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  1. A Smug Dill

    Montblanc 146 with Calligraphy nib

    From the album: First look

    I know I said I wouldn't get this, if for no other reason that it's a Montblanc.

    © A Smug Dill

  2. The third edition of Jaki's book has just been released! For more information, see: Enjoy! David
  3. The third edition of Jaki Svaren's classic calligraphy and paleography book has just been released. This edition is very similar to the long-out-of-print second edition with some improvements in design. It is slightly larger in format, including the handwritten text, and it is spiral-bound, so it lies flat when opened. Many of us old folks learned from the earlier editions and treasure them. Now, this masterpiece of calligraphy history and instruction will be available to a new generation of those interested in beautiful writing through the ages. One of the best features of this book is that Jaki includes the ductus for each letter of each alphabet, along with comments about the choices one makes in forming written letters and about special techniques used. Jaki was a student of Lloyd Reynolds at Reed College in the 1950's and has had a long and distinguished career as a professional calligrapher and calligraphy teacher. For your interest, here are photos of the cover, title page and table of contents. And here is an example of why (pun intended) I think this is such a great resource: This book is available now through John Neal Booksellers. Enjoy! David Full disclosure: I have no financial interest in this product. I am a graduate of Reed College. I took a class from Lloyd Reynolds. I know Jaki Svaren socially through Reed College calligraphy events. The book was produced by the Curator and Director of the Cooley Art Gallery of Reed College, Stephanie Snyder, who is my daughter-in-law.
  4. A third edition of Jaqueline Svaren's classic calligraphy reference book, "Written Letters," is about to be released. More details can be found in the Handwriting Section in the following topic: Enjoy! David
  5. A third edition of Jaqi Svaren's classic book of calligraphic hands with historical, technical and philosophical annotations is about to be released. "Written Letters" originally had instructions for 22 historical and modern calligraphic scripts. The second edition had 33 scripts. The third edition has a new introduction and other new content, but I do not have details on what has been added. Jaqueline Svaren was a student of Lloyd Reynolds in the 1950's. She has worked as a professional calligrapher and teacher of calligraphy. In my opinion, her book is a treasure. The third edition of "Written Letters" is now available for pre-order through John Neal Booksellers. Disclosure: The editor and designer of this book is my Daughter-in-Law, Stephanie Snyder. She is Director and Curator of the Cooley Art Gallery on the Reed College campus in Portland, Oregon. She nor I have any financial interest in this publication. David.
  6. fpupulin

    Two different moods

    What does calligraphy do? Rounds the letters and make them flourish, engrosses the strokes here and there and transforms the words into painted shapes… It charms the eye. I wrote the first sheet with the Montblanc 149 Calligraphy and the Black Permanent ink that I have been using for a year in this pen, alternating it from time to time with Blue Permanent. I took advantage of the nice choice offered by Hahnemühle's Ingres pad, with its laid paper in nine different colors, ranging from pure white to slate gray and dark hazelnut. For the theme of “enchantment”, it seemed interesting to me to use one of darker sheets, with an almost burnt color. To further increase the sense of mystery and charm for the eye, I decided to add the drawing of a "magic symbol". The symbol is an unpretentious invention, the synthesis between different figures that are used to populate the world of magic and mysteries. But the enchantment of Calligraphy is actually white magic, innocent, sunny and bright like the beautiful shapes of letters and the intertwining of words. So I decided to make a new version of the text, on a light and bright sheet of paper. For this reason, and taking advantage of the fact that the ink of my Calligraphy was now on the point of running out, I filled it, for the first time in a year, with a light ink: Diamine Golden Brown. I quite like the effect... It seemed interesting to me how the mood suggested by the two sheets, even with the same text, can be so different, and I hope it may have seemed curious to you too.
  7. Does anyone know what happened to the Montblanc Calligraphy ink - red version? I've seen a few photos. I've seen listings at stores that were then taken down. I've seen no writing samples, no one saying they have purchased it. Was this ink ever actually released? Does it exist?
  8. dms525

    Shadow Nib

    Shadow nibs make for interesting writing, but they are really a useful tool when learning a script written with a broad nib. They make your nib angle and stroke direction more obvious. Thus, they make it easier to identify (and correct) errors. David
  9. dms525

    Shadow Nib

    Shadow nibs make for interesting writing, but they are really a useful tool when learning a script written with a broad nib. They make your nib angle and stroke direction more obvious. Thus, they make it easier to identify (and correct) errors. David
  10. Now that it is possible to buy Pilot Plumix pens — which are fitted with broad-edged nibs — with different (F, M and nib widths, I bought a new set (as opposed to the old three-pack all fitted with M nibs; I still have another one of those sitting in a drawer unopened, although Amazon Australia don't seem to sell them any more), with the expectation that I might use them as nib donors for three new Prera pens, which have remained unopened for over a year because in themselves they aren't such interesting pens. This is how they write, compared to the standard round-tipped F and M nibs on the Pilot MR (or Prera, 78G, etc.): I now have a second set of those pens on order, after seeing the results!
  11. I’m here to discuss what I have found to be the most efficient ways of producing beautiful handwriting as a left-handed person. I have tried and am familiar with numerous writing positions known to lefties including underwriting, side writing and overwriting (hooking). What I present to you is not the sole way of going about lefty calligraphy, it is simply what has worked best for me and some of the most capable left-handed calligraphers. If you find another method that works well for you, if you’re getting positive results, great! Do that if it works. I hope this will be of help to some of my fellow lefties. Let’s make one thing clear: lefties are just as able as right-handed people to produce beautiful writing. If the proper positions are used, any type of calligraphy is possible. If one searches thoroughly enough, one can actually find a decent amount of information regarding left-handed calligraphy and left-handed writing in general. Unfortunately, little of this information is standardized (especially on online forums), and a good portion of it is misleading. I’ll start with something that causes perhaps the most confusion: scrips that require a broad nib like gothic, uncial, etc. In this case, I turn the paper 90 degrees clockwise and write vertically toward myself. The advantage of this is twofold; I never have to worry about smearing ink, and I can use a standard-cut broad nib (straight across, not an oblique) to achieve the proper angles desired. This puts me at exactly the same angle as a right-handed calligrapher. The only thing you might have to get used to is seeing the letters vertically. Tip: While practicing, turn your reference script (if you’re using one) 90 degrees as well so as to familiarise yourself with what the alphabet looks like at this angle. It’s very possible to use a left oblique nib. In this case, one should angle the paper clockwise at around 45 degrees. The paper should be positioned slightly to one’s left. This produces the proper angle. I prefer to write vertically at 90 degrees because it seems like the angle is more stable and it allows me to use a standard broad nib (not a right cut oblique, however). I highly recommend watching this video concerning the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrCFFt9uac0 Let’s talk about pointed pen calligraphy. There are two very effective methods: using a straight holder and writing under the writing line (this naturally achieves the correct line thickness), or using a right oblique nib holder and angling the paper clockwise somewhere between 45 and 90 degrees, the latter of which one is essentially writing vertically under the line as in the previous section on broad nibs. I go back and forth between the two methods. I think both are completely acceptable and efficient for pointed pen work. I will say, however, that making flourishes seems to be easier using an oblique holder. Here’s a demonstration by the wonderful left-handed penman John DeCollibus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOjh0SkwyCM As for standard cursive writing, I tend to angle the paper clockwise and write under the line. This works very well if you’re a frequent user of fountain pens as you won’t have to worry about which ink to use, nib size, flex, etc. With this position, any combination of nib, paper and ink work well. You might have noticed that all of the positions that I’ve discussed are “underwriting” positions. That’s what I use and what I esteem to be the most effective technique for lefties; however, this doesn’t make other forms of lefty writing like side writing or hooking incorrect. Unfortunately, in many calligraphy books the sections dedicated to lefties are often short and lacking in detail. There are very few books dedicated solely to the left-hander. Nevertheless, here are a few helpful resources on left-handed writing and calligraphy: Left-handed calligraphy by Vance Studley. The Calligrapher’s Bible: 100 Complete Alphabets and How to Draw Them by David Harris. The Italic Way to Beautiful Handwriting: Cursive and Calligraphic by Fred Eager Calligraphy 101 by Jeaneen Gauthier https://www.iampeth.com/lessons/left-handed https://www.nibs.com/content/left-handed-writers This has been a quite lengthy post, but I hope that you got something out of it. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. For calligraphy and art related things, find me on Instagram @trsmith_art Best, Trenton Smith
  12. fpupulin

    Calligraphy And

    I am opening this topic in this forum, because the Montblanc forum is one of my favorites on this network, but not only. In fact, I present an exercise, which was born to give my ideas a calligraphic shape, made with two of my Meisterstück 149, the recent Calligraphy with its beautiful flexible nib and another 149 with BB nib, a pen from 1984. And on the same sheet I also present a drawing, made with the Calligraphy pen, which engages in a self-portrait and a portrait of her sister with the double bold nib. Very Montblanc, as you can see ... An anecdote about the realization of this operetta. I drew the second pen, the one next to the cap, after shading the first one on the right. While drawing, it is frequent to turn the sheet to give it the best orientation with respect to the position of the hand and to be able to execute the lines without hesitation. On various occasions, as I moved the paper, I perceived the pen drawn on the right out of the corner of my eye and I got ready to grab the pen before it rolled off the table, ha ha ha ... Deceived by my own trompe l'oeil! The second frame adds nothing to what we already know from the first, but the light reflected by the chronograph dial was so magical that I had to photograph it, and now share it with the friends of the forum.
  13. Hello. I'm wondering what dip pen nibs should a beginner that is serious about learning purchase? I'm okay with spending a decent amount of money if the quality justifies the price, considering I don't plan on randomly dropping the hobby and I'm absolutely *determined* to get good at calligraphy. Also: Does it matter what nib holder I purchase? If so, what would you guys recommend (for both a straight holder and an oblique holder)? Thanks in advance for any responses. =)
  14. SaintPat

    Hello From Colorado

    My appreciation for writing instruments began in college while taking a calligraphy class some 30-odd years ago. I later began a career as a draftsman (Think T-squares, triangles, rotary erasers, lead holders, pens & mechanical pencils). Over the years I've dabbled in design & sales until landing in a management position. I do travel for my company and before each trip, I research and pen stores/shows within driving distance. It is physically impossible for me to leave a pen shop without buying something.
  15. Rigidity Index of the new Meisterstück Calligraphy 149 Expression Nib In September 2019 Montblanc introduced to the market a new collection of fountain pens called “Calligraphy” that have as their central core a flexible nib called “Expression”. In this presentation, we briefly discuss the new Meisterstück 149 equipped with an Expression nib made of 18kt yellow gold. This version is called "Montblanc Calligraphy Flexible Nib Special Edition". The base is the famous 149 made of black resin and with yellow gold trims. The pen has a total weight of 33.1 grams with ink (22.3 grams, without cap and with ink) and a closed length of 15 cm and 13.5 cm without cap. All of its elements are the same as the standard 149 pen, including the ABS plastic feeder. The Montblanc Calligraphy 149 has a very fine nib, EF-type nib if written without pressure, with a line width of 0.3 mm. When applying pressure, the flexibility of the tines is felt and a stroke up to 1.4 mm wide can be generated, according to the official press release. In our tests we have untroubledly achieved strokes of 1.2 mm width. We have also achieved almost 2 mm strokes with formation of "railroads" in many cases (this depends on the fluidity of the ink used). All this performance without excessive pressure and with a complete recovery of the nib when the effort ceases. Due to our support angle we have not experienced feeder friction on paper in our tests. The bending capacity of the Flexible Nib Expression is excellent and applying the methodology of characterization of the Rigidity Index (see link below), that allows us an objective assessment, we obtained the following measured data (237-217-261-271-256-253-268-245-265-289-282), with an average value obtained of 284.4. This value characterizes this nib like an IR2/FLEXIBLE. So it is a flexible nib that offers the feeling of being writing with a dip pen but with the cleanliness, softness and touch of a high-end fountain pen with the best performance. Only we can propose an improvement to this wonder with a traditional ebonite feeder, which would certainly improved the ink flow in major openings (this is something that can be solved at the buyer's own risk). Thanks for reading and best regards. Thanks to ValenSpain for special contribution in the realization of this analysis. References. Press Release: “The Fusion of Art and Writing: Montblanc Meisterstück Calligraphy Collection, a Tribute to the Beauty of Handwritten Self-Expression”. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/343637-mb-149-expression-nib-calligraphy/ https://www.montblanc.com/en-shop/collection/writing-instruments/meisterstueck/119700-meisterstueck-sol-gold-leaf-flex-nib-fountain-pen.html https://www.relojes-especiales.com/foros/estilograficas/indice-de-rigidez-metodo-sencillo-para-valorar-flexibilidad-de-plumin-368039/ https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/291773-rigidity-index-a-simple-method-to-evaluate-the-flexibility-of-a-nib/ http://estilograficas.mforos.com/2126518/12874704-metodo-sencillo-para-cuantificar-la-flexibilidad-de-un-plumin-indice-de-rigidez/ http://vintagepensblog.blogspot.com.es/2015/07/measuring-nib-flexibility.html https://fountainpendesign.wordpress.com/fountain-pen-nib/flex-nibs-experience/flex-nib-quantitative-classification/
  16. Calligraphy & Lettering Techniques Before we begin, it is important to understand the difference between Calligraphy and Lettering and also their importance in today's culture. Though these two terms are used synonymously, there is a difference - Calligraphy is the practice (or art) of writing beautifully while Lettering is the art of illustrating individual letters. Lettering is the broader variant often used to draw letters rather than write letters whereas calligraphy is more likely to be used in longer pieces of writing. Now, Irrespective of the type of writing, you must make sure that you are pressing hard on the downstrokes and light on the upstrokes. This is the perhaps Calligraphy 101, you will be very cognizant with this technique initially but after a while, you will get used to it and will come naturally. Before we describe the various styles of writing, you must be aware of the tools that you will be needing to get started with this art form- Plain paper with no texture or patternsSmall RulerBrush pensPencilClassic dip pens (and ink)Fine LinerMarkerAll these various tools will be needed at different times and strokes while writing and can be very important and powerful tools in your bag. Now that you have what you need, let's begin. Bounce lettering This is a fairly simple and basic form of modern calligraphy and is slowly becoming very popular due to its mass appeal and easy comprehension. As the name suggests, there is a very bouncy feel to the letters and words and is used in a lot of social media and modern artwork. Following are the steps - Draw baselines in the form of a table on a sheet of paper, like you would in elementary school. These lines will serve as the guide for you to write and they can be of any size or shape you would likeDraw the sketch of the words by pencil so that you can make your edits whenever needed. Please ensure in the case of bounce lettering that every consecutive alphabet is above and below the baselineGo over the sketch with a brush pen of your choice Spaced lettering Once again, as the name would suggest, this style of calligraphy is far more spaced out and flowing. A bigger font size would be preferable in this style but not mandatory. Following are the steps - You can keep the base grid a bit more slanted for this style since the overall style will be of that natureStart drawing a rough skeletal sketch of your design with a pencil, and try to extend the ending strokes of each letter while leaving more space between them as wellMaking sure there is not too much space left in between the letters, go over the pencil sketch with a brush pen Faux Calligraphy A very popular and interesting form of calligraphy, especially since it can be made with any kind of writing tool. Faux means fake and this technique is kind of a way to imitate real calligraphy through various stroke patterns and techniques. Following are the steps - You can start off by drawing evenly spaced out perpendicular lines on the paperNext, with a fine liner, write a word or phrase in cursiveClearly mark out your downstrokes on the written piece with a pencil so you know where you need to emphasise your writingLastly, fill up the downstrokes with a fine liner or a brush penMake sure that all the ink has dried off before you touch the piece to ensure there are no smudges or marks Customize You can always go this route and try to bend the rules of traditional and modern calligraphy. You can try to amalgamate the various kinds of calligraphy styles or of course create something completely unique and wow your audience. For this, you can take inspiration from the various techniques and nuances from the various styles. TIPS FOR WRITING As previously mentioned, the upstroke and downstroke techniques are perhaps what differentiates calligraphy from normal everyday writing. You must consider that as the baseline for all calligraphy and artistic writing. Always remember thin upstroke and thick downstroke. Now coming over to some other very important tips and tricks you must consider while writing - Angle - You must hold your pen at a 30-60-degree angle and must remain that way throughout your writing. This is major because the kinds of pens being used for writing are different from the ones we generally use. Nib - The nib of the pen must be at all times pointed towards a single direction and you should not twist it around. Parallel Lines - As you must have noticed, the first step to start off any artistic writing is to create a base of lines that you can later leverage. You must ensure these lines are clearly prominent and parallel to one another to create consistency. Consistency - Most of the calligraphy is created for aesthetic pleasure and this means that if it doesn't look good then it does not really have much use. So, you must try to be as consistent in your approach as possible, of course, there is no need to chase perfection because that might just be impossible. Spacing - Though you may want to create your own unique style of writing, there should be a balance of spacing between the letters, not to close and not too far apart. Lastly, just like in any other form of art form or expertise, you must practice becoming better at it. Though it may be cliche, it is true and the best way to practice would be for a brief time every day. Try the various styles and figure out what suits you and what your unique style is. Oh, and one last tip Have Fun! You can get best calligraphy books from here.
  17. Hello fellow Montblanc fans, We made a video overview of the new Montblanc Calligraphy collection. Let us know what you think of this new Flex nib and the Gold Leaf Solitaire! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6meE30Dk_Q
  18. Hello everyone. In the past I had made a publication that was to make a decision to get my first vintage flexible fountain pen and finally I could own one of these beauties.It is a moore safety pen in black hard rubber with a very good ink capacity since this is a long but slender pen.The pen feels quite comfortable and light in my hand is a pretty beautiful pen that always impresses people when they see a retractable nib of my moore.The 14k gold nib is small but has a good flexibility as the seller told me on his website that he lists it as a nib superflex. The 14k nib is an extra fine point when used without any pressure and not a single stroke has failed me and we add that to be an extra fine nib it is quite smooth. When I write cursive with the flexibility of this nib it is quite satisfactory and does not tire me and they offer me a beautiful line variation without the need to put a lot of pressure. I also want to comment on you that the nib is something dry but without being annoying (I mean feeling scratchy or skipping strokes) and even in rhodia paper using flex it dries almost instantly without fear of accidentally stains on your sheet or In hands, it may be that the somewhat dry sensation is due to the pilot blue-black ink that I use since it has some time that the lid broke and I stuck it with adhesive tape and this may be somewhat thicker by evaporation.And what is most impressive about this great fountain pen is that it has never shown railroading when I use it in flexible mode :notworthy1:and I don't have to be dipping it in the inkwell at all times as with my dip pens. Although we cannot deny that the dip thought of what I have managed to see in the hands of a calligraphy expert they can create an extremely beautiful calligraphy. Although I personally have bad luck in finding a good combination of dip nib and ink XD and it is somewhat complicated to get ink at a good price in my country. Unfortunately I don't think I have time to improve my handwriting for an approximate six months since I find myself doing my professional practices at the university to be a lawyer. I attach my results with dip pen:FP FLEX NIB AND DIP FLEX NIBS IT IS VERY ENJOYABLEI became addicted to flex nibs!
  19. bobje


    A thread for fun with versals.
  20. sunilscallipgraphie

    Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen Review

    Hello FPN Group, Recently I have ordered a Platinum Preppy EF 02 Fountain Pen, Made in Japan, it is a very low cost and is affordable by anyone who wants to test it at-least once. The price in INR is about 350. The nib is made up of steel and the body is plastic. The grip section, screws off and by default it comes with one cartridge. The only thing troubles is that the cartridge is more expensive, but you once the cartridge is empty you can remove it and can convert it to eye dropper by applying silicon grease. But one thing I need to say is it writes like a charm.
  21. Hello everybody its Michael here at Dromgooles. If you are in Houston on Friday April 26th I have got the place for you to be! We are having a social/meet and greet with Cary Yeager aka Fountain Pen Day at 6pm at Saint Arnolds brewery. This is a casual hangout to meet with other like minded people, and show off your favorite inks, pens, papers etc. We are also going to be doing door prizes and giveaways of some new exciting stuff with high odds to win! Cary, isn't in town often so please stop on by to meet and hangout with him, he is a real pleasure. The "event" will run until it all fades out, so even if you only have a little bit of time, we would love to see you. Also, for those interested, we are having a pen show at the store Saturday April 27 with Anuj Poddar of AP Limited Editions and some of his new pens including the amazing bulkfiller in some, also featuring Cary, so there should be a fun crowd hanging around (10am-4pm). Snacks and drinks will be provided! If you have any questions at all please feel free to reach out and we will be glad to help!
  22. Hello everybody its Michael here at Dromgooles. If you are in Houston on Friday April 26th I have got the place for you to be! We are having a social/meet and greet with Cary Yeager aka Fountain Pen Day at 6pm at Saint Arnolds brewery. This is a casual hangout to meet with other like minded people, and show off your favorite inks, pens, papers etc. We are also going to be doing door prizes and giveaways of some new exciting stuff with high odds to win! Cary, isn't in town often so please stop on by to meet and hangout with him, he is a real pleasure. The "event" will run until it all fades out, so even if you only have a little bit of time, we would love to see you. Also, for those interested, we are having a pen show at the store Saturday April 27 with Anuj Poddar of AP Limited Editions and some of his new pens including the amazing bulkfiller in some, also featuring Cary, so there should be a fun crowd hanging around (10am-4pm). Snacks and drinks will be provided! If you have any questions at all please feel free to reach out and we will be glad to help!
  23. EmJayJay

    Hello From Southport, England

    Hi, Im Matthew from Southport. Im 46 and have just started using fountain pens again. I got a Lamy Safari as a treat to myself in January for helping my son complete a 30 day handwriting challenge. Id wanted a Safari for ages, but couldnt justify is as I hardly write anything. Now, I keep a journal, have 2 Safaris and have rediscovered my old Parker 45 I had in school. Its now in full working order and in rotation. I guess my fascination for pens comes from my dad who does calligraphy, from luxury watches and from EDC. Hope this tells you what you need to know! Matthew
  24. thesmellofdustafterrain

    The Philosophy Of Spencerian Script?

    When I was choosing a script to learn, I was interested in Spencerian because of the philosophy behind it. Articles talk about how the shapes were based on nature and mention that learning the philosophy was an important element to learning the script. However, there isn't much mention of this in the six-book set from Mott Media. Just the theory book and the five copy books - which are lovely and I'm learning a lot from these books. However, I want to also learn about the philosophy that inspired this style of writing. Are there any resources out there that cover this?

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