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Favorite Cursive Italic Pen Or Nib?

cursive italic

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#41 biancitwo

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 18:59

a custom CI ground from a 3776 C nib would be a super great pen. I already love the C nib.
 
there is already a stub with the music nib.


Pendleton Brown modified my 3776 Bourgogne with B nib to a CI. It is outstanding. It is also a nice counterpoint to my unmodified 3776 Chartres Blue with B nib.

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#42 pajaro

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 19:17

Pendleton Brown modified my 3776 Bourgogne with B nib to a CI. It is outstanding. It is also a nice counterpoint to my unmodified 3776 Chartres Blue with B nib.

 

Out of this B nib you ended up with a medium italic nib?


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#43 madeline

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 02:31

A Chartres Blue 3776 is now in the mail, though I opted for a medium nib.  Will see what that's like when it arrives (unmodified). If I like it too much as it is, I will not be able to send it off to PB for modification (and will have to buy yet another pen for that! : )


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#44 biancitwo

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 19:44

Out of this B nib you ended up with a medium italic nib?


I did, but how did you know? I don’t recall mentioning that before. Of course, Platinum nibs run finer than Pelikan nibs, so a CI from a Platinum B is likely comparable to a CI medium in a Pelikan. It is actually comparable to an M605 medium that I asked Pendleton Brown to make a finer CI. The M605 medium was ground to a finer CI and is superb. The 3776 B turned out to be the same size as my CI M605. The 3776 is super, and the M605 is perfect.

#45 pajaro

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 22:15

I did, but how did you know? I don’t recall mentioning that before. Of course, Platinum nibs run finer than Pelikan nibs, so a CI from a Platinum B is likely comparable to a CI medium in a Pelikan. It is actually comparable to an M605 medium that I asked Pendleton Brown to make a finer CI. The M605 medium was ground to a finer CI and is superb. The 3776 B turned out to be the same size as my CI M605. The 3776 is super, and the M605 is perfect.

 

Rule of thumb.  I wondered if it held true.


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#46 Purplecate

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 08:42

Thanks Brunico, you reminded me, there is a Stipula italic/stub - I got it from The Writing Desk as a replacement nib for my F-C Loom B. Not sure exactly what size it is but Martin thought it was a 0.9 and I can confirm it writes finer than my other 1.0 or 1.1 stubs. I have it on a Nemosine Singularity at present and like it a lot. Not sure what the cost of a Stipula pen with this nib would be.

#47 madeline

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 18:52

Very useful to have these suggestions and ideas for nib sizes (suitable for CI transformations).  I just received in the mail a new Platinum 3776.  It has a medium nib and it is so gorgeous!  It will take me a day or so to approach it and ink it up.  (Here's hoping I didn't choose a nib size too small for becoming an enjoyable cursive italic nib... I find it so hard to make nib choices.)


Moderation in everything, including moderation.     

                                                                                     --Mark Twain


#48 madeline

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 21:40

I waited until today to ink the Platinum 3776.  It's the wonderfully blue "Chartres Blue" and it's ever so much lovelier in hand than in its online photos.  Not having had a 3776 before, I am enjoying its feedback.  I think this is the pen I want to send in for transformation into a cursive italic nib (it's a regular Medium right now).  But first I'll give myself time to enjoy it as it is.  I waited until today to ink it up because today is my one-year anniversary finding all of you here at FPN!  And somehow that called for a celebration of sorts.  Thank you all so much for this first year of learning, collecting, scribbling, and amazing posts!

 

~M


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#49 OMASsimo

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 00:26

image.jpg



#50 Houston

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 08:36

I waited until today to ink the Platinum 3776.  It's the wonderfully blue "Chartres Blue" and it's ever so much lovelier in hand than in its online photos.  Not having had a 3776 before, I am enjoying its feedback.  I think this is the pen I want to send in for transformation into a cursive italic nib (it's a regular Medium right now).  But first I'll give myself time to enjoy it as it is.  I waited until today to ink it up because today is my one-year anniversary finding all of you here at FPN!  And somehow that called for a celebration of sorts.  Thank you all so much for this first year of learning, collecting, scribbling, and amazing posts!

 

~M

 

Madeline:

 

So delighted that you've been enjoying your first year of fellowship on FPN, and I hope you fall in love with your 3776 Chartres -- as I have with mine. Platinum makes some outstanding pens and, while they're not cheap, they're high on my list for most-writing-pleasure-per-dollar-spent. 

 

A few thoughts to add to the many excellent suggestions and observations you've already received. I'm not including writing samples, but you might have a lot of fun looking through the beautiful stuff on the Stub o' The Day thread. Lots of modern and vintage examples, there. 

 

I've been using/collecting stubs, CIs, and music nibs (plus a few obliques) in all price ranges for about 20 years. I get excited about them. I don't have as much expertise as many others on the board, but I do have a lot of experience writing with these nibs, both contemporary and vintage. 

 

Firstly, the distinction between a stub and a CI is -- if not theoretically, then practically -- very subjective. The nibs.com article you've already been pointed to can make it seem like these are two very different types of nibs. But, in my experience, it's a continuum, with a lot of overlap between what one person calls a CI and another person calls a stub. You can get a pretty sharp/crisp stub, and you can get a pretty soft CI. A lot depends on who's doing the grinding. There is a thread on here (that I can't locate just at the moment) with considerable discussion of how the different nib-meisters' grinds compare. For example, without specific instruction, John Mottishaw -- who's amazing -- cuts the edges of his stubs a little too sharply for my tastes. Pendleton Brown has a softer touch. Richard Binder always struck me as right in the middle. Of course, all these folks will grind a nib to your specific request. But to make such a request, you have to know both what you like, and what their baseline/default is -- so you can ask them to vary from it. This isn't as difficult as it sounds, because you don't have to be able to describe the nib, per se; you can describe how you want it to feel, and what you want it to do.

 

(While stubs and CIs can be hard to distinguish from each other, and arguments might break out at the pen club about whether a nib is one or the other, music nibs and obliques are another matter. You can't mistake a proper, three-tine music nib for anything else, and obliques are also usually pretty obvious.)

 

Next: I haven't read, on this thread, anyone enquiring about what you'll be using the pen for. The practical distinction between stubs and CIs intersects with the type of writing you'll be doing and how you want the nib to perform. There are many types of lettering projects for which the sharp, crisp lines of a CI are really required to get the best effect -- not just maximum line variation, but maximum bifurcation between the down-strokes and cross-strokes (verticals and horizontals) without much middle ground between them. Conversely, if what you want is a comfortable writing experience, stubs are more likely to deliver that, with (ostensibly) more modest line variation, but with more fluid/rounded transitions between verticals and horizontals -- which may or may not be to your taste. When I started out on this odyssey, I wanted maximum line variation, so gravitated to CIs. I quickly found that, for my application, which is writing at length, CIs were a terrible choice for me. The ones I used delivered stunning line variation, but I couldn't write fluidly and quickly in a way that was comfortable. Those sharp edges kept catching, or I'd get "skipping" -- which was really not skipping, but the result of inattentiveness to nib orientation, to which CIs are more sensitive than stubs. So, I eventually settled on stubs for my application. They deliver the maximum line variation while still giving me a fluid handwriting experience. YMMV. Another rule of thumb is that the broader the CI/stubbed nib, the more sensitive to rotation it will be. 

 

I have found that pens with stubs and CIs more often give me ink-flow issues than other pens. There is no reasons why this *should* be, but there are a couple of reasons why it happens in practice. First, there's that issue of nib position. Stubs and CIs can seem to have skipping problems even when there's no issue with ink flow, because some of these nibs can be particularly picky about how they're positioned on the page. The sweet spot can be tiny, and can require very specific angle or rotation. For me, the holy grail is a nib with a huge sweet spot and great line variation. This will remain mostly a fantasy, as the two are a trade-off. The second reason some stubs/CIs present flow challenges has to do with the amount of ink required by the broader surface contact of nib on page. A thick line requires more ink than a thin line, and some feeds aren't up to the job. This can be an issue with broader/wider stubs and CIs. In actuality, this isn't usually a problem, but I have seen it -- probably because I love broad stubs, and my tastes run to a really juicy flow. I can make an otherwise respectable feed beg for mercy.   

 

I'm sure you already know this, but I haven't seen much comment about it on the thread: If line variation is what you're after, then you're going to get a lot more of it with a broader nib than a finer one. I have a bunch of medium-nibbed pens that I've had ground to stubs. I appreciate the subtle line variation, but I doubt many other eyes would even notice. Folks who get F nibs stubbed baffle me, but more power to 'em. You really start to see drama when you stub a B or a BB nib. It was being impressed with the visual impact from those nibs that led me down the path of music nibs. God help me. That's a whole 'nother thread.

 

Another note on line variation -- and, again, this is probably obvious and I don't mean to sound remedial...just for completeness and in case a newb happens upon this thread: You didn't say your quest was for maximum line variation, but by far the gold standard approach for line variation is flex nibs. I am not particularly a flex fetishist, but most of the lettering that leaves me awed is done with flex -- and a lot with flex nibs on dip pens.  And that invites a discussion of flexy stubs, but let's not.  

 

Lastly, it probably goes without saying that price is no indicator of the quality of a stub/CI -- whether factory or custom-ground. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I've had steel factory stubs that could write rings around some of my custom-ground gold stubs. Better put: I've had singing angels on both ends of the price spectrum, and I've had sweary miscreants (fit for nothing more than tormenting one's enemies) at both ends, as well. Had I to do it all again, I'd start by exhausting all the possibilities at the cheap end of the spectrum before investing in custom grinds on nice pens. I'm talking things like Nemosine, TWSBI, Lamy (and others), plus the aftermarket stubs like the ones you can find at Goulet, which fit a variety of modestly-priced pens -- including some of the Chinese and Indian cheapies. 

 

As for obliques: Again, others are more qualified than I am to address the magic of obliques, but I've never found a job an oblique could do that a stub couldn't do just as well. The question -- at least in my hand -- is about how one holds a pen, by default. An oblique can provide line variation, but the job it's uniquely suited to is compensating for idiosyncratic rotation and nib position. For a long time, when I was a yoot, I thought I had to have oblique nibs because I'm a lefty. Pish-tosh. Now, one of my favourite pens is an oblique, but that's just a coincidence. I didn't pursue it with an oblique; it just came that way, second-hand. I'd like it just as much if it were a straight-cut med stub. 

 

Holy cannoli this has been a long post. Apologies. The only other thing that comes to mind is this: I'm someone who normally likes certainties, precision, universal standards and rules. I like the idea of being able to know, without handling it, what the difference will be between a 0.8 CI and a 1.1 stub.  In my experience, you can't. You've got to write with the buggers to know much at all about what the nib actually delivers. And you've got to do it with your ink and your paper. It's a freakin' stew; even if you think you know what's in there, you've got to taste it. 

 

Have fun tasting. 

 

--h


Edited by Houston, 25 February 2019 - 14:32.


#51 SoulSamurai

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 09:22

Houston, that was a very clear and informative post!



#52 BaronWulfraed

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 19:59

Possibly "CI" has various meanings too...

 

In my eyes, a "CI" is should have fairly extreme differences between transverse and longitudinal strokes (I'm using those terms as horizontal/vertical is often considered relative to the /paper/ sides, and the pen is held at an angle to those). However, the corners should be rounded enough to allow for speed in regular writing.

 

I class both of my Aurora's ( :bawl: should have checked my collection -- I'd have picked a different nib for the second) as what I would refer to as "formal italic"... IE: nibs that cut the paper if not held exactly right, and highly unsuited for rapid/general writing.

 

My (to be repaired) Stipula 22 has what I consider a nice CI, followed by the Stipula Passoporto italic and Lamy Joy 1.1 (which produced a 0.7mm longitudinal line for me).

 

"Cursive italic" is a semi-joined hand, in which speed is a partial goal. "Formal italic" is more unjoined/print hand which may even use multiple strokes for some characters (a two-stroke a or e, for example).



#53 corgicoupe

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 23:31

Where does a "pure italic" fit in this schema? I once heard it sad that a CI is a wannabe italic.


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#54 A Smug Dill

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 23:40

Where does a "pure italic" fit in this schema? I once heard it sad that a CI is a wannabe italic.


I've never heard any mention or reference to a "pure italic" nib. Just unqualified "italic", meaning it has a straight broad edge for a tip, or if people want to explicitly indicate that it has uncompromising corners on either end of the broad edge, "formal italic" or "crisp italic".

Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. I believe we're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but no shared values and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative.

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#55 Honeybadgers

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 01:19

Dill said it right.

 

General rule of thumb, from softest edges to sharpest

 

Stub, cursive italic, italic (crisp italic is also used often here.)


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#56 biancitwo

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 01:54

Out of this B nib you ended up with a medium italic nib?


I said medium, because it is the same size as my favorite M605 M CI by Pendleton Brown. The 3776 B started out narrower than my M M605 originally. I asked PB to reduce the M605 to a finer CI than he had given me previously. And, like all of my PB CIs, they are both superb.

#57 Honeybadgers

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 04:54

the 3776 B is very much a wet western medium. The C is closer to a proper double broad, but not quite. there's a huge difference in nib width between the B and C.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 26 February 2019 - 04:55.

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#58 TSherbs

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 11:09

This thread makes me want to ink up one of my stubs, but I have too many pens inked right now.

#59 A Smug Dill

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 11:18

The Pelikan M600 with the crisp italic EF (0.3–0.35mm for downstrokes and ~0.2mm for cross strokes) that Dan Smith ground for me is always inked. When I pick up that pen, I want it to be ready to write, and I enjoy writing with it so I pick it up often.

I can't say the same about any of my other pens with (broader) stub/italic nibs.

Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. I believe we're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but no shared values and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative.

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#60 GJMekenkamp

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 12:37

I only have the TWSBI Eco with a 1.1mm stub (factory stub). It is a marvellous pen to write with, although I sometimes wish it was a little bit crisper.

 

It is a perfect starter stub nib - but at some point you want something crisper (at least, I want something crisper - perhaps I'll get a couple of dip nibs).







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