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  1. 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.
  2. Wouldn't it would be entertaining to post favorite recipes written using favorite pens and/or old handwritten recipes that came from friends and family? I am starting with a German Stuffed Turkey recipe given to me by a long ago exchange student's mother. If you are so inclined, please share your own and we can all join in two exciting obsessions! As Jacques Pepin would say, "Happy cooking!" written with my Edison Nouveau Premiere F nib
  3. I just sign up to the Fountain Pen Network, I'm a big fan of cursive & Calligraphy writing. I purchase a Franklin Christoph fountain pen. It writes smooth but the weight of the pen is heavy it takes a little getting use to. I've got back to practicing my cursive after so many years of not doing so. Here is a quick sample of my writing I wrote this paragraph pretty quick. I am a left handed, tell me what you think of my writing, & tell me what i need to work on. Thanks By the way I use a combination of forearm & whole arm movement.
  4. Here is a view of my penmanship, yesterday I posted a topic but the comments were saying that is was pen small. So I decided to pen a poem & alphabet with big letters. I'm not used to writing large words I'm do my best work writing small. Tell me what you think of it. Thanks
  5. Just writing a Poem in cursive today, usually I'll do my drills before I write. This time I didn't, tell me what you think.
  6. I decided to write a quick paragraph, I pen this pretty fast. The ink I was using wasn't flowing smoothly from the nib. So it was slightly difficult to maintain control, but I felt I did pretty good. Tell me what you guys think. Here is some vintage writing from C.P. Zaner considered the best penman to every live.
  7. For every person who wants to improve on their cusrive writing should be doing drills to get use to the whole arm or forearm movement. Plus it's a great warm up before writing, here are some drills that I practice daily. I did direct & indirect ovals, and push pull drills. At the bottom I pen the alphabet just for kicks. When doing these drills don't use any finger or wrist movement. Tell me what think about doing drills. I hope to see other people's on how they do drills. Also on ending forms. the letter d, r, & t. these endling forms should be written only on words that end with this 3 letters. I pen an example of how it's done. Any comments or feed back will be appreciated. Thanks.
  8. Hello FPN! Long time lurker, finally decided to join up. Well, I currently work as an Emergency Medical Technician in the Greater LA, and surrounding areas, mainly as a Medical Taxi, as the inside joke goes. I can either drive or attend, but my current permanent partner prefers too drive, so I took up the clipboard and pen and took over the Attendant's spot. Back in December of 2012, I picked up cheapy calligraphy set from a Staple's. I don't recall the manufacturer, but it was pretty terrible, no ink flow, constant leaking, et cetera. I came across a Manuscript Italic Nib set; while cheap, was a remarkable improvement over the other. Given that the nature of our job involves gobs of time just sitting around and waiting, and I had fairly horrible handwriting, I decided to start doing runs in calligraphy. While I was certainly not perfect in the beginning, I noticed how easily I seemed to be picking it up. As in I could dissect the letters from the exemplars without the "1,2,3" guides. In discussing it with my Mother on Facebook Chat one day, she said she wasn't surprised, and mentioned that I did calligraphy for a sprint when I was a bit younger, with one of her older sets. I honestly did not recall it, as I had several dozen 'creative' interests when I was a kid. Dropping one, only to move on too the next. I suppose the basic fundamentals stuck with me on some level, and I moved forward with my self-improvement project. The first runs I turned in were done in 'Olde English' or 'Blackletter' style. The looks and stunned expressions I received were amusing, and each supervisor; while impressed, were uncertain if the runs could actually be turned in, as we sent them too Medicare. I offered to rewrite it in normal hand, and the response was: "No, let's turn it in, and see what they say." I guess each step up the pyramid resulted in each superior saying the same thing. Eventually the biller took notice, contacted them directly, and the only rules were: Black Ink, and Legible. Anything else was just a different handwriting style and individual preference. As such, I was 'approved' in my project and have continued it ever since, and am more or less addicted to it now. I still have my Manuscripts, in varying nib sizes, and have expanded to include; in no particular order: *Speedball Dip Pens: Oblique for Engraver's Script, 'Normal' Nib Holder, and the Hawk Quill Holder, a much smaller one intended for inkers in drawing, but has become my favorite for personal home use. *Noodler's Flex Nib. Not the Ahab, but the smaller one that has the plunger refill system. I like it, but I can't seem to get the nib and feed 'just right' to get the thick/thin script I want to learn. *Pilot Pluminix. Basically just a modified Italic Nib Pen, but I prefer the grip that keeps the hand in a specific angle, and the Pilot Ink just works better for runs and everyday use. Though I do alternate between this one and my Manuscript. And yes, much of this is the 'cheapy' versions of the many higher quality versions. It's a compromise between not necessarily having the funds for them, and not being set back terribly through the potential loss of damaging and losing them out in the field. I've been by these forums several times for inspiration in different hands, and have practiced about a dozen different hands up to this point. I look forward to future sharing of our mutual passions.

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