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How my copperplate is Progressing


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17 replies to this topic

#1 vermiculus

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 20:40

Well, by now I can see the limitations of my copperplate for the most part, but it's nice to post every now and again to show off how things are going. So, here are a sample of my practising - words off the top of my head, and an alphabet - and also, some notes taken during a very slow lecture!

These are fairly quickly-written examples, but they show the level of my skill when informal. In a while if there's interest I'll post some attempts at perfection!

As always, it's nice to see comparisons and hear feedback.

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#2 Ann Finley

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 03:48

Looks like your practice is paying off nicely!

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#3 ToughHouseRook

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 16:15

Looks pretty good, how long have you been practicing?
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#4 aNONIEmous

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 21:33

Yeah, how long have you been practicing? I've only just gotten to writing the letters as I mentioned before but I'm still only doing miniscule "a" and it's been a week thus far. I write a few that are OK and then I write one that I'm really pleased with...and then a few lousy ones before I surprise myself with one I like. I think I am getting better though...except for the big drops of ink that punctuate my work every now and then. *sigh* (see attachment)

BTW, I think you're doing very well! Does your arm get tired when you write so much? And you say you wrote it fairly fast? drool.gif Oh, if only my notes looked so neat and beautiful when I was in school.

Can someone please help me? I seem to recall a mention of a disposable flex nib pen. Why disposable? Because I'm not ready to invest in a good pen, but I do want to be able to practice whenever I find myself somewhere where I have to wait--like a doctor's office or bus stop. I'm still so clumsy with the dip pen so want to reserve that for home practice. So please, any suggestions on a portable flex pen that doesn't cost over $100? Your help will be deeply appreciate. (caliken, forgive me for I lost the paper where I wrote your suggestion and can't seem to find the post anymore. embarrassed_smile.gif )

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Edited by aNONIEmous, 25 October 2008 - 05:29.


#5 Ken Fraser

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 07:57

QUOTE (vermiculus @ Oct 23 2008, 09:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well, by now I can see the limitations of my copperplate for the most part, but it's nice to post every now and again to show off how things are going. So, here are a sample of my practising - words off the top of my head, and an alphabet - and also, some notes taken during a very slow lecture!

These are fairly quickly-written examples, but they show the level of my skill when informal. In a while if there's interest I'll post some attempts at perfection!

As always, it's nice to see comparisons and hear feedback.

IMHO this is beautiful, flowing, flex writing. Overall it looks nice on the page, with even flexing and slope. Also, your flourishing adds to the effect and isn't overwhelming, as can so easily be the case - very attractive!

It's more personal than formal copperplate, and none the worse for that.

I would certainly be interested in seeing some of your more formal work.

caliken

Edited by caliken, 25 October 2008 - 14:18.

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fpn_1396100240__sig_strip_300p.jpg


#6 Ken Fraser

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 10:40

You've made a great start, aNONIEmous! You've already got the hang of when to apply pressure and when to release it. I think that your very first 'a' is particularly good - most impressive. As you know, Dick Jackson's method uses seven basic strokes which cover most of the minuscule letters, so once you've mastered these, you can write most of the letters.

There are no disposable flex-nibbed pens - if there were, I'd be first in the queue!

For practicing away from a desk, I've been using Joe Vitolos' "Oblique pencil" method for some time, now.
If you go to the IAMPETH site and click on - "videos - advanced concepts - the oblique pencil", you'll find a video clip of how to make and use one. The "Hourglass Adjustable Oblique Holder" designed by Joe Vitolo ($39.95 from Paper & Ink Arts) is capable of holding leads and the smallest nibs as well as the large ones.

Using the Oblique pencil means that you can practice at any time and anywhere. You can develop a good feeling for all of the strokes with no mess...and you will have arguably the finest oblique holder ever devised. It may not directly help your writing development, but it certainly looks and feels good! (no affiliation etc. just a delighted customer!)
I've just realized that I'm using it in my avatar photo!

Keep up the good work!

caliken

Edited by caliken, 25 October 2008 - 22:51.

Available at :   www.kenfrasercalligrapher.com

 

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#7 tipstricks

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 11:06

Maybe aNONIEmous refers to the Ackerman pump pens?
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=78813

Many compliments to vermiculus, your samples are very delightful. I like specially the second one, and I find your flourishing well proportioned to the writing style.

#8 aNONIEmous

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 18:36

Aaaah...tipstricks, I thank you. I believe that's what I had in mind. (Goes to show you just how much my tiny brain can retain. I must've confused that info with my excited discovery of the existence of disposable fountain pens....) I do like the idea of having ink in a pump and not a bottle. Now if only that came with an oblique nib.

caliken, you couldn't be more "write" about the oblique holder from Paper and Ink Arts. I'm still a bit rough on the edges on keeping the angle of the pen to the paper as low as possible--a long way from ballpoint pen writing--but I do see why an oblique holder is better than a straight holder for writing Copperplate. Thanks also for the suggestion of the oblique pencils. I'm going to look up the references you mention.

#9 slqqqq

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 11:17

Wow, it is beautiful~~
Could you tell me where to learn it?
Thanks.
slqqqq
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If you have any problem with Chinese site, Chinese calligraphy or need translation, PM me. I am happy to translate for you.
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#10 vermiculus

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 11:49

Thanks all!

I'll post some more formal writing in the next day or so, when I get to my scanner. I've been learning slowly over the last few months - perhaps five? - and recently I wored out at last how to stop my ascenders shaking (mostly thanks to Caliken's videos).

At some point I'm going to get my hands on an oblique holder and give it a go; so far, I've been using only fountain pens. The samples above are done with the best setup I have, a very suitable Carey's 14k nib (from the early 1920s, I think) mounted into a Parkette Deluxe. I just got a large lot of pens for restoration though - most of them I'll put up for sale, but there are some very wonderful Swans I am very tempted by!

And slqqq - the best place to start learning on the internet is right here. Check out the links in the pinned posts, and start by copying some alphabets you'll find through those. After you've got the hang of the shapes, look at Caliken's Copperplace videos to get the stroke pattern and some of the finer points.

I wonder, Caliken, if you have any whole-alphabet samples for your copperplate, or your Gothic variant? Would love to see them if so!

#11 Ken Fraser

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 12:47

QUOTE (vermiculus @ Oct 26 2008, 11:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At some point I'm going to get my hands on an oblique holder and give it a go; so far, I've been using only fountain pens.


In your position, I'd buy an "Hourglass Adjustable Oblique Holder" from Paper & Ink Arts, some Gillott 303, Leonardt Principal EF or Brause 66EF nibs, a bottle of Higgins Eternal black ink and some smooth paper such as Character high white wove or Staples 80gsm.
Looking at the quality of your work, I'm sure that you wouldn't regret it and compared to good fountain pens, none of it costs a fortune. This particular oblique holder is, by far, the best I've ever tried and well worth the money.

Although it looks like an odd, awkward piece of equipment, the oblique holder is actually much easier to use for Copperplate and Spencerian than a straight pen, with much greater, easy flex.

If and when you do try it, check out the IAMPETH site for all you need to know about using the oblique holder with dip nibs.

I look forward to seeing more of your posts

caliken

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#12 aNONIEmous

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 17:47

QUOTE (slqqqq @ Oct 26 2008, 07:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow, it is beautiful~~
Could you tell me where to learn it?
Thanks.


Hi Slgggg,

I believe you can learn it from the Iampeth website or from a book that caliken recommends somewhere on the forum Copperplate Calligraphy by Dick Jackson. I am using this book to learn it and loving every minute of it. I have to warn you that it is a lot more difficult to write than any of the other hands I have tried, because instead of just holding the nib in one steady way and letting your hand glide to form the letters, you create the thickness and thinness of lines using the pressure of you hand. Mastering how to make that transition smooth and to do so at the right point so the letters are not approximations but really correctly done is what makes this hand a little tricky, but this "difficulty" also makes it lots of fun because you're always trying to improve with every practice. And what joy when you actually form a letter that looks right. I think you will have a blast learning it. I am. happyberet.gif


#13 slqqqq

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 11:31

QUOTE (aNONIEmous @ Oct 27 2008, 01:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Slgggg,

I believe you can learn it from the Iampeth website or from a book that caliken recommends somewhere on the forum Copperplate Calligraphy by Dick Jackson. I am using this book to learn it and loving every minute of it. I have to warn you that it is a lot more difficult to write than any of the other hands I have tried, because instead of just holding the nib in one steady way and letting your hand glide to form the letters, you create the thickness and thinness of lines using the pressure of you hand. Mastering how to make that transition smooth and to do so at the right point so the letters are not approximations but really correctly done is what makes this hand a little tricky, but this "difficulty" also makes it lots of fun because you're always trying to improve with every practice. And what joy when you actually form a letter that looks right. I think you will have a blast learning it. I am. happyberet.gif


And....I can't buy a suitable dip pen, can I practice using a italic nib?
slqqqq
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If you have any problem with Chinese site, Chinese calligraphy or need translation, PM me. I am happy to translate for you.
---------------------
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#14 vermiculus

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 11:46

QUOTE (slqqqq @ Oct 28 2008, 11:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (aNONIEmous @ Oct 27 2008, 01:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Slgggg,

I believe you can learn it from the Iampeth website or from a book that caliken recommends somewhere on the forum Copperplate Calligraphy by Dick Jackson. I am using this book to learn it and loving every minute of it. I have to warn you that it is a lot more difficult to write than any of the other hands I have tried, because instead of just holding the nib in one steady way and letting your hand glide to form the letters, you create the thickness and thinness of lines using the pressure of you hand. Mastering how to make that transition smooth and to do so at the right point so the letters are not approximations but really correctly done is what makes this hand a little tricky, but this "difficulty" also makes it lots of fun because you're always trying to improve with every practice. And what joy when you actually form a letter that looks right. I think you will have a blast learning it. I am. happyberet.gif


And....I can't buy a suitable dip pen, can I practice using a italic nib?


For copperplate, what you need is a flexible nib rather than an italic nib. Some info here: http://www.pentrace....e013101051.html

If you're looking to get a fountain pen for copperplate, an extra-fine point which flexes easily is what is important, to get the delicate hairlines needed. However, for this kind of pen it can be quite expensive - usually starting from not less than £20, up to many hundreds for a nice old Wahl!

Edit: I have seen people write in a copperplate style with an italic nib. I have to say I personally don't like the results, but there it is.

Edited by vermiculus, 28 October 2008 - 11:47.


#15 janzjewelz

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 12:01

I am in the process of teaching myself copperplate from Eleanor Winter's book. I just love it so much. I've been learning for about 6 weeks, it's so much fun, I think I'm addicted. I've been using dip pens and a Hunt 101. I did buy many vintage nibs on ebay, but I've been sticking to the Hunt 101 which is highly recommended by many copperplate teachers. I've ordered an Ackerman Pump Pen for the Hunt 101 which should arrive in the next week or so. These pens sound amazing, I hope they are as good as I am expecting. I will have to post up some of my practice sheets so you can have a peep at my progress. This style of writing is just so classy, very appealing indeed.
Janice
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#16 vermiculus

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 12:08

QUOTE (janzjewelz @ Oct 28 2008, 12:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am in the process of teaching myself copperplate from Eleanor Winter's book. I just love it so much. I've been learning for about 6 weeks, it's so much fun, I think I'm addicted. I've been using dip pens and a Hunt 101. I did buy many vintage nibs on ebay, but I've been sticking to the Hunt 101 which is highly recommended by many copperplate teachers. I've ordered an Ackerman Pump Pen for the Hunt 101 which should arrive in the next week or so. These pens sound amazing, I hope they are as good as I am expecting. I will have to post up some of my practice sheets so you can have a peep at my progress. This style of writing is just so classy, very appealing indeed.
Janice
clap1.gif


stick it up here and join in!

Perhaps we should keep a "copperplate progress" thread going...

#17 aNONIEmous

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 15:34

QUOTE (slqqqq @ Oct 28 2008, 07:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And....I can't buy a suitable dip pen, can I practice using a italic nib?


Is price why you say you can't buy a suitable dip pen...or just not knowing where to find one?

You can get a plastic oblique holder for as little as $1.90 from www.paperinkarts.com and the nibs cost about the same or less. Then all you need is the ink: Higgins Eternal which caliken recommends is $3 odd. And there you have it. A little sacrifice to make for all the fun you'll have learning it.

One big difference between Copperplate and Italic (or so says the novice) and why Italic pens won't really work is you need a pen that has a flexible nib so that when you apply pressure, the tip opens up and creates a thick line by releasing more ink and then when you release the pressure, less ink gets through and thus you get hairlines. It is mastering this control of the pen that makes writing Copperplate such a treat.

#18 slqqqq

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 14:07

vermiculus and aNONIEmous, thanks for your help.
The reason why I can't buy them is the shipping fee to China is too expensive...
I didn't find anyone sell them in China, and then I went to ebay.co.uk and found the price is £0.55 per nib, it is acceptable for me, but the shipping fee is £7!
Now I got only this dip pen set and Hero 243 calligraphy nib set(5 italic nib: Fine, Medium, Broad, B2, B4)
Can I use this?

slqqqq
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If you have any problem with Chinese site, Chinese calligraphy or need translation, PM me. I am happy to translate for you.
---------------------
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