Calligraphy writers are one of the most respected artists in Islamic society, and this still happens in many places today. Their status is based on the superiority of their work, and also on the excellence of their teachers. Making a literary tradition developed in which the history of calligraphy is understood as a chain of transmission between master and student, which covers a very long period.
Calligraphy writing training can take years, with students learning to copy exactly the model provided by the teacher. Only when the student has mastered the principles in this way can he be the primary author who is trained as a calligraphy writer, then becomes the master and starts creating new work. Therefore, learning calligraphy is similar to internships in other jobs.
Many people who study calligraphy are satisfied to stop their training when they know enough and are able to make a living as copyists. Printing was introduced into the Islamic world gradually between the 18th and 20th centuries but the majority of books continued to be produced by hand for most of the Islamic period. Not all copyists are calligraphers, and many books are copied in an immaculate personal style that does not comply with a set of rules. A book that is copied well and clearly makes it a valuable piece of art.
And other writers study calligraphy to enter certain professions, such as the chancellor’s clerk. These people copy official documents for the country, using different script styles. Some examples can be very impressive, and it’s generally that the advantages and complexity of writing reflect the status of the document.
Calligraphers who developed the most produced the most elegant manuscripts. Their work is expensive and they generally work on commissions from community members. The best are often used in state departments aimed at the production of books and related tasks. After the text is complete, the book is finished by other artists and craftsmen who are employed there, resulting in a decoration that is painted.
The best calligraphers are also assigned to make compositions that can be executed in other media. This is a different task than copying continuous text in a text. Calligraphy writers must remember the available space and design letters to fill the space in a balanced manner and in accordance with the rules for the script style. Calligraphers will arrange the design on paper to be transferred to a new medium.
These designs and other single sheets produced by great calligraphers are often preserved so that they can be copied by the next generation. Later, they are collected into albums to be appreciated by lovers. Calligraphy writers began producing special single sheets to be included in the album. Even then, it became a habit to hang calligraphy on the walls of the house, by making paintings.
Calligraphers have found other ways to make money, and together with fees from teaching and commissions for inscriptions, this has enabled some extraordinary calligraphers to remain independent. This is also how calligraphers often work today.
Calligraphy writers are respected artists in Islamic society. Their status is based on the superiority of their work, also on the excellence of their teachers. Making a literary tradition where the history of calligraphy is understood as a chain of transmission between master and student, which covers a very long period.