Author Topic: Quill you help me?  (Read 976 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

Offline InkyFingers

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2018, 01:47:52 PM »
Something different.  I managed a quill in steel pen holder.  I need more practice on cutting the quill.

I need to know for broad pen cut, how do you bring the two tines together.  After splitting it, it doesn't seem to come back together.
Help please!?


Offline InkyFingers

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Re: Quill you help me?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2018, 04:01:31 PM »
Foster's Practical Penmanship have this below.  I will try it today.


Making the pen
It is impossible, even for the most skillful to make a good pen, without a good knife; which ought to be kept exclusively for that use. The blade should be narrow, that it may enter the quill with the more ease, and the left side, as held when cutting, a little round or convex. Equally impossible is it to make good pens, without much practice.  The following directions I have endeavoured to
make minute and complete; and doubt not that they will enable any person, with proper attention and practice, to make a good pen. But the skill will be much sooner acquired; by nicely observing and imitating an experienced teacher.

As neatness in little things will form a habit that will extend itself to objects of greater importance, commence making your pen, by stripping the broad side of the feather from the stem, and cutting off three or four inches from the top. Then slightly scrape the quill, in the place where the slit is to be made.  Hold the barrel firmly between the thumb and fore finger of the left band, with the back of the quill upwards,  and the tip of the feather pointing directly in front of the body. Cut off half an inch from the end of the quill, in a sloping direction (fig. 1.) Turn the quill over, and make a similar cut on the other  side; which will form two forked points (fig. 2.) Then cut away the same side an inch fron the end, so as to take off about half of the barrel (fig. 3.) Now turn the
grooved part downward, and make a slight incision in the back notch, between the two forked points (fig. 4.): press the left thumb on the back of the quill, about three quarters of an inch from the end, at the point where you wish to have the slit stop: place the right thumb nail under, and in contact with the notch; throw it smartly up, and the proper slit will be produced, (fig. 5.) Then, with the grooved part still continued under, commence cutting on the right side, downwards; for large hand, from a little below the top of the slit; add for small hand, from a little above, which will form what is commonly called a shoulder: cut away the right side, in a straight line, sloping it more and more at every cut; and bringing it ,to a fine point; at the length you intend the slit to be, (fig. 6.) Then turn the quill over, and cut the left side exactly to correspond with the right; so as to bring both prongs, in equal width, to a point, at the slit, (fig. 7.) Place the thumb on the back of the point, and press it downwards, to make the slit close and firm for nibbing. Then take the quill between the first and second fingers of the left hand; lay the point (with the grooved part downwards,) on the left thumb nail, and take off, in a slanting direction, from about 1/16 of an inch above the nib, on the back of the quill, to the point of the nib on the inside, (fig.8 and 9.)  Then, continuing the nib on the thumb nail, place the edge of the knife across it, so as to make the knife and the side of the pen next the haft form an acute angle,* (fig. 7 A,) and cut off a minute portion of the point, in a perpendicular direction. The right prong of the nib, as held when writing, will be a little longer than the other, for the purpose of making the hair stroke. The slit ought to be about a quarter of an inch long, for a free running hand; and still longer for large hand, in proportion to the size.  A pen with a long slit will not only write freely and with ease, but will give a decided distinction between the up and down strokes. The mode of holding and using the knife is important. It should be confined by the balls of the three last fingers, and, by closing and opening the band, be drawn towards the palm. To mend a pen, sharpen the point, and nib it anew, without making a new slit, as long as the old one is of sufficient length.

Those who know how to make a pen, may think the foregoing directions needlessly minute; but it should be recollected that they are designed for learners.  With this view, it has been deemed important to give them a precision and a particularity necessary for a person who never saw a pen, and that will enable him, with proper materials and a little practice, to make a good one. And it is considered of the greater importance, because, without good pens, no person can attain to any degree of perfection in the art of writing; and even should a learner become a finished writer, with pens made by his teacher, unless he can afterwards supply himself with this essential implement, properly made, he will inevitably and speedily lose his hand-writing.

* Many good penman prefer nibbing the pen at right angles.