Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Recommended Posts

ThePenPiper

Hello FPN,

 

 

I'm posting on here because I really have no idea where to start - some of you are SO knowledgeable I'm hoping you can help! Perhaps this post can also be a reference for other people like me who are just getting started.

 

 

The Background:

 

I'm currently completing an internship / studying abroad in the United Kingdom, and will most likely be in Germany next summer for another internship. Being here has provided me with access to materials related to FPs that I have never experienced before. With that being said I'm originally from the North-eastern part of the United States, which is where I'm attending University studying Financial Economics with the intention to study medicine for my post-graduate studies.

I received my first FP as a gift from my German friends when I was no older than 12 - at that time my FP hardly received any use at all. I always knew that I had it, but never used it because I was afraid kids at school would steal it, and I would be ridiculed for being different (both of those being highly likely). Coupled with my inability to easily procure ink cartridges in the U.S. and my complete lack of knowledge about converters, I also didn't want to "waste" my meagre ink cartridge supply.

 

Regarding penmanship, I think I'm the only one of my friends that learned to write in cursive before learning to print! The first school I attended didn't teach "print" until the fifth grade. Naturally, as that was the first way I learned to write, and I find it quicker, I have always tended to write in cursive. My cursive however is dreadful, and it's something I've wanted to improve.

 

Fast forward a few years to my recent past: After spending time in Germany last summer, the introduction to converters and, resulting from long hours during the school year, the means to procure what I wish - I'm now on a mission to expand my palate and understanding of the FP world.

 

 

What I have:

 

Pens - currently all of the pens I have are LAMY, because frankly I think (in my obviously biased opinion) that they are decent pens and if they happened to get lost I would not be worse for the wear. I have a LAMY: Studio, Al-star F, Al-Star 1,5, Safari B,

 

My least favorite pen is the studio, for some reason I've never really liked it besides the day I bought it, and my favorite pen which I use constantly is the Blue Al-Star with an F nib

 

Penmanship - a 5 book set off of Amazon that is supposed to teach me Spenserian.

 

Paper Goods: only moleskin and basic writing paper.

 

Ink - LAMY Black well ink, Noodler's Bulletproof ink

 

 

What I'm looking for:

 

Someone to point me in the right direction (hence the title).

I would really like to improve my handwriting, and learn new fonts. I've read enough posts to understand that this is not a timeless task, and is probably something I will spend the rest of my life learning - which I'm fine with. To me it is something that is invaluable, especially in this digital world. With that being said, where does one start? Is it better to try and attend a class (are there even such things??) to learn the basics? Are there exercises people do?

 

I'm also looking for someone to point me in the right direction for pens - I love my LAMY Al-star, but I think I'm ready to branch away from LAMY (or get a new one...) and begin understanding more about fountain pens. Clearly there are many old pens, new pens, weird, old pen makers and everyone on this network seems to have a ridiculously passionate opinion about everything they prefer about their pens.

 

Nibs. Flexible nibs? Are certain nibs for certain papers? inks? pens? Are there nib guidelines? Do certain fonts require certain nibs? Are there nib-makers in this world? I'm not even sure what to ask for here because the extent of my knowledge about nibs is that they write differently and I like my LAMY F better than my LAMY B - and my LAMY 1,5 writes "cool".

 

Inks - clearly my parents failed to educate me because until I started reading posts on here I thought there were ballpoint inks, gel pen inks, and the ink I had in my cartridges. Whoops.

Does ink matter? Are there preferred inks for different things? How does one know what ink they like?

 

I've noticed that all papers are not created equally. I will also admit that I was somewhat shocked when I learned that Moleskin had a horrible reputation amongst FP users. I now understand why (many of the reasons people seem to dislike their product are reasons I too have encountered - and ignorantly dismissed) people have definite opinions, but I frankly had no exposure to various types of paper where I lived in the States. What paper does one use for different things? Is there a standard weight that below which I should not ever buy? What about daily diaries, in both the European and American sense of the word? I've read things about Clairefontane (spelling?), are they the gold standard?

 

 

So, if people would be willing to comment and tell me/show me where to find what I'm after I would be much obliged. I know that I have much to learn but I haven't found a thread yet that seems to address my questions and I'm tired of looking around and only getting a titbit here and a tad there.

 

 

One last thing - I love getting letters, and that is where most of my time writing is spent. I often joke with my friends and family that I'm unloved if I check my mailbox and I don't have letters or that I am loved by so-and-so if they have sent me a letter. I'm not sure if that will help people answer my questions in a way that is more directed to me, but it might provide a little insight into my young mind.

Edited by ThePenPiper
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 19
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • ThePenPiper

    7

  • GabrielleDuVent

    2

  • Matth13

    2

  • Namru

    2

Let me try and start by addressing nibs. To achieve certain fonts, you will need certain nib styles. For example, to achieve a copperplate or spencerian script, you will need to use a "flexible" nib. If you would like to try that out, the Noodler's Ahab or Konrad would be good to start with. You can achieve a cursive italic font with italic nibs. You could use your Lamy 1.5 Italic nib for this.

 

Most people on here will tell you to use bottled ink. Choosing an ink is not overly difficult. I recommend looking at inks from Diamine, Noodler's, or Lamy. These inks are relatively inexpensive and will last a long time. Some inks flow better than other inks, which makes them better candidates for using in a pen with a flexible nib. If you need help choosing an ink, check out reviews on the ink review section.

 

It is very true that not all papers are the same. Most paper that you will encounter in your everyday life will not be great for fountain pen use. Fountain pen ink is water based, and has a tendency to feather (or spread/bleed) on cheap paper. I recommend finding a pad of Rhodia paper, as it is great for fountain pen ink.

 

Using a fountain pen will not automatically correct bad handwriting. I can speak from experience. Patience and practice are the key to better handwriting. Good luck, and I hope this all makes sense and helps you out. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Where to start.

 

Handwriting. This is just practice, practice and way more practice. Study different fonts and styles, then practice, emulate, embellish... More practice. Certain scripts do need special nibs (usually dip nibs, whole other world).

 

Pens. Try some vintage, because there is just so much choice. Different makers. Different materials. Different (and sometimes wacky) filling systems. Knowing ones preference only comes with experience. If a Sheaffer Snorkel peaks your interest, then try it. You may hate it, you may not. Really, I'd suggest a TWSBI of some kind, for they are an inexpencive gateway into pen nerdom. Also, unless stated, most nibs are not designed for flex, they might give you a little spring, but they are not flex and you might run the risk of breaking them. Most true flexible nibs are usually antique, and require a certain precise touch. If you were to try the same with most modern nibs, you'd spring and knacker them. Noodlers is the best gateway into this realm. I know Omas make some (lovely) semi-flex nibs, but aren't exactly cheap.

 

Inks. Damn. Inks come in different colours (duh) but also have different properties. Wet or dry. Saturated or a tendancy to shade. Dry times. Water resistance. Varying viscosities. This is all a game of trial and error. Some inks work well in some pens, and not so well in others. I prefer to put high shading wet inks in broader wetter nibs to get the ink to shade more. More saturated inks go in finer dryer pens. My Pelikan hates Quink, but never misses a beat with Edelsteain Amber.

This is why there are sites that offer an ink sampling service, Goulet Pens for instance. In the UK you can easily get hold of 30ml Diamine bottles for a couple of pounds. (Cult Pens, or Diamine themselves) Before you buy an ink you're interest in, look at a review here on FPN. Sometimes the ink you like the look of might stain or be badly behaved. I've dodged a few bullets thanks to some fantastic users and reviews here.

 

Paper for me is the most important aspect. Ink should sit on top of the paper, not be absorbed. Rhodia is the really "go to" paper. It isn't horribly expensive, is smooth and consistant. This is where Moleskine fails, because it's pot luck if you get a good batch of paper or not. You can pick up Rhodia in most Rymans in the UK or get it cheaper online, and it will offer you the best bang for the buck.

Clairefontaine is weird, I actually find it too smooth. Almost as if the pen is just gliding around the page with little control. It is lovely stuff, but just like inks, everyone has their own preference.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you poked around the Penmanship sub-forum?

 

Handwriting -
I use the 5-book spencerian set from Amazon too. I think that's good enough instruction, after all, it is a school book. Of course, practice on your own too. And practice with intent. Take it slow. Follow the directions: count 1,2,1,2, up, down, up, down... You are not copying, you are forming. Do warm up with some ovals and slants to limber your muscles. They help the muscle memory.
Look at http://www.iampeth.com . There's much more info there. Personally, I don't like the guidebooks there, I prefer this one:
http://archive.org/details/cu31924029485467


Pens - Don't use a flexible nib to practice. Heck, the guidebooks often say to use pencil. I have a Noodler's Ahab, I rarely flex it. Actually, it takes too much pressure to flex. Better to call it a soft nib, not a flex.

Ink - Stay away from "fancy" ink like Baystate Blue until you're ready. Other than that, most ink companies have stood the test of time (Lamy, Pelikan, Diamine, Waterman, etc). Personally, I like Registrar's ink. The color change is always fun to watch. The ink is waterproof (but not absolutely non-removeable), and works wonderfully even on cheap paper.

Paper - day-to-day, I use regular copy paper. I bind journal refills using HP 32lb. Just bought some bagasse. Stock up on some cheap Clairefontaine and Rhodia while you're in europe. It's hard and expensive to get in the states.

Letters - there's the FPN postcard/letter/penpal if you're interested. Some members have it in their signature.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, so many fun days ahead for you! I can try to answer a few of your questions, but they are all pretty broad and will have a lot of (passionate) opinions about them.

 

I myself have gravitated over time toward fine nibs, vintage flex and Rhodia/Exacompa paper. Flex is the way to go for anything approaching Spencerian script -- but from what I understand, for true Spencerian you probably will be happiest with a dip pen.

 

There are lots of criteria for pens, some subjective and some not. Mine are:

 

flex (and there are many variations of flex)

smoothness

smaller but not tiny (typical vintage, not modern bling cigar, size)

reliability

pretty celluloid (but relent for black hard rubber with a wonderful flex nib)

 

My favorites right now are my BCHR Watermans, my 400NN vintage Pelikans, and a lovely Eversharp Skyline -- all between medium and full flex. These are all, even if they aren't flexy, excellent makes with a history of holding up well.

 

If you are going to look into vintage, I have some advice that I acquired the hard way:

1. avoid no-name and second and third tier pen makes. They may be fun to tinker with but they can be very disappointing.

2. If a good quality pen isn't writing well, don't baulk at sending it to a pensmith to be tweaked.

3. Plain black pens are cheaper -- if you want to explore different makes, and don't mind black, look for those. (This is advice I have never followed myself)

Link to post
Share on other sites
lancecreeks

Perhaps you can start from the Goulet Pens website (no affil.), which has a lot of tutorials that helped me get my bearings when I first got interested in fountain pens. They cover many of the fp basics, and from then on everything on FPN will start to make sense, and that's when the fun begins!

 

I'll leave the more detailed answers for more experienced members of FPN. Just to drop a note on 2 terms/ concepts that a lot of FPNers use, and which I wish I had known sooner:

 

1. OOTB = out of the box. Many people do not live near awesome pen shops/ brick and mortar stores and so do not have the chance to try out fp's before purchase, which leaves them with no alternative but to buy pens online. While this has its merits, some fp brands just have a reputation of not working well OOTB. As a beginner, I would suggest that, were you to consider buying pens online, begin with brands that are well known to work well OOTB. This way, you minimize the chance of having to send the pens back for reworking. And when you get comfortable with stuff like nib smoothing, or are at the point at which you feel comfortable sending your nibs to nibmeisters, then you might like to try pens that don't work as consistently, which admittedly opens the world up. TWSBI and Pilot are good examples that work well OOTB.

 

2. YMMV = your mileage may vary. An example in usage has to do with inks, or pen-ink-paper combination. An ink may look vastly different depending on the pen and nib used. Some pens are known to be wet writers, e.g. Pelikans, while others are drier, e.g. Lamy Safaris. You may hear terms describing pens as "firehoses", most probably meaning that an ink will appear darker, more saturated, than if used in a dry pen. Some ink qualities like shading may also depend on the nib - the wider the nib, the more ink that pools, and thus more potential for shading. So if you look at ink reviews, be sure to check out which pens the reviewer is using, since YMMV.

 

Btw, if you are intent on studying medicine, just skip the whole penmanship thing altogether... :lol:

 

:W2FPN:

Link to post
Share on other sites
GabrielleDuVent

Doctors aren't required good penmanship, and quite often FPs aren't the best tools in hospitals. I exclusively wrote in ballpoints during my rounds, and my handwriting went from moderate to "this is not English" in about two months.

 

Anyway...

 

Handwriting: this requires an entirely new topic all by itself, as there's a difference between calligraphy and penmanship.

 

Pen: This entirely depends on whether you seek to collect or accumulate. Accumulators generally don't have more than a dozen or so pens, because it's hard to keep most of them in rotation. Collectors have anywhere from three to three thousand. There are also preferences issue; those who are "FP old school" seem to not use flex or italic for daily use in general.

 

Nibs: There are italic nibs, rounded nibs, and flex. Flex and Italic are, in my opinion, more for signatures and calligraphy; I don't use them, as all I do is write. There are various widths dependent on the brand, and oriental pens tend to run one size thinner than the occidental counterparts. MB XF is as thick as an M from Pilot. There are also materials; gold is softer, steel is harder, e.t.c. Some fonts require italic or flex, but I'm not a calligrapher, so I don't care about fonts at all.

 

Inks: They do matter, but not so much as nibs, in my experience. I have favourite brands, but mostly they all perform well; some are quite stubborn (Baystate Blue from Noodler's, for instance) and require a separate handling, but for the most part, dye-based non-iron-gall inks require almost zero maintenance. I personally like inks based on colour and not much else, which is purely an aesthetic question,

 

Paper: There is no magical brand that is lightweight, absorbent, won't feather or bleed, and is cheap. It's all about the right combination. I personally like Moleskine, but I use very fine nibs, and therefore I don't like Rhodia. Clairefontaine isn't "gold standard", as there isn't really "gold standard" anyway, but it is a good brand; one problem I find with CF is that they sometimes fall apart easily. There are calligraphy paper, which holds up very well, but they're mostly for exactly that: calligraphy. I personally use Hamelin Paperbrand or Fabiano, along with Staples Bagasse and Moleskine. But it's all about the right combination and preference.

 

For diaries I use Filofax, but it's a bit of a hassle as I'd have to go and buy inserts and they only sell them in certain shops. My mate is moaning about Smythson (he can't find inserts very regularly so he has to buy them online), so if you are going to be in the US with little connection to the UK, I really do suggest you to buy American brands. I still have trouble procuring BB writing pads.

 

If you like thick nibs, you should be very selective about paper; as I like thin nibs, I can usually write on regular American paper with little problems. Most of my nibs are Japanese F or XF.

Tes rires retroussés comme à son bord la rose,


Effacent mon dépit de ta métamorphose;


Tu t'éveilles, alors le rêve est oublié.



-Jean Cocteau, from Plaint-Chant, 1923

Link to post
Share on other sites
ThePenPiper

Perhaps you can start from the Goulet Pens website (no affil.), which has a lot of tutorials that helped me get my bearings when I first got interested in fountain pens. They cover many of the fp basics, and from then on everything on FPN will start to make sense, and that's when the fun begins!

 

I'll leave the more detailed answers for more experienced members of FPN. Just to drop a note on 2 terms/ concepts that a lot of FPNers use, and which I wish I had known sooner:

 

1. OOTB = out of the box. Many people do not live near awesome pen shops/ brick and mortar stores and so do not have the chance to try out fp's before purchase, which leaves them with no alternative but to buy pens online. While this has its merits, some fp brands just have a reputation of not working well OOTB. As a beginner, I would suggest that, were you to consider buying pens online, begin with brands that are well known to work well OOTB. This way, you minimize the chance of having to send the pens back for reworking. And when you get comfortable with stuff like nib smoothing, or are at the point at which you feel comfortable sending your nibs to nibmeisters, then you might like to try pens that don't work as consistently, which admittedly opens the world up. TWSBI and Pilot are good examples that work well OOTB.

 

2. YMMV = your mileage may vary. An example in usage has to do with inks, or pen-ink-paper combination. An ink may look vastly different depending on the pen and nib used. Some pens are known to be wet writers, e.g. Pelikans, while others are drier, e.g. Lamy Safaris. You may hear terms describing pens as "firehoses", most probably meaning that an ink will appear darker, more saturated, than if used in a dry pen. Some ink qualities like shading may also depend on the nib - the wider the nib, the more ink that pools, and thus more potential for shading. So if you look at ink reviews, be sure to check out which pens the reviewer is using, since YMMV.

 

Btw, if you are intent on studying medicine, just skip the whole penmanship thing altogether... :lol:

 

:W2FPN:

Thank you for the terms of advice! I had seen these before and hadn't reallly understood their implications. Thank you!

 

I'll definitely check out the Goulet website!

Link to post
Share on other sites
ThePenPiper

Thank you all for such wonderful advice!

 

I'm going this has definitely given me a foothold to go from. Are there links to other forums I should look into?

 

Do people have specific pen recommendations? I've seen TWBSI come up a few times.

 

I'll order some Rhodia paper to try out! :lticaptd:

Link to post
Share on other sites
ThePenPiper

There are lots of criteria for pens, some subjective and some not. Mine are:

 

flex (and there are many variations of flex)

smoothness

smaller but not tiny (typical vintage, not modern bling cigar, size)

reliability

pretty celluloid (but relent for black hard rubber with a wonderful flex nib)

 

 

Can you expand on these please? I'm not really what Black hard rubber or how pen size matters

Link to post
Share on other sites
ThePenPiper

Doctors aren't required good penmanship, and quite often FPs aren't the best tools in hospitals. I exclusively wrote in ballpoints during my rounds, and my handwriting went from moderate to "this is not English" in about two months.

Handwriting: this requires an entirely new topic all by itself, as there's a difference between calligraphy and penmanship.

There are also materials; gold is softer, steel is harder, e.t.c. Some fonts require italic or flex, but I'm not a calligrapher, so I don't care about fonts at all.

...My mate is moaning about Smythson (he can't find inserts very regularly so he has to buy them online), ...

 

 

 

I've not heard Smythson's name referenced before? How do they compare with Rhodia? I'm willing to try different things to find my preference. I personally find that my LAMY F causes feathering/bleeding in my Moleskin journals.

 

Ignorant question - is Pilot asian then?

 

On my University student budget I don't think I'll be a collector for a few years :P Besides! What is the point of beauty if it cannot be experienced? If you just look at a picture of a mountain, and are never able to climb it how are you to know how magnificent it is??

 

I'm aware there is a penmanship forum, is there a Calligraphy forum? Is it possible to be both? How does one know which to aspire?

 

Can you explain how a F gold versus a F steel would be different? Perhaps I'll look for a gold nibbed pen to experience on my next acquisition - suggestions? Does TWSBI make one?

 

Also - trust me.. I experience Resident's handwriting on a daily basis and it is dreadful!

Link to post
Share on other sites
ThePenPiper

Namru - is there a store(s) that you specifically would recommend in the UK? I'm over here for at least another 11months and would assuredly make an effort to visit one if I knew where to go!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Namru - is there a store(s) that you specifically would recommend in the UK? I'm over here for at least another 11months and would assuredly make an effort to visit one if I knew where to go!

There are many "The Pen Shop" around. I've only bought Mont Blanc stuff in these stores, but they seem to sell the basic brands.

 

As for independants, the only two I have personal experience with are WriteHere in Shrewsbury, and Penfriend in London.

 

I'm sure there are many more that other people could chime in on.

Link to post
Share on other sites
GabrielleDuVent

 

 

 

I've not heard Smythson's name referenced before? How do they compare with Rhodia? I'm willing to try different things to find my preference. I personally find that my LAMY F causes feathering/bleeding in my Moleskin journals.

 

Ignorant question - is Pilot asian then?

 

On my University student budget I don't think I'll be a collector for a few years :P Besides! What is the point of beauty if it cannot be experienced? If you just look at a picture of a mountain, and are never able to climb it how are you to know how magnificent it is??

 

I'm aware there is a penmanship forum, is there a Calligraphy forum? Is it possible to be both? How does one know which to aspire?

 

Can you explain how a F gold versus a F steel would be different? Perhaps I'll look for a gold nibbed pen to experience on my next acquisition - suggestions? Does TWSBI make one?

 

Also - trust me.. I experience Resident's handwriting on a daily basis and it is dreadful!

 

Smythson's is a leather goods shop, the flagship located on New Bond St, I think. Haven't been there in a while. My mate uses it - and has since age 18 - but it's not really, er, cheap. He got his as a gift. I saw the Smythson line in Barneys New York the other day along with Bottega Veneta and such, so a small wallet might have a three digit price tag (decimals not included). The retailer clerk went on and on about how David Cameron's wife likes it, but I was just there because my mate was buying inserts, so all I could say was "er, right".

 

Pilot is Japanese, along with Sailor and Platinum. They were established within a decade of each other (very early 1900s). The older Platinums were called Nakaya (they changed the name to Platinum... sometime around the war? Not sure). The CURRENT Nakaya was started by a former Platinum employee who asked to inherit the original name of the company.

 

Calligraphy and penmanship both belong in the Penmanship forum on here; you'll see Caliken, our premier calligrapher, often hanging out there.

 

A gold F, in my experience, is far softer than steel. I don't really like soft nibs in general (some occasions do require soft nibs for me), so I tend to prefer non-gold. Not sure if TWSBI makes one, as that's not one of the pen brands I use. Also, the softness of the nib is dependent on the degree of gold; my Pilot 78G, which has a 22k nib (dunno if it actually means 22 karats... doubtful...) is very, very soft.

 

I was on the writing side of the doctor's handwriting, and it just got progressively worse until my mate told me that he can't read it (and his handwriting's pretty bad). All he saw were spikes and big loops. Thankfully my penmanship is back to what it was now.

Edited by GabrielleDuVent

Tes rires retroussés comme à son bord la rose,


Effacent mon dépit de ta métamorphose;


Tu t'éveilles, alors le rêve est oublié.



-Jean Cocteau, from Plaint-Chant, 1923

Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, :W2FPN: !!!

 

Nice start you have there. My first pen was a Lamy Al Star - it currently has the 1.1 mm nib installed. I also have a F for it. (Goulet Pens sells replacement Lamy nibs from EF to 1.9 mm) For reference on some of this stuff Richard Binder's site richardspens.com has a wealth of information. I also have two Waterman Phileas, which you can find, but are no longer made. I have a red marbled one with fine and a black with medium nib. Noodler's Konrad was my first foray into a piston filler AND flex. May trade the nib out for something non flex. From Levenger.com in Florida (although they do have a couple of B& M locations (Boston, Chicago & DC area)) I have one of their True Writer Silver Anniversary in fine. Great pen, reasonable price (<$100). In terms of vintage - I just bought my first - a restored Esterbrook J. (it is in route)

 

Papers - I use Black n Red notebooks which is a real nice 90 gsm Oxford Optic paper. and a few others, including just regular multipurpose copy/printer paper. Composition notebooks that are available in places like Staples, OfficeMax, Office Depot when using the Made in Brazil paper aren't bad. Available for only a buck or two each.

 

Inks - I have a couple of Diamine inks (Sherwood Green & Blue Black),Pelikan 4001 Blue Black (which is a great b/b ink- you are lucky being in the UK should be reasonably easy to find- harder in US) I also have Noodler's 54th Massachusetts. Goulet and some other online shops sell ink samples so you can try before you drop $10+ for a bottle. (usually 50-90 mL)

 

Finding the right combination to suit your tastes is the trick. My understanding is there are a number of stationers/pen stores in the UK (usually London area based I would imagine) . I haven't tried Rhodia or Clarefontaine, but have received letters on Rhodia.Nice paper.

 

Crane & Co is a company that makes nice stationary/paper/note/thank you cards that is based in the Boston area if memory serves.

 

I would be honored to exchange letters with you.

Edited by Runnin_Ute

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Can you expand on these please? I'm not really what Black hard rubber or how pen size matters

 

Fountain pens during the early 20th century were made out of a material called ebonite (or hard rubber) rather than plastic. There are still some pens today that are made with ebonite. The size of the pen is just personal preference. Some people prefer a big pen, while some prefer a small pen. Some people like a thin pen, and others like a thick pen. This is just something that you will have to decide.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a small thing that bugs me...

 

handwritten alphabets aren't fonts. Font is a printing / typesetting term which refers to the set of letters and characters in one typeface & one size. It comes from the days of lead type, and has carried into digital typography. However, handwriting came before typesetting so has its own terminology.

 

In calligraphy you describe differing styles as hands, scripts, or just alphabets.

 

Thanks all for letting me rant!

Instagram @inkysloth
My website http://inkysloth.moonfruit.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bo Bo Olson

Writing is 1/3 nib width&flex, 1/3 paper and 1/3 ink, and in that order.

 

First, paper.

At home you need cheap copy paper for your copier. Better paper for scribbling. 90G minimum, 100g, 110 or 120 are better..

There are good notebooks in Europe that are cheap.Oxford Optic 90g, is in England in it's own notebooks and in Red and Black. Stock up...mail it back to the States.(I have to go to Frankfurt to get Oxford Optic, can't find it in Heidelberg....wort ordering by mail.)

 

In Germany.

Clairefontain can be found easily in Galleria Kaufhaus in Germany.

Stay away from Brunner...in any weight. Horrible stuff.

How ever Brunner makes M&K papers...a left over big name of good paper from the'50's. I have three different versions, all are good worth buying paper.

Rossler in 80-g is not worth buying. 100 G is good.

Zander is good again 90-100-110g.

 

Do go to Richard Binder's com...it is the basics of nibs, filling systems and good advice on inks...well worth the three days spent there.

Spend time in ink Reviews...Sandy1's reviews are most revealing in nib width to paper...a must. :thumbup: :notworthy1: :notworthy1:

 

Weight of paper. I had some 80g Xerox I believe...a as I then but do not think now, a paper I could print with and write with my fountain pen. Lamy Turquoise the base turquoise that all are compared to was a nice color but sort of Blaaaaa. Then I noticed in Ink Reviews, the two reviews showed it shading. :yikes: . Having a small pad of Oxford Optic 90 g, I pulled it down and it shaded. :thumbup:

 

 

Inks come in two toned shading inks...often thought wishy washy or too pastel by those who have only used the supersaturated vivid monotone inks. Which are boring of course....they only got ONE Tone. :unsure: .

 

You need both.

You will need Doctor business ink, and home alone fun. :happyberet:

 

Your taste will change in inks...I don't have but will have a chalky greyish Purple Herbin ink...a year ago...I turned my nose up at it.

Many of the supersaturated Brigade do eventually charge into the Valley of the Shading Inks. Lord Tennyson I believe wrote a poem about that.

 

The whole idea is to have fun with fountain pens. Just remember LA was not Built in a Day.

Most important advice I can give you...is never, ever even after some one watered you after midnight, ever touch that 'Buy Now' button.

You will find your self in the dreaded...Pen of the Week in the Mail Club.

 

My next advice is chase the nib...there are some 45 nib width and flexes you need eventually...with the suggestion, of mixing stubs with CI's, instead of buying a stub or CI for every width.

 

What do you want the nib to do?

 

Dip pens are cheapest for real flex....the step beyond wet noodle or weak kneed wet noodle for your Spencerian.

 

I like shading inks....many are not though water proof. You will need ...sigh...double sigh....water proof ink.

 

Nib width and shading.

I had some MB Toffee a brown shading ink.

F was light with dark trails.

M was 50-50 :yikes: Breaking the M prejudice I picked up on this Com. M is a good nib width.

B was dark with light trails.

 

A Semi-flex is normally wetter than regular flex due to ease of tine spread.

I am not going to go into my normal nib width rant here. If you wish, you can find it in advanced search under my name. You have lots of time to find it. It might even show up again.(In fact I'd bet on it.)

 

Do get a book on stiff nib italic calligraphy, so you can learn to draw the letters properly so when you go to flexible nib writing you know how to form the letter, where push and where to pull the nib.

 

 

Depends though what you want...Ink Jet paper I avoid because I want my inks to shade.

I prefer pure laser paper to the combo ink jet/laser paper...but have that is ok. But I don't expect the word from it...do look at the SMALL PRINT that says good for both...and think twice.

 

If you want only vivid monotone super saturated ink...Noodlers and Private Reserve is the way to fly.

 

If you want shading cheap Pelikan 4001 & Lamy,many of Herbin, some Waterman...what use to be called South Sea Blue is great, the Pelikan Ededelstein Shade.MB makes some good Shading inks too.

 

Aurora black is a great black....Noodler makes a lot of blacks too. Noodler makes more water proof inks than any one else...starting the craze a with in this decade.

 

ESSR (110ml) is inexpensive, a blue black that dries from blue to black in seconds or days depending on the paper is reputed to be much better than Diamine Register. It will dry black so can do Doctor's work.

Once some 20-30 years ago a great English ink died by take over. Forgot the name of the ink. One of the managers managed to get that ink in his settlement...not the others.I have 1 1/2 bottles.I did a 47 paper 17 nib test on that, that you can find in search.

 

Akkermann from Den Haag store is the better version of Diamine...It is much liked by those who can get it.

I intend to get some they are at the top of my ink list.

The problem....the great fantastic bottles hold 150 ml.Get some...look in Ink Reviews...do that for all inks now on your list to look at.

 

Pen..for in the hospital, there is a 'push button' Pilot pen...that pushes the nib out....it looks a bit better than the clunky looking new Lamy that does the same. Look them up.

 

I would also suggest a Pelikan 200 (don't know the new prices $100 with a few steel nibs of B, M, F and EF at $25 apiece. This pen and nibs I'd buy from Richard Binder in order to have all the nibs smoothed and within it's width size. (Sure you need a B..it's fun. M's and F's often depending on the ink give better shading than the wetter B. M is a most underrated nib and there is many that look down their nose at a lowly M nib. I don't.)

 

All nibs on all pens have tolerance/slop. It is possible to buy a fat F and have it match a skinny M...so you end up with two M-F's.

Buying from Bender with instructions each nib should be in it's own nib width, will get you clean sizes.

 

Please read my signature on nib widths.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
ThePenPiper

Writing is 1/3 nib width&flex, 1/3 paper and 1/3 ink, and in that order.

 

In Germany.

Clairefontain can be found easily in Galleria Kaufhaus in Germany.

Stay away from Brunner...in any weight. Horrible stuff.

Spend time in ink Reviews...Sandy1's reviews are most revealing in nib width to paper...a must. :thumbup: :notworthy1: :notworthy1:

 

Dip pens are cheapest for real flex....the step beyond wet noodle or weak kneed wet noodle for your Spencerian.

 

Do get a book on stiff nib italic calligraphy, so you can learn to draw the letters properly so when you go to flexible nib writing you know how to form the letter, where push and where to pull the nib.

 

Pen..for in the hospital, there is a 'push button' Pilot pen...that pushes the nib out....it looks a bit better than the clunky looking new Lamy that does the same. Look them up.

 

I would also suggest a Pelikan 200 (don't know the new prices $100 with a few steel nibs of B, M, F and EF at $25 apiece. This pen and nibs I'd buy from Richard Binder in order to have all the nibs smoothed and within it's width size. (Sure you need a B..it's fun. M's and F's often depending on the ink give better shading than the wetter B. M is a most underrated nib and there is many that look down their nose at a lowly M nib. I don't.)

 

Do you have any suggestions on what hard-nib book to buy? This seems like it would interest me.

 

Hospitals do pose their own problems for Fountain Pens. I entertain myself when I'm working with as a medic on an ambulance wondering if it would actually be possible to perform a trach with a fountain pen (I've decided it wouldn't).

 

What is special about the Pelikan 200 that makes you recommend it. In your opinion how does it compare with Omas and TWSBI?

 

Thanks for the Brunner warning - I'll watch out! I think I'll be in Heilbronn early next week so I may try and pick up some Clairefontane

 

Thank you for your suggestions!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a small thing that bugs me...

 

handwritten alphabets aren't fonts. Font is a printing / typesetting term which refers to the set of letters and characters in one typeface & one size. It comes from the days of lead type, and has carried into digital typography. However, handwriting came before typesetting so has its own terminology.

 

In calligraphy you describe differing styles as hands, scripts, or just alphabets.

 

Thanks all for letting me rant!

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've been sitting on my hands resisting the urge to correct this linguistic drift. But I fear it may be something of a lost cause in the long run...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now







×
×
  • Create New...