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Topics - darrin1200

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Coffee & Nib-bles / Foolish Magazine
« on: April 09, 2021, 08:33:50 AM »
Good morning everyone.
I was not sure, really where to put this, but figured it was a good coffee point.

I heard about this magazine a couple of months ago, in one of my fountain pen groups. Unfortunately, it was entirely in Italian, I have a hard enough time with English. The photos and and layout made it a joy to peruse, even without understanding the words. Well they have finally released an issue in English.

While it is a pen focused magazine, it also includes articles about calligraphy, watches and other collectables. There is even an ad right at the beginning for an oblique fountain pen.

I hope you all enjoy it.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Help with Logo opinions
« on: August 30, 2019, 10:27:42 AM »
I'm not sure where this should go, as it is not hand written. Currently, one of the big struggles my business, Timber Elegance, is branding. I need to tweek my look and start using the various social medias to get my work out there. I have been struggling to come up with a logo for my Pen Making business and decided on a simple Monogram logo.
I tried many times to draw/write the logo myself, but my skills are just not up to the task. I ended up using a font called English157 as a base for the Capitals of the monogram, then converting them to an image. I then used a program called Inkscape to add, adjust and tweek it until I got what I think is a good logo.

This will be used for everything from my business cards to signs and Internet icons. It will also, hopefully, be used as a signature mark on my work, such as engraving on a pen clip or being inset as finial button in my pen caps. So not only will it need to be drawn, but may need to be worked in fine metals down to as small as 11mm in a cap button or 3mm as an engraving.

There is a lot of lettering expertise in this group and I value your opinions. Have I hit the mark here?

Thanks in advance.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Help identifying this exemplar.
« on: August 12, 2019, 08:34:31 AM »
Good day all, long time no hear. I do keep my eye on the group though.

As many of you know, my mainstay is making pens, mostly fountain pens. A supplier of mine (small mom and pop shop), just brought out a new fountain pen kit for pen makers, that is a starter broad edge calligraphy set. While i don’t normally make kit pens anymore, this one seems like it will be a nice gift set. It comes with 3 nibs; 1.5mm, 1.9mm and 2.5mm as well as an ink converter and cartridges.

Now for my question. He has included a card “A basic guide to calligraphy” with and exemplar on the back (see attached photo). I am far, far from an expert, but I am sure it is a pointed pen exemplar. I would like to advise him about this, but want to get my info straight. Could someone identify it for me?

I would also like to find an exemplar that I could suggest for him to use for a simple broad edge. It would need to be free of copywriter and fairly simple for a beginner. This card is not something that he makes money on, just an add on for the gift box set.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Coffee & Nib-bles / Pelikan Hub gathering
« on: May 28, 2019, 08:02:49 AM »
Not exactly calligraphy, but it is a fun evening for Ink and writing enthusiasts around the world.

Pelikan Hubs, are gatherings all around the world that are hosted by the company. However, while Pelikan does host the events, and they attract Pelikan fans, the is absolutely no requirement to own a Pelikan pen.

To attend the event, you need to Register at
There are hubs in cities  all around the world. There are 13 in Canada, I just registered for Ottawa.

Not only do you get to hang out and talk pens and inks, registered attendees get a swag bag which traditionally contains a bottle of the Pelikan Edelstein Ink of the Year. This year its “Star Ruby”.

As I mentioned, Pelikan hosts the event but each is managed and organized by a Hub Master. While there is essentially no cost to attend, quite often the Hub Master needs to collect a small fee to offset venue costs.

If your in the Eastern Ontario area, I look forward to seeing you in Ottawa.

Tools & Supplies / New Nikko G nib ?????
« on: May 04, 2019, 02:44:38 PM »
As some know, my mainstay is making custom pens. I was poking around one of my parts suppliers and found a nib that is called a Nikko-G, but it looks nothing like any G nib I have seen. I sent a message, asking who the manufacturer is, but I was also wondering if anyone here has seen it?

Coffee & Nib-bles / Scriptus Pen Show
« on: October 27, 2018, 06:52:09 AM »
Well its that time of year again. I am off to Toronto, for the Scriptus Pen Show on Sunday.

Once again it is being held in the Toronto Reference Library. If anyone is going, drop by my table and say hi.

Coffee & Nib-bles / Scriptus Toronto 2018
« on: May 23, 2018, 08:12:32 AM »
Scriptus has announced the date on Facebook (the website has not been updated yet)

October 28th 2018, 10am - 4pm
Toronto Reference Library

For those that don’t know, Scriiptus is , to my knowledge, the only Pen show in Canada. There is tons of Ink, Pens and Paraphernalia. Not only do the big pen names come out, but there is a lot of small businesses, including myself and our own @Salman Khattak. There are usually a couple of paper supplies, as well as a showing from the Toronto Calligraphy Guild.

I hope to see lots of smiling faces again this year and hopefully I will even have time to talk. I am thinking about grabbing a room in a nearby hotel the day before, we’ll see.

Here is the Facebook link

And the Website

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Show in Toronto
« on: October 26, 2017, 08:40:36 AM »
Hi everyone.

Sorry I haven't been around much. I have been busy lately getting set for the Scriptus pen show.
It is even bigger this year. The Calligraphy Arts Guild will be there, as well as a ton of stationary and ink. I'm not sure if Salman will be there this year, but I hope so.
If your in the area this Sunday, please drop in. Its free and its fun.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Shout out to Schin
« on: June 19, 2016, 10:12:54 AM »
What a pleasant surprise this morning, when I opened up my June issue of Pen World magazine. There between the covers was a fabulous article about one of our very own.

I just wanted to send a huge congratulations to you Schin, you should be very proud.

Favorite Resources / New store in Kingston, Ontario
« on: May 05, 2016, 09:37:03 AM »
I just found out that the Wallachs, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada has closed its doors. The good news is that new shop popped up in its place.

Art Noise

It appears to be a retail outlet for a company called Tri-Art. They specialize in Artist paint, as well as high end audio components. The paint line is actually manufactured in Kingston.

They do not carry a large line of calligraphy supplies yet, but are looking to expand based on what customers are looking for. So, to get a larger line of products, more people have to go in looking. Right now they seem to only carry speedball, including a large selection of nibs and holders. They also have an india ink, as well a chinese ink.

Favorite Resources / Handmade holders
« on: January 26, 2016, 10:03:51 AM »
Hello all.

I am not sure if this is the right location for this, if not please move it to the right location. I know advertising is not allowed, but I just wanted to let the group know that I have started to add dip holders and stands to my Etsy shop. The selection is thin at the moment, but I am hoping to add some more in the next couple of weeks.

I am not sure how the pictures will show up in the message, as I haven't set up a cloud photo storage yet. I am uploading as attachments rather than inserting images.

The straight holder is made of Teak.
The oblique with the 2 dark accent lines is Padauk.
The oblique with no accents is Bloodwood.
The dark oblique is Wenge, but it is not up at my Etsy shop, as it became an oops pen to be added to my collection. Wood moves in mysterious ways, and as you can see in the photo, this one gave a little curl to the tail.

The stand is made of Wenge and Maple. It is 6" between sides to hold almost any holder.

I hope you enjoy, and I would love to hear comments, critiques and ideas.

Coffee & Nib-bles / Merry Christmas everyone.
« on: December 25, 2015, 10:29:14 AM »
I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday and a wonderful new year.


Open Flourish | General Discussion / I've been busy,...
« on: October 22, 2015, 07:52:58 PM »
.......just not with my writing practice.

I have been scrambling and getting ready for Scriptus Toronto 2015. This will be my first pen show that  I will actually be a vendor at. Very nerve racking.

I have attached a couple of pictures showing some of  what I have been working on.

The obliques and straight holders have a friction polish to keep the feel of the wood. For theses ones, I have used Black walnut, Nogal (Peruvian walnut), Oak and Cherry. I have a more in progress using more exotic woods and burls.

The stand is a prototype of the one I want to add to my inventory. This is the one for dip holders, but I plan to make a slightly narrower one for fountain pens. This one is made with Black walnut and maple dowels for the cross pieces. I am hoping to make few with more decorative and colourful spindles.

The next picture shows my first batch of rocker blotters, finished and ready to go.

I also have my first custom fountain pen designs that I will be offering. Up until now most of my pen work has ben what we call "kit pens". These ones, other than the nib and clip, are completly my own design. Some are even done with my own custom poured materials. The last picture shows three of these.

I don't have near the inventory ready that I had hoped, hence the paniced scramble and lack of practice time. I swear to get back to the writing after the show.

I anyone is going to be in the Toronto area on November 1st, I would highly recommend droping by the show. It's being held at the Toronto Reference Library and is free admitance (who doesn't like free stuff). To the best of my knowledge, this is the only Pen show currently held in Canada. While it is more catering to the fountain pen lovers, there will be a Calligraphy presence. Last year a number of the vendors also had dip nibs for sale. The Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto will have a table set up and there will be some stationary vendors as well.

Here's a link to the info. If you get there, drop by my table.


Kind Critique / Finally marked up some paper.
« on: September 03, 2015, 08:28:05 PM »
I said that I was going to get started, and tonight is the night. I'm sitting here in the Artisan store tonight, and its not very busy at all. Perfect time to dedicate an hour or two to copperplate.

I am using using Eleanor Winters - Mastering Copperplate. I read through the first chapter, and then jumped in. {I also re-watched Erica's opening video and checked out a couple of Dr. Vitolo's articles on adjusting my oblique holder.} Then I jumped in.

I went to my box of nibs that I have been collecting from flea markets and antique shops. I found one that seemed to have a little bit of flex in it. I am using a Hinks, Wells & Co "Falcon Pen" #048.
It is in my first oblique holder that I made. The flange is about my third attempt. I finally got my pliers from Yoke Pen Co, they make it much easier.

For ink I am using some walnut crystals that I mixed up. I'm not 100% sure of the ratio, it turns out my little scale doesn't do well in such small amounts. I think its 1-2 grams in about 25ml of water. I like this ink for practice. I good eye will notice that some of my practice is in black ink, not walnut. I also got some Moon Palace Sumi in my order from John Neil, I had to give it a try. Really black, I like it. Just have to keep it off the fingers.

You will also notice, that I am not the type of person that will sit and do pages of straight lines. I have always believed in learning by doing. So I jumped ahead in the book a little. While practicing the basic forms, I also learned certain letters to practice them with. Conveniently, those letters spell my name.

I have a long way to go, and a lot of muscle memory to develop. I think I am going to try and make Thursday evenings in the store, my calligraphy night. That way I will get at least one session a week in.

Thanks for looking.

Introductions / More like a re-introduction
« on: August 27, 2015, 02:24:33 PM »
Sorry to everyone. I received a wonderful welcome, and then didn't participate.

My summer has been very busy, and I have just not had a chance to start into my calligraphy. I have been checking into the forum almost everyday, I just didn't think I had anything to say.

Well I was mistaken. While I haven't put pen to paper yet, I have been reading, and I did get my order from Neil's for my walnut crystals and "Mastering Copperplate".

Today, with a little fire under my behind, I mixed up some walnut ink and printed a few of Erica's 1/4 x-height practice sheets. I am working at the store tonight, its usually pretty slow Thursday evening, so I will finally put pen to paper.

I will be back with an update of how I make out.

This is a great place to be and learn.

To NikkiB and StarLee

I have not forgotten your generous gift of the nibs you sent me and the beautiful letters accompanying them. While my skill is far from yours, I will be responding shortly.


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