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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 wondering if I should buy a 0.2mm or 0.3mm (or even 0.5mm) Mechanical Pencil for practicing Spencerian Script... It is suggested in several places that when practicing Spencerian Script I should use a writing utensil that produces as thin a line as possible. However, I'm wondering if 0.2mm or even 0.3mm lines are simply too thin? By the way, if anyone was wondering, this is the pencil I'm going to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Mechanical-Pencil-ORENZ-PP3003/dp/B06VWNYHY3?th=1 The reason I'm using a pencil and not a pen is because I want to use super cheap paper and I don't want to get any feathering, bleed-through, etc. What do you guys think?
  3. I have just started reviewing the Theory of the Spencerian System of Practical Penmanship, which is American and therefore doesn't include the German ß. Does anyone have a image of how it's supposed to be written? Dominique
  4. I am 20 years old, a left handed writer, and new to the world of fountain pens. I taught myself cursive when I was in the 7th grade, because before then my penmanship was absolutely terrible, and schools in the U.S. do not teach it past the 2nd grade. For a very long time I have admired the beauty of Spencerian script, yet I am very apprehensive to even attempt to learn it because of my handedness. Normally I am a hooker, like most left handers, but I do not view that as practical for a script that emphasizes whole arm movement. I am trying to become a sort of underhanded writer, and am doing the push-pull exercises as described in the book "Modern Business Penmanship" on IAMPETH.com. The trouble is, I don't really know what I am doing right, nor do I know what I am doing wrong. I have attached an image below of my grip and the angle at which I have the paper. Is this grip feasible for the script? Is there anything I could do better? Please let me know.
  5. First of all greetings to all I am new at The fountain pen network and in the magnificent world of fountain pens at the moment I only have one lamy logo and within a month I will get a 2000 lamy. I am a young man of 20 years old who since childhood my mother taught me the art of writing. I use the palmer method to write and I love it and more when I use stub nibs because of the effect of line variation.And I've had some curiosity about trying out new calligraphy styles like Spencerian or Copperplate and I really do not know which one to start with first and which one is going to make it easier with Palmer's bases.and with respect to the tools that are used I have never used flexible nibs I have only used round and stub, I do not really know how hard a flex is.So what do you recommend? Is it worth trying or should I continue with palmer?I also leave some samples of my handwritingDocumentos escaneados.pdf
  6. Hello FPNers, I'm all about vintage flex and want to use a rough adaptation of Copperplate for journaling and letters. A while back I purchased a lovely little gold-filled ring top Wahl FP with a wet noodle #2 nib. The nib writes about a Western EF when not flexed, so I'd like to get a finer nib. My question is: should I have the nib reground to a finer point for calligraphy purposes or should I get another pen entirely? Will the small size of the pen make it harder to control for styles like Copperplate or Spencerian, or does the weight of the all-metal construction make up for it? Control is fine with the EF nib, but I'm wondering if it will be harder to control with a needlepoint nib. My big pen purchase goal for next year is to score a wet noodle Waterman 52. Would it be better to have the nib on a larger pen like that made into a needlepoint? Thanks for any advice!
  7. Greetings! This is my first post. My goal for 2018 is to learn Spencerian script. I am working my way through a bunch of exercise books I found online. I am trying to adjust my grip so it is better suited to using a fountain pen and dip pen. I am having some trouble though. I notice that my wrist and forearm are starting to hurt. I had issues with carpal tunnel syndrome from when I used to do a lot of data entry, and it has suddenly flared up. I have not had pain like this for over 5 years, so I am frustrated. I am not sure if this writing position is simply not suitable for me, or if I am doing it wrong. The photo titled "Grip 1" is what I notice that I keep drifting to when using a fountain pen. The "Grip 2" photo is what I try to maintain and what I go back to once I notice my grip changing. When doing my practise drills I plant my arm on my desk, with the fleshy part of my arm the pivot point, and move back and forth in my sleeve as I write. I try to lift my wrist off the desk slightly, but I find that this starts to bring on the carpal tunnel pain. I have experimented with writing with my fingers and then using whole arm movements but it doesn't seem to make much difference in terms of my discomfort. If I tilt my palm so it is more at an angle (knuckles pointing slightly to the right instead of upright to the ceiling) it is much more comfortable, but then my form is incorrect and I worry that this will form bad habits that will come back to haunt me as I get more into this. Any advise + grip critique would be appreciated. Thanks!
  8. Hi there Fountain Pen Network, We are hosting Michael Sull in Tampa for four script workshops in February and wanted to extend the invitation to you all. He will be teaching American Cursive Handwriting (currently sold out), Beginning Spencerian, Off-Hand Flourishing, and Ornamental Penmanship. Class descriptions are here. Typically, he holds private or overseas workshops, so this is a unique opportunity for the Southeast U.S. Please see the attached flyer for more information. The Thursday-Sunday schedule in a few weeks is a great opportunity to visit Tampa and enjoy a nib-and-ink workshop with one of the foremost living penman. Spencerian is a significant facet of American history, circa 1850, as it was the de facto correspondence and legal document writing style before the typewriter came into widespread use. Mr. Sull will also be giving a lecture across the street at the Henry B. Plant Museum on Saturday February 10, which is free for workshop attendees. About Us: The Paper Seahorse is a creative studio and shop in Tampa specializing in fine stationery and paper, writing instruments (Lamy, Kaweco, Midori), greeting cards and seasonal items, vintage typewriters, tools for mindfulness, and creative classes. We’re led by Tona Bell, lifelong lover of all things analog. Please feel free to forward to anyone you think might be interested and don’t hesitate to reply with questions.
  9. Just starting out on my fountain pen and improve my handwriting odessey. It took a while for me to find a style I liked. I ended up with Spencerian as shown in Spencerian Handwriting by Ulysses. Its not the full blown Spencerian that almost looks like copper plate, and its a bit fancier than what I was taught in school that had no name but cursive. So I have downloaded some pdfs with the 52 degree guide lines and the the three spaces where the center space is smaller than the other two. Its been very helpful with my practice. So now we are going on a little trip and I thought I would keep a journal with my new found skill. But I still need guides for help. I bought some standard french ruled paper. And I viewed a few you tube videos. I understand the rules that Seyes came up with. But they dont really match up with my style. I have looked for examples and found some using the whole 8mm for caps and either 1 or two spaces for the small letters. Where the formal rules are 3 spaces for caps and 1 for small. And the other rules for loops tha allow an extra space. I have seen some people use as much as 16mm for fancy caps, 12 for less fancey and the small letters use 2 spaces or more for loops. I know I can do whatever I want and create my own size for my style. But I was wondering if others use French ruled paper, and if so, how you use the spaces.
  10. i have just bought a pilot custom 912 customized by john mottishaw to a spencerian. does anyone have experience with this set up, and if yes, any recommendations regarding black ink in terms of ink flow, feathering, bleeding etc.? thanks. best, nils
  11. Bonjour / Hello , I'm a young french student who wish to learn how to improve his penmanship. I don't really know anything about this art except that looking at some samples here on this forum has a very pleasant effect on my mind. I've decided that I would like to master the Spencerian style and I've just bought on Amazon the books by Mott Media (picture 1). I however have some questions regarding the pen i should use to start. Since I've never used a dip pen in my life, i don't know if it would be better to start the copybooks i've just bought with one (if yes, which one?) or if i should better use a pencil, ballpoint pen, or my fountain pen. I owed a parker fountain pen but i don't know anything about the size of its nibs .. (picture 2) Would someone be kind enough to answer my questions ? Or to give me the ressources to check for beginners on this topic ? Have a nice day, Valentin
  12. Hey everyone, First time writing here, been mostly reading for a few months and getting lots of very valuable information, thank you all! I have purchased the Spencerian Theory and 5 Copybooks of Spencerian and have faced this problem on the 3rd Copybook on Page 10. So the scenario where I'm having issues with: 1. missing dots above the j - unless it's a y 2. Has the dots, but why 3 of them? 3. No dots - correct (inverted h) is 1 a printing error? http://i.imgur.com/i4MqteA.jpg Thanks to all the Penman masters for helping out on this!
  13. OK, I bought the old Speedball Caligraphy Collectors Set, and the Spencerian Penmanship Mott Media about a year ago maybe? And I set it aside after just a couple of uses. Now I am going to give it another go and I was wondering about a few things. The ink is dry, is there a way to fix this or should I just buy new ink and cleaner? It came with the really small bottles anyway. I also read in another thread here where italic was recommended before moving on to Spencerian. I do not have any issues with this if it would be best. At this point handwriting skill is level ZERO. Can/Should I get a fountain pen to practice with? Or just stick with a dip pen? Also is an oblique holder a must for Spencerian and other scripts? I have no problems with learning it. I was just wondering. I am usually a pro lurker... but maybe this place will bring me more out of my shell. Talk to you soon! Michael
  14. Nowadays, when one wants to begin to learn copperplate,or spencerian, one of the first questions I usually see is "well, what kind of paper should I get?" Granted, there is nothing wrong with wanting the best paper for the job, and in todays market, there seems to be a plethora of paper types that are made spegifcally for pointed pen calligraphy, which I am admittedly extremely thankful for. That being said, I always wonder if the pioneers of pointed pen calligraphy were as spoiled as us when it came to paper selection. In my mind, I cant help but imagine that, in its infancy,calligraphers had very few types and weights of paper to choose from. I know that as calligraphers today, we are fortunate that there is seemingly "special paper" designed to be used in the different disciplines of handwriting/calligraphy. Can anybody offer me some insight as to whether or not a copperplate calligrapher could go out and buy practice pads specifically for use in copperplate or spencerian scripts, or did they have to make due with what they were able to obtain ? Just a question that I have always thought about bur figured if I askedn it here, I'd be thought of as some one who had a very limited knowledge of what penmanship consister of in the early days of the Golden Age of penmanship.
  15. Hi All, I finally found, for now, the perfect pen to continue my study of Spencerian. I'm not yet ready to tackle an oblique holder and nib AND learn a new method of cursive. So taking it one step at a time. I got the Pilot Falcon in EF and absolutely LOVE it. It has enough flex so I can begin adding the shades and is fine enough that my letters don't get filled in (even tho my Visconti's will always be my faves). My question is, as a school aged child in the 70's, I'm reasonably sure we were taught Palmer cursive or some ugly (to me) form of it. HOW do I drop that darn roundness? It's ugly and childish looking to me. I try to write ALL the time since I got into fountain pens and as much as I seem to try to avoid it, it always creeps back in. Part of what attracted me to Spencerian was the sexy angular formation of the letters. It's a very handsome, sharp, classy looking script. I feel like I'm never going to get it. I go slow through my practice and even then it's not that sharp angular look Spencerian has and I'm not giving up. I will learn this hand even if it happens on my deathbed. Are there any exercises to try & erase this ugly shape from my muscle memory? Attached is a sample...it's not really in Spencerian. There are elements but I'm just writing any and everything I can to try & break the 'bubble gum' look of that ugliness we were taught in school. If I go without thinking, I can get an angular look but it resembles an EKG reading more than a hand-written script. Thanks for any help in advance, Jerry
  16. i have just bought a pilot 912 with spencerian customization (mottishaw). any recommendations for a notebook that can handle the greater ink output (without feathering, bleeding etc.)? thanks in advance. best, nils
  17. I recently decided to switch my handwriting focus from cursive italic to Spencerian Business script. I have a number of resources for Spencerian thanks to my time studying calligraphy, but one thing that I can not get my hands on are the perfect set of practice sheets. I really like the sheets used in the Spencerian Theory copy books, but I can not seem to find this same style without the pre-printed letter forms and movements. I really just want a blank version, but I can not find them. The ruling is similar to French Rule, but it is different enough that French Rule templates just do not work for me. Here is what I am talking about: http://www.mcguffeyreaders.com/pics/spencerian3.jpg I know that there are plenty of Spencerian and calligraphy guide sheets that would work well enough, but I really like the sheets used in the copy books. Any assistance or direction would be greatly appreciated.
  18. I've been doing calligraphy for about a year now and ever since I've always had this frustration about my very tremorous hands. I've been trying to implant lifting my wrist off of the paper when I do my capitals and big flourishes but it's always so shaky that I just need to carry the stroke all the way without lifting... So I have a question, is it really important to lift the wrist off of the paper? And if the answer is no, I would still like advice from people who also suffer from very tremorous hands of how you manage to control your stroke and how you train your hand to be smooth...
  19. Hey guys! Just sort of polling the community here. I'm curious as to what scripts you all are learning! Do you think it's a good idea to practice two scripts at the same time? I've been learning Copperplate but recently my eye has really been taken by the beauty that is Spencerian. Should I double team them or focus on one? Thanks and can't wait to hear what you all are learning!
  20. Let me begin this post by admitting that I am no expert in handwriting, and that my own handwriting is nothing about which to be proud. That being said, I have observed that the attribute known as "flex" seems to have assumed something of the aspect of a Holy Grail in penmanship. Certainly, I mean no offense to those who value this attribute; and certainly, in the hands of expert penmen, the ability to utilize expressive variance in line thickness evokes my profound admiration: but my worship of flex is tempered by the following considerations: 1) I have read stories of modern and antique nibs being destroyed in the attempt to achieve line-thickness variation. 2) I have seen nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century examples of utilitarian handwriting--business and personal letters and such--that show considerably less flex than one typically finds in latter-day attempts to achieve this quality with a fountain pen. 3) Based on my observations under 2), as well as my own handwriting, and that of members of my family's older generation, it is my impression that, except for calligraphy and the most exalted examples of Spencerian handwriting, flex is something that usually happens naturally, without much conscious effort on the part of the penman. Even most modern rigid-nibbed fountain pens produce a natural and subtle line variation which, while far short of Spencerian standards, is nonetheless most attractive and expressive. 4) As one who regards the fountain pen as a useful tool, as well as a thing of beauty in its own right, I am personally most interested in pens that can write rapidly and easily on a variety of papers, and which are robust enough to survive in a utilitarian environment. It is my understanding, based in part on personal experience, that the more flexible nibs tend to be harder to manage, slower, and more fussy in regard to paper. It is also my understanding that the general trend of fountain pen nibs since the 1920s has been towards rigidity, reliability, and durability--for our forebears did not regard the fountain pen as an exotic trophy, but, rather, as a practical writing instrument, as we regard the computer today. 5) My father had an incredibly beautiful handwriting; but even though he used to reminisce about the eyedropper-filled Waterman's fountain pen that he owned as a boy, which, he related, was capable of great variation in line thickness, his own handwriting, with both fountain pens and ball-point pens, showed no more than the subtle variations in thickness of line to which I have already referred. Beauty and elegance in penmanship does not necessarily require flexibility in the thickness of the line. 6) When I learned penmanship in the early 1950s, using dip pens and inkwells recessed in screwed-to-the-floor desks, my teachers said nothing about variations in line thickness as a criterion of good handwriting--even though they apparently covered everything else, and drove me half-crazy with their punctiliousness. As regards the whole matter of "flex," I am reminded of the exaggerated messa di voce that was much in fashion amongst early-music musicians in the 1970s. Although loosely based upon the writings of Quantz and other 18th-century theorists, their execution of this adornment transcended the boundaries of good taste and belonged--like so much that they did (and still do, alas) to the realm of mannerism. Without, once again, impugning those who rightly cultivate the beautiful and expressive art of flexibility of line variation, I am sensible of the need to beware of being more orthodox than the ancients themselves in this respect.
  21. Hi all! This is my first post, but I've been lurking and learning from you wonderful people for some time now. I am a public high school English / Language Arts teacher trying to start a calligraphy / handwriting club for my students. Many have shown great interest which is both amazing and scary when you consider that most of them have never learned a proper handwriting system / style in the first place. My school is big on technology and all students are issued their own laptop which, of course, drives me crazy because the worst thing you can do to kill kids' creativity when they are writing is to put them in front of a keyboard. The number of students that are pushing back against doing everything electronically and want to learn to write by hand, especially ornamental and calligraphic styles is overwhelming! So... Can any of you recommend a website or source to get large quantities of inexpensive, but reliable, fountain and dip pens and supplies? I'm looking for: About 40 fountain pens, preferably converter filled as to save on ink costs and so I don't lose my mind refilling cartridges with a syringe. About 40 nib holders for dipping. A whole mess of flex nibs for ornamental / Spencerian style writing (the more the better as kids tend to be hard on everything). Mass quantities of black ink A decent paper that can be bought in bulk without breaking the bank. I can print guide sheets and templates here at school on our copiers, but the paper we normally use is like writing on newsprint.I am paying for this out of my own pocket as I feel that the art of writing by hand is dying more and more everyday. These kids are expected to do everything on the computer, which you would think they'd love, but they actually prefer to write by hand! Any help / input / information will be very much appreciated.
  22. Hello FPN, I'm a beginning penman who seeks to improve his handwriting. I've chosen to learn Spencerian in an effort to achieve this. I have some questions regarding the script and other relating topics. I currently use a Pelikan M200 Piston Fountain Pen to write, is it any good for Spencerian? What kind of nib or pen is recommended to write this script? As a lefty, how should I grip the pen and what would be the technique to use? I'm sorry, but I'm extremely new to the scene of the art of penmanship so I do not know much. I'm extremely grateful for any and all help anyone can afford to me.
  23. Here's a juicy one! Michael Sull made individual name place cards for all the students in his class yesterday at The San Francisco Pen Show. This is mine and it's really spectacular, wouldn't you agree!? The class was from 1:00-5:00 but it got a bit frazzled at the start* so he continued on past the allotted time by an hour and a half....he is such a giving person and a wonderful teacher. He helped me get my pen 'hold' in order and it's made a remarkable difference. I bought two of his pens for the flanges are especially made by him to facilitate proper Spencerian. Also such a treat to hear him tell all the stories he's accumulated over the years of being a calligrapher. I feel overwhelmingly privileged to have taken his Spencerian Class. Never forget it. *I was frazzled and late as well, because I got a very scary full blown out tire on a super busy S F Bay Area highway on the way to the Sofitel Hotel. His mannerism was so calm and relaxing however, that I completely let go of the stressed mental state in which I started the class. We should all be so graced by our teachers. Here is a book he signed. I also have a video of a book signing but I am unsure if those are allowed on FPN and/or if it would be proper/acceptable to be putting up someone else's work.
  24. Which style of penmanship would you use with an: a) extra-fine or fine nib? b ) medium nib? c) broad nib? d) stub nibs (bellow 1.9)? I took three days, an hour in each, to practice cursive and I was really impressed by how much it improved my handwriting! However, it looks much nicer on finer nibs than on wider nibs. I looks weird on a stub 1.1mm nib. Then I saw some of you using spencerian and it seems to require a flex nib. So, I am wondering, which style would you use for different nib widths?
  25. Can anyone of you marvelously experienced writers tell me which nib I should order for the Parson's Essential? I will be doing Spencerian and Copperplate with this pen. As always, I trust the judgment of people on this forum and I thank you ever so much for the help.





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