Author Topic: Quill you help me?  (Read 417 times)

Offline InkyFingers

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Quill you help me?
« on: August 30, 2017, 04:16:34 PM »
I am embarking on an adventure with quills.  Will be having some turkeys tonight.  Which and more specifically where can I get Platt Spencers manual?

thanks

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 05:36:05 PM »
I am embarking on an adventure with quills.  Will be having some turkeys tonight.  Which and more specifically where can I get Platt Spencers manual?

thanks
@InkyFingers
Depends what you're looking for.
IAMPETH.com has a couple of Spencer's books scanned, including "Compendium of Spencerian or Semi Angular Penmanship, book 10." !866. "Spencerian Key to Practical Penmanship" (1866 and later) is also a primary source.
If you are looking for actual books, there are originals published in the 19th Century and reprints of books and lesson books. Original books cost $100 to $300+ depending on condition and availability.
If you want something published in his lifetime, like book 13 of the former (1857), well, that's going to be expensive if available at all.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 05:40:42 PM by AnasaziWrites »

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 05:36:31 PM »
I'm not sure which one you mean... this one?

Spencerian Key to Practical Penmanship
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2017, 05:42:09 PM »
Wow, two replies within seconds. Great minds.

Offline InkyFingers

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2017, 06:36:41 PM »
@Erica Thanks for the recommendation.  Mr PR Spencer actually prefer Steel pen, then Gold, and for some Ornamental, the use of a quill.

@ AnasaziWrites ... A bit rich for my blood for now.  I would consider a electronic copy for now.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 09:57:11 PM by InkyFingers »

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2017, 09:58:44 AM »
@InkyFingers
Here are a couple of scans from "Spencerian or Semi Angular Penmanship, Book 13." You'll notice he freely mixed using standard and flourishing hand in forming his letters, even in the same piece. I planned to scan and post more of these this morning, but my scanner jammed after the second one, and I'll have to repair or replace it before I can post more scans.

Offline InkyFingers

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2017, 10:18:39 AM »
Thank You.  Wow! The scan is real high definition.  Lines are so crispy.  Such lines that a 357 might do.
Cant wait for more.

A thousand thanks.

Offline InkyFingers

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2017, 12:27:15 AM »
I used a scalpel #15 to cut as I dont have an Xacto.  These Northern Giant Turkey are great for lettering Gothics and Chancellarescha...but not for pointed pen.  I need something softer and more flexible, goose feathers.  I'll save the other 11 Turkey for later when I go back to broad edged.  I need more precise instruction on quill cutting or does it requires practice?


Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2017, 08:27:02 AM »
I would imagine practice is needed. According to contemporary accounts I've read, the initial cutting of the quill was a specialized skill that not everyone had. Many people could "mend" a pen given time and a pen knife, but few were skilled enough to do the initial cuts. Most offices would just buy their quills pre-cut from a stationer. Larger offices that went through quills quickly (a fast clerk could go through several in a day) would either have a person employed who's only job was to mend pens, or would send them back out for mending at the stationer's.

There are several videos online that show a couple of techniques for cutting a quill. I'm interested myself. I have some feathers which I think might work, but need to prepare them first. And right now, getting the school year started, and preparing for a hurricane to arrive in my backyard, it's not quite a priority. But one of these days.

Oh, and your quill will not be quite as pointed or as springy as a high-end steel pen. The nature of the material dictates that it can't get as pointed or have the same level of flex and spring-back as steel.

Andrew
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Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2017, 02:29:38 PM »
Somewhere in my stash I have a nice set of drawings made by Peter Thornton on how to cut quills. He is a broad edge calligrapher and I do not know if there are different details that are better for the pointed nib styles. During workshops with Peter, it was wonderful to use quills and walnut ink on actual vellum - calf skin. It is a dreamy tactile sensation.

Peter has a very nice little tool for snipping the very tip. As I recall, they are no longer made and if you want one, you need to find one in an antique store. It reminded me of a nail clipper, but the cut was straight. You use it to make the very tip sort of chisel shaped so that you have a very crisp edge. He always kept his tucked away in his tool box to insure he would not lose it. He used a pen knife for all the preliminary cuts - but also showed how it was possible to use a regular x-acto knife and get good results. I suspect it is like everything else in calligraphy - not the easiest thing to learn in 20 minutes - and the more you practice the better you get.

I am out of town, but will look for the instructions when I get home - and post them.

Offline Estefa

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2017, 04:25:15 AM »
I learned cutting quills also from Peter Thronton. Also very helpful for leaning were the book and DVD by Patricia Lovett. She explains it very thoroughly. Still it needed quite some practice to get it just a bit right! I use quills mostly only for broad edge styles.

http://www.patricialovett.com/books/

To make it more flexible, you will need to cut a longer slit, and make it a bit oblique and asymmetric there is an explanation in one of Bickham's books. I tried around a bit with Italian Hand with a very flexible quill it still works better with a steel nib for me. The thing is, if the quill is very flexible, it wears down even faster than if it's a bit more stiff!

I find quills mainly a revelation for broad pen work!
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Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2017, 05:27:53 AM »
I just ran across this newspaper article from the Indiana Democrat (Indiana Pennsylvania) from 1881 (24 November, to be exact)
 
"While quill pens were in vogue the occupation of a pen cutter or maker was one of considerable importance; not one in five of those who used pens could make one, and scarcely half a century has elapsed since a certain house in Shoe Lane, London, disposed of over six million quill pens per annum."
 
That's a lot of quills. But elsewhere in the article in says that before metallic pens, "as many as 27,000,000 of quills had been received in Great Britain from St. Petersburg [Russia] in a single year."  That doesn't count all that came from other places in Russia, let alone the other big quill producing countries of Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. It also asks the reader to imagine how many geese this requires since by "careful management" a goose can produce ten quills a year.
 
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/13741946/1881_quill_pens/ 
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Offline InkyFingers

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2017, 04:56:17 PM »
thank you so much for the responses.  I have opted to cheat....
 i bought a quill clipper but it didnt come with instruction.  does anyone have a clue how to use the slider and nib tip clipper?

thanks