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Help! How Do You Hold Your Fountain Pen?

fountain pen nib angle hold

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56 replies to this topic

#1 fountainphreak

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 03:14

I need help fact-checking my a part in the Novel I am writing.

 

I want to know how someone who writes Italics would hold their pen, is it any different from someone who writes with a Straight Handwriting?

 

I conjecture that someone who writes in a Straight Handwriting will have the nib pointing -45 to -20 degrees from their body whereas an Italics writer would hold it -15 to +25 degrees. What this means is that a Normal writer's nib will be more worn on the left side than the right, and vice-versa in an Italics writer.

 

Please send in a picture (if possible) of how you would hold your nib if you are writing in italics, and mention whether you usually write in a straight, or in italics.

 

Everyone who submits a response will be mentioned in the Acknowledgements at the beginning of my novel. It's a thriller, and this is the part where the detective begins to suspect things she would have never had otherwise...

 

Any help and advice will be deeply appreciated. I place a very high price on the factual accuracy of a novel.



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#2 OCArt

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 05:40

This is an interesting question as the word "italic" has a couple of different meanings to me as a fountain pen user.  Most commonly I think of italic nibs that create thin horizontal lines and thick verticals.  I hold these at the same writing angle as any other pen.  Secondly there is an italic script, also known as chancery cursive, which is a semi-cursive, slightly sloped style of handwriting and calligraphy. I don't write with this hand but would not expect the hold to vary much from normal, certainly not -15 to +25!  

 

​I suspect one of our calligraphers will soon provide more detail.  


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#3 fountainphreak

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 07:41

This is an interesting question as the word "italic" has a couple of different meanings to me as a fountain pen user.  Most commonly I think of italic nibs that create thin horizontal lines and thick verticals.  I hold these at the same writing angle as any other pen.  Secondly there is an italic script, also known as chancery cursive, which is a semi-cursive, slightly sloped style of handwriting and calligraphy. I don't write with this hand but would not expect the hold to vary much from normal, certainly not -15 to +25!  

 

​I suspect one of our calligraphers will soon provide more detail.  

 

Thank you @OCArt

 

I think I should clarify, I mean Sloped Writing, not Italic writing that makes use of Specialised Nibs or chancery cursive. Here is an example of what I mean: Link - Maybe a degree or two more sloped than that.



#4 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 07:55

Italic is held before the big index knuckle and the nib is canted @ 45 degrees, and the drawing of letters is done in a push pull movement.

 Regular pens are 'rests' after the big index knuckle at 45 degrees, or 40 degrees at the start of the web of the thumb.....depending on how long and heavy the pen is. If long and heavy it 'rests; in the pit of the web of the thumb....at 35 degrees, taking weight off the nib.

 

Classic tripod the thumb is at 10 O'clock, the forefinger at 2, and the middle finger at 6.

However, because of the 10-2, pressure is often until one spends some 6-9 months learning to hold very lightly, way too much, leading to the Death Grip with accompanying Deadly Kung Fu Thumb Pinch.

Folks are use to plowing the south 40 with out the mule with a ball point, so use too much pressure. No pressure is needed, in if the pen is held after the big index knuckle, it floats on a small puddle of ink.

If held before the big index knuckle, it has too tiny a puddle and one gouges little grand canyons into the paper.

(Italic of course is different.)

 

I use the 'forefinger up', way of grasping a fountain pen, an automatic light grip, which takes three minutes to learn.

Standard or medium-large pens should be posted for better balance and then they are not 'too small', as some claim who refuse to post a pen so designed.

Many Large and Oversized pens are too clunky posted....

 

Finally made some pictures of the 'forefinger up' method of grasping a fountain pen. An automatic light grip...............no more Death Grip.....and remember to keep the thumb a flat dam....no Kung Fu Death Pinch.... :angry:

The Classic Tripod puts pressure down on the pen from the 10&2 positions.

With the thumb held flat at 08:30-09:00  there can be no down pressure. The forefinger rests on the top of the pen.

The pen will not somersault out of your hand.

Move the pen from the nail joint to 1/3 inch into the fat of the finger pad.

Pens used a Pelikan 400 and a 605.

It takes three minutes to learn, will take some three days to become real accustomed to it....which is better than the 3 months to a year it takes to lighten a Classic Tripod with it's built in over pressure finger and thumb positions....along with the cocked high pressure Kung Fu Thumb Death Grip.

 

I learned this on the com....having a painful dent at my middle finger joint...that was a bit of nerve damage more than likely from Death Grip ball points; that didn't go away with Death Grip held fountain pens. 

 

This shows a flat thumb. Bow of the forefinger good....as you will see one can bend it a bit....but you don't want an 'elbow' bend in the forefinger....in that will cause unneeded pressure.

OXZIMyy.jpg

Showing where the pen should rest on the middle finger pad....away from the nail junction.And a 12:00-12:30 resting forefinger position.

6HfMJs2.jpg

Mh9fmyO.jpg

Fairly good forefinger up positions.  The thumbnail is 1/3 past the forefinger crease....for a higher hold.....a tad too much forefinger bend...but acceptable, in comfort is the main thing...but it is not bent. No mid finger joint poking up in the air like an elbow.

jLcQ1QX.jpg

Here the thumb is higher up the barrel...near the forefinger pad crease.

JmyB1nh.jpg

 

With the thumbnail at the crease of the forefinger joint the pen will rest deeper into your hand, more at a 40 degree angle at the start of the web of your thumb....If the thumbnail is a tad before the forefinger crease the pen will rest higher close to 45 degrees.

If you are more comfortable there with 'that' pen. A pen should rest where it wishes....if heavier or longer a bit deeper in to the web of the thumb.

It's your decision, but by moving just the thumbnail a bit down from the forefinger crease, your pens angle will be higher to right after the index knuckle....if you wish.

Uwsrv1V.jpg

sBfNLC5.jpg

Above...flat thumb.

 

A fairly straight forefinger up.....comfort is part....a bit of bow in the forefinger is not bad....as long as it's only a bit.............when you have bent the knuckle that is too much.

g6EJLDX.jpg

Just a slightly wider pen.

8nQtWl5.jpg


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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#5 fountainphreak

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 11:51

 

Italic is held before the big index knuckle and the nib is canted @ 45 degrees, and the drawing of letters is done in a push pull movement.

 Regular pens are 'rests' after the big index knuckle at 45 degrees, or 40 degrees at the start of the web of the thumb.....depending on how long and heavy the pen is. If long and heavy it 'rests; in the pit of the web of the thumb....at 35 degrees, taking weight off the nib.

 

Classic tripod the thumb is at 10 O'clock, the forefinger at 2, and the middle finger at 6.

However, because of the 10-2, pressure is often until one spends some 6-9 months learning to hold very lightly, way too much, leading to the Death Grip with accompanying Deadly Kung Fu Thumb Pinch.

Folks are use to plowing the south 40 with out the mule with a ball point, so use too much pressure. No pressure is needed, in if the pen is held after the big index knuckle, it floats on a small puddle of ink.

If held before the big index knuckle, it has too tiny a puddle and one gouges little grand canyons into the paper.

(Italic of course is different.)

 

I use the 'forefinger up', way of grasping a fountain pen, an automatic light grip, which takes three minutes to learn.

Standard or medium-large pens should be posted for better balance and then they are not 'too small', as some claim who refuse to post a pen so designed.

Many Large and Oversized pens are too clunky posted....

 

Finally made some pictures of the 'forefinger up' method of grasping a fountain pen. An automatic light grip...............no more Death Grip.....and remember to keep the thumb a flat dam....no Kung Fu Death Pinch.... :angry:

The Classic Tripod puts pressure down on the pen from the 10&2 positions.

With the thumb held flat at 08:30-09:00  there can be no down pressure. The forefinger rests on the top of the pen.

The pen will not somersault out of your hand.

Move the pen from the nail joint to 1/3 inch into the fat of the finger pad.

Pens used a Pelikan 400 and a 605.

It takes three minutes to learn, will take some three days to become real accustomed to it....which is better than the 3 months to a year it takes to lighten a Classic Tripod with it's built in over pressure finger and thumb positions....along with the cocked high pressure Kung Fu Thumb Death Grip.

 

I learned this on the com....having a painful dent at my middle finger joint...that was a bit of nerve damage more than likely from Death Grip ball points; that didn't go away with Death Grip held fountain pens. 

 

This shows a flat thumb. Bow of the forefinger good....as you will see one can bend it a bit....but you don't want an 'elbow' bend in the forefinger....in that will cause unneeded pressure.

 

Showing where the pen should rest on the middle finger pad....away from the nail junction.And a 12:00-12:30 resting forefinger position.

 

 

Fairly good forefinger up positions.  The thumbnail is 1/3 past the forefinger crease....for a higher hold.....a tad too much forefinger bend...but acceptable, in comfort is the main thing...but it is not bent. No mid finger joint poking up in the air like an elbow.

 

Here the thumb is higher up the barrel...near the forefinger pad crease.

 

 

With the thumbnail at the crease of the forefinger joint the pen will rest deeper into your hand, more at a 40 degree angle at the start of the web of your thumb....If the thumbnail is a tad before the forefinger crease the pen will rest higher close to 45 degrees.

If you are more comfortable there with 'that' pen. A pen should rest where it wishes....if heavier or longer a bit deeper in to the web of the thumb.

It's your decision, but by moving just the thumbnail a bit down from the forefinger crease, your pens angle will be higher to right after the index knuckle....if you wish.

 

 

Above...flat thumb.

 

A fairly straight forefinger up.....comfort is part....a bit of bow in the forefinger is not bad....as long as it's only a bit.............when you have bent the knuckle that is too much.

 

Just a slightly wider pen.

 

Thank You very much for providing such incredibly detailed information, I appreciate it. I like knowing as much I can about any subject before I write about it.

 

Since the people in this community are so helpful and nice, I feel comfortable sharing the details of this plot with you all of you.

 

The suspect has tried to fake a note, but since it is incredibly difficult to cloak your handwriting, your best bet is to give it a classic Cursive Flow and add a strong slope to it.

 

I have tried copying multiple paragraphs in an attempt to see what worked best when trying to make my handwriting look like it belonged to someone else, and sloping it was the most efficient. Of course, an expert would automatically see through it (I think), but the detective is no expert and lacks the resources needed for in-depth forensic testing.

 

The pen used was a one-month-old Hooded-nib HeroPen: Link, Link-2 -you can see what the pen looks like in the links. What I noticed, is that the Hero pens often only work smoothly in a short range, and horizontal movements tend to leave scars and indentation on the paper, especially when the pens are new.

 

The whole plot banks on the idea that people with a naturally sloped vs straight handwriters hold their pens differently (is this correct?). The pen, having been used for a month, was acclimated and smoothed with only the owner's usual style. When the detective tries to test writing with it; the pen it very easily scars the paper, and she notices the fact that the note should have been scarred because someone with a completely different writing style used it, but it isn't - which could only mean one thing: the note was written by the owner of the pen.

 

Do you think this makes sense? Please poke as many holes in my plot as you can.


Edited by fountainphreak, 26 June 2018 - 11:54.


#6 Ghost Plane

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 13:00

Fallacy #1- pens don’t shift to the owner’s grasp unless the owner is ham handed. Look at my post comparing 1960s 149 nibs to modern. Half a century and the tipping is as precise as the day they left Montblanc.

#7 fountainphreak

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 13:23

Fallacy #1- pens don’t shift to the owner’s grasp unless the owner is ham handed. Look at my post comparing 1960s 149 nibs to modern. Half a century and the tipping is as precise as the day they left Montblanc.

 

Oh wow. That was a myth? Ouch. I nearly suspected it, nearly. Thanks for pointing it out. That means I will have to tweak the plot a little.

 

A decade ago, it was my physics teacher who first said something about why you should never let someone else use your fountain pens. He probably meant that I shouldn't let someone who isn't familiar with fountain pens use it because they can get the pressure all wrong and damage it.



#8 KellyMcJ

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 13:53

Here we go....I grip my pen rather higher than most at this point, and how high, depends on the pen's balance, section, threads, etc.

 

There is no universal way that people hold their pens for specific kinds of writing, unless they are trained calligrapher's, than maybe. We all develop our own way after a while.

 

J00ad8s.jpg

 

swfjvff.jpg



#9 fountainphreak

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 16:00

Here we go....I grip my pen rather higher than most at this point, and how high, depends on the pen's balance, section, threads, etc.

 

There is no universal way that people hold their pens for specific kinds of writing, unless they are trained calligrapher's, than maybe. We all develop our own way after a while.

 

 

 

Thank You. That is true, people do develop their own ways. For the longest time in my life, I gripped my pen using the first Four fingers.

 

The pictures uploaded by You (KellyMcJ) and Bo Bo Olson have really helped me achieve some much-needed clarity in the way a fountain pen is gripped. This coupled with the information from Ghost Plane raise some tough questions for my plot. I am extremely glad to have submitted a request here, it has revealed many facts and details that I would have surely overlooked otherwise.



#10 KellyMcJ

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 16:19

 

Thank You. That is true, people do develop their own ways. For the longest time in my life, I gripped my pen using the first Four fingers.

 

The pictures uploaded by You (KellyMcJ) and Bo Bo Olson have really helped me achieve some much-needed clarity in the way a fountain pen is gripped. This coupled with the information from Ghost Plane raise some tough questions for my plot. I am extremely glad to have submitted a request here, it has revealed many facts and details that I would have surely overlooked otherwise.

 

Here's an idea: the detective knows that the note was written with a fountain pen, but cannot replicate it, because the original writer has a specialty nib! (Italic, flex, architect grind etc).



#11 pajaro

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 16:30

I went to check my grip, and, I had no fountain pen in my pocket!  Horrors!  I had to use my Cross Century desk pen to check it. 

 

High grip. 


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#12 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 19:02

Myth that tipped nibs change much from....and that takes years of use.....not in days or weeks.

Back in the Day....of One Man, One Pen....a fountain pen's nib would be good for 7-10 years of 8 hours a day, before the nib wore enough to need a new pen.

 

I think you need a new clue.

Very few people use a fountain pen any more....and there are many who grip it like a ball point pen.

Your detective, could try to write with it like a ball point....which would give a different pattern....from when someone  held it behind the index knuckle like a fountain pen.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 26 June 2018 - 19:05.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#13 fountainphreak

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 05:09

 

Here's an idea: the detective knows that the note was written with a fountain pen, but cannot replicate it, because the original writer has a specialty nib! (Italic, flex, architect grind etc).

 

I had initially thought of this, but i discarded it because it makes the detective's job very easy which would make it a boring read. I need a detail that makes the reader exclaim in Awe; This is why I began to look into the differences between pressure and indentation of different writers and pens -- That is one thing that has to be unique to everyone, and every pen - and hence cannot be faked very easily.

.

Myth that tipped nibs change much from....and that takes years of use.....not in days or weeks.

Back in the Day....of One Man, One Pen....a fountain pen's nib would be good for 7-10 years of 8 hours a day, before the nib wore enough to need a new pen.

 

I think you need a new clue.

Very few people use a fountain pen any more....and there are many who grip it like a ball point pen.

Your detective, could try to write with it like a ball point....which would give a different pattern....from when someone  held it behind the index knuckle like a fountain pen.

 

H'm. I believed the myth because everyone kept telling that 'A pen gets smoother with use' - I thought it made sense logically that constant rubbing on the paper would, like sandpaper does, smooth sharp corners. I was wrong, I see that now because there is no way that paper would wear metal out so easily.

 

I was looking into selecting something like what you recommended, @BoBoOlson, but other problems arise. Like it said to @KellyMcJ:  One thing is that it adds more unique points to the plot - and I want to avoid them as much as possible because they make the Detective's work very straightforward. I have made it so that the detective and the suspect both aren't very well versed with the intricacies of using a Fountain Pen and use a General Light Pressure Ball-Point Hold to handle a fountain pen.

 

After spending a day thinking about it, Here is what I have learned, and inferred:

 

Facts: (are these accurate? Do they make sense?)

1. Every Pen has a unique sweet angle, at which it works smoothest ( I feel like the cheap ones like the Hero Hooded-Nib pen, have one)

2. Every person has a very unique way of holding a pen

3. People with a straight handwriting and those with a more sloped handwriting use the Sweet Angle differently.

 

Conclusion: 

Here, I see three possible ways to go.

 

1. Look into subtle differences between Straight and Sloped Writing that would be visible when someone with a Straight Writing tried to Imitate a more Sloped Style

 

If I choose to pursue this path, I would have to study various samples of Straight and Sloped Handwriting, and finally, attempt (and succeed) at Picking from a selection Which handwriting is Naturally Sloped vs Faked. This skill might turn out to be like that of WW2's Plane Spotters. 

 

 

2. Writing with the pen the wrong way may leave scratches and impressions on the paper. If someone were to pick up someone else's fountain pen and try to write with it, chances are that he would produce a higher number of scratches and impressions on the paper than the owner ( Is this accurate? ). The lack of such scratches might indicate that the note was written with someone already familiar with the pen.

 

This one poses another strong problem: The lack of factual Information. How different are the way people hold their pens, really? Aren't most holds very similar?

What are the chances that two people using a fountain pen create similar indentations and scratches on paper?

 

 

3. Finally, another important point that I might be able to bank on:

For a sloped writer, writing that way is a normal everyday thing, but for a Faker, Sloped Writing might be more, um, "Signaturial", or Signature-Like. I Conjecture that a Faker might emphasize the long lines in letters like L and F and T a mite more to make them look more natural (or flowy), hence creating a deeper indentation that may be detectable on the backside of the paper. 

 

I'm still trying to form a theory that is both strongly logical and intriguing to the reader. Please critique the ideas I've proposed so far.

 

And thank you all for your invaluable input. I don't know how to thank you yet, but I'll find a way!



#14 KellyMcJ

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 13:18

 

After spending a day thinking about it, Here is what I have learned, and inferred:

 

Facts: (are these accurate? Do they make sense?)

1. Every Pen has a unique sweet angle, at which it works smoothest ( I feel like the cheap ones like the Hero Hooded-Nib pen, have one)

 

Not really. Some do, and some don't- it depends on the pen. In fact, different nibs from different manufacturers are so different in many regards that the potential for unique nib characteristics are practically endless, and that's before you even talk about custom grinds. For instance, Sailor broad nibs, which some love and some hate, have a "foot" that is difficult for many users because it requires precise rotation to use and isn't *usually* conducive to Western scripts, although I use mine just fine as do many others. However some nibs can write smoothly at just about any angle.

 

To add more complexity you can get into ink characteristics, feed characteristics, whether or not your character has adjusted the feed, paper characteristics....

 

 

2. Every person has a very unique way of holding a pen

 

Yep!!! And the way of holding the pen varies depending on how, (or if!) the person was ever taught. For instance, I almost never see the "ball point grip" that Bo talks about, and I live in a sea of ballpoint users. Maybe 1/6 of people hold the ballpoint pen "before the big knuckle". Maybe it's different in Europe...but I rarely see it. After he mentioned it once elsewhere I started paying attention, and I've seen it about 3 times. Most people do some variation of the tripod grip (and, in the US at least, where fountain pens are a strange novelty) death grip the pen. There's also a very unfortunate trend in the US of not teaching proper handwriting at all, so some people develop all sorts of strange grips (when I was in school it was a "thing" for us to experiment with holding our pens in completely weird ways as a small act of rebellion...LOL I've seen people hold a pen between the first and middle fingers even.)

 

 

 

3. People with a straight handwriting and those with a more sloped handwriting use the Sweet Angle differently.

 

Depends on the nib and if there is a sweet spot to begin with. I honestly can't tell you if we use it differently...but there's a decent chance it's not even a factor.

 

 

 

1. Look into subtle differences between Straight and Sloped Writing that would be visible when someone with a Straight Writing tried to Imitate a more Sloped Style

 

If I choose to pursue this path, I would have to study various samples of Straight and Sloped Handwriting, and finally, attempt (and succeed) at Picking from a selection Which handwriting is Naturally Sloped vs Faked. This skill might turn out to be like that of WW2's Plane Spotters. 

 

 

I'm not sure that there are differences. When I was taught, (which wasn't much) I was taught to turn the paper towards my left elbow so that my writing sloped to the right- I thought most people were taught this way. I do see people write straight up and down cursive, but I don't know what would happen if they tried to imitate the slant.

 

 

 

2. Writing with the pen the wrong way may leave scratches and impressions on the paper. If someone were to pick up someone else's fountain pen and try to write with it, chances are that he would produce a higher number of scratches and impressions on the paper than the owner ( Is this accurate? ). The lack of such scratches might indicate that the note was written with someone already familiar with the pen.

 

This one poses another strong problem: The lack of factual Information. How different are the way people hold their pens, really? Aren't most holds very similar?

What are the chances that two people using a fountain pen create similar indentations and scratches on paper?

 

 

Some nibs yes, some no. If someone who is unfamiliar with my Sailor Broad nib, they probably would leave indentations in the paper, have crappy ink flow and hurl the pen across the room in frustration.  :D Other nibs, it wouldn't matter. Some it would. Unless the faker used a ballpoint and tried to fake the note using enough pressure to indent the paper. Then it wouldn't matter what kind of nib (so long as the nib was hard enough- no flex- to accomplish that).

 

 

 

3. Finally, another important point that I might be able to bank on:

For a sloped writer, writing that way is a normal everyday thing, but for a Faker, Sloped Writing might be more, um, "Signaturial", or Signature-Like. I Conjecture that a Faker might emphasize the long lines in letters like L and F and T a mite more to make them look more natural (or flowy), hence creating a deeper indentation that may be detectable on the backside of the paper. 

 

I'm still trying to form a theory that is both strongly logical and intriguing to the reader. Please critique the ideas I've proposed so far.

 

I really have no idea...everyone has their own style of writing so I wouldn't think that one person's slant writing would be "fake" from any particular characteristics. Now if you were trying to forge someone else's handwriting then you can notice differences between theirs and the original they were trying to forge.



#15 knarflj

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 15:58

 

Facts: (are these accurate? Do they make sense?)

1. Every Pen has a unique sweet angle, at which it works smoothest ( I feel like the cheap ones like the Hero Hooded-Nib pen, have one)

2. Every person has a very unique way of holding a pen

3. People with a straight handwriting and those with a more sloped handwriting use the Sweet Angle differently.

 

 

This one poses another strong problem: The lack of factual Information. How different are the way people hold their pens, really? Aren't most holds very similar?

What are the chances that two people using a fountain pen create similar indentations and scratches on paper?

 

 

3. Finally, another important point that I might be able to bank on:

For a sloped writer, writing that way is a normal everyday thing, but for a Faker, Sloped Writing might be more, um, "Signaturial", or Signature-Like. I Conjecture that a Faker might emphasize the long lines in letters like L and F and T a mite more to make them look more natural (or flowy), hence creating a deeper indentation that may be detectable on the backside of the paper. 

 

 

 

To add to what Kelly said:

 

Most of my pens are pretty forgiving about their "sweet spot".  The only ones I have to be careful with are the broad-edged (italic) pens.

 

Everyone's pen hold is unique, and probably no two people exert exactly the same pressure on the nib (so depth of indentation on paper might vary minutely), but most people can use other people's pens without any difficulty.  We pass pens around the table at our monthly pen posse meeting, and no one (that I can remember) has ever has trouble writing normally and easily with anyone else's pen (unless the pen isn't inked :) ).  My guess would be that measurably significant  indentation would only occur if the pen were used by someone who didn't know how to use a fountain pen at all and tried to press down as hard as they would with a cheap ballpoint - but that would also be likely create significantly different line width and probably damage the pen, both of which would be much easier to detect, I would think, than minute differences in pressure.

 

I write with several different scripts, depending on my mood and purpose.  My upright print and my slanted cursive/business hand use pretty much the same pen hold, with my forefinger close to twelve o'clock relative to the top of the nib, and my wrist and palm close to parallel to the page.  The only time I'm aware of changing the grip and hand position is when I'm using italic; then my hand tends to rotate clockwise a bit, so that my thumb and forefinger are closer to ten and two o'clock relative to the nib, and my hand rests/glides more on its side.  

 

Scans here with examples of all three scripts: http://www.fountainp...ting/?p=4036090

I was writing quickly, so the slanted script is less "correct" (and possibly a little less slanted) than when I'm thinking about it; and I'm still learning italic.  But to your question: I used the exact same pen hold writing the first couple of pages, even though the script changes; I used a different pen hold for the last page and a half, because italic seems to demand that of me, but I can and do use the same pen with the same nib for any of the three.

 

As to the last point quoted, I would imagine (though certainly no expert) that slowing down or pressing harder on certain lines would have exactly the opposite effect than to make them look more natural and flowy: speed creates flow, to some degree; slowing down would make the line look more deliberate, and also (probably) darker and thicker.  You wouldn't need the back side of the paper to see that.

 

Jenny


Edited by knarflj, 27 June 2018 - 18:31.

"To read without also writing is to sleep." - St. Jerome

#16 KellyMcJ

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 16:29

Here are some writing samples of mine, journal pages I don't mind sharing. My writing is quite loose and flowing (my loops and descenders could be described as "out of control" lol!)

 

Sailor B nib

RnR2PFl.jpg

 

0.7mm Cursive Italic nib:

dbIreTi.jpg

 

Nothing special fine or medium nib:

XkkDKF1.jpg



#17 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 17:43

Gel pens, allow a lower hold..behind the big knuckle, than the old or cheaper ball points with tubes or Parker style cartridges. (the one's I leaned how to plow the south 40 with out the mule with.)

Holding behind the big knuckle caused them to drag, and or skip.

 

Gel & hybred refills are much easier to write with than the old style ball point.

 

Why there are now even free ball points with gel or hybred. :o Not all, but some.

Hybred dries fast and is good for left handers...just read.

 

Germany was behind the power curve for gel pens.... a number of years ago I went looking when I heard about them and couldn't find any then....can find them now.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 27 June 2018 - 17:53.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#18 fountainphreak

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 18:37

 

KellyMcJ, on 27 Jun 2018 - 18:48, said:


Not really. Some do, and some don't- it depends on the pen. In fact, different nibs from different manufacturers are so different in many regards that the potential for unique nib characteristics are practically endless, and that's before you even talk about custom grinds. For instance, Sailor broad nibs, which some love and some hate, have a "foot" that is difficult for many users because it requires precise rotation to use and isn't *usually* conducive to Western scripts, although I use mine just fine as do many others. However some nibs can write smoothly at just about any angle.

To add more complexity you can get into ink characteristics, feed characteristics, whether or not your character has adjusted the feed, paper characteristics....

Yep!!! And the way of holding the pen varies depending on how, (or if!) the person was ever taught. For instance, I almost never see the "ball point grip" that Bo talks about, and I live in a sea of ballpoint users. Maybe 1/6 of people hold the ballpoint pen "before the big knuckle". Maybe it's different in Europe...but I rarely see it. After he mentioned it once elsewhere I started paying attention, and I've seen it about 3 times. Most people do some variation of the tripod grip (and, in the US at least, where fountain pens are a strange novelty) death grip the pen. There's also a very unfortunate trend in the US of not teaching proper handwriting at all, so some people develop all sorts of strange grips (when I was in school it was a "thing" for us to experiment with holding our pens in completely weird ways as a small act of rebellion...LOL I've seen people hold a pen between the first and middle fingers even.)

Depends on the nib and if there is a sweet spot to begin with. I honestly can't tell you if we use it differently...but there's a decent chance it's not even a factor.

I'm not sure that there are differences. When I was taught, (which wasn't much) I was taught to turn the paper towards my left elbow so that my writing sloped to the right- I thought most people were taught this way. I do see people write straight up and down cursive, but I don't know what would happen if they tried to imitate the slant.

Some nibs yes, some no. If someone who is unfamiliar with my Sailor Broad nib, they probably would leave indentations in the paper, have crappy ink flow and hurl the pen across the room in frustration.  :D;Other nibs, it wouldn't matter. Some it would. Unless the faker used a ballpoint and tried to fake the note using enough pressure to indent the paper. Then it wouldn't matter what kind of nib (so long as the nib was hard enough- no flex- to accomplish that).

I really have no idea...everyone has their own style of writing so I wouldn't think that one person's slant writing would be "fake" from any particular characteristics. Now if you were trying to forge someone else's handwriting then you can notice differences between theirs and the original they were trying to forge.

1. You mention an interesting fact about Sailor Broad Nibs that I wasn't previously aware of. The fact that the SB nib may require precise rotation, as well as Jenny's Input (quoted below) about how her hand, when writing in Italic, sometimes tends to rotate clockwise a bit, gives me a little hope.
2. Ink, paper and feed characteristics all remain the same throughout the plot, and the detective is aware of this fact.
3. You are right about your regarding about pen holds. In fact, I find the way Bo held his pen rather unique and telling about how deep his knowledge is regarding this subject. As I have mentioned before, I used to use my first Four Fingers to hold the pen with the pen resting on my ring finger, while my second finger and the thumb formed a tripod grip, and my index finger rested on the pen an inch or so higher. In 10th Grade, having made a decision to change my handwriting, I began re-training myself by imitating the handwriting and grip of a friend.
4. Regarding the sweet spots, I know that even the Cheapest Parker pens work perfectly all over - they have a rather thick, rounded tip. Hero Hooded Nibs are a little rough Horizontally, and a Sailor Broad's sweet spot, like you mentioned, might depend on the manufacturer, and the process.
5. I agree, the sweet spot *May* not prove to be a viable factor, but I will continue to look into it for now
6. Regarding the slant looking fake, I elaborate some points replying to Jenny Below.
 

knarflj, on 27 Jun 2018 - 21:28, said:


To add to what Kelly said:

Most of my pens are pretty forgiving about their "sweet spot". ;The only ones I have to be careful with are the broad-edged (italic) pens.

Everyone's pen hold is unique, and probably no two people exert exactly the same pressure on the nib (so depth of indentation on paper might vary minutely, but most people can use other people's pens without any difficulty. We pass pens around the table at our monthly pen posse meeting, and no one (that I can remember) has ever has trouble writing normally and easily with anyone else's pen (unless the pen isn't inked :) ). ;My guess would be that measurably significantindentation would only occur if the pen were used by someone who didn't know how to use a fountain pen at all and tried to press down as hard as they would with a cheap ballpoint - but that would also be likely create significantly different line width and probably damage the pen, both of which would be much easier to detect, I would think, than minute differences in pressure.

I write with several different scripts, depending on my mood and purpose. My upright print and my slanted cursive/business hand use pretty much the same pen hold, with my forefinger close to twelve o'clock relative to the top of the nib, and my wrist and palm close to parallel to the page. The only time I'm aware of changing the grip and hand position is when I'm using italic; then my hand tends to rotate clockwise a bit, so that my thumb and forefinger are closer to ten and two o'clock relative to the nib, and my hand rests/glides more on its side. 

Scans here with examples of all three scripts: http://www.fountainp...ting/?p=4036090
I was writing quickly, so the slanted script is less "correct" (and possibly a little less slanted) than when I'm thinking about it; and I'm still learning italic. But to your question: I used the exact same pen hold writing the first couple of pages, even though the script changes; I used a different pen hold for the last page and a half, because italic seems to demand that of me, but I can and do use the same pen with the same nib for any of the three.

As to the last point quoted, I would imagine (though certainly no expert) that slowing down or pressing harder on certain lines would have exactly the opposite effect than to make them look more natural and flowy: speed creates flow, to some degree; slowing down would make the line look more deliberate, and also (probably) darker and thicker. You wouldn't need the back side of the paper to see that.

Jenny

1. Okay noted. I can't really put my bets on their sweet spot. Kelly mentioned this as well. So that's out now for sure.
2. According to what you say, measurable indentations should be out as well - but maybe not. Read on!
3. Thank you for providing information on how you hold your pen across scripts - these little details help tremendously.

Also, that is one of the most interesting and Heartwarming threads I have ever read. Something about people talking about their handwriting in their handwriting made me smile.

I have attempted to analyse the images provided by Kelly (below) and some over in the link Jenny provided. To give you all you all some more clarity, The Character in the story has a normal handwriting quite like amberleadavis's first sample (blue), and his Slanted Style quite imitates her sample in Purple - except maybe a bit exaggerated to erase any resemblance. An amateur detective would, I think, be unable to tell that the blue excerpt and the purple excerpt were written by the same person.
2018-04-06_Ink_7.jpg2018-04-06_Ink_9.jpg
I just wanted to clarify my earlier point about how someone faking a handwriting might emphasize the T L and F :
If you look at Jenny's sample you can see that the T and L and F have shorter stems in the first sample (Red), but when more carefully written (blue), they are drawn much better. I was venturing to suggest that a writer who isn't familiar with writing in Italic might need to make an extra effort to draw the stems correctly - probably by speeding up at those parts to form a smooth, long stem and prevent a thicker line - in turn using more pressure, leaving a noticeably deeper indent.

fpn_1523127117__cci07042018_2.jpg
 

KellyMcJ, on 27 Jun 2018 - 21:59, said:

Here are some writing samples of mine, journal pages I don't mind sharing. My writing is quite loose and flowing (my loops and descenders could be described as "out of control" lol!)

Sailor B nib

0.7mm Cursive Italic nib:

Nothing special fine or medium nib:
 

Thank you for these! I will take some time to study the unique characteristics (if any) across the different nibs.

Okay, so as of now, two lines of inquiry remain open for me:
1. The pen used in the plot is a month-old replacement. I could visit the local store and buy various cheap pens and study the differences between the nibs. If the majority of a certain manufacturer's pens possess unique soft spots, then I can make the plot revolve around inspection of the indentations --because no first-time user would easily be able to understand a pen's soft spot as perfectly as someone who is already familiar with the pen. But I don't have my hopes up for this one.
2. This is a very nice one: I could Look into the prospect of Ink Densities. When Ink is dilute, pauses would leave a darker stain. Different people would pause at different spots - it would not only depend heavily on their grip, but also the length of their fingers and how high they hold the pen. --And also on how confidently they are writing. Someone who tries to write in a different writing style than his own will leave significantly more stains.

Thank you all so much for poking holes in my theories. I would have been absolutely devastated if someone else pointed out these facts After my work is published.


Edited by fountainphreak, 27 June 2018 - 18:45.


#19 fountainphreak

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 18:42

Gel pens, allow a lower hold..behind the big knuckle, than the old or cheaper ball points with tubes or Parker style cartridges. (the one's I leaned how to plow the south 40 with out the mule with.)

Holding behind the big knuckle caused them to drag, and or skip.

 

Gel & hybred refills are much easier to write with than the old style ball point.

 

Why there are now even free ball points with gel or hybred. :o Not all, but some.

Hybred dries fast and is good for left handers...just read.

 

Germany was behind the power curve for gel pens.... a number of years ago I went looking when I heard about them and couldn't find any then....can find them now.

I see. I was never aware of how many different ways there were to grip different types of pens! This information will prove to be very useful for me. thanks!



#20 sansenri

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 19:37

"2. Writing with the pen the wrong way may leave scratches and impressions on the paper. If someone were to pick up someone else's fountain pen and try to write with it, chances are that he would produce a higher number of scratches and impressions on the paper than the owner ( Is this accurate? ). The lack of such scratches might indicate that the note was written with someone already familiar with the pen."

 

I am not sure if what you say here is exactly right, here is my experience:

 

I have often bought used pens, sometimes, when the pen is vintage the fact described by Bo Bo regarding the days of One Man One Pen does happen, i.e. you may actually find a pen in which the nib does not write as you would expect because it has been used for a long time by another owner.

It is not so much a matter of tipping wearing off, although in very old pens this can happen too, more probably a matter of the tines bending into a particular position caused by the writing angle of the owner who has used that pen for a long time.

This is more likely to happen in pens with a fine nib, and of course the user must have used that pen for a long time (years probably).

In my early fountain pen days, starting from the age of 6, this also seemed to have  happened to my own pens.

Some pens I have owned, I used every day for many years, and I have actually worn and slightly bent the tines in a position typical of my writing angle (a sort of natural oblique). I recall that my sister, who during school days had the same pen as mine, told me once she could not write with my pen because the nib angle was wrong (for her). This is of course a personal experience and I cannot give specific evidence of it...

 

In my opinion modern pens are less prone to this, nibs are often stiffer, but especially we don't use our pens as much as we used to then.

In the 1960s if you had to write anything you would use a pen or pencil  (and if you were a fountain pen user you would use that One pen - I recall I have never had more than one pen at a time for very long periods) there were no alternative likes phones, PCs, tablets and other electronic devices for note taking or correspondence.

In addition fountain pen users today are very often enthusiasts, and so they have more than one pen, so the writing wear is distributed over a much larger number of pens! That is certainly my case today.

 







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