Carla Hackett and Barbara Enright met back in 2013 through mutual friends and bonded over their love of letters and being left-handed. Carla immediately asked Barbara if she could teach her the art of brush lettering. At the time, she had just started her own lettering business and had been dabbling in drawing lettering with pens, pencils and chalk. After giving Carla a private lesson, Barbara became her mentor and what has developed is a flourishing relationship with the two now collaborating on commercial projects and delivering workshops in Sydney and Melbourne.
In the past two years, they have taken on the mission to teach this lost art to anyone willing to listen, seeing the massive comeback of hand-crafted, original lettering that simply cannot be created by a machine.
Barbara has been practising lettering since 1967 – when being a ‘Showcard & Ticketwriter’ was still an actual occupation. Barbara produced thousands of tickets and showcards for Myer Melbourne, Grace Bros. and other retail outlets in Sydney. She started her own sign and screen printing studio producing retail and promotional signage for many years. Even when the digital wave came through, Barbara was still asked to create signs by hand for those who appreciated the skill.
Carla works out of a shared studio space called Little Gold Studios in Brunswick, Melbourne. She focuses exclusively on creating lettering for a large range of clients, including Westfield, Tiffany & Co and Frankie Magazine. Barbara has completely changed the track of Carla’s business. She is now using her brush lettering skills that Barbara has taught her for most the of the projects she does. She feels very lucky to have Barbara’s wealth of knowledge as a mentor not only for lettering, but for business decisions as well.
The workshops that Carla and Barbara host are different from other lettering workshops; the lettering is crafted solely by hand using a special Sable hair lettering brush. This brush is more versatile than other brushes as you can create a chisel or pointed tip to achieve different lettering styles, something you can’t do with most disposable pens. Her decades of practice show her master skills as she can create the most beautiful lettering designs in a matter of seconds.