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  1. AmericanMonk

    How do I use my acrylic inks?

    I recently acquired a bottle of Diamine's gold Drawing & Calligraphy Ink (acrylic base) and a bottle of Dominant Industry's Hologram (unknown base but smells a lot like Testor's enamel paint). I am hoping to inspire (in myself) more dedicated calligraphy practice and give myself a chance to increase my range of paper color options. I gave both inks a vigorous shake prior to opening the bottles and grabbed some nib holders. Then came the problem: both inks want to dry on the nibs faster than I can get them transferred to paper. I managed to struggle my way through what could loosely be called "writing" but it was a frustrating experience. I realize that most inks won't last very long on the nib (ie, I was expecting to have to dip the nib into ink several times to complete a word, sentence, or sweeping decoration) but I was having difficulty in lining a single 5mm downstroke with a Jinhao medium nib on some grid paper. I don't think there is anything wrong with the inks, per se. I've seen videos where Hologram gives other people (presumably more talented than I) some troubles. The Diamine Gold is cheap and the Hologram is very... experimental...ish? I assume that they aren't high-end options but any ink that isn't water-based is a new beast to me. The Diamine ink would immediately start to separate and needed to be mixed often but in all other respects the inks behaved admirably. Does anybody have experience with these types of inks and can offer tips and tricks? Do certain nib materials or shapes work better than others? Are nib holders the best way to go? or brushes? Can they be thinned and put through an air brush?
  2. I recently spent a few hours working on my good ole' ebonite Noodlers Konrad. I hadn't used this pen for quite a while and wanted to spice things up a bit. The changes I made (and highly recommend) are as follows: 1) the "easy my flex" mod, were you grind a portion off the sides of the nib as seen in the picture. 2) I doubled the depth/width of the feed channel, which managed to eliminate almost all railroading except on very aggressive downstrokes. and 3) I reground the tip to an XXXF needlepoint. I don't know how to measure the actual degree of fineness I achieved with this grind, but ill tell you it is so sharp that I may just use it to sew some new underpants. I don't by any means consider myself an experienced nib-alter-er-er, but it wasn't too difficult to shave the sides and smooth the tip with 8000, 12000 and 16000 grit polishing sandpaper. Anyways, here are some pictures of my work (and first attempt calligraphy); please comment if you have any questions, suggestions or have tried the same thing during your nib-related adventures. Enjoy.
  3. Hi, I just posted a new YouTube review of the Pumix Calligraphy Fountain Pen Set. I don't think it is as good as the Lamy set, but it is cool that you can put the nibs they give you onto other Pilot pens and also the Wing Sung 3013. It is quite affordable and it is a good way to get italic/stub nibs for something like the Metropolitan or the Explorer.
  4. Decades ago (at least 3), my beloved step-monster purchased this pen for me at an antique show. I didn't know how to make it work or what was wrong with it (if anything). When I went on an excursion into my caboose (Union Pacific 1952), I found several of these pens in my desk. I brought them to the office and shipped them off to ArtsNibs.com and he "fixed" this one for me. It's not a traditional fountain pen. You can read about it here. http://sheismylawyer.com/She_Thinks_In_Ink/Inked_Today/20141227_145646.jpg
  5. 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.
  6. 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

    • 0 B
    • x
  7. 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?
  8. PrestoTenebroso

    Desiderata: Bamf

    I was hoping to show you a picture of this new, very sleek looking pen, but it seems that's not an option right now. Lightly brushed, matte back body, gloss, transparent red section and ink window, designed around the Zebra G flex nib with a purpose-designed ebonite feed, but can take any screw-in #6 nib unit. Clipless. Handmade in America by me. Limited run. Please have a look at the full story at the link above.
  9. The third edition of Jaki's book has just been released! For more information, see: Enjoy! David
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. I'm in my 40s and am an artist wanting to learn calligraphy. I'm particularly interested in Copperplate. A recurrent issue is that I have a weird pen grip -- index and middle finger on the pen and thumb high -- a lateral quadrupod, from what I've been able to discover online. While I'm sure there are calligraphers who have the same grip but have found a way to work with it, I'm wondering if it's worth the effort to relearn holding my pen. Having the weird grip is making it difficult to fully enjoy some pens like the Lamy Safari. So has anyone completely changed their grip, and if so, how long did it take you to feel like you're as comfortable with the proper grip as your old one? My hand is currently feeling like a withered claw from practicing writing. It's only day one... thanks, Liora
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. Margana

    Nib Bent On Purpose

    This is a brand new pen. It isn't damaged. That is how it is supposed to look. It's a Duke Guan Yu Calligraphy Pen with an extra long tip. Gives new meaning to the "bent nib" or fude category. It can lay down a 4 mm line and is good for lettering as well as sketching. It isn't a general writing pen, but it can be tamed to write a 1 mm line. The overfeed keeps ink flowing nicely. Cool pen, eh?
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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!
  20. 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.
  21. 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/
  22. It all started on a very warm summer's day in July of 2016. I was working out of Shanghai at that time, and was going to a mall close by to meet a friend for lunch. It so happened that there was a promotion by Montblanc of their heritage rouge et noir line right on the main atrium on the ground floor of the mall which I completely chanced into. While waiting for my friend, I was browsing around their exhibits and lo and behold, spotted the famous, or rather infamous Axel, Montblanc's resident nib guru. I recognized him by face because Tom K at that time shared his experience getting a bespoke nib. At that time, he was about to finish his one on one sessions which you had to sign up for, and was preparing to head to the airport. I started to just chat with him about various MB nibs and expressed my dream of one day owning their calligraphy nib. He proceeded to invite me to sit down and chat. I started to pull out my notebook and when I showed him some of my writings, he immediately started to show me some of the nibs he could make. Long story short, I ended up with not one, but 2 bespoke nibs that day. One calligraphy nib, and one italic nib. I have seen and tried both the signature nib and calligraphy nib before when Montblanc first rolled out this service. That was at my local boutique in NYC with no guidance from a nib expert about a couple year back. It was super fun to use these nibs, but the bar of entry was high. Not just with the price, but also the process. They had to test you!!! I have always entertained the idea of getting one of these mythical nibs, but the idea of putting a deposit of such a HUGE sum of money sight unseen was not very reassuring. However, this time, with the ability to work with Axel in person, and his guidance, I decided to bite the bullet and commit. I went for the calligraphy nib, and I have to say it was a very good choice. The wait however, was not fun. When I finally got said pens in hand, it's February 2017. The calligraphy nib is nothing short of amazing. There is nothing in my 150+ collection of pens that come even close to it's width and special abilities. The closest I have is the 2.4 Pilot Parallel. It's actually even wider than the 2.4 as Axel called it 3.0 width. Unlike a lot of other very wide fountain pen calligraphy nibs, this nib does not have starting or starvation issues. It writes immediately when you touch the nib to paper. The other very special thing about the nib is it can still work when you lift the nib and write with the corner for thinner flourishes. This unique ability is something other VERY wide fountain pen nibs can't do. That's because this nib has extra channels cut into the corners of the nib that deliver ink to the entire width of the writing surface. Because this is a bespoke nib, I had an option to engrave my name to the nib. I find the idea of a nib with my name so strange because I have always intend to use this pen as a functional tool. I never wanted to get it as a significant occasion pen, which I guess most people do. So I decided to engrave the function purpose of the nib onto the side. Montblanc found this VERY unusual and asked many times whether the words I chose was correct:) I did say I had another nib made. Which was an italic. Perhaps I was caught up in the moment, and thought it might be very special to also get a Montblanc italic nib. On hindsight, it's definitely not as special as this calligraphy nib. In fact other pen makers make italic nibs that are much better without the high price and wait. If I were to do it again, I would only get calligraphy nib. Definitely stratospheric in price, but recommended wholeheartedly!
  23. 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. =)

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