A native of Buffalo, New York, Michael Sull is an American Master Penman whose work in the field of traditional handwriting has extended over a forty-year career. He is internationally recognized as the most significant American Penman of the past fifty years for his penmanship skills, authorship, and teaching efforts. A devoted chirographer, Michael’s activities have been innovative and instrumental in bringing back our handwriting heritage. He is widely regarded as the individual responsible for ushering in the new interest in American handwriting and reintroducing today’s generation of students to Spencerian penmanship.
Michael’s interest in calligraphy began shortly after he completed his service in the US Navy in 1973. He founded the Tidewater Calligraphy Guild in 1978 in Virginia Beach, Virginia and subsequently met veteran Master Penmen Isaac Weldon Bullock, David Fairbanks, and Paul O’Hara. At age ninety, Mr. O’Hara at the time was the last living Master Penman from American’s Golden Age of Penmanship [1950-1925]. These individuals became Michael’s mentors, and over the next few years they encouraged him to share his new knowledge and skills with others so that American history of Penmanship would not remain forgotten. To this end, Michael has dedicated his career.
His achievements over the next several decades have been unprecedented and substantial: 1981-1986 staff lettering artist, Hallmark Cards; founder and director, Spencerian Saga Workshop Program, 1987-2012; president, International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting [IAMPETH], 2001; founder and director, IAMPETH Master Penman Program, 2001-2015; personal calligrapher to former President Ronald Reagan, 1990-2003; founder, the Spencerian Monument for American Handwriting, 2012; author: Spencerian Script and Ornamental Penmanship, Learning to Write Spencerian Script, Spencerian Practice Set, Penmanship Poetry: Tales and Legends from a Lost Era, The Art of Cursive Penmanship, and American Cursive Handwriting. Since 2010, he has served as Zaner-Bloser Corporate Master Penman and has been featured in Pen World International Magazine. At present has been working on his forth-coming new book, Sull’s Manual of Advanced Penmanship, scheduled for publication in July of 2023.
Michael’s teaching efforts have been extensive. Since 1985 he has taught American Penmanship in over forty states and eighteen foreign countries: more than any other person in our country’s history. He is also known for his handmade oblique penholders, personally crafting more than seven-thousand of these writing instruments in the past thirty-five years. His writing skills are highly sought after as private commissions, and examples of his Spencerian and Ornamental Penmanship can be found in the personal collections around the world.
A renowned Penman respected for his teaching ability and writing skill, Michael Sull is a singular figure in today’s renaissance of interest in American Penmanship.