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Copperplate Calligraphy Retreat 2021

Copperplate Calligraphy Retreat

  • Labour Day Long Weekend 2021
  • 6pm Friday March 5th — 2.30pm Monday March 8th
  • From: $790 – $995 AUD



In this 15-hour calligraphy retreat, you’ll learn the foundations of Copperplate calligraphy, starting from the basic strokes of the lowercase alphabet to the fancier swashes of its capital letters. Then, we’ll move into flourishes and monoline applications before adapting our wrist pressure to softer tools such as Pentel Touch pens and Aquash water brushes. You will share this calligraphy retreat with 9 other students. By the end of the weekend, you’ll have three calligraphy pieces completed: two short text ones and a longer piece.

What’s included?

  • — Daily Copperplate calligraphy tuition, worksheets and materials
  • — Accommodation for 3 nights within the Riverdale property
  • — Vegetarian catered meals, along with light snacks and warm beverages
  • — Restorative morning yoga (optional)
  • and some Spanish for sure!

Who is this retreat for?

This calligraphy retreat is for beginners and seasoned letterers who are looking to refine their skills. Graphic designers with an interest in typography will get a lot out of this retreat.

Left: Pentel Aquash brush. Centre: Monoline. Right: Pentel Touch florishes



Learn, relax and be inspired at Riverdale in the beautiful Yarra Valley, only one hour by car from Melbourne CBD.

This 15 acre slice of heaven is a place for relaxation and creativity where a group of 11 people will come together to learn calligraphy, create and share experiences.

You will be staying in a nurturing and genuine environment. Riverdale is more than a retreat, it is a place for connecting with yourself and getting inspired embraced by the exquisite and unmistakeable power of nature.

The House, Cottage and the Space are seamlessly integrated into the landscape, nestled into a 2 acre flower and orchard garden with the Warburton mountains providing a stunning backdrop.  


Calligraphy Retreat in Riverdale

Accommodation options

There are 5 bedrooms that can comfortably sleep up to 10 people.  

· Private double bed (sleeps 1per) — $995

· Twin shared room (sleeps 2ppl) — $920

· Dormitory beds (sleeps 4ppl) — $865

· Off-site accommodation — $790



All bedrooms have comfortable mattresses, and quality bed linen is provided. All rooms are fitted with hydronic heaters.

There is a fully equipped kitchen, three shared bathrooms, a dining area and large living area with an open fireplace.




All food is vegetarian catered by En Casa Cooking Space. Any special dietary requirements can be catered for with prior notice.

Our menu reflects simple, creative, fresh and delicious food, with a personal fusion of Australian and Spanish cuisine.


Calligraphy retreat in Riverdale

Prices and inclusions

For my first calligraphy retreat in Australia, I have decided to go for comfort instead of luxury. This means sharing your room and three bathrooms with other students. The venue where I am hosting the retreat is solar powered and requires a responsible use of water. The retreat ticket price is based on room size.

Retreat costs for individual and twin shared rooms

March 2021 Program

From 6pm Friday March 5th to 2.30pm Monday March 8th

Payment Schedule

  • 1) AUD $100 non-refundable deposit assures you a spot, if the class is not already full.
  • 2) Additional fee for 3 days and 3 nights, full board, gentle beginner yoga and calligraphy tuition due by December 31, 2020.


Terms and Conditions

The additional fee is refundable only if you cancel before December 31, 2020. If you find someone to take  your place, she/he must send a $100 deposit, and your additional fee will be applied to that person.

Testimonials 2020

“Attended Maria Montes’ first Calligraphy retreat and had high expectations given Maria’s talent but was blown away. Incredible teaching and so much knowledge shared, great location, wonderful people, food to die for and just the perfect environment – a big thank you from me. Well done Maria.” Hilary Knights

“I enjoyed my 3days 3 nights retreat with Maria and also the group of people I met, the classes are very informative, hands on and also professional, Maria gave each of us time for one on one coaching and also ideas on our final piece. The place is great, food is wonderful and also daily yoga to energise me throughout the day. It was a great experience and i will definitely want to join again :)” Mei Yan Lee

“I recently attended Maria’s excellent Copperplate Calligraphy Retreat at Riverdale, just outside of Melbourne. Not only is Maria a master at her craft; she is also an excellent teacher and was able to cater for a wide range of student backgrounds and abilities. The retreat itself was wonderfully planned with amazing accomodation, delicious meals and endless supplies of tea, coffee and snacks to keep us going! Alongside the expert Calligraphy tuition, Maria kept us entertained with many stories of her experiences in the field as well as historical facts which helped to explain various aspects of the letter forms and construction. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her workshops to anyone with the slightest interest in calligraphy or lettering (or even if you don’t, you will by the end of the class!). Thanks again Maria :)” Emma Rowland

Not quite ready yet?

If you cannot make it this time but would like to be notified of the next calligraphy retreats, please follow the link below to subscribe to my mailing list. Expect to hear from me six times a year.  

About the Teacher


My name is Maria Montes and I am a Melbourne based multilingual, multicultural letterer and designer with endless passion and determination.  

I learnt calligraphy for the first time in 1996. After a long break working as a full time digital graphic designer, I went back to study calligraphy, lettering, typography and typeface design in Barcelona and New York City under the tuition of Keith AdamsAmanda AdamsOriol MiróLaura MeseguerIñigo JerezJose Manuel UrósCara Di EdwardoSumner StoneJean François Porchez and Stéphane Elbaz among others.  

All my lettering projects start with my own calligraphy as a base. Writing letters teaches me how to look at letterforms and understand its rhythm and contrast.  

Illustration, typography, lettering and calligraphy are my passion and the best tools for me as a designer to communicate. I feel that the more I understand how to use these tools, the better designer I will become.

  I have been teaching calligraphy courses from my studio in Melbourne since 2014, and I’m very proud of it. Special THANKS to everyone who has been part of my workshops, YOU are supporting a freelance artist and designer to keep on going, growing and becoming a better educator.


Copperplate Calligraphy Retreat 2020

These are a few images from my first calligraphy retreat in Australia. Watch the complete photo gallery here.