Thursday, December 10, 2009


A weathergram is a small work of art done on a 10" x 2 1/2" strip of Kraft paper or paper bag. It's meant to be hung outside from a solstice to solstice or equinox to equinox. It's meant to weather, become one with nature, and ephemeral. Weathergrams were introduced to the US by Oregon calligrapher, Lloyd Reynolds back in the late 1970's. They are based on an Oriental tradition.

Traditional weathergrams have a short poem or quote written on them. The topic usually is something to do with weather or nature. The poem begins with a versal, usually in red, freely written Italic and the artist includes his/her chop.

The weathergram pictured is not traditional. (I rarely make traditional weathergrams). It was made in memory of Ann of the Tassels who passed away last month after a long battle with breast cancer. Her family has requested them and they will be displayed in the family yard. Ann would have liked that.

Like most calligraphers, I first met Ann through Cyberscribes, an online calligraphy discussion group. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at Odyssey 2001, the international calligraphy conference in Boston, Massachusetts and again at Legacies 2005 in Dallas, Texas. The weathergram captures my first impression of Ann. She was such a free spirit. Her red hair was quite short except for a small braid at the nape of her neck. The weathergram reads "Free Spirit" done in Cardinal Red Ziller's Ink, Weaver Writing using a Nikko G nib.


  1. If you use paper bag, won't it get wet and soggy? I'm just curious if I attempt this with my kids what would happen after the long winter. Or is that the point, that it disintigrates?

    And what a beautiful way to remember her and "let her go" back to the earth.

  2. What a beautiful tribute! Did I meet her? She seems familiar.

  3. Surprisingly Jody, the paper bag hold up remarkably well. Though the idea is for the weathergram to become one with nature. If the bag rips, is blown away, or fades, that's what it is meant to do.

  4. Nutter, you might have met Ann when we were viewing the envelopes and faculty exhibit. I think she had taken a turn to watch over the faculty works

  5. What a beautiful tribute. I've never heard of this tradition. Thanks!

  6. This is a cool idea. And I'm glad it was confirmed that the family had requested them.

    And trust you not to do anything the 'traditional' way, you outlaw! LOL