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In my remote corner of the world, which does not include the abundance of shops dedicated to writing among its many wonders, the appearance of a new type of paper is almost sensational news. 

 

On Saturday, my wife and I ventured out for a walk in the "outside world" and passed a shop selling fine arts products, paper, and even some good (and expensive) pens from the Count of Faber Castell. Who could resist poking into a shop like this for the umpteenth time? 

 

Among the pads I saw one of Fabriano that I did not know: Fabriano Unica. A thick paper, 250 grams, proposed for art prints and drawing, etching, graphite, charcoal and pastel, and offered in a nice A3 size of 29.7 × 42 cm. Of course, the cover of the pad makes no mention of the use of this pen paper, but the 50% cotton content bodes well. And then, twenty sheets for just over 20 Euros (here in Costa Rica!), with a slightly rough texture and half a promise to work for my calligraphy entertainment, well, it was a frankly irresistible toy for the weekend ... And now at home, to try it, almost running ... 

 

Sometimes one has a nice piece of paper waiting for him, but he doesn't have a good idea what to do ... Sometimes he knows what to do, but he doesn't feel like he has the right paper. As for the pen, for those of our group of crazy people, one or ten good pens suitable for the purpose, those are never lacking! 
But in this case, I had all the ingredients, plus a craving for the test. For some time I had been working on an aphorism dedicated to the "light and firm hand" that is required in calligraphy, and it was only a question of perfecting it a little to put it on the paper in good letters. I had already decided to write a bilingual version, taking the opportunity to compare the flexible nibs of a modern pen and an extraordinary vintage, and now I had 20 large sheets to make my work, as long as the Unica paper worked fine with a pen.

 

Good? Better! Better? More! 

 

According to the producer, Unica was born from the collaboration with a group of artists who tested it "in extreme conditions" with various techniques and various media. Whatever the reason for creating this paper, the result is truly remarkable: with a roughness just hinted at, and I would say a little more on the front than on the reverse, a beautiful neutral white color and that weight that, in an A3 sheet, makes it look almost like a cardboard, the Unica is, to see and touch, a superior paper. 

The ink test has completely convinced me. No feathering, exceptional hold, a superlative ability to retain fine strokes, and that slight feedback on the nib that, at least for me, is essential for controlled writing. Magnificent! 

 

I tested it with Montblanc's Permanent Blue, a dense pigmented ink, and the behavior of the 149 Calligraphy's nib was flawless: no hard starts, no reduction in flow, no railroading, and an immediate response to the pressure and release of the pressure on the nib.


The Perle Noire by Herbin that I used in the OMAS Gentlemen is a more lubricated ink, but even in this case I have not observed any plucking and the paper has perfectly returned its beautiful dark and neutral black tone. Only in three or four points did the extremely “sharp” tip of the OMAS Extra nib, when closing a curve, scratch the paper fibers, slightly lifting them. Calligraphy test passed with honors! 

 

Before letting the image speak, however, I want to say a few more words about the two extraordinary pens I used for the test, the Montblanc Meisterstück 149 Calligraphy and the OMAS Gentlemen with Extra nib, extra-fine size. The latter can be considered, in my range of pens, the one with the sharpest calligraphic nib, due to its fantastic characteristics of flexibility. It's my touchstone for evaluating the capabilities of any sharp writing nib, both fountain and dip nibs. Competing with this nib is difficult because, in my opinion, it is practically perfect.

 

The contender, the Meisterstück 149 Calligraphy, is a pen that I have had for almost a year now and with which I am in love. She has ensured that my other 149s have hardly seen any use in a whole year, except to "pamper" them a little from time to time. And in this test the Calligraphy proves to be a unique example in the panorama of contemporary flexible nibs, holding the duel head to head with my favorite calligraphic nib. There is a difference between the two, again in favor of OMAS, but my Calligraphy is (and will be for some time now) the pen I use the most due to the ease and adaptability of its nib. 

 

For this work I put the 149 Calligraphy to write the text in English with a very slanted Spencerian (45 degrees) to differentiate it even more clearly from the Copperplate of almost 60 degrees slant of the Italian text written with the OMAS. It's a difficult inclination, for which the Calligraphy nib was memorable. Its extra fine but round nib really slips nicely on the paper and, even if after pressing it has a less immediate "spring-back" to the quiet state of the OMAS nib, it surpasses it for smoothness and ease in making curves. 

 

For the record, I have tried, with both feathers, some "flourish" or embellishment, which I had never tried before. I looked for some examples on the net (there are really breathtaking ones, but they require an expertise that I don't have ...), and I drew all the flourishes on the left side of the texts. Then, on a light-box, I traced them onto another sheet, I turned it over and, on the same light source, I again traced with pen the specular flourishes on the Unica paper. I guess that's not the most orthodox way, but it more or less worked. 
The two pens performed very well, and the more rounded nib of the Calligraphy is, I would say, easier to "turn" on tight curves. 

 

Good week everyone.

 

786357358_Montblanc149CalligraphyEducationalwork.thumb.jpg.d6f3cc85bc87c83186e072988b1c79da.jpg

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inkstainedruth

I have a smallish Fabriano EcoQua notebook and I remember liking the paper.  Picked it up on a whim a couple of years ago at the local Dick Blick's, which is just up the street from a cards and novelty shop that sells Pilot and Sheaffer Pens and ink, and around the corner from another stationers that has had Kaweco pens and inks, and some colors of J Herbin; and at the moment (at least as of a couple of weeks ago, had an M200 or M205 Blue Marbled (can't remember offhand whether the nib and trim were gold, or Rhodium plated).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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45 minutes ago, fpupulin said:

In my remote corner of the world, which does not include the abundance of shops dedicated to writing among its many wonders, the appearance of a new type of paper is almost sensational news. 

 

On Saturday, my wife and I ventured out for a walk in the "outside world" and passed a shop selling fine arts products, paper, and even some good (and expensive) pens from the Count of Faber Castell. Who could resist poking into a shop like this for the umpteenth time? 

 

Among the pads I saw one of Fabriano that I did not know: Fabriano Unica. A thick paper, 250 grams, proposed for art prints and drawing, etching, graphite, charcoal and pastel, and offered in a nice A3 size of 29.7 × 42 cm. Of course, the cover of the pad makes no mention of the use of this pen paper, but the 50% cotton content bodes well. And then, twenty sheets for just over 20 Euros (here in Costa Rica!), with a slightly rough texture and half a promise to work for my calligraphy entertainment, well, it was a frankly irresistible toy for the weekend ... And now at home, to try it, almost running ... 

 

Sometimes one has a nice piece of paper waiting for him, but he doesn't have a good idea what to do ... Sometimes he knows what to do, but he doesn't feel like he has the right paper. As for the pen, for those of our group of crazy people, one or ten good pens suitable for the purpose, those are never lacking! 
But in this case, I had all the ingredients, plus a craving for the test. For some time I had been working on an aphorism dedicated to the "light and firm hand" that is required in calligraphy, and it was only a question of perfecting it a little to put it on the paper in good letters. I had already decided to write a bilingual version, taking the opportunity to compare the flexible nibs of a modern pen and an extraordinary vintage, and now I had 20 large sheets to make my work, as long as the Unica paper worked fine with a pen.

 

Good? Better! Better? More! 

 

According to the producer, Unica was born from the collaboration with a group of artists who tested it "in extreme conditions" with various techniques and various media. Whatever the reason for creating this paper, the result is truly remarkable: with a roughness just hinted at, and I would say a little more on the front than on the reverse, a beautiful neutral white color and that weight that, in an A3 sheet, makes it look almost like a cardboard, the Unica is, to see and touch, a superior paper. 

The ink test has completely convinced me. No feathering, exceptional hold, a superlative ability to retain fine strokes, and that slight feedback on the nib that, at least for me, is essential for controlled writing. Magnificent! 

 

I tested it with Montblanc's Permanent Blue, a dense pigmented ink, and the behavior of the 149 Calligraphy's nib was flawless: no hard starts, no reduction in flow, no railroading, and an immediate response to the pressure and release of the pressure on the nib.


The Perle Noire by Herbin that I used in the OMAS Gentlemen is a more lubricated ink, but even in this case I have not observed any plucking and the paper has perfectly returned its beautiful dark and neutral black tone. Only in three or four points did the extremely “sharp” tip of the OMAS Extra nib, when closing a curve, scratch the paper fibers, slightly lifting them. Calligraphy test passed with honors! 

 

Before letting the image speak, however, I want to say a few more words about the two extraordinary pens I used for the test, the Montblanc Meisterstück 149 Calligraphy and the OMAS Gentlemen with Extra nib, extra-fine size. The latter can be considered, in my range of pens, the one with the sharpest calligraphic nib, due to its fantastic characteristics of flexibility. It's my touchstone for evaluating the capabilities of any sharp writing nib, both fountain and dip nibs. Competing with this nib is difficult because, in my opinion, it is practically perfect.

 

The contender, the Meisterstück 149 Calligraphy, is a pen that I have had for almost a year now and with which I am in love. She has ensured that my other 149s have hardly seen any use in a whole year, except to "pamper" them a little from time to time. And in this test the Calligraphy proves to be a unique example in the panorama of contemporary flexible nibs, holding the duel head to head with my favorite calligraphic nib. There is a difference between the two, again in favor of OMAS, but my Calligraphy is (and will be for some time now) the pen I use the most due to the ease and adaptability of its nib. 

 

For this work I put the 149 Calligraphy to write the text in English with a very slanted Spencerian (45 degrees) to differentiate it even more clearly from the Copperplate of almost 60 degrees slant of the Italian text written with the OMAS. It's a difficult inclination, for which the Calligraphy nib was memorable. Its extra fine but round nib really slips nicely on the paper and, even if after pressing it has a less immediate "spring-back" to the quiet state of the OMAS nib, it surpasses it for smoothness and ease in making curves. 

 

For the record, I have tried, with both feathers, some "flourish" or embellishment, which I had never tried before. I looked for some examples on the net (there are really breathtaking ones, but they require an expertise that I don't have ...), and I drew all the flourishes on the left side of the texts. Then, on a light-box, I traced them onto another sheet, I turned it over and, on the same light source, I again traced with pen the specular flourishes on the Unica paper. I guess that's not the most orthodox way, but it more or less worked. 
The two pens performed very well, and the more rounded nib of the Calligraphy is, I would say, easier to "turn" on tight curves. 

 

Good week everyone.

 

786357358_Montblanc149CalligraphyEducationalwork.thumb.jpg.d6f3cc85bc87c83186e072988b1c79da.jpg

 

Holy Mother !!! How do you do that ??  I am not worthy............

Money may not make you happy but I would rather cry in a Rolls-Royce

 

The true definition of madness - Doing the same thing everyday and expecting different results......

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Bravo! A joyful rendition and a great use of paper and pen. You're "Spencerian" shows some very fascinating unique personal touches that show off your own style. While I believe it is obvious that your flourishing is not nearly as "refined" as your calligraphic hand in general, I'd say your artistic sense and willingness to break the mold to achieve your aesthetic desires is very effective in the end result. Certainly I am not able to achieve nearly such quality as those flourishes, even though I have studied them a tiny bit. 

 

It truly is beautiful to behold.

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sebastel23

'bella figura' on the paper.

 

🙂 

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Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement.


In particular, Arcfide, thank you for your cordial and frank comment. It is certain that, while the writing of the letters of the alphabet is composed of signs which, in their elementary form, have been learned and practiced since childhood, the curves of flourishes and embellishments are entirely absent from the traditional formation. As I execute them, I realize, so to speak, that I completely miss the "basics" of their design and that what I do is simply ape some beautiful flourishments that I have observed in the examples available on the net.
I just have to study and practice ... and I will do it with pleasure!


inkstainedruth, your note made me think and regret the old brick and mortar shops in front of whose windows one stopped to see what was new. Of course, there was not everything, as it seems possible today to find on the Internet pages, but often one would find something that he was not looking for and that was just plain perfect. In online shops, one always finds what he is looking for, and the unexpected has become rare or has disappeared, like the old shops ... 

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48 minutes ago, fpupulin said:

Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement.

 

 

Your beautiful effort with the pen gives this "almost" old man hope to improve my penmanship.

Hard times don't last, but hard people do.

 

Thank a Veteran.

 

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Fabulous, your hand is certainly leggera e forte. Every time I see your use of the 149 calligraphy nib I am tempted to buy one, fortunately after some time I realize that my hand is neither leggera nor ferma.

 

Ciao

Alfredo

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On 1/25/2021 at 2:43 PM, inkstainedruth said:

I have a smallish Fabriano EcoQua notebook and I remember liking the paper.  Picked it up on a whim a couple of years ago at the local Dick Blick's, which is just up the street from a cards and novelty shop that sells Pilot and Sheaffer Pens and ink, and around the corner from another stationers that has had Kaweco pens and inks, and some colors of J Herbin; and at the moment (at least as of a couple of weeks ago, had an M200 or M205 Blue Marbled (can't remember offhand whether the nib and trim were gold, or Rhodium plated).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

 

Sadly no Dick Blick stores in Colorado.

 

Hard times don't last, but hard people do.

 

Thank a Veteran.

 

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I have seen Fabriano papers several times over the years in art supply stores in and around Boston.  I used their blank greeting cards to make many birthday cards, back when I had the time to devote to it.  I haven't seen their products in a while, and I'm glad to see they're still in business.

 

-- Joel -- "I collect expensive and time-consuming hobbies."

 

INK (noun): A villainous compound of tannogallate of iron, gum-arabic and water,

chiefly used to facilitate the infection of idiocy and promote intellectual crime.

(from The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce)

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2 hours ago, Kalessin said:

I have seen Fabriano papers several times over the years in art supply stores in and around Boston.  I used their blank greeting cards to make many birthday cards, back when I had the time to devote to it.  I haven't seen their products in a while, and I'm glad to see they're still in business.

 

 

Cartiere Fedrigoni, who is the owner of the Fabriano brand since several decades, was sold in 2017 from the historical owners to the American investment fund Bain Capital. To date, three years later, it seems to me that the brand is still going very strong, if possible with renewed impetus. The Unica paper I commented about is, if I well understand, a quite new product in their catalogue.

Fabriano produces a number of papers that work pretty well with fountain pens. I use their Ingrés, a laid paper of 85 gr, on a regular basis, and the same paper is used in their Artista notebooks, which I use from my calligraphic exercises..

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Thank you for this info!

 

 I'm going to see what I can find of their papers on the internet.  As if I need more paper...

-- Joel -- "I collect expensive and time-consuming hobbies."

 

INK (noun): A villainous compound of tannogallate of iron, gum-arabic and water,

chiefly used to facilitate the infection of idiocy and promote intellectual crime.

(from The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce)

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On 1/26/2021 at 9:02 PM, alfredop said:

Fabulous, your hand is certainly leggera e forte. Every time I see your use of the 149 calligraphy nib I am tempted to buy one, fortunately after some time I realize that my hand is neither leggera nor ferma.

 

Ciao

Alfredo

 

Alfredo: I know, I know, money is money... But...

 

Would you have a chance to find a Calligraphy (they have become quite rare), think another time about your purchase.

 

As I have repetaed so many times, you can enjoy her calligraphic possibilities, but also for normal, everyday writing, she has a very special and pleasant nib! 

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Wolverine1

Franco- you amaze me again with your artistic abilities!!!!!!  You outdo yourself every single time you post pictures of your wonderful calligraphy, and your artwork. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. Thank you.

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