The Art of the Handwritten Word

The Art of the Handwritten Word

When Mary Crandall was living in the UK she noticed that everyone around her was writing notes, sending beautiful and thoughtful messages of thanks for kind gestures, gifts, dinner parties. You name it, and afterwards, there was a thoughtful note written on beautiful paper. 

Whether it was simply etiquette, habit, or kindness, Mary was enamoured. She thought of the notes she’d received in her own life, as well as the letters that were a part of her family history; her father had penned letters to his older sister when he was stationed in Africa. Those letters were a window into a moment in time, allowing Mary to see the world through the eyes of her 20-something-year-old father. 

IBien Ecrit Stationery sets available at The Drawing Room, New Bedford, MAnspired by these handwritten notes, past and present, Mary became a collector of fine paper, letters and stories, eventually making her own notecards. What was first a hobby, soon became her stationery line and business “Bien Ecrit,” which is French for well written.

Taking antique engravings and motifs from old books and papers, Mary manipulates the drawings into new patterns and renders them in classic, understated colors on high quality paper, creating notecards, holiday cards, gift enclosures, personalized stationery, and desk accessories.

“When you receive an email, it has a way of disappearing into the ether,” Mary said. “A handwritten note is a wonderful way to communicate in a lasting way.”

Mary’s noticed that businesses are choosing to differentiate themselves by sending thoughtful cards and notes to their customers, taking the time to create a human connection in an often digital world. She also sees parents giving their children notecard sets or monogrammed stationery to help them get in the habit of writing thank you notes from a young age.

She notes that a handwritten message is powerful for the intended recipient as well as the author.

“You have to take a moment to pause and reflect, thinking through what you want to write and how to express to someone, ‘you’re special to me.’”

When was the last time you sat down to write a letter to a loved one or a thank you note to a friend? How did you feel the last time you received a handwritten note? You can recapture those feelings of warmth and gratitude by simply picking up a pen, a piece of stationery, and beginning to write. 


Mary Crandall of Bien Ecrit StationeryJoin Mary Crandall at The Drawing Room on October 1st from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to learn about her personalized stationery collection, now available at The Drawing Room!

This event is free and open to the public.