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This is my first post so I hope I have put it in the right place :)


I'm just getting into calligraphy and am hoping to use it on our wedding invitation envelopes. I have bought a few products but I'm unsure if the combination I have is correct as it just doesn't seem to be working for me.


I have purchased an oblique pen holder which I prefer much more than the straight one so far. Nib wise I have (don't know if these are the proper names) Nikkopen G, Speedball C6, Hunt Imperial 101 and Brause 66EF (snapped 1 tine already.) Ink I have an unlabelled black ink which seems to be very thin but works with most of my nibs and also Winsor & Newton calligraphy ink in white and metallic gold.


I've been trying to use the Imperial 101 as I really like the flexibility but with the metallic gold ink (what I'm wanting to use on the envelopes) it just isn't working. When I do my down stroke when I start to put a little bit of pressure on it it's like all of the ink just drops out. I'm also having trouble with getting the ink to flow through properly, I find I having to play around every few letters to try and get the ink to flow properly.


Any suggestions you have on the equipment or if I'm just doing it wrong would be greatly appreciated :)





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  • cassierm


  • Sandy Fry


  • Paddler


  • Sandy1


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Good morning,

I would try posting this in the Calligraphy section.




Good luck.



Edited by Sandy Fry

For so long as one hundred men remain alive,we shall never under any conditions submit to the

domination of the English. It is not for glory or riches or honours that we fight, but only for liberty, which

no good man will consent to lose but with his life.

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Just a guess, here. From the looks of your description, I would say that you haven't properly cleaned the oil off of your nibs. Nibs come with oil (or other substances) on them to keep them from rusting. You must get all of that oil off so the ink coats the nib evenly on both front and back. You can do this with dish detergent, lighter fluid, lacquer thinner, etc. Then, lick the nib on both sides and don't touch it with your bare fingers again. After a dip, if the ink beads up on the nib like water on a freshly waxed car, you will have trouble like you describe. Don't let anyone tell you to burn the oil off by passing the nib through a flame. This will work, but it will almost certainly ruin the temper of the metal.

Can a calculator understand a cash register?

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+1 for posting a Topic in a calligraphy forum.


I am not the least wisp of a calligrapher, so rather than knowledge I can only offer suggestions based on experience.


Having spent little time in the calligraphers dojo, I find metallic ink is very tricky to work with*, especially from a flex nib**. Rather one might consider an acrylic-based 'pearlescent' ink, or even one of the Herbin 1670 series fountain pen inks that exhibit a fair bit of bling. (Both of those ink types can be slightly modified to accommodate the flex of the nib by adding water or detergent.)


If a dip pen ink is too thin (runny) and gives uneven flow, one can tediously tinker with the formulation, adding gum arabic, etc. As my Tedium Tolerance is low, I pair runny ink with nibs that have auxiliary reservoirs: for mono-line writing, I use the Brause Oranament nibs, and for broad square edge the Tachikawa Type 'C' nibs. The removable reservoirs make clean-up a doddle, so the longevity of the nib is quite good.





__ __

* Don't tell anyone, but I have a marker pen with Silver metallic ink.

** See also https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/146143-metallic-gold-dip-pen-ink/?p=1450970

Edited by Sandy1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


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Don't let anyone tell you to burn the oil off by passing the nib through a flame. This will work, but it will almost certainly ruin the temper of the metal.

People have been doing this for years with no problem. As long as you just pass the nib through a flame quickly once or twice so that you can still hold the nib with bare fingers, you're in no danger of ruining the temper. You'd have to let the steel really heat up to cause it any harm. Having said that, licking the nibs is probably easier and just as quick. I use iron gall ink, so I just dip the nibs in the ink without doing anything to them as the ink will remove the varnish.

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