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Masuyama Cursive Italics (+ Some General Ci Questions)

dry nib flow masuyama franklin christoph stub italic calligraphy

15 replies to this topic

#1 soomjack

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 00:14

Hey Everyone,

 

I've just sent back my Franklin-Christoph medium S.I.G grind in order to exchange for a broad Masuyama italic.  Don't get me wrong: the SIG nib was great to write with and I liked it very much; but, since you can't buy Masuyama grinds separately like you can a sig, I've opted for the CI.  I'm also interested in learning an italic handwriting script some time, so this makes sense long-term.  

 

Now, however, I'm hearing that Masuyama italic grinds are dry writers.  One post I've come across was particularly bothersome in that the OP said their f-c Masuyama italic required loads of pressure to write with until they eventually sent it back for a flow adjustment.  Moreover, the nib wasn't said to be defective by the F-C team, they just tuned it to what they'd call "wet".  

 

I'd imagine that an italic tuned on the drier side would maximize line variation and the integrity of the cross-stroke-- are there any other practical reasons for a CI to write dry?  I'm particularly interested in hearing from those who regularly write with any form of italic or own steel F-C Masuyama italics.  Have yours been dry compared to others?  Do they write under their own weight?  

 

Having said all that, I'm really not too fond of nibs that are very dry, especially if they're broad.  On the other hand, perhaps I should leave this to the expert Mr. Masuyama -- it is, after all, my first hand-ground cursive italic.  

 

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance.


Edited by soomjack, 27 March 2018 - 00:14.


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#2 MadAmos

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 02:29

I have many Masuyama Cursive italic nibs in all widths and brands and none are what I consider dry, in fact they are my favorite nibs that is why I have so many.  Heck I even had most of my Visconti and a couple Nakaya nibs done at Pen shows and all have been flawless.


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#3 soomjack

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 03:03

I have many Masuyama Cursive italic nibs in all widths and brands and none are what I consider dry, in fact they are my favorite nibs that is why I have so many.  Heck I even had most of my Visconti and a couple Nakaya nibs done at Pen shows and all have been flawless.

Thanks for the feedback. Glad to hear it.  

Out of curiosity, are any of your Masuyama CI's done for Franklin-Christoph, or were they all nibs you personally sent to him?


Edited by soomjack, 27 March 2018 - 03:04.


#4 dms525

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 03:57

I have several (5 or 6?) Franklin-Christoph/ Masuyama CI nibs, both steel and gold. I would agree that they are on the dry side, and the OP's speculation regarding the reason is likely correct. I know from face-to-face discussions with Michael Masuyama that he believes one should write with no pressure beyond the weight of the nib.

 

I have found with dry nibs, in general, that finding the ink with the optimal wetness and optimal lubrication generally solves any skipping or ink flow problems. I would NOT say that the F-C/Masuyama nibs have presented a special challenge in this regard. FWIW, Franklin-Christoph inks are pretty good and quite forgiving. They work well with pretty much any nib I've tried with them. (No affiliation, etc.) 

 

If I were you, I would order a bunch of samples of different brands of inks and do some testing of your nib.

 

Happy writing.

 

David



#5 Driften

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 04:09

My F-C Masuyama nibs have been on the dry side, but they write very nice. Just use a wetter ink with it. Medium wet inks do ok and make it sharper, but the water inks feel nicer.

 

I would by them again.



#6 soomjack

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 04:32

I have several (5 or 6?) Franklin-Christoph/ Masuyama CI nibs, both steel and gold. I would agree that they are on the dry side, and the OP's speculation regarding the reason is likely correct. I know from face-to-face discussions with Michael Masuyama that he believes one should write with no pressure beyond the weight of the nib.
 
I have found with dry nibs, in general, that finding the ink with the optimal wetness and optimal lubrication generally solves any skipping or ink flow problems. I would NOT say that the F-C/Masuyama nibs have presented a special challenge in this regard. FWIW, Franklin-Christoph inks are pretty good and quite forgiving. They work well with pretty much any nib I've tried with them. (No affiliation, etc.) 
 
If I were you, I would order a bunch of samples of different brands of inks and do some testing of your nib.
 
Happy writing.
 
David

David,
 
Thank you!  Good to hear Mr. Masuyama's thoughts on writing pressure.  If the italic is able to write under its own weight, I don't think I'd have a problem, regardless of whether or not it's "dry".  
 
I probably won't give any special instruction regarding the flow -- after all, it's probably easier for him or Mr. Rouse to make the nib wetter down the road than it would be to make it drier.   Also, if I ever take Eager's italic book seriously, I probably won't regret letting the master just do his thing.  I'll look into those F-C inks too, btw.    
 
Might you be able to direct me to writing samples that illustrate the difference between the .7mm med CI and the .9mm broad? I haven't yet decided, n most of the threads I've seen here compare sig vs italic vs stub, all in the same size.  
 
 

My F-C Masuyama nibs have been on the dry side, but they write very nice. Just use a wetter ink with it. Medium wet inks do ok and make it sharper, but the water inks feel nicer.
 
I would by them again.

 
Sounds good to me.  What are some of your favorite inks to use in dry nibs?  Also, same question: do you by chance have a writing sample that compares the sizes of the different Masuyama F-C cursive italics you own?  
 
Thanks to everyone for chiming in.  This is all good stuff.  

Edited by soomjack, 27 March 2018 - 15:42.


#7 Driften

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 16:31

For these nibs I use Pilot Iroshizuku inks. For wet nibs I normally use MontBlanc or Robert Oster to get more shading out of them.

The really are like most any pens, you match the ink to the pen. I have only had M F-C Masuyama stubs and CI's. I now wish I had B's to show them off even better. If you are comfortable with M or B nibs I would just go with B. The CI is very forgiving and I would not bother with his stubs any more just go straight to CI.



#8 soomjack

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 16:34

Great advice. Broad it is!

#9 DipIt

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 20:56

I have two FC with Mauyama fine cursive italic nibs. Both seem a little dry with Akkerman van jan steen and quite wet with monteverde charoite. The "little dry" comment is just that, no skipping or bad behavior and truly just about right for Claifontain paper. I have not used enough inks to give more information. I have no experience with his broader nibs.



#10 Torrilin

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 22:06

I can’t suggest Mayusuma ground 0.7 and 0.9mm samples, but that’s a pretty popular pair of sizes for all nib grinders. You can absolutely find samples in general. There will be some variation between grinders, but the person writing will produce more variation than the nib itself. Also the exact style they’re shooting for... I tend to write relatively round and if I’m not doing regular drill my angle drifts flatter than 45deg. That means less variation. A more angular writer or one who tends steep will show more.

I would strongly suggest a broader nib if you plan to get serious about italic. 0.9 is teensy tiny and takes good muscle control for best effect. 1.9mm or larger is less demanding. I don’t think I’d suggest going smaller than 1.5mm for a first italic.

#11 soomjack

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 22:34

I can’t suggest Mayusuma ground 0.7 and 0.9mm samples, but that’s a pretty popular pair of sizes for all nib grinders. You can absolutely find samples in general. There will be some variation between grinders, but the person writing will produce more variation than the nib itself. Also the exact style they’re shooting for... I tend to write relatively round and if I’m not doing regular drill my angle drifts flatter than 45deg. That means less variation. A more angular writer or one who tends steep will show more.

I would strongly suggest a broader nib if you plan to get serious about italic. 0.9 is teensy tiny and takes good muscle control for best effect. 1.9mm or larger is less demanding. I don’t think I’d suggest going smaller than 1.5mm for a first italic.

 

Sounds good.  I found italic writing samples of each size on F-C's website.  Not side by side, but no matter.  

 

W. regard to broader nibs:  I already own the 1.9mm Christoph music nib and the 1.5mm Lamy nib, which always seemed to be c. italic than stub to me.  Both are pretty broad edges.  Also have some pilot parallels kickin' around.  

 

I'm hoping that the Masuyama .9mm CI will be fun to use in my normal, everyday hand; hopefully, way down the road, I'll be able to do it a bit of justice with some true cursive italic.  I'll post results in 10 years or so  :lol:



#12 soomjack

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 22:35

I have two FC with Mauyama fine cursive italic nibs. Both seem a little dry with Akkerman van jan steen and quite wet with monteverde charoite. The "little dry" comment is just that, no skipping or bad behavior and truly just about right for Claifontain paper. I have not used enough inks to give more information. I have no experience with his broader nibs.

thanks -- good to know that you didn't have an experience like the one I cited.  I can definitely deal with a "little dry", especially if it exaggerates line variation.

Edited by soomjack, 27 March 2018 - 23:49.


#13 nakiana

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 23:46

I have a Masuyama .9mm CI on a F-C model 66. I have always used Aurora blue in it and has never seemed dry at all. Perhaps I just got lucky with my first ink. I really enjoy the nib and have been glad I got it. I have 1.1mm stubs on several other pens and got the .9 just to try something different, but not radically so.

#14 dms525

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 23:53

David,
    
 
Might you be able to direct me to writing samples that illustrate the difference between the .7mm med CI and the .9mm broad? I haven't yet decided, n most of the threads I've seen here compare sig vs italic vs stub, all in the same size.  
 
   
Sounds good to me.  What are some of your favorite inks to use in dry nibs?  Also, same question: do you by chance have a writing sample that compares the sizes of the different Masuyama F-C cursive italics you own?  
 

 

One of the sources of confusion with italic nibs is that there are two very different ways of measuring nib width. One is the physical width of the nib tip. The other is the width of the line the nib writes. Personally, the latter is what matters to me.

 

In my experience of a handful of nibs, the F-C/Masuyama Medium CI nib is what I would call "Fine." It writes a line that is about 0.60 - 0.65 mm wide. The Wide CI is more of a "medium," to my way of thinking. It writes a line that's about 0.7 mm. Which is best for you, depends on the size of your letters. The usual italic script has an x-height (the height of a minuscule letter) of 4 or 5 pen widths. So, if your desired "lower case" letter size is, say, 4 mm, and your preferred letter weight is average, then your ideal italic nib width is 4/5=0.8 mm. So, the F-C/Masuyama Medium CI nib would be too narrow. 

 

You should write some words and measure your x-height. Do the math. Now, you know the size italic nib you want for your everyday italic handwriting. Remember: I'm talking about the width of the line written, not the physical nib width.

 

BTW, for learning any style of calligraphy, you really should start with a wide italic nib - at least 2 mm, although the F-C "Music nib" is wonderful for learning and practicing italic or gothic styles.

 

Wet inks: The classic standby is Waterman. Sailor inks are pretty wet, as is Iroshizuku. So is Aurora ink.

 

Hope this helps.

 

David


Edited by dms525, 27 March 2018 - 23:57.


#15 BrassRatt

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 05:55

I have a Masuyama CI Lamy 2000 (.6~.7 mm line, made from Lamy B nib), and it writes very wet.  I can only use the driest inks in it to get stroke variation.  And that's after a laying on of hands by a local nib-wizard to slow it somewhat. 

 

Just one data point. 


Edited by BrassRatt, 28 March 2018 - 05:55.


#16 soomjack

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 15:20

Wow, such helpful feedback and advice here.  Thanks so much, everybody -- I really do appreciate all these replies.

 

I've concluded that I'll let meister Masuyama work his magic sans any extra instruction...

 

...now I'm off to measure my x-height, stock up on some extra lubricated inks, n get buuuuusy.


Edited by soomjack, 28 March 2018 - 15:20.




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