Bamboo with natural handle makes perfect calligraphy brushes

An artist at the University of Wisconsin needed some small diameter bamboo to use for calligraphy brushes.  

She wrote to say:  I teach art classes at UWLa Crosse in Wisconsin. Next semester I would like to demonstrate the use of handmade brushes and have the graphic design classes make their own brushes to explore calligraphy and hand designed lettering. It might be a good experience for the students to get away from the computer for a while.   

We suggested using the bottom portion of our homegrown Phyllostachy aurea bamboo (Chunky Monkey aka Golden Bamboo or Fishpole Bamboo) because that variety has a natural "handle" created by close, irregularly shaped culm sections.

Chunky Monkey bamboo grows much larger in cold climates than it does in Central Florida's semi-tropical temperatures.  The bamboo pictured here is domestically grown but not homegrown.  The diameter of our homegrown Phyllostachy aurea about half the diameter - the perfect size for a calligraphy brush project.
We shipped a box filled with the uniquely shaped poles and received an email back from our customer once the project was completed.

Notice the same uniquely shaped nodes as in the larger, domestically grown bamboo of the same species.
Hi Sherry,
I purchased some of your bamboo a while back to make calligraphy brushes. The bamboo is great and I made some wonderful brushes. Here are a few pictures when the bamboo was still green. I wish it would stay that way but it's changing into a beautiful golden color - which I like as well. Thank you for picking out some narly pieces for me. I'll be ready to order more soon.  -Stella

Bamboo is an amazing plant.  It is so versatile, functional and aesthetically pleasing.

A table full of calligraphy brushes

The finished product...so pretty!  Just looking at them makes me wish I could pick one up to just hold in my hand!



  1. Bamboo has been used in different art techniques for ages. I see that it also fits in calligraphy writing. Great idea.

  2. It's amazing information for me at least, till now, I thought that bamboo is used for the landscaping purposes only, but today I come to know that it can also be used in Calligraphy.

  3. That is good. Bamboo can make a lots of products like chairs, bed, cabinets and even house. Good to know that it is now can deal with calligraphy brushes. Thank you for the info.