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The Flexiheads Blindspot

stub nibs italic nibs

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#1 Uncial

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 09:03

In the craze for flexible nibs there seems to me to be a blindspot that many new seekers overlook. Through sheer luck I have a few flexible nibs on normal pens (i.e. not dip pens). I enjoy them, but they take an awful lot of skill and control and require aeons of practice and discipline. Sometimes I can can get a half decent result but nothing that you might call beautiful or skilled, yet even writing normally and hoping for some line variation takes a certain skill and practice to be truly satisfying. The price of flexible nibs has become daft and there are so many fantastical claims made about manifold nibs that I haven't personally felt the need to chase the dragon on this one, wasting my time and money. The strange thing is that many who are relatively new to fountain pens almost always remark on the beautiful line variation and pleasing results when I write with my 'flexible nib' which is in fact either a stub nib or an italic nib. It's left me wondering if the old stubs and italics are being overlooked in the chase for flexible nibs. Of course you won't get the same results, you likely won't get much in the way of spring or bounce and - especially in regards to stubs - you can end up with not very much line variation, but might an awful lot of writers and fountain pen users not be better served with a stub or italic nib? 



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#2 NinthSphere

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 09:40

...but might an awful lot of writers and fountain pen users not be better served with a stub or italic nib?

 

Indeed, which is why it's not at all uncommon to see them suggested when people periodically post about wanting a ridiculously flexible nib, pointing to some historical document probably written with a quill or some youtube video...& by the way, I've got a $50 budget. :lticaptd:


Edited by NinthSphere, 11 October 2018 - 09:41.


#3 Karmachanic

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 09:52

All two both together. (I'll never forget hearing this locution, long ago on a small island. Definitive.) Recently purchased a 14k semi-flex, 0.6 cursive italic. Semi-flex for the pleasant, soft, springy, bouncy feel, and fantastic shading. Cursive italic for the built in line variation. I like it!! Similar to a titanium cursive italic, which can be had for less expenditure. I like that too, and will probably get another.

 

I have a nibless Konrad, for which I have an FPR ultra-flex in mind. This will slow me down, as I to try and improve my hand, and as you point out, improve my skill and control.


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#4 Honeybadgers

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 09:57

 

Indeed, which is why it's not at all uncommon to see them suggested when people periodically post about wanting a ridiculously flexible nib, pointing to some historical document probably written with a quill or some youtube video...& by the way, I've got a $50 budget. :lticaptd:

 

Give me $50 and I'll send you a flex fountain pen capable of keeping up with a dip pen. and I'd have a little change left over.

 

Noodlers Ahab with a zebra G is deeply underrated.



#5 NinthSphere

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 10:16

 

Give me $50 and I'll send you a flex fountain pen capable of keeping up with a dip pen. and I'd have a little change left over.

 

Noodlers Ahab with a zebra G is deeply underrated.

 

Oh, sure, it's doable with G hacks like that. Too many people still think it'll grant you spontaneous Engrosser talent, which...neither will a nice stub or italic, but at least it greatly reduces the need to work on pressure control.



#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 10:16

I like German subbed semi-flex in it gives that old fashioned fountain pen flair with out doing anything. It is not nib for fancy....that in oblique adds a bit of fancy ...that again nothing must be done but in this case but cant the nib and write..

 

:unsure:To lazy to learn to draw the letters for superflex full use.

Have dip pens with ink, oblique holders I'm too lazy to use.

 

Can admire italic script in my calligraphy book.

Italic calligraphy really gets the short shift here. Some utterly fantastic stuff. Don't cost the world for sharp italic nibs either..............have an Osmiroid calligraphy set that fits my Esterbrooks.

Again too lazy to learn to draw the letters.

 

Advice of working one's way up the flex ladder is ignored......5 post noobie, I want a Waterman Pink, where can I get one cheap................... :P....lots of them cheap.....all sprung. :bunny01:

Advice to go dip pen....often ignored.

 

One ain't a motorcycle rider until one has fallen off twice, once from not knowing what one was doing, and the second time from thinking one does know. Ain't going to talk about the other three or four times. :P

Advice of get a book and learn to draw the letters is work....so ain't needed................next question....who fixes sprung 52 Waterman Wet Noodle nibs? :(

 

There are a few that do, and I admire their Hand....why I knew them back when they came here as printers!

Now look at them.................... :sick: green with envy...........of course they Worked At It.


Everyone says poor Mozart dead at only 36. None say poor Mendelson, dead at only 38. His family only allowed him to start at 20, but before, musicians use to come to the Mendelson garden to steal the music of Mendelson and his sister. A good artist also, can still buy prints of his famous Scottish drawings in Scotland.

 

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany      Info on Bock nibs

 

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#7 Uncial

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 13:21

 

Give me $50 and I'll send you a flex fountain pen capable of keeping up with a dip pen. and I'd have a little change left over.

 

Noodlers Ahab with a zebra G is deeply underrated.

 

Personally I find the Zebra G nibs far too sharp to practical for writing. There's a somewhat similar risk with certain italic nibs too, I guess.



#8 _InkyFingers

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 13:41

Touché. My first time on a motorcycle was on a Ninja after having half a beer. First gear and reved to 6k ..did a wheely on the spot, going full 180 on my back. Transmission was gone! Woke up half minutes later seeing my buddies pulling the bike off me. Second time down was on the Carolinas bank dodging turtles and going in excess of speed around a sharp turn, landed almost in the Atlantic. Same thing goes for flex nib. I first discovered flex on a Pilot VP, sprung it. Tried to flex every pen got off the flea bay. Sprung most of them, modified them, swapped them, until I go dip in the sea of ink. Now just steel nib Esterbrook 128 and 357. Lots of hard work. When I need to do italic or gothic, just any pen with a chiesel head.

Touché. Been there, done that.

But still love the idea of a lovely pen. Still dreaming about the obtaining a Geha 745! And maybe someday a Pilot Super 500. Careless about flex in those, but what a beauty!

#9 JakobS

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 15:02

I think the real blindspot is what you can pull off with a #2 pencil: 

 

I don't mind italics and stubs being a blind spot for the flex faddists, it keeps the nib destruction limited to the flex nibs, and the availability of other awesome and more universally useable nibs relatively affordable...

 

I think the biggest blindspot though within the flex fad is failure to realize that "beautiful handwriting" isn't only found in script hands, but that there is a whole host of hands that are beautiful, enjoyable, and practical for everyday writing....


Edited by JakobS, 11 October 2018 - 15:50.

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#10 sidthecat

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 15:32

I started out with a trained hand but a certain dissatisfaction with the appearance of my writing. Flex does a lot for me, and I love the ridiculously-flexy dip nibs I’ve put in some of my fountain pens. The style I’ve been working in (derived from Edward Johnston’s informal script) is not especially flex-dependent, but flex makes it look a bit more interesting.

#11 ENewton

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 23:32

Another overlooked writing experience, for those interested in line variation, is a brush (or a brush pen).

 

As with flexible nibs, there is practice involved, but the feel of writing with a brush is lovely, one can get dramatic line variation without worries about springing a nib, and although there are exotic brushes to be had, one can buy a very satisfying brush or brush pen for just a few dollars.



#12 MG66

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 09:44

 
Give me $50 and I'll send you a flex fountain pen capable of keeping up with a dip pen. and I'd have a little change left over.
 
Noodlers Ahab with a zebra G is deeply underrated.



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#13 Honeybadgers

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 09:56

 

Personally I find the Zebra G nibs far too sharp to practical for writing. There's a somewhat similar risk with certain italic nibs too, I guess.

 

It takes practice, but the zebra G is probably the closest a dip nib will get to being a usable everyday writer. It's not GREAT, but I can take notes in class with it no problem.



#14 pajaro

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 23:47

I like noflex stub or italic.  No pressure control dilemma.  Just the left handed over writer version of line variation.

 


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#15 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted Yesterday, 10:38

It does matter so much if one is left handed; and what style of pen holding one uses to what pens can be used.

 

Dip pens left handers ....don't think it's overwriters, do have an advantage, I have to have an oblique nib holder to match the natural advantage of a left hander.


Everyone says poor Mozart dead at only 36. None say poor Mendelson, dead at only 38. His family only allowed him to start at 20, but before, musicians use to come to the Mendelson garden to steal the music of Mendelson and his sister. A good artist also, can still buy prints of his famous Scottish drawings in Scotland.

 

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany      Info on Bock nibs

 

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

 

Pens/inks/paper on hold for a year....new addiction pocket watch chains. :happyberet:






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