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Curv-E Holder - New Oblique Pen Holder

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Erica McPhee:
While researching for my upcoming book about Flourishing, I completely relearned Engrosser's Script from the old journals and calligraphy masters' lessons. In doing so, I came across this interesting blurb by Charlton V. Howe:

--- Quote ---Personally, I do not think the average oblique holder is well adapted to script writing unless the top side is flattened so the forefinger can rest upon both the holder and the tin at the same time, thus overcoming the tendency to grip or turn. The triangular oblique holder is well adapted to engrossing script.

I have learned through experience that the nearer the point of the pen is grasped, the better control of the pen is the result. In writing Engraverís script, I place my forefinger on the pen below the side piece of the oblique holder about half an inch from the point of the pen, which results in perfect control of my pen.

--- End quote ---

I was intrigued and researched some more. The only reference to a triangular holder I could find was for the Ransomerian Pen, advertised in many of the old journals.

So I contacted Edward Curran @Edward , one of my favorite pen makers and told him I wanted a curvilateral pen - a somewhat triangular shape but with rounded edges for better comfort, a flat top, and a shallow bottom. I sent him some sketches and photographs of a model I made out of paper clay. After a few trials, Edward created what I think is the perfect holder for Copperplate, and especially flourished Copperplate.

We call it the Curv-E Holder - representing its curvilateral shape, Curran, and E for Erica and Edward.  ;D

I have been using it now for many months and will most likely never go back to a round holder. It allows a natural, comfortable tripod grip which helps me execute both muscular and whole arm movement - both of which facilitate better flourishing. I can glide my hand on either the side of my little finger or the finger nail, whichever feels more comfortable.

I'm sharing some photos below. Would love to hear your thoughts.  ;D

Very interesting indeed.
I can also attest that your writing has improved in a major way over the last year.
I'll have a look at these holders.

melanie jane:
I've often wondered why penmakers don't flatten out the top of turned pens to allow a more comfortable and 'stable' grip.  I generally make ergonomic pens, where the top is already flat, but have also experimented with making similar modifications to a couple of turned pens I've made.  I assumed that there wasn't much demand for them, so didn't bother pursuing it any further - but from my experiments, I agree that it makes a more comfortable pen.

Looking forward to seeing some more.

Hi All,

Lots of interest in the new (old) penholders. Looking forward to the new book from Erica!

If anyone has any questions about the new pen holders please don't hesitate to ask me or Erica.

Below is a little info on how the pen came about....more in the book I'm sure...I'm sure Erica can add to this too if I've left anything out!

When Erica got in contact about the pen design I was a bit sceptical as I had tried the ergonomic pen holders before and they didn't feel right to me ( I know there are lots of people who love them and swear by them! ), but for me I like the simple round pens. As I learned more about the shape from Erica I began to think there may be something in it, after all the great Madarasz flattened the top of his holders. It was a bit of a trial and error when it came to the over all design, we didn't want a straight triangular shape and we didn't want the intricacies of an ergonomic holder, we really wanted it to be as close as we could get it to what we were used to. The only thing which was 100% nonnegotiable was the triangular element. After many attempts I managed to get a holder which had the elements of both a standard ( for the want of a better word ) and the Ransomerian. On using the pen it felt a little strange at first, but once I got used to it I found it incredibly comfortable to hold. The flat area on top of the pen feels fantastic when executing shades and the pen sits in the hand at exactly the same position every time. When it comes to pen designs everyone has there preferences, thick, thin, short, long, heavy or light, we are just delighted to be able to give penmen one more choice in their search for the perfect pen. I'll be making a few simple Curv-E holders in the near future so if anyone wants to try one just get in contact, let me know your budget and we see if we can get one made for you. Hope this helps clarify the pens a little more and again like I said if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.



melanie jane:
Sounds great Edward!  I've also just seen your instagram post showing the design in more detail - there are quite a few changes you've made to a normal pen.  It looks like a happy medium between a traditional turned pen, and a full blown ergonomic.  Well done!


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