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The Meisterstück 149 Calligraphy Appreciation Thread



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I re-inked the MB 149C with Home Greek Blue. Same Tomoe River 52gsm paper (but folded in half so A5 size). Pilot 912 Spencerian grind is also inked with same ink. I still see an obvious difference, quite intriguing. Ink flow difference? Any thoughts welcome.

 

Add: Line 1-3 written with MB 149C; Line 4-8 with Pilot 912 Spencerian grind.

large.EAC89172-48DC-4F81-AC80-5A4766C09DE9.jpeg.0d2209893450cdc9b9692f1be6acd131.jpeg

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Independently from the different rendition of the same ink (which is surprising indeed), I can see that the Spencerian grind of your Pilot gives to that nib quite a margin over the Calligraphy nib (looking at the lower curve of most letters, but mainly on the "a" and "r") in this kind of writing.

 

It maybe, as you noted, that it is not such a smooth experience as the 149C for normal writing, but it seems to me that your Pilot 1912 has a useful and interesting nib for Spencerian and, I guess, also for Copperplate scripts.

 

Congratulations, and happy writing!

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On 9/7/2021 at 1:13 AM, como said:

I re-inked the MB 149C with Home Greek Blue. Same Tomoe River 52gsm paper (but folded in half so A5 size). Pilot 912 Spencerian grind is also inked with same ink. I still see an obvious difference, quite intriguing. Ink flow difference? Any thoughts welcome.

 

Add: Line 1-3 written with MB 149C; Line 4-8 with Pilot 912 Spencerian grind.

large.EAC89172-48DC-4F81-AC80-5A4766C09DE9.jpeg.0d2209893450cdc9b9692f1be6acd131.jpeg

 

large.39981768_Montblanc149CalligraphySpencerianthougths.jpg.08aae13557d042270e0ef5a9e2a4fe01.jpg

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@fpupulin I've had a few days to play with the Pilot 912 with Spencerian grind.

 

Positive:

- Soft and flexible

- Produces very fine lines (true needlepoint)

- Less than $400 for the pen and grind

 

Negative:

- Ink starvation and railroading 

- Sensitive to choice of ink and paper (prefers wetter ink and very smooth paper)

 

When the ink starvation occurs, I give it a firm shake (careful not to slam your nib on the table 🙂 or be patient and press the nib on the paper lightly then take the pressure off to the point that the nib is almost off the paper. Do it a few times. The capillary action will get the ink going again.

 

I think it's a very niche nib, really made for Spencerian writing, not suitable for daily writing. It's fun once you can handle the ink starvation issue. It's a pen that needs patient and trained hand. I am still experimenting with it, so it may be that I don't quite know how to use it.

 

Though I've had much fun (and frustration at times) with the Pilot 912 Spencerian, I became more appreciative for the MB 149 Calligraphy. It's very versatile, can produce very fine lines especially with certain inks, is a lot smoother compared to the needlepoint of Spencerian grind, and has a much wider choice of paper. The snapback on MB 149C is slower in general compared to the Pilot Spencerian.

 

Franco, I am guessing that the Pilot is not for you. It's the first time I bought a pen just for the nib (the size is really ok. I think I would have found Pilot Falcon a tad too small, personal preference of course). It's not a beauty (nor is it ugly, to be fair, and a lot cheaper). The narrow range of paper choice probably makes it less appealing for you. When I get over the ink starvation issue, it does write very nicely.

 

Now back to the MB 149C 😀!

 

(I was hesitant to write the above, because my comments are based on experience with this particular Pilot 912 Spencerian alone, which may or may not represent Pilot 912 and this type of grind in general. Pen and grind from nibs.com)

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@como, I believe that you are describing a common problem. It is hard for a regular feed to keep up with the flow required for a flexible nib. Nibsmith.com fits an ebonite feed to these pens to increase flow: https://nibsmith.com/product/pilot-custom-912-fountain-pen/ . You're skilled at pen repair, I believe, so you could fit one yourself. Here is where nibsmith gets the parts: https://flexiblenib.com/store/standard-replacement-feeds/ . I am planning to get one of the modified pens from nibsmith, sooner or later, but I've been saving up to buy the Hakase you recommended. I also have to get another Calligraphy 149 to use the Homer Greek Blue ink as you suggested. 

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel

I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

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@Frank C That’s a great suggestion! I was getting a bit impatient and thinking about hacking that plastic feed myself 😀. So solution #1: shake the pen; solution #2: have the ink bottle ready to dip; solution #3: get the ebonite feed. I think I will go for #3! Thank you, Frank!

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23 hours ago, como said:

@Frank C That’s a great suggestion! I was getting a bit impatient and thinking about hacking that plastic feed myself 😀. So solution #1: shake the pen; solution #2: have the ink bottle ready to dip; solution #3: get the ebonite feed. I think I will go for #3! Thank you, Frank!

FYI , I was going to have nibsmith put the red ebonite feed into the pen for me. That would be a nice looking pen. He told me that they "flow like a firehose" with the ebonite feed—or something like that. 

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel

I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

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On 9/11/2021 at 5:08 PM, Frank C said:

FYI , I was going to have nibsmith put the red ebonite feed into the pen for me. That would be a nice looking pen. He told me that they "flow like a firehose" with the ebonite feed—or something like that. 

@Frank C I'll let you know how it works out once I receive the feeds. By the way the slits look (especially 3-slit feed), they should be able to deliver generous ink flow. Will have to see how much line width is sacrifice, if any, due to ink flow increase. Thanks again for the great suggestion! 

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The 3 slit feed was too much for me, and i like a wet feed.  Get the two slit version.  

 

But if you really really want the three slit feed, i have one i’m not using.

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18 minutes ago, gyasko said:

The 3 slit feed was too much for me, and i like a wet feed.  Get the two slit version.  

 

But if you really really want the three slit feed, i have one i’m not using.

@gyaskoGood to know, and thank you for your offer. I wasn't sure which to get so I bought both. Most likely I will not need the 3-slits, but in case I err, I don't want to have to buy another and pay for shipping again. It'll be interesting to find out, hopefully soon. Shipping will take a while. I took the cheap option. MB 149C is excellent with its extra fine line width and suitable for Spencerian, especially with Homer Greek Blue. I might find other inks on the dry side do the same when I experiment a little more. Still happy to have Pilot Spencerian, a pen with very different feel, though with much narrow range of use.

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@fpupulin Beautiful Copperplate!! I would like to learn to do a little bit of flourishing. I tried a little bit but mine looks very clumsy! Any guidance would be much appreciated 🙂.

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9 hours ago, como said:

@fpupulin Beautiful Copperplate!! I would like to learn to do a little bit of flourishing. I tried a little bit but mine looks very clumsy! Any guidance would be much appreciated 🙂.

There is a book called Calligraphic Flourishing by Bill Hildebrandt. I heard of it here on FPN, maybe even on this topic. There is one on Amazon-USA now for $75.46. I bought mine on Amazon for about $65. When I first looked, they were going for $130. It is a very thorough guide to flourishing. 

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel

I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

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13 hours ago, Frank C said:

There is a book called Calligraphic Flourishing by Bill Hildebrandt. I heard of it here on FPN, maybe even on this topic. There is one on Amazon-USA now for $75.46. I bought mine on Amazon for about $65. When I first looked, they were going for $130. It is a very thorough guide to flourishing. 

@Frank C Thank you for your recommendation! I think that doing a little bit looks very nice, as seen in many of Franco's calligraphy work. I also learned from Franco's work that mixing two or three different scripts adds very interesting contrasts. So much to learn!

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On 9/13/2021 at 5:47 AM, como said:

@fpupulin Beautiful Copperplate!! I would like to learn to do a little bit of flourishing. I tried a little bit but mine looks very clumsy! Any guidance would be much appreciated 🙂.

 

Dear como, as Frank C said you, probably the most complete text on the matter is Calligraphic Flourishing by Bill Hildebrandt. It is a real treatise, and I like the conceptualization that the author made of flourishing. As any treatise, however, it can be a bit frustrating as to the "practice" of flourishing. I was fortunate enough to find a beautifully, calligraphically signed copy of the book, and I read it from time to time.

 

In practice, right flourishings only have three basic rules: 1) they have to be built around elliptic shapes; 2) crosses between lines should possibly be almost perpendicular; 3) do never cross broad stroke with broad stroke (broad and fine or fine and broad is correct). I would perhaps add a fourth rule: resist the temptation to overdo.

 

You will soon learn that many minuscule letters can not be flourished, and that there are some letters which are best suited for flourishing, mostly those with long upper or lower strokes. Flourishing are basically of four types: entering flourishing, over-the-row flourishing, under-the-row flourishing, and ending flourishing. Then what you need is a lot of practice. 

 

I personally almost never do my flourishings in one go. First I write the text in normal writing, then with a tracing paper I try a few flourishment here and there over the text. At this point I made a second version with the flourishings included, which reveals in a much clearer way where are the blank spots in the text that allow for more flourishing work. Usually, I add the new flourishings in pen directly on the second version. Only at this point I am ready to try a final version, where I still made some improvements (and some new errors...) here and there.

 

In my opinion, the best place to begin your training in flourishing is "Lettering Daily"  on the Internet. They have a fantastic page "How to get started with calligraphic flourishing" that  is plenty of very useful and clearly illustrated tips. I printed all the pages as a small "beginner's guide" to flourishing, and I often use it.

 

You can find it at: https://www.lettering-daily.com/calligraphy-flourishing/ 

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Meanwhile, and taking advantage of the great virtues of flexibility of the Calligraphy nib, I prepared third version  of "The sense of Calligraphy", using more engrossed strokes in the Copperplate text (more Percossi's than Mediavilla's style). I probably like the version more because of the "evidence" of the script.

 

I also added a few flourishings on the upper part of the sheet, to visually fill the empty areas aside the title.

 

Here is the result:

 

large.890814501_Montblanc149CalligraphyThesenseofCalligraphyIII(withpens)FP.jpg.f13113f81a3963047ebdfd52bb260ee7.jpg

 

And here is a shot of my desk with all three versions of the work, taken with a new wide-angle lens I bought for my Hasselblad camera:

 

large.898873290_ThesenseofCalligraphythreeversionsFP.jpg.b8e3e12c0573ea7eb225bfa005a4a6bc.jpg

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On 8/9/2021 at 12:26 PM, invisuu said:

 

Just for feedback purposes, this did not help me after 4 days. It's okay, it was a long shot anyway. I wrote to Montblanc what they propose and we'll see what they say.

 

And for sense of completeness - after my ink window was stained by Montblanc Permant Blue - I decided to fill the pen up with permanent blue again anyway - I mean what harm does it cause, the window is stained and I love the ink, right? I left the ink in for like a week and when I flushed the pen, the ink window was completely transparent again.

 

I have no idea how this happened and why, but it did.

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10 minutes ago, invisuu said:

 

And for sense of completeness - after my ink window was stained by Montblanc Permant Blue - I decided to fill the pen up with permanent blue again anyway - I mean what harm does it cause, the window is stained and I love the ink, right? I left the ink in for like a week and when I flushed the pen, the ink window was completely transparent again.

 

I have no idea how this happened and why, but it did.

@invisuu I had missed your earlier post. That's disappointing. As a premium brand, this level of service is not what's expected from Montblanc. Can you go to their website customer service live chat and get someone there to look into this? I was once looking for a pen case online on MB site and got a very helpful rep. On a separate note, I received my Pilot Custom 912 with Spencerian grind with a faulty converter (it's stuck and will not fill any ink). I wrote to the vendor 13 days ago asking for a partial refund so I can go buy one locally, no answer. Again 5 days ago, no answer. For companies that understand what customer service means and value their clients, each problem presents an opportunity. Unfortunately some people just don't understand and don't care. 

 

After two years, when the warranty expires, you are free to open the backend with a wrench and clean it with much better direct access. I would suggest to wait for now, as doing it otherwise would void the warranty. It's not your problem to have for the moment. Try not to let you hinder the joy of using the pen. I always try to rationally separate the issues so I maintain a good mood 🙂.

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3 minutes ago, como said:

@invisuu I had missed your earlier post. That's disappointing. As a premium brand, this level of service is not what's expected from Montblanc. Can you go to their website customer service live chat and get someone there to look into this? I was once looking for a pen case online on MB site and got a very helpful rep. On a separate note, I received my Pilot Custom 912 with Spencerian grind with a faulty converter (it's stuck and will not fill any ink). I wrote to the vendor 13 days ago asking for a partial refund so I can go buy one locally, no answer. Again 5 days ago, no answer. For companies that understand what customer service means and value their clients, each problem presents an opportunity. Unfortunately some people just don't understand and don't care. 

 

After two years, when the warranty expires, you are free to open the backend with a wrench and clean it with much better direct access. I would suggest to wait for now, as doing it otherwise would void the warranty. It's not your problem to have for the moment. Try not to let you hinder the joy of using the pen. I always try to rationally separate the issues so I maintain a good mood 🙂.

 

I wrote to them and they were very helpful and told me to send the pen back so they can service it. Their opinion was that the ink must have, for some reason, chemically bonded with the piston lubricant. But they of course couldn't be sure just by a picture over the e-mail. I was just hesitant to send it back, because to be honest I don't want to be without the pen for 4-6 weeks, as I use it every day. And the problem resolved itself, somehow, almost magically. So it all worked out just fine in the end :)

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@fpupulinYou must be a very good professor in real live. We already know about your research accomplishments, but you are also an excellent teacher. Very supportive encouraging, can bring a complex issue to its essence. Thank you so much for introducing me to calligraphy, which I finally feel there is a process and method to go by without being lost and overwhelmed. I wish our world can have more teachers like you, passionate, knowledgeable, supportive and encouraging. That's how a man/woman can make a different in this world, one at a time. 🙏

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