Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Calligraphy Practice

Thanks to all the readers who left cleaning suggestions in my "Garage Sale Calligraphy" post.  On the past weekend, I finally got around to following through on some of those suggestions and I am happy to report that all went well.  I soaked the nib in room-temperature water for a day, I didn't manage to wreck anything, and the nib now looks like new.

That said, I actually used one of the other nibs - the broad version - for my first attempts at calligraphy as I thought that might make things a bit easier.  My first impressions of calligraphy practice is that it is much harder than it looks and it is quite fun as well.  Slowly forming the letters and filling page after page with them is a very relaxing activity as well.  As you can see from the picture, I haven't got as far as words yet - I'm still working on the individual letters and getting used to the pen, to the angle at which I have to hold the pen, etc.

Although many of the letters are still far from the way I want them to look, I am still excited by how some of them are turning out already.  Suddenly even a simply page of letters in alphabetical order looks much more impressive and important.  I especially love the shading.  These are some of my favourite letters so far:

I'm really enjoying my calligraphy practice so far, and I think it will be a nice relaxing activity to indulge in after a stressful day of classes.  I look forward to trying out the other ink colours, as well as the medium and fine nibs.


  1. These are looking wonderful - you're off to a great start! You're right - I was doing a bit of italic practice the other day and found it so relaxing I had to ask myself why I don't do it more often.

    The shading in your sample looks very nice - part of the appeal of fountain pens. The other cartridge colours in the Sheaffer set are nice too - especially the red.

  2. A good start indeed.
    My early attempts were never that even.
    Peacock blue is a nice colour too.

  3. I am rather partial to purple Shaeffer ink, but I'm a bit biased!

    It's looking great - I absolutely love calligraphy.

  4. Thanks for the lovely comments, everyone. I'm glad my first attempts at calligraphy don't look too bad! Now I'm even more eager to try the other colours and nibs...

  5. I love the layering of the ink where the strokes overlapped. You'll be hand lettering formal invitations in no time!

  6. Sapphire, they no longer make the "old" Peacock blue, and many people spend a lot of time hunting down old bottles. I think the new Skrip turquoise is perfectly nice, though. I think folks hunt down the old stuff out of nostalgia. Many of my teenage journal entries are written in it :)

  7. I'd forgotten that - I have some in stock.
    I know you're not supposed to keep ink for more than a year but I've never had any problems.
    Turquoise is nice but peacock was just that bit bluer.
    Rotring Artpens are nice to use and they take standard cartridges so I can use Diamine cartridges as well as bottled ink.
    They've reduced the range recently - maybe they'll be phased out.


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