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  1. I just returned from Portland, Oregon and Reed College. The college holds a "Reunion" for alumni every Spring with lots of programming. Since Stephanie Snyder developed the "Calligraphy Initiative" through the Cooley Gallery, of which she is Director and Curator, Reunions has included special calligraphy events, generally with Reed alumni as guest artists. This year, we had a very special guest. Paul Herrera is a former student, protegé of and successor to Fr. Edward Catich at St. Ambrose College in Davenport, IO. Father Catich was the person who figured out that the monumental Roman inscriptions, in particular that on the Trajan Column in Rome, were executed by painting the letters on stone with a brush before carving them with a mallet and chisel. When I was an undergraduate at Reed, I had the privilege of watching Fr. Catich carve the name of the main administration building on a granite lintel. Like his mentor, Paul Herrera is a calligrapher and stone carver. He is now retired from the St. Ambrose faculty. He is a lovely man, and I enjoyed a couple of long conversations with him immensely. He gave a lecture and demonstration of brush lettering and of stone carving. He brought with him a photocopy of one of Fr. Catich's rubbings of the Trajan Column inscriptions Paul Herrera I had my first experience lettering with a brush and gouache. I'll just say it requires a somewhat different skill set than pen and ink lettering, but I became intrigued with the technique and plan to work on it on my own. Those who attend the weekly Scriptorium at Reed enjoy the gift of available consultation from a couple of Lloyd Reynolds' former students who became professional calligraphers of no little accomplishment themselves. Jaki Svaren is known by a number of members of this forum as the author of "Written Letters," a wonderful collection of alphabets in many styles along with instructional text. I am happy to say, this book is in the process of being republished and will, hopefully, be available again in a few months. Jaki Svaren Anita Bigelow was also a student of Reynolds. Her favorite styles are gothic, as demonstrated in this banner: I had a wonderful time, as I usually do when I can attend the Scriptorium. I hope you find my brief account of my latest visit enjoyable. Happy writing! David
  2. http://i.imgur.com/Rztd5EX.jpg My Scriptorium custom arrived yesterday! I was at school when it arrived and then had work immediately after, so it was past midnight when I could finally ink it up. It's beautiful! The camphor smell is just beguiling. The pen has a sterling silver roll-stop, which Renee commissioned from her silversmith. I ordered the pen with two nibs, a fine and a medium - both are rhodium-plated 18kt gold. You can see the Scriptorium "S" shield logo engraved on the nib. Being celluloid, it could possibly stain. I ordered a spare black ebonite section, to prepare for that possibility. I could not find any instances of the Tibaldi Impero celluloid staining, but it's a possibility and I figured a spare section was a good idea. http://i.imgur.com/UJxnbon.jpg It's really hard to capture the depth of the material. This photo is taken with as much focus as I could get with my shaky hands. I had asked for a pen in the flat-top Romillo style with a circular roll-stop. This was a custom order but Renee liked the model and added it to her lineup under the name Aeterna, which means "everlasting, eternal" in Latin. This is a medium-size pen on her pen dimensions chart. Renee did a fantastic job. I've been fortunate enough to own custom pens by some of the other pen craftsman and Renee's craftsmanship definitely holds its own. http://i.imgur.com/lP9TXFw.jpg This one is taken with HDR on. As you turn the pen in you hands, light plays inside the chipped ice pattern with deep blue veins and it's just stunning. I've so far just used the medium nib and inked it up with Diamine Damson. It's a wonderfully smooth writer! http://i.imgur.com/FkpI5dJ.jpg Here's the Aeterna compared to a few other pens I had close by. From left: Hakumin/Edison Pearl, Shawn Newton custom, Romillo Eo #9, Scriptorium Aeterna (medium-size), and Eboya Kyouka (medium-size). I'll do an in-depth review when I've had some more time to use it.
  3. These two are Epic Dip Nib Holders. Diameter at the grip is around 12mm, and the pens are around 130mm long. The top holder is made from Mineral Sea Lava Explosion, and the lower holder is made from Green Teal Mist Lava Explosion. These are my short, fountain pen sized holders. I also make longer dip nib holders in the Literati style.
  4. Scriptorium Pens

    Cumberland And Clipless

    This is a Medium Sonneteer in some of the prettiest Cumberland Ebonite I've ever seen. The barrel diameter is around 13.8mm. Clipless, it comes with a matching pen rest. The nib is a JoWo #6, & the filling system is cartridge/converter/eyedropper.
  5. Hello Fountain Pen enthusiasts. Today I want to share a review of a recent aquisition I made from Scriptorium Pens. First of all I have to say that communicating and working with Renée, who is the wonderful person behind the lathe and who makes all these beautiful pens, was a joy. First we had to stablish what materials I wanted for the pen. This was not an easy task since there is hundreds and hundreds of different materials and colors to choose from. Well, I waited a month to think about what I wanted, and thank God I waited because in that time Renée did the first Idyll model. This was the model pen I wanted, and after all the thought I chose a beautiful German Lucite called Illuminated Amber. What sold it to me was a picture from the Scriptorium Pens website. Also, Renée told me that it was her favorite, and that sealed the deal. Then there was the choice of using another material for the section, which I decided to use an acrilic called Red Urushi. It gives the appereance of laquer, and it has a wonderful deep red color. I was sure that it was going to make a nice contrast with the translucency of the amber tortoise. The nib I chose is a 1.1 stub, and it is a German made Jowo nib with a Ruthenium coating. The detail that complements the pen and gives it an elegant look and feel is a Sterling Silver band that I decided to put between the barrel and the section. This way the different materials have a piece that separate them and gives them more character. The nice part of doing a Custom pen is the endless possibilities of shapes, sizes, nib types, materials, colors, etc. Renée leads you on what she thinks works best, but always tells you that is your pen and you should do whatever pleases your pen appetite. When Renée starts the pen she confirms you with an email, and this starts a wonderful experience looking at all the process of your pen beeing produced by hand on a lathe. All thanks to instagram and the wonderful pictures Renée puts in her feed. The pen was finnished and sent to me with insured shipping, very fast indeed. The pictures that Renée sent me to my email confirmed that what she made was what i visualized in the begining and exactly what I wanted. But still I had to get the pen on my hands to feel it and sense it in person. Well, I must say that it is a work of art. it is total perfection, and by far my favorite pen of my humble collection. The feel in the hand is incredible. The polished lucite and the texture is undiscribable, it is like wet but at the same time so smooth. The translucency of the material is gorgeous, you can see the nib through the cap. The threads are impecable, all the work is done to perfection. For size comparisons the pen is the size of a Montblanc 149. So it fits perfectly in my hands. The balance is just right. It is a light pen, but it has more weight on the front. The nib writes smoothly, they are inspected and tested before leaving, so it was no problem the first time I inked it and wrote right away. The section is just beautiful, and that band....cant give any more complements on this beauty. I hope you liked this review, and really the pictures dont do justice to the pen. You have to feel it in your hands to experience it. Fully recommend Scriptorium Pens. Thanks for looking!
  6. Well, it is that time once again, another fine instrument just added to the collection. This time, a 100% custom pen hand made by Renee at Scriptorium pens. Yes, I am name-dropping as I am an incredibly happy customer and there is a bit of history with this pen. Still interested? Please read on. Pics at the end courtesy of Scriptorium Pens. My own pen photography is not this good. A little background history: My partner and I have to work great distances apart, myself in the middle of England, my partner in Scotland, thats about 300 miles distance, which means, for the first half of this year at least, we will not see too much of each other. So, in the wee dark hours, I hatched an idea to get my partner (Linda) something really special. At that point I started trawling thru FPN and fell across some pens made by "Scriptorium Pens", in actuality, a wonderful Lady called Renee (sorry can't get the accent on the letter e). After a LONG trawl thru various designs available, clip/nib combinations then finally choice of material I took the plunge. Here is how it happened. First contact: Email to Scriptorium pens with a rough intention, pen model, materials etc etc. Long wait? Nah, SAME DAY, complete with price breakdown, postage and payment method, all clear, nothing hidden. Too easy. Ok, curved ball time. As the pen was for Linda I had to try and work out what size. Yep, every single bit of the pen custom, including the size. Email time. Second contact: A quick email exchange re size and a query about bracketing (black ends). Almost immediate answers (does this lady not sleep)? This is too easy. How does the work commence? Easy. Spec sent, payment made, the pen goes into a work Q and an estimate is given on timescale (which as it turned out was accurate to about a day). What happens while waiting: Most suppliers (won't name them) this is where there is total silence. Not here. Scriptorium has an instagram site. All pens under manufacture are photographed during the process. I got an email to say it was due up next on the lathe, time to watch it grow. One gets to watch the pen grow from a rough block of something that looks like a rough rock develop and bloom into 3 dimensional art. This process is just truly unique and amazing. Once done: Photos are taken and an email sent which is what I would best describe as a sign off, am I happy with the work? Wow. You betcha. Blown away already. Post: Wrapped up securely and full postage tracking from the U.S. to the U.K. I was able to track it's every single movement. On arrival, it went straight into my overnight bag for my trip to Scotland. Wow factor: First we had to break the custom seals. Then ease the box open. Very secure. Inside, bubble wrap, enough to survive a 30 foot drop. Inside that, a tough flexible pen transport case. Inside that a velveteen pouch with a drawstring. Nearly there.... Nothing is going to get damaged in this packaging, nothing. And then the pen. Oh wow. Stunned. First impressions: It is a light pen. It reminds one of the Conway Stewart Churchill/Model 100 in weight, but much better quality. Sorry CS fans, I have 2 of my own, Linda has 3 and this is better quality. Remember this pen is HAND MADE and custom right to the n'th degree. Quality control is everything and I cannot find a single fault or niggle end to end. Even the finish doesn't have any microscopic polish/cleaning marks it is just awesome. Some serious magic has been worked here. Shape: The Bard utilises an almost identical profile to the CS Belliver which I like, but has a bit of extra girth and is a lot more balanced. The pen in the hand: Is worth two in the bush. (oh that is soo bad) Cost: I won't divulge in case I break any forum rules, sorry. The Scriptorium site does however give a reasonable indication and once a spec has been made, a quick email and one gets a full quote. I like that method, no hidden extras and no guessing. Consider, I have had a pen made, to my detailed spec, using the materials of my choice, with solid silver trimmings, nib of choice, and been allowed to watch it being made from the other side of the Atlantic. How does it write: First time every time. Loaded the pen up with Waterman Tender Purple and away it went. Linda had the first scribe and it just flowed beautifully from her hand. 1.5 Stub nib and it just did the business. Nice. Sorry no writing samples, the pen is now 300 miles away from my sticky mitts. Name That pen: Bard. But we have renamed it to Purple Passion. Filled with Waterman Tender Purple. And finally: To the pen pics, but before we go there, I just want to mention that this is not about a pen. It is about a complete and total end to end experience. Anyone can set up shop and sell pens. To work with a customer from design right up until postage at this level of detail is customer service at it's highest point. I know, I have worked in customer service for many many years. Thanks for reading, and a big big shout out to Renee at Scriptorium pens for making our unique piece of 3 dimensional art. Thank you, very very much. I have added a link to the site below in case anyone fancies taking that leap... D.

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