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Topics - penstaff

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Tools & Supplies / Colonial Williamsburg ink powder
« on: August 24, 2015, 03:41:21 PM »
This is not a new ink, but haven't seen it mentioned on FF. It is a fine POWDER, made from the soot of burnt lamp oil. When mixed with warm to hot water it gives a very nice writing medium to try. And it's definitely worth the might want to add a few drops of Gum Arabic to the mixture. It can be purchased from Colonial Williamsburg Historic America, P.O. box, 218, White Oak, GA 31568. They also stock stationery, quills, sealing wax, ink stands and playing cards along with other items. Personally I like the writing ability of mix-your-own ink, Chinese stick ink, but I like the Kaimei the best overall.

« on: August 10, 2015, 08:44:53 PM »
Haven't seen it listed so thought I'd 2 cents worth of Kaimei ink. If you haven't tried it yet - it's a must! Gives very fine lines and dries waterproof! It isn't sold by all stores, but if you find it you will be delighted, and the smell will want you to drink it (BUT DON'T)! Discovered it many years ago while visiting San Francisco's Chinatown and fell in love with it and used it for all my black work. It even sits on top of the paper giving a raised effect with a slight shine. Don't take my word for it - try it yourself and prove me wrong. Also gives beautiful brush strokes.

Tools & Supplies / vintage nibs
« on: March 21, 2015, 04:46:49 PM »
Hi Flourishers, If you are not using vintage nibs you are doing youself an injustice! The smoothness and longevity of the vintage nibs are in a class by themselves. True, they are no longer being manufactured, and they are in scarce supply, but I have probably the largest selection of vintage nibs in the country (U.S.A.) and ship all over the world. We have reasonable prices and shipping costs are at a minimum - they are mostly well-known brands and numbers, but all are not in large quantity. I have quit writing and started to reduce my inventory of vintage nibs: Brause, Hunt, Gillott, Perry, Easterbrook, Spencerian. Zanerian (to name a few) and the newer Leonardt Principal EF nibs just to mention a few - and many numbers in each brand available (in most cases). Come join the masses to Vintage Nibs, and be well-pleased with them - and be wowed! All messages will be answered, and if you place an order, make payment or send your check, it will be in the mail within 24 hours (after check clears the bank. Please use American Dollars for payment.
Harvey Anton
[email protected]
2601 Marsh Lane #192
Plano, Texas 75093
Phone: 972-307-0172

Tools & Supplies / Offset Speedball plastic pen staff
« on: January 21, 2015, 09:10:21 AM »
We all use the offset pen staffs (most of us), but for those of you who like the Speedball plastic offset pen staff, because of it's shape, lightweight, the way it fits, etc., but can't stand the way a medium nib sticks out too far from the nib holder making it unwieldily, hard to manage on paper, I have good news for you. I have developed a modification process for this holder which will allow even the long (Easterbrook #14 nib) to stick out just the right amount. It involves taking off the back end of the nib holder, making the modification, and have an open back nib holder allowing you to use most any of your preferred nibs (regardless of length). You will learn to relove this new/old tool again. I can either modify your holder if you send it to me, modify it and return it to you,  or will modify a new one from my stock - your choice. If interested let me know and we will work out all details.
Harvey Anton
[email protected]

Tools & Supplies / Brause 66 EF Nib Penstaff
« on: October 27, 2014, 11:03:23 AM »
In addition to my other 7 lightweight wooden handmade penstaffs I have added a penstaff to fit the Brause 66EF nib for only $14.95. To my knowledge there isn't one like it on the market. Yes, I also make an adjustable nib holder penstaff, but the Brause 66EF is just a bit off for this holder. Contact me for further information.
Harvey ([email protected])

General How To's & Projects / Modified Speedball Offset Penstaff
« on: October 27, 2014, 09:02:10 AM »
This topic is for everyone who uses the black Speedball Offset Holder, but can't control the nib which sticks out way too far - I have the solution. I have modified this holder to hold any length of nib (including the Esterbrook #14 nib); the back end will stick out longer than the front end giving you complete control of any length of nib. There isn't anything wrong with the holder except won't allow the shaft of the nib to pass through the holder-the back end is closed up. By modifying this holder to allow the nib to pass through the nib holder solves your problem. Contact me for purchase of this modified penstaff at a very reasonable price or if preferred you can send me yours to be modified, I will modify it and return it to you. Naturally, you will have to pay postage both ways.
Harvey ([email protected])

General How To's & Projects / Erasing ink and pencil
« on: July 29, 2014, 11:20:01 AM »
Haven't seen a topic of erasing ink and pencil from artwork - am I missing something? If you do not have an electric (not battery operated) you are missing an indispensable tool to have in your supplies. I used the white pencil stick eraser in my motorized eraser almost exclusively since it did a good job, and didn't tear a hole in the paper as easily as the more abrasive stick erasers. But, if not careful the white pencil stick eraser will eat your paper also. To erase pencil, not so much of a problem, just erase lightly until the graphic markings are gone, plus the white eraser doesn't leave any erasure color on your artwork. Of course you might want to burnish the paper after erasing.
Now for erasing ink: the white pencil stick eraser WILL erase ink. Do not leave the eraser on the paper but a short time (kinda bounce the eraser on the letter or word you want removed)…this method takes a bit longer to erase, but your artwork is protected more than anyother method that I have ever used. This will pick up the ink and not leave a hole. An eraser shield will help also to protect the area you don't want erased. After erasing you may want to burnish the erased area so that you can write over this area to correct your mistake.
Hope this thread helps those who are struggling with erasing mistakes (we all make them). Sorry, couldn't show the image).

General How To's & Projects / Underliners
« on: July 22, 2014, 11:36:20 AM »
Has anyone (everyone) tried Underliners? They are clear heavy plastic with nib widths preprinted and come 6 ito a package. They are mostly for broad tip nibs, but can be used for pointed nibs as well. Their nib widths are: fine, medium, broad, B2, B3 and B4, but choose the one you like best for copperplate or Spencerian writing - PLUS you can even turn them at a slant to give yourself slant lines. Thse Underliners go underneath your artwork so that no lines are visible on top, but clearly visible underneath (best when used with a lightbox). I suggest mounting them with removable scotch tape to your artwork or directly to your lightbox. They will be easily removed when finished and last a lifetime. They are extremely useful when wanting to write on a straight line, but you can improvise and not write on the line giving yourself the flexibility of bounce. Underliners are the answer to the Phantom Line Guideand Ames (Draw your Own Lines) but need light reflecting upward in order to see the lines throught your paper. I endorse them highly, and you won't be sorry when you use them…I always hated to draw lines then come back and erase - I found that counter-productive and time consuming…ink smearing, and loss of ink quality on the paper. They are available from Paper and Ink Arts for only $7.95 per set…this is only a recommendation not a For Sale item even tho I have a few left in inventory.

When completing your art for the print person, it's best to enlarge it, make touchups, then reduce it back down to normal size. Next to get a strong black ink layout, spray the entire work with Krylon Fixative. This will enhance your work and even have it reproduced in vivid black ink. Try this - you won't be disappointed.

General How To's & Projects / DIPPING YOUR NIB INTO WHAT?
« on: July 07, 2014, 06:11:37 PM »
CURIOUS! Everyone has their own method of dipping their nib into ink, but what kind of container do you use? Some like to dip directly into the bottle of ink (allowing rapid evaporation), others like different methods - personally I used to use the small plastic cap protecting the plunger of the insulin syringe. It holds enough for ample writing time, and when finished you can pour the remaining ink back into the bottle. Of course you should use the insulin syringe to suck up enough ink to transfer it into the "dip cup". Be sure if you use this method that you glue the "dip cup" onto your work area so that it will not spill. This method may not work as well for you as it did me, but I liked it so much that I used it for years. The offset holder does not come into contact with the dip cup-only the nib.If you want a different type of cup there is also the glass or plastic candle holder, which carries more ink, but also has to be anchored (glued) down on your work area. I used this type when doing the "Declaration of Independence" as it was rather lengthy.

Any comments on your method of "dipping"?

What are the views on Embossing? Debossing? Has there been a recent thread on either of these topics? I hve developed a newer trend which I call "Thread Embossing". If anyone is interested I'll explain the procedure.

General How To's & Projects / Broad Nib Sharpening
« on: July 05, 2014, 01:49:13 PM »
I'm sure this thread has been around at least once, but here is a new twist to the Arkansas stone to nib- I found this method works best for me: instead os sharpening nib to stone, try the reverse: insert your nib into a straight holder, turn is upside down and hold the staff steady resting it on your work table. Now, stroke the stone onto the nib about 5 times at 20o, check with a 10x loupe, turn the holder over where the nib is in the normal position (right side up) and stroke the nib again about 5 times (same number of strokes on each side so that the pointed area looks like a sharp wedge}. Check again with the loupe, if not sharp enough try again from the beginning making sure the number of strokes are the same on each side and looks good in the loupe. Now for a fine tuning, stroke the nib a few times (each side) on a soft piece of leather (underside of a belt is o.k.) Try the nib and see if it writes better and sharper and smoother. The above can be accomplished by using a Dremel tool, but be extremely cautious as the rapid revolutions of the sharpener will take off more than you want in a blink - with this method you'd best have another nib handy for any mistakes. With sharpening any tool be extremely cautious as mistakes can happen - use light strokes when sharpening - you can always take off more, but can't  put it back on.

General How To's & Projects / Whopperplate tool from days gone by
« on: July 03, 2014, 03:38:51 PM »
Just curious - has anyone seen or tried W.J. Hildebrandt" "Whopperplate"? It is used to demonstrate larger than life copperplate letters on paper, blackboard or any other surface./Users/harvey/Desktop/_4885.JPG. Sorry the image didn't show up, and I can't take another pic as I sold my remaining one just last week.

Tools & Supplies / Transform a usable item into a more usable item
« on: July 01, 2014, 02:10:27 PM »
We have all used the plastic Speedball offset pen staff. Have too much nib sticking out the front? This makes control almost impossible, but this can be corrected. The reason too much nib sticks out the front is because the back end is closed off. Transform this holder into one that is much easier to use without a lot of trouble. With a hack saw or Dremel cutoff tool cut off the back end. You will find a loose small round plastic rod. This should be glued to the BOTTOM section with Crazy Glue or Gorilla Glue so that it seats firmly. You now have the perfect holder (without the back end) which will allow you to slide the nib into the holder as far as you want or need. I have done this many times and it works every time. One of these days Hunt-Speedball will do this for us - with this modification it really isn't a bad pen staff - in fact on the good side.

« on: July 01, 2014, 12:19:47 PM »
Has everyone ground their own Cinese or Japanese ink sticks? If not you are in for a real treat - sure we're all in a hurry, but this method will help slow you down and concentrate on the job at hand. Don't grind more than you need for the job at hand, as it won't have enough preservatives in it to last more than a few days. You can make more of it at a time if you store it in a rubber capped bottle (as insulin bottles), suck it up with a needle pointed syringe and insert it into the bottle. After a short time the bottle will have more air than it needs, but you can release the air by removing the plunger, inserting the needle into the bottle and let the excess air escape. Your ink will last indefinitely in these containers.

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