Ken Brown discovered an early love for letter forms in the sixth grade in Hugo, Oklahoma. There was never an art class, poster project, or anything resembling hand-lettering in Ken's high school, but his constant awareness of local billboards and hand-lettered signs on business windows and doors fascinated him.
After three semesters of engineering prerequiste courses at Oklahoma State University, Ken enrolled in a freshman architectural design class. He loved the hand-lettering on the projects done by the students in that chosen field of study and decided to change his major.
In 1969 he was hired by WFAA TV in Dallas, on the strength of his Calligraphic skills. His job was in promotion and later production at the ABC Television affiliate. Moonlighting continued to the point of overtaking his every moment not at the tv station. The experience in that business became invaluable in future endeavors.
Eleven years after that college class, Ken had honed his skill to the point that his Calligraphy moonlighting efforts were paying off handsomely...enough that he gave up steady paychecks. His final job as a paid employee was at WFAA TV. While there, Ken continued to do Calligraphy every spare moment. He left television to become a full-time professional Calligrapher on Labor Day, 1972.
In 1983, the pen company, HUNT MANUFACTURING, funded KEN BROWN'S CALLIGRAPHY FOR EVERYONE on Public Television. Ken created and hosted the programs that ran in over 100 U.S. television markets from 1984 through 1996. He was the first person ever to teach an ongoing series in Calligraphy.
In 1992 a dentist, Utah's Dr. Lew Jensen, attending one of Ken's Calligraphy Workshops at a California art symposium, suggested Ken get a dental drill and learn how to use it for his elegant penmanship. Within a few months Dr. Jensen sent, gratis, the full engraving system to Ken. It took him 11 months to translate his unique method of using a few common strokes over and over to create all the letters in the alphabet.....and do it with a dental drill!
Ken's first official Calligraphy Engraving event was in November, 1993. Since that time he has done almost 1000 public, on-site events engraving fragrance bottles, crystal, knives, guns, wine, and spirits in a wide variety of retail stores.
The popularity and demand for his unique combination of the 300,000 rpm drill and professional-grade Calligraphy, exploded after several years of his events all over the U.S. and Canada.
In 2000, the ESTEE LAUDER Corporation in New York, after about 3 years of their booking him for special events in Oklahoma and Texas, asked Ken to teach others so they would have access to other engravers Ken had trained. He agreed.
His students from across the globe number only a few over 500.. People continue to come learn from the one who started a quiet revolution in the art of personalizing almost anything with a dental drill and a simple hand-lettering technique.
Ken and his wife, Gail, live and operate their business and Workshops in McKinney, Texas, near Dallas.
In 2011, Ken had a booth offering his Calligraphy with a dental drill, personalizing wine bottles and wine glasses at The State Fair of Texas.
Honing his skills with a flat brush in 1970.
With a student in a recent engraving workshop.
One of a 5-day engraving event schedule at SAM'S CLUB in Dallas, Texas.