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  1. 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?
  2. I'm continuing to work on my Copperplate script, and used holiday greetings and vocabulary here. Feedback and suggestions for improvement are appreciated. I had to switch to a Blue Pumpkin nib midway here because my Brause EF was catching on my paper. Happy holidays to all!
  3. I now have a few (modern) pointed nib, flexible (semi-flexible at least) pens. The most recent are a promising Conklin Omniflex and the best Fountain Pen Revolution" can offer. Im aware that, currently, nothing is as good as a dip-pen, antique, or "nib-meistered" option, but the former is unsuitable for my jacket pocket, and the latter are beyond back pocket capacity. My dream is to develop a reasonable copperplate using something from my pocket. So, I have the pens, but what ink might someone suggest. Pigment is clearly a poor choice due to clogging, and Im fairly clear the ink should be fairly "wet" in the sense of flowing well. Also, whilst there is a whole other hobby in collecting inks out there, I prefer to restrict myself to black: I write for my students and if I start being too adventurous I will end up receiving fluorescent homework! So, in a nutshell, what do members think is the best black ink for fountain pen copperplate? (Apologies if this is in the wrong section. Administrators should feel free to move it about as required.)
  4. So, about a month ago I began playing around with my first flexible fountain pen, and then for the past few days with some dip nibs and my attempts at shaded writing looked like this just two days ago (the 6th). Yesterday evening I printed out my first practice sheets and started working my way through Dr. Vitolo's wonderful eBook for the iPad Script in the Copperplate Style. It's a multimedia compendium of his articles and videos on how to write using the Copperplate or Embossed style of calligraphy. And then today I was able to run over to John Neal (just an hour west of here) and pick up an oblique holder (was using a straight holder with my vintage nibs). I have a day job so I've only made it through the small letters and a few capitol letters, and only the barest introduction to these forms (no long hours of practice yet), but just that little bit of actually doing it the right way, with the right tools has made my letters only horrible rather than criminal. I still need tons of work on just about every aspect (sizing, consistency, proportion, angle) but already I can see a huge difference. So, if you're wanting to learn, don't try to do it on your own. Find some good instruction, there is a lot out there for free on the internet, and the practice sheets you can get for free on the IAMPETH web site truly make a difference. And if you own an iPad, download this free book now. It's incredible with great explanations, illustrations and even embedded videos. It will make a huge impact on your progress.
  5. Hello again! I've updated my resource list with suggestions from Reddit and FPN. I'll keep working on it as more suggestions come in I HIGHLY RECOMMEND viewing the PDF here instead of reading this list! CANADIAN POINTED PEN CALLIGRAPHY ONLINE SHOPS Canadian Shops Aboveground Art Supplies www.abovegroundartsupplies.com/ Multiple in Toronto, ON Shipping: $10-18+ Free Shipping: $150 (ON, QC, MB only) Ships Via: Canpar or Canada Post Pens Dip: Sheaffer, Panache, Speedball/Hunt, Rotring ArtPen, reed & quill Pens/Markers: Pilot Parallel, Academy Viva, Faber-Castell, Lamy, Itoya, Pitt, Pentel, Tomboy, Prismacolour, Sakura Ink Copic White, Dr. PH Martin, FW, Liquitex, Koh-I-Noor, Calli, Winsor & Newton, Speedball, various India inks Watercolour: Dr. PH Martin, Da Vinci, Peerless, Turner, Winsor & Newton, Reeves, Sennelier, QoR, Daniel Smith, Grumbacher, Pebeo, Pentel, Pelikan, Prang, Yarka Paper Bienfang calligraphy pads, Moleskine, Ogami, Travalogue, Strathmore Accessories Various pen cleaners, gum arabic, general art supplies including bottles & droppers Notes Very large selection of fine art supplies, not all listed here. 10% student discount IN-STORE, friendly staff (at McCaul location). Search function for online store is irritating. Articulations http://articulations.ca/ 2928 Dundas St. W (W of Keele) Toronto, ON Shipping: Unknown Free Shipping: Unknown Ships Via: Unknown Pens/Nibs Unknown Ink Unknown Paper Unknown Accessories Unknown Notes According to a user on Fountain Pen Network, Articulations carries the elusive Finetec gold palette and Sumi inks, but I cannot find either on the website. DeSerres www.deserres.ca/en-ca/ Various throughout the GTA + Ottawa Shipping: $9-115+ Free Shipping: $39-$59 Ships Via: Canpar Pens/Nibs Dip: Hunt/Speedball, quills Pens/Markers: DeSerres, Pitt, Itoya, Pentouch, CalliCreative Ink Speedball, Colorex, Winsor & Newton, FW, China, DeSerres, Noble, IZINK, various India inks, Sennelier Paper Manuscript, Brause papers/pads, parchment pads Accessories Cleaning solution, gum arabic, general art supplies Notes None Fendrihan www.Fendrihan.ca/ Oakville, ON Shipping: Free Shipping: $50 Ships Via: Pens/Nibs None Ink Aurora, J. Herbin, Kaweco, Montegrappa, Omas, Sheaffer, Steadtler, ST Dupont Paper Clairefontaine, Leuchtturm1917, Moleskine, Rhodia Accessories Various pen cleaners Notes I really don’t know anything else about this shop. Quietfire Design www.QuietfireDesign.ca/ Vancouver Island, BC Shipping: Varies Free Shipping: N/A Ships Via: Canada Post Pens/Nibs Nib Holders: Speedball, Koh-I-Noor, Croquill, assorted straight holders Nibs: Brause, Mitchell, Speedball, Hunt, Gillott, Principal, Also: Ruling pen, suede pen, Pilot Parallel Ink Chinese sticks, Higgins, Inkstone, Pelikan, Sumi, Walnut Ink Crystals Paper Boris, Borden & Riley, Canson Accessories Leafing, Pipettes, Rinky Dink brushes and cups, Notes Also offers a Calligraphy Beginner Tool Kit for righties AND lefties, $17 each (Feb 2016) I have seen this shop recommended by other Canadian calligraphers, but have not ordered from it myself. Studio 6 http://www.studio-six.com/ Markham, ON Shipping: Varies Free Shipping: $200 (ON only) Ships Via: Canada Post Pens/Nibs Speedball Ink FW, FW Pearlescent, Daniel Smith Walnut, Dr. PH Martin’s Tech, Liquitex, Pinata, Winsor & Newton, various India inks, Pearl Ex Paper Arches, Cotman, The Langton, TerraSkin, Yupo, Strathmore, Canson, Canford, Daley Rowney, Jack Richeson, Schmincke Sansfix, Stonehenge, Art Spectrum Accessories General art supplies Notes To get to the calligraphy supplies on website, select “I” and then “Ink”. This shop was recommended to me by a fine artist who thinks well of it. I think they have the entire Pearl Ex line! Wonder Pens www.WonderPens.ca Toronto, ON Shipping: $8 flat-rate Free Shipping Minimum: $125 Ships Via: Canada Post Pens/Nibs Dip/Fountain: Lamy JOY, Kaweco Sport, Brause nibs and holders Markers: Pilot Parallel Ink Higgins, Rohrer & Klingner, Diamine, J. Herbin, Kaweco, Lamy, Monteverde, Noodler’s, Parker, Pilot, Platinum, Sailor, Waterman Paper Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Coach House Press, Field Notes, Leuchtturm1917, Life, Midori, O-Check, Quo Vadis, Hobonichi, G. Lalo, Original Crown Mill, Tomoe Paper River Accessories Blotting paper, empty ink bottles, bulb syringe, ink syringes, brass sheets Notes Large selection of bottled inks- I swear I saw iron gall in store, but now I’m not sure. Responsive service. Canadian Shops with no Online Shopping Gwartzman’s – www.gwartzmans.com (416)922-5429 448 Spadina Avenue (College & Spadina) Toronto, ON The Paper Place – www.shop.thepaperplace.ca (416)703-0089 887 Queen St. West (Across from Trinity Bellwoods Park) Toronto, ON Reid’s Stationary Store – www.reidstationers.com (403)229-4400 710-17th Avenue SW (E of 17th Ave SW and 45 St SW) Calgary, AB U.S. Shops Goulet Pens www.gouletpens.com/ Ashland, VA, USA Shipping: $9-40+ Free Shipping: N/A Ships Via: USPS Pens/Nibs Dip: J. Herbin glass, Rohrer & Klingner glass Nibs: Goulet, Monteverde, Noodler’s Art Brush: Noodler’s, Platinum Marker: Platinum Ink Aurora, Caran d’Ache, Cross, De Atramentis, Diamine, Faber-Castell, J. Herbin, Kaweco, Lamy, Montegrappa, Monteverde, Noodler’s, Omas, Parker, Pelikan, Pilot, Platinum, Private Research, Rohrer & Klingner, Sheaffer, Stipula, Visconti, Waterman + samples Paper Apica, Clarefontaine, Exacomspta, Field Notes, Filofax, Goulet, Leuchtturm1917, Maruman Mnemosyne, Midori, Quo Vadis, Rhoda, Traveler’s Company Accessories TWSBI inkwells, empty ink bottles, syringes, pipettes, sample vials/holder, various pen cleaning supplies Notes Inks are also available in sample sizes, individual and in packages. Goulet also offers an ink sample club. I have never ordered from Goulet Pens, but they receive rave reviews for both service and quality. Jet Pens www.jetpens.com/ San Jose, CA, USA Shipping: Varies Free Shipping: N/A Ships Via: USPS/Canada Post Pens/Nibs Dip: Speedball, E+M Artists, Brause, Tachikawa, Tokyo Slider, Nikko, Zebra, Deleter, J. Herbin glass Nibs: Brause, Deleter, E+M, Kuretake, Nikko, Speedball, Tachikawa, Zebra Brush: Akashiya, Kuretake, Pentel, Pilot, Sailor, Tombow, Uni, Zebra Marker: Sakura, Pilot, Faber-Castell Ink Caran d’Ache, Deleter, Diamine, Dr. PH Martin’s, Higgins, IC, J. Herbin, Kaimei, Kaweco, Kuretake, Lamy, Monteverde, OMAS, Parker, Pelikan, Pilot, Platinum, Rotring, Sailor, Speedball, Steadtler, Waterman Paper Doane, Field Notes, Kokuyo, Kyokuto, Life, Lihit Lab, Maruman, Metaphys, Midori, Raymay, Rhodia, Tomoe River, Word Accessories Various pen cleaners Notes JetPens is a reliable online retailer for all kinds of pens and office supplies. The website is extremely well organized, with pen-buying guides provided. I find that shipping to Toronto tends to cost between $10-20 USD. John Neal Bookseller www.johnnealbooks.com/ Greenboro, NC, USA Shipping: Varies Free Shipping: N/A Ships Via: Unknown Pens/Nibs Dip: Variety of straight and oblique holders, especially: wooden holders, Brause, General’s, Koh-I-Noor, Speedball/Hunt, Mitchell, Gillott, Tachikawa, Century Nibs: Nikko, Tachikawa, Zebra, Hiro, Leonardt, Brause, Gillott, Hunt, Mitchell elbow, Index Also: Pilot Parallel, calligraphy fountain pens, broad edge pens Ink Ziller, McCaffery’s, Richtone Sepia, various India inks, Dr. PH Martin, Moon Palace, various China/sumi inks, Bokuju, Calli, Higgins, Pro-White, Walnut crystals, Walnut liquid, Winsor & Newton, Dr. PH Martin’s Spectralite, Liquitex, Pearl Ex Pigments Paper JNB, Boris, Canson, Strathmore, Rhodia, Grafix, Fabriano, Maruman, Dura-Lar, various lined practice pads, Clairefontaine, Borden & Riley, Bienfang, Canford, Biggie, Pentalic, Stillman & Birn Accessories Gum arabic powder and liquid, pen cleaner Notes I have no experience with John Neal, but they also receive good reviews from other calligraphers online. Paper & Ink Arts www.paperinkarts.com/ Nashville, TN, USA Shipping: Varies Free Shipping: N/A Ships Via: UPS, USPS Pens/Nibs Dip/Holders: Horizon, Quill, Carrot, Century, Colonial, Deco, Dynamic, Hourglass, Paper and Ink Arts, Peerless, Pointed, Zanerian, Ziller, Speedball, Caran d’Ache, DipStik, Brause, e+m, General, Hunt, Koh-I-Noor, Manuscript, Scribe, Tachigawa, Tachikawa, quills Nibs: Brause, Crowquill, Esterbrook, Gillott, Hiro, Horizon, Hunt, Manuscript/Leonardt, Nikko, Speedball, Tachikawa, Tape, Vintage Hunt, Zebra Comic Brush: Brushables, Pitt, Kuretake, Pental, Pigma, Pocket, Sakura, Uni, Waterbrushes, Zig Also: Pilot Parallel, Straight Ruler, Noodler’s Flex Ink Calli, various Chinese/Sumi, Dr. PH Martin’s, FW, Gold High Flow, Higgins, Lumiere, Manuscript, McCaffery’s, Pearl Ex Pigments, Pebeo, Pelikan, Walnut ink, Winsor & Newton, Ziller Paper Arches, Arnheim, Art Paper, Blotter, Bugra, Canson, Diploma, Fabriano, Frankfurt, German Ingres, Glassine, Gutenberg, Kraft-Tex, Lanaquarelle, Magic Brush, Nideggan, Pergamenata, various practice pads, Schiller, Strathmore, Vellum Accessories Ink cage ink reservoirs, lefty pens and nibs, various related accessories Notes PIA receives good reviews for their selection- especially for oblique pen holders. PIA is the only stockist for the renowned Hourglass Adjustable Oblique holder. I have heard that they have spotty responsiveness to customer queries. I have just made my first order and am quite satisfied with their responsiveness. *I did have Artist Supply Source listed, but the website was so terribly organized and glitchy that I couldn’t list it in good conscience. Various Locations Massdrop www.MassDrop.com Various Shipping: Unknown Free Shipping: Unknown Ships Via: Various Notes MassDrop is a group-buying website. Members commit to purchasing an item at a quantity-reduced price. If enough members commit, the order is made. Orders can originate from different countries, so shipping varies. Availability also varies, based on which items are offered at the moment. In the past, they have had a Brause Calligraphy Bundle up for grabs, Rhodia notebooks, and Diamine ink. This shop comes recommended by a Redditor in /r/Calligraphy. U.K. Shops Scribbers www.Scribbers.co.uk UK Shipping: Varies Free Shipping: N/A Ships Via: Royal Mail Small Packets Pens/Nibs Nibs: Copperplate, Leonardt, Speedball, Willian Mitchell, Brause, Vintage & Miscellaneous Holders: Brause, cork, Scribblers, Speedball, various straight, various oblique holders Ink Liquid metal, Higgins, Scribblers, Diamine, Walker’s, Blots, various Kuretake, Prout’s, French Sepia, Dr. PH Martin Bleedproof White, Penman Colour Paper Conquerer, Arches, BFK Rives, Fabriano Artistico, Saunders Waterford, Zerkall Letterpress, Rhodia, Frisk, Goldline, Daler Rowney, Winsor & Newton Various: Tracing paper, blotting paper, Calligraphy practice pads and parchment Accessories Pen stand, pen cleaner, gum arabic, gum sandarac, pounce powder, Notes Scribblers appears to be well-liked by calligraphers on both sides of the Atlantic. I have no personal experience with this shop.
  6. I'd like to write a letter using one of my pointed dip pens (or possibly the glass dip pen, although that's still relatively new to me), and I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on a good cream or ivory colored stationery or paper to use? In particular, I am choosing to break out a dip pen as opposed to a fountain pen as I know the recipient does some US Civil War reenactment and I think it might amuse him to get a pointed pen letter in either walnut or iron gall ink. (He has not requested any such thing, I just think it would be a nice whimsical surprise... And I am not myself a history buff and am not sure I would be able to produce a period-appropriate hand anyhow if he did ask for such.) As such, if there is stationery that would be kind of a good match for that time period that also holds up well to dip pen use (bonus if also good for fountain pens), that would also be appreciated, because hey, why not go all out on a fun letter, right? (Write?)
  7. Beauty through Adversity - This thought kept echoing in my mind as I was carving this holder. Just like a hardship caused this Maple to become so uniquely beautiful, we too become stronger, better and uniquely beautiful through adversity. This holder celebrates the beauty in all of us as we face life's trials and tribulations. It is available in my online store along with a couple of others :-) - Salman
  8. Practitioners of Copperplate and Engrosser's Script know that the spacing in these scripts is fairly 'automatic' i.e. things fall in place rather nicely when the exit hairlines are drawn correctly and meet the following letter at about halfway up the x-height. It is interesting to ponder exactly why that is so. It turns out (no pun intended) that the bottom turns of the straight letters (i, t, l) etc are actually similar to the rounded letters (o, c, e). When drawn correctly, i.e. like the bottom right side of an 'o', exit strokes will be at the correct angle (i.e. match the slant) when they meet the following letter. What is even better is that the join won't be jarring even if the hairline meets the following letter a little bit below the halfway point - this typically results in an abrupt 'impalement' of the hairline into the following letter if the hairline is drawn a bit too shallow. Here is an exercise I give my students. The following image shows the bottom halves of 3 words 'ice', 'lit' and 'tie' - can you tell which one is which? (you can see the whole image here) The challenge is to write these three words and see if the bottom halves give them away. I will be looking forward to your participation. - Salman
  9. Hi everyone! I've compiled a list of online resources for Canadian calligraphers that you can view here! This time I've posted a link to the document on my website, so that I can update the list without creating new threads here and on Reddit. Highlights: 29 March 2016 Articulations in Toronto will soon be offering the Finetec pastels palette, various nib pens, walnut ink, and sumi ink online!
  10. Trying to find an inkwell appropriate for use with an oblique pen holder. Looking for something heavy and wide mouthed, obviously but also not so deep as to require 2-3 bottles of ink on hand to keep it filled to the brim. Right now I am using sake cups, but they have no heft and I always fear I will knock it over. Any suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks!
  11. I wanted to be able to practise Copperplate without having a bottle of ink and dip pen out, mostly due to having young children who are fascinated by the ink and pen, and always manage to find them if they're not locked away! *The ink and pens, not the children! I decided to try out a couple of Ackerman pump pens, and compare them to the Desiderata Daedalus. My aim is to have an easier, less risky way of practising. Apologies again for the photos quality, handwriting, and verbosity in this review. Ackerman Junior Hunt 101 & Gillot 303 AU$17.29 each Postage AU$2.67 each 3 weeks to arrive in Australia 15 g with a tiny bit of ink inside and lid on. Lid 4 g. These pens arrived in a standard C5 (or similar USA size) envelope with a printed invoice or packing slip, and in a squished, flimsy white cardboard box with "Ackerman Pens" on it. I won't keep or reuse the box. Due to the cheap price, I don't expect any more fancy packaging, though being wrapped in a layer of bubble wrap or similar would offer more protection than the box. That's not to say that nicer presentation wouldn't be appreciated. Once again it would have been nice for at least one page of instructions or a welcome note or something to be included. This pen has a different appearance than is shown on the website. It is plain black (no red stopper) and has no clip on the lid. It is a plain matt black cylinder, darker than the Daedalus and perhaps more consistent in appearance, though not as smooth to the touch. There is an oval hole where the yellow rubber tube shows, and can be "pumped". There is an orange O-ring on the pen body to hold the lid secure. The lid pushes on and is held secure by the O-ring. There is a thinner section inside the lid to prevent it being pushed down too far (fine with Hunt 101 but could possibly still hit the end of a longer nib). The lid posts, although it's a bit loose, but, as with the Daedalus, this makes the pen a bit heavy for me. The feed is pointy and goes almost to within a few mm of the end of the nib. It has quite a high profile, which looks strange hanging down under the nib, but doesn't seem to get in the way. The feed has a hole in the back of it, then a hole in the top (presumably they connect) then a slit that stops just before the end. The Hunt 101 feed is the one designed for the "Principality" nibs according to the Ackerman website (Manga G, Hunt 99, Hunt 101, Esterbrook 375, Falcon, Brause B, Brause C), and as such is slightly too long for the Hunt 101, so to compensate the nib is slid slightly forward. I found the fit a little bit loose - the nib slides back a bit with too much pressure on the tip. Although this shouldn't happen in normal writing situations, I got so frustrated with the lack of ink flow that I tapped the tip of the nib on the paper (not too hard!) and this made it slide back too far. I like both the Hunt 101 and Gillott 303 nibs. They don't require too much pressure to spread the tynes, although they are more likely to catch on the paper than the G nibs, and don't bounce back to a point quite so enthusiastically (even if their point is finer). Filling is fiddly. One of my pens came with an end stopper that was fairly easy to remove, the other one has an O-ring on the stopper which makes it really hard to remove. There is a rubber tube inside the pen body which needs to be filled by eye-dropper. I have only tested these pens with Higgins Enternal. I don't have any eye-droppers, and couldn't find the one pipette I own, so used a soy sauce fish instead and tried to introduce the ink one drop at a time (didn't work very well - surface tension meant it was inclined to block off the end of the tube) or by inserting the nozzle of the fish into the tube (didn't work very well as it sealed the end, making it difficult to displace air to allow the ink to squirt in). With one of the pens, when I finally did get 5 or 6 drops of ink into the tube, it suddenly all poured out the nib. With the other, sometimes each drop would drip out. With a bit of mucking around (including pushing the nibs and feeds further in), and a lot of mess including ink getting in between the tubing and the pen body and now leaking out through the oval pump hole), I finally got enough ink into the pens to do some writing. I feel worried about ink leaking out of the end where the stopper is, although this may be unfounded. I found that the nibs ran dry and railroaded fairly quickly. Pumping by itself did nothing, possibly due to the small volume of ink, except when it made sudden big blobs of ink. Giving the pen a flick to get some ink to move down, loosening or removing the stopper, plus a gentle pump, seemed to get some ink flowing. I found myself wanting to dip the pen so I could keep going, which really defeats the purpose. The pen spontaneously dripped ink on one occasion, whilst doing a down stroke, blotting the page badly. These pens look nice and I had no hesitation buying them to try out (not least of all because one pen plus postage costs the same as postage alone on the Daedalus). I had read reports online of problems with customer service and delivery delays, but decided for the relatively cheap price I was happy to risk it. Then pens arrived (I'm in Australia) 22 days after I ordered them. I am completely happy with that. I am disappointed with the performance, the fiddliness, and the mess. I can't work out why they don't work better, even just with gravity feed, and I will try them out with some other inks and a better eye-dropper/pipette. The pens look nice and would be a lovely tool if they actually worked. Update ---------- I decided to carefully inspect the Ackerman pens. One of the pens had a patent barrel. I could see straight through the tube to the other end. The other pen I couldn't see through. I pulled it apart and discovered a white plastic grommet sitting sideways inside the tube. I pulled them out and then tried to reinsert them. This was so difficult, even with the help of a lot of detergent and water to lubricate. I managed to pierce a hole in the tube while using a cotton bud or chop stick or skewer to try to poke it back in. The tubes are made of Thera-Band, which luckily I have some of to replace it with, but I couldn't find any yellow tubing around the house. I used red, which has a minutely larger diameter, but I managed to get it back in and position the grommet at the end of the tube near the section/feed (which I assume is where it's meant to be). I have not disassembled the other pen to see if it also contains a grommet in that position. I inserted the feed and Hunt 101 nib, and filled the pen with Winsor & Newton Blue Black ink (the blue lid bottle, not red) using a small syringe. The ink dripped straight out, so I tried holding the pen almost horizontal, squirting some ink in, and putting the stopper on quickly. The dripping ceased as soon as I got the stopper on, and there seemed to be some ink still in the pen. I wrote a couple of lines quite successfully after cleaning the nib up a bit. I then had to put the lid on and go off to do something. When I came back to it a couple of hours later there was ink in the lid and all over the nib. I got it writing again after dipping in water. The next time I needed to fill the pen I removed the nib and feed, and filled it from the front end with the stopper in place so the ink didn't run out. This was still a bit messy, but seemed to work better. I had to dip the pen in water again to get it writing. Before dipping it in water, if I pumped the pen I could see the ink seeping through the vent, but it didn't make its way to the tip. I think some ink must have dried out between the nib and the feed, and dipping it into water resolved this. The next two times I went to used the pen, when I took the lid off I was faced with a lot of spilt ink inside the lid, and on the nib, feed and pen body that inserts into the lid. This is very messy and so I think the Ackerman pens need to be cleaned and emptied between writing sessions. Pros: Non-dip flex pen (when the ink flows) Easy to remove and clean or change nibs. Cheap Nice plain design Cheap enough that I don't mind playing roughly with it (piercing tube!) Cons: Leaks Leaks when trying to fill Leaks ink into its lid Messy to fill Ink flow is inconsistent Blots spontaneously Not portable
  12. I wanted to be able to practise Copperplate without having a bottle of ink and dip pen out, mostly due to having young children who are fascinated by the ink and pen, and always manage to find them if they're not locked away! *The ink and pens, not the children! I bought a Desiderata Daedalus so I would have an easier, less risky way of practising. Apologies for the poor quality photos, handwriting, and verbosity in this review. Desiderata Daedalus AU$66.06Postage AU$19.82Took just under two weeks to arrive.16 g half full ink, including lid.Lid 2 g. *ETA - I'm very pleased with this pen, and it satisfies my requirements. I'm worried this review sounds hyper-critical. The pen arrived in a mailing box, wrapped in a couple of layers of paper. I would have liked a page of instructions, "Quick Start Guide", web links, or similar. A sheet of bubble wrap would seem less haphazard packaging than a sheet of newsprint paper. For the price (I say this from a buyer's perspective, with no knowledge of manufacturing time or cost), it would be nice to have a cloth bag or box or something as well, or even for the pen to be wrapped in a nice piece of cloth for transit. This pen is a plain matt black cylinder. There is visible evidence of machining although it's perfectly smooth to touch and has a nice satin matt feel to it. The lid screws on (I think too many turns). There is some evidence of swarf on thread. The lid has a little metal bump on it to stop it rolling - I'd prefer if it didn't as I like really plain, unadorned things. The lid posts, but this makes the pen a bit heavy for me. The feed has a slightly rustic appearance (but this does not matter). The feed has a channel down its length finishing a mm or two from the front which is about 1.5 mm wide. The feed is rounded off and so the last cm or so of the nib is not covered by the feed. I found it almost impossible to remove the nib and feed, and not being able to find any pliers, resorted to using my teeth. When I wanted to re-insert the nib and feed, I found it almost impossible to push it in far enough again, and ended up holding it with a big wad of toilet paper and shoving and turning a bit, with a lot more brute force than I would have liked. The section also screwed in too tightly (probably due to my efforts to get the nib and feed back into place) and I once again had to resort to using my teeth to get it undone when I needed to refill it. I don't own a vice, or any large pliers (and can't find my small craft ones at the moment), so unfortunately couldn't think of any option other than teeth I now understand why some pens have an unattractive metal ring between the pen body and the section, and I'm thinking of adding something like that to the Daedalus so I don't end up with it stuck again. The pen comes with a Zebra G nib. I find the Zebra G requires a bit too much pressure to spread the tynes and get a nice thick downstroke, and so I get a sore hand after a few lines. I like that the Zebra G doesn't catch on the paper very much and doesn't rust as quickly as some other nibs. Also, it's a very nice looking nib. Filling is done by squeezing the ink sac. I find rolling the sac down into a spiral works well. The pen stopped writing with approx 1 cm of ink in the sac which was stuck up in the top of the sac and didn't want to shake down. I am a little bit worried that the ink sac could come lose as it is just slipped onto the section and not secured. Mine did slide up a mm or two when I was fiddling with it. I have tested this pen with Higgins Eternal and Winsor & Newton Blue Black (blue lid bottle). Ink flow seems to be almost perfect out of the box. Only takes a couple of words to get wet enough to do downstrokes. Possibly just a little bit too wet at times - although I'm aware there is a fine balance between too wet and railroading. Some ink seeps near where nib and feed enter the pen body, initially this was not enough to drip or make a mess, but after disassembling and reassembing the pen it is seeping quite a lot more and I keep getting it all over my fingers. I'm hoping that it will get clogged up a bit with dried ink and stop making a mess. I have successfully carried it in my bag (pointing upwards) and there were just a few droplets of ink on the nib when I next went to use it. I'm finding that I need to dip then nib and feed in water to get it started each time I get it out to write with. I wipe the excess ink off with toilet paper before storing the pen. Pros:Non-dip,real flex pen!Works reliablyPortableWasn't messy until I pulled the feed outPractical, no frills design (my preference) Cons:Moderate ink volume (I think flex nibs use more ink than normal fountain pen nibs)Very difficult to remove feed and nibSection screws on too tightly and gets stuckPossibly restricted to G nib (though I will try it with some others soon)Messy ink seeping out where the feed insertsExpensive (for an investment in an item of unknown quality and functionality)Expensive postageNot an item of great beauty.

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