first become interested in making things?

I first became interested in making things when I was little. I loved to make things with beads when I was a kid. My grandma always set up craft tables for my cousins and me in her garage.  Such fond memories!

Do you have any formal training or are you self-taught?

I check out calligraphy books at the Hamilton East Public Library. I buy books, and I watch classes and videos online to teach myself. I went to Herron School of Art for a year and then switched to elementary education.

What kind of things do you currently make? What are your favorite types of things to make?

I make greeting cards in calligraphy.  My favorite type of things to make are watercolor paintings of various colleges (Ball State, IU, Purdue). And I do sketches of different landmarks at the colleges.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from quotes, Bible verses, song lyrics, books, favorite places I’ve been, and quotes from podcasts.  I do words in calligraphy in the shape of animals or other things. I love decorating envelopes to mail cards to family and friends. I like to put old postage stamps on the envelopes too.

How long has it taken you to feel confident in your making abilities?

I’m still not where I want to be.  I think I’ll always be learning. There is so much to study and experience.  There are different pens, nibs, paper and ideas!

When did you decide to turn “making” into a business or sell items that you have made?

I decided to make one of my paintings into a greeting card and then sell it on Etsy. It took off from there! My website is called “Gifts That Give Studio” because I donate the money I make.  My plan is to have many artists with art for sale on my website with a drop-down menu of where you have options to donate the money.

What is the business side of art making like?

The techy part is definitely not my favorite. I want my customers to be happy, and I will go above and beyond to make things right. I love it when I get good feedback. If something goes wrong I try not to get too stressed but use it as a learning experience. I promote my art on Instagram.

What drew you to the Ignite Studio?

I love to learn and make new things. I started doing calligraphy during the pandemic at the Ignite Studio. I would take my kids to do different kits, and I checked out a lettering/calligraphy kit. It is so meditative and relaxing. I asked my husband for a calligraphy kit for Christmas, and I love it!

How has the Ignite Studio helped you further your goals in art and making?

It has helped me tremendously. I wouldn’t have been interested in calligraphy or started a business if I hadn’t tried calligraphy at Ignite!

How easy or hard was it to learn the equipment you use in Ignite?

When I checked out the calligraphy kit, I just went to the table and read some of the worksheets with the kit.  The last time I was there, I wanted some specific paper for the bookmaking kit. The staff was very helpful and gave me some to use. A couple years ago, I got certified on the laser engraver, vinyl cutter and heat press. Everyone is always happy to help.

Any advice for those interested in making things?

If you want to try something new don’t be afraid to check out the Ignite Studio. I have my favorite websites and people I follow.

Come into Ignite to discover your next maker adventure! Don’t forget to share your makes with us on our Ignite Community Discussion Board on Facebook. Happy making!