Author Topic: Back to studying  (Read 883 times)

Offline RoughDiamond

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Back to studying
« on: March 30, 2022, 07:00:06 AM »
Getting back to do some more study and practice. This time with walnut ink, Leonardt Principal EF nib and Mondi ColorCopy 100gsm paper.

Offline Sally Ellington

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Re: Back to studying
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2022, 07:07:00 AM »
How beautiful!

Offline RoughDiamond

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Re: Back to studying
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2022, 07:21:14 AM »

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Back to studying
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2022, 11:30:12 AM »
Wow! Absolutely stunning. I think this is your best one yet. So gorgeous!  :-*
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Erica
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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Back to studying
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2022, 11:34:02 AM »
Would you tell us a little more about your journey? How did you get started in pointed pen? When did you begin studying flourishing? What were your best resources/classes for study? How often do you practice?
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Erica
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Offline RoughDiamond

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Re: Back to studying
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2022, 11:51:17 AM »
Wow! Absolutely stunning. I think this is your best one yet. So gorgeous!  :-*

Thank you Erica :)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2022, 12:56:53 PM by RoughDiamond »

Offline RoughDiamond

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Re: Back to studying
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2022, 12:53:32 PM »
Would you tell us a little more about your journey? How did you get started in pointed pen? When did you begin studying flourishing? What were your best resources/classes for study? How often do you practice?

Well first off, thank you for your interest. It could be a long story but to be brief I think it fair to say that my interest seriously started some 40 years ago when I was lucky enough to meet the late, great Frederick Marns in a London design studio where I was an accounts clerk and he came in with some original design ideas for some projects the studio was involved in. That is where I first saw what I call proper pointed pen work both in terms of script and artwork. We were able to chat for a bit and it turned out he also had a small general portfolio of his work with him which I thought was just amazing.

Being young back then, having to try and forge a career and the usual things like getting married and having a family, I just couldn't devote the time to it but there was always that hidden burning ember in there somewhere which has an uncanny tendency to come to life again at some point.

Over a course of years I bought the odd calligraphy pen set and relied on the instructions within the set so I started doing little menus, birthday cards and little things for the family. Nothing serious at all and was all very patchy and indeed there were years going by where I didn't do anything. That little ember was still there and glowing but didn't burst into flame until about maybe 15 years ago. I guess I can say that is when I really got that fire going and I dabbled in things like the gothic scripts and italic but I was always on the lookout for the "copperplate" styles.

Of course, the internet has been an invaluable resource for me over the years and it was there that I discovered the much loved Ken Fraser and even though his collection of videos wasn't extensive, I was captivated by his style. I developed a curiosity for the American hands as well but the style of Ken's work came top of the heap. I also followed Ken through what I think is now a defunct forum called "The Fountain Pen Network".

The book that I bought was Eleanor Winters' book and that was my primary book for learning the basics. And of course I had to have "The Universal Penman".

So it has been a while since I have studied seriously and over time I have studied the works of the English writing masters from the 18th and early 19th centuries. I have read extensively and practised extensively with most of my focus around that period. I've also worked on Spencerian, Ornamental, Engrosser's etc. but not to the degree that I've put in to copperplate over the years.

Eventually I started posting things in various groups on Facebook and in 2019 I started the copperplate FB group. That was done under pressure and is a different story but it seems quite successful. That forced me to study, research and practise even more and has in itself been a great learning curve.

When did I start flourishing? Well the 18th century style came with the study of the script itself so some good few years. The style that you see in this post is a lot more recent....seriously working at it perhaps 9 months to a year. I make no bones about it, I do find it tricky and of course we never stop learning. To me it always seems that there is something else around the corner to pull us up and make us think.

How often do I practise? The answer is every day and sometimes all day and every minute is a little more learning under my belt. It is a never ending journey in my opinion. Being retired helps with time allocation of course and not everyone will have that amount of time to put into it. I have developed my pen hold and style so that I don't cramp or suffer fatigue at all.....I just seem to be able to keep going without stress or aches and pains.

As to my recommendations for resources, I must first say that I have never taken a paid class (either on line or in person).....personally I don't see the need but I do appreciate that some prefer to learn in that type of environment. So let's go through those who have had a significant influence on me but many of these names will not know it. Ken Fraser of course and we chat and discuss things now more than ever. Eleanor Winters as above. We'd agreed to meet for lunch when she was teaching in the UK but Covid put paid to that. Hopefully we can schedule again when she's over here again. I have to add in Dick Jackson and his book which Ken has highly recommended and now that I have a copy I can see why. Joe Vitolo who has supported the copperplate group. I was lucky enough to have a video chat with him when the group started and we had a great hour and a half together in that session just chatting. Joy Daniels who I speak to now and then given that I am now a mentor for the CSIG. David Simons, James Farrell, David Grimes, John DeCollibus, Michael Sull, Jake Weidmann, Dung Pham, Heather Held, Christophe Ramillon, Rachel Yallop, Sarah Stevenson, Gaynor Goffe, Ed Curran and Dao Huy Hoang. There will be more but these are the ones that immediately spring to mind. I must of course put the English Writing Masters of the 18th and 19th centuries in there as well since it is they and their copy/instructional books which are a constant source of inspiration to me.

I hope I haven't droned on too much but hopefully this gives some insight as to where my convoluted mind is coming from :)

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Back to studying
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2022, 08:47:18 PM »
No too much at all! I very much enjoyed reading about your journey. Itís so gratifying to hear you kept the ember burning until you could make it a focus. Your hours of practice certainly show. The line confidence is beautiful.

So many good inspirations. Ken has certainly stoked the flames of many a pen person. And the Copperplate FB group has become such a fabulous resource!

Thanks so much for sharing with us.  :)
Warm Regards,
Erica
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