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The Tripod or Triangular Penhold


Ken Fraser:
This is generally known as the "Tripod" or triangular penhold, named after the shape formed by the thumb and first two fingers.

Although other penhold are possible, for the right-handed, this is the one most generally considered to be the best for most purposes, as it affords the greatest maneuverability whilst enabling a light but positive hold on the shaft of the holder. I use this hold for all types of script, with both straight and oblique holders.

These two photos show the different nib-to-paper angles with a flexible nib in an oblique penholder and a rigid edged nib in the straight penholder. Note that the penhold is the same in both examples.

Erica McPhee:
Very informative and excellent photographs - thank you for sharing Ken!

On the Calligraphy Facebook page this weekend, Joe Vitolo posted a series of photos from various penpeople showing the angle difference of the staff (nib holder) and the nib axis.  They really bend the holder to make the angle of the nib to the paper less.  I wish I could figure out how to copy the image to repost here.  Maybe it is on the Iampeth website somewhere.

Erica McPhee:
That's OK Ellen. I think everyone can just find the Calligraphy facebook page. I'd rather not copy their image. But thank you for sharing that. It sounds very interesting! I am going to check it out.  :)

Thanks for this post I definitely will be using these penholds to help improve my calligraphy a bit more.


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