A Christmas Present–from Kalmykia

When the Endangered Alphabets team was at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival this summer in Washington D.C., the tent next to ours was occupied by singers and dancers of the Kalmyk Republic, also known as Kalmykia. The Kalmyks, who originally came … Read More

Can You Identify This?

Our calligrapher/printer/artist extraordinaire Jamie Kutner was in a vintage store in Baton Rouge the other day and found this remarkable relic. She discovered it’s a blood chit–that is, a document that pilots would carry in World War II to alert … Read More

Lessons from Ottawa, Part Three: Numbers Don’t Lie

Between October 2-4, a group of some of the world’s top experts on indigenous languages met in Ottawa under the auspices of the Foundation for Endangered Languages. Some of the research presented at the conference is of direct and urgent relevance … Read More

Lessons from Ottawa, Part One

Between October 2-4, a group of some of the world’s top experts on indigenous languages met in Ottawa under the auspices of the Foundation for Endangered Languages. Some of the research presented at the conference is of direct and urgent … Read More

The Death of the Traditional Urdu Script

Terrence Sehr just sent me an article by Ali Eteraz on the decline and endangerment of the traditional Urdu script called nastaliq. It’s a great article, and it parallels what has been happening with both Chinese and Arabic–namely, the movement away … Read More

Here At Last: Photos of the Incredible Balinese-Blessing Dining Table

Yes, thanks to the wonderful photography of Tom Way, who even helped me carry the table up the impossibly steep and rickety staircase to his studio, you can finally see the dining table I started more than a year ago. … Read More

Twin Chams

Here’s the latest Endangered Alphabets commission, a highly suitable wedding present. This is a gift for two people, recently married, whose initials are M and B. The carvings are in the wonderfully springy and energetic Cham script from western Vietnam, … Read More

Off to Ottawa

I’ve been icing my knee in the hope it’ll hold out for the five-hour drive to the annual Foundation for Endangered Languages (FEL) conference in Ottawa. Presentation on Thursday, amputation on Friday. Seriously, though, I’m looking forward to meeting a … Read More

By the Time We Got to Woodstock

Well, no, not that Woodstock, but Woodstock, Vermont, and the Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival, an annual treat. The day was a great success, with much encouragement, some excellent new connections, some book sales, some carving sales, some commissions, and the … Read More

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