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Messages - Trazo

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Completed/Past Exchanges / Re: Time for Tea Exchange
« on: June 24, 2021, 11:56:02 AM »
So original and so beautiful!!!

Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Foolish Magazine
« on: April 11, 2021, 11:42:54 AM »
Very nice publication. Thanks for sharing. I am sure there are many fountain pen aficionados in this Forum.

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Unpacking Oldřich Menhart
« on: April 07, 2021, 11:12:35 AM »
LOL  I hope this is not the end of our recent friendship  :) As I said, everything depends on perspective. I remember another interesting moment in the workshop, I think at the end of the second day. Somebody pointed to an alphabet of a very sober typeface whit no calligraphic traces (don't remember if Menhat's or from one of the others), he said it was a truly masterpiece and asked for Rohrs' opinion or so. Rohrs said: "Well, I didn't even notice that one". Our eyes see just what they want to see or what they are trained to see.

By the way, if you want to see the things from the other side of the artistic battle in Czechoslovakia, I recommend you to look for the work of Ladislav Sutnar, who was strictly contemporary to Menhart (both were born in 1897) but professed the opposite artistic credo. Sutnar was a total artist: he designed books, toys, pottery, posters, advertising, tapestry, furniture... He painted and wrote theoretical works on design. Unlike Menhart he went to exile to the US when the nazis occupied Czechoslovakia and he never came back. In fact, he is perhaps more known in the US than here, despite the most important part of his work was carried out in Prague between the two WW. The communistic regime banished all the avantgarde art from the 20s and 30s into oblivion, therefore Sutnar (very unlike Menhart) was very little known in his home land for decades. His comeback took place in 2003 with a huge and fantastic exhibition (I think I was there at least half a dozen times!). I can provide pictures from the catalogue too, if anybody is interested. No calligraphy around, but letters are usually part of Sutnar's designs.

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Unpacking Oldřich Menhart
« on: April 07, 2021, 07:48:17 AM »
@Ngaire_W Looking forward to hearing from you. Mining in my library, yesterday I found another interesting book: a small bibliophile publication completely set with Menhart's Manuscript type. In fact, all his calligraphy rooted types were intended for this kind of publications, as they wouldn't work in a long text. Actually, in the view of the funcionalistic oriented artists and typographers (who were a very strong family in Czechoslovakia between wars) Menhart (with his "arts and crafts" and Johnstonian flavour) was not a man ahead his period (as somebody said in the workshop), but a nostalgic who doesn't go with the times. As everything in life, all depend on perspective. However, this is is a forum on calligraphy and I think at this respect Menhart will always stand in his pedestal.

You can also try this basic course at Domestika:

I found it quite useful. The course is in Spanish, but I think it has subtitles and all the written materials are available in English.

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Unpacking Oldřich Menhart
« on: April 06, 2021, 02:43:19 PM »
@Ngaire_W  Glad to know you are playing with Menhart's inspiration. Your attempt looks really nice. From the calligraphic point of view, I would recommend Nauka o pismu, which is conceived as kind of hanbook. The book in your link is a whole life compilation of his work as a calligrapher and as a type designer. Very nice too. If you have an IG account or a whatsapp number I can send you a good quantity of pictures of these two books (and from a third one) so you can decide (you can send me a DM here or in IG: @bulutxin). I can't post them in the Forum for copyright reasons. Besides that, for me it is much easier if I can send them directly from my phone.

The other day I sent some one hundred pictures to Riccardo (the organizer of the workshop) with a lot of Czech stuff: exemplars of practically all the Czech types from 20th century (there was no type foundry in the Czech lands before that), exemplars of drawn letters from the 20s and 30s from posters and advertising, books designed by Menhart himself or with his types (sometimes without any credit), other books inspired by Menhart's work and so on. I still have the pictures on my phone, so if anybody is interested, just let me know.

I have been working on other things, but I am planing to get back to Menhart one of these days. Actually I have to watch the video recordings of the workshop before they are gone!

Keep writing/drawing/retouching/building up that letters!

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« on: March 28, 2021, 01:13:35 PM »
Definitely the class was very instructive and inspiring. Let's see if anybody is interested in the topic and we can start a thread about Menhart and family. Keep practicing!

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« on: March 27, 2021, 11:39:15 AM »
Well, as Rohrs showed, Menhart can serve as inspiration for italics, uncials, romans, versals..., because he put his hands (an his flavour) in everything. I live in Czech Republic and Menhart is quite well known here among people interested in calligraphy, typography and print culture in general. However, I don't think he is much known abroad and for that reason Rohrs' enthusiasm really impressed me. I studied book history, so I know a bit about typefaces, but I am completely new at calligraphy and all that pen trickery Rohrs showed in the workshop is quite far beyond my skills. I loved it anyway. It is very interesting to see how one can approach an exemplar without knowing how it was executed. Very different stuff from the usual tuition books, where you have every stroke explained in detail. By the way, I have several books on Menhart, so I can send you some pictures with inspiring exemplars if you wish. When all this nightmare ends, I could even send you a copy of any of his books, as they are not so difficult to find around. I posted some pictures of his work on Instagram the other day:

Keep practicing your italics. Maybe we meet again in John Stevens' class.

PS for @Erica McPhee I know this threat was about flourishing in Italics. Please, give another chance before kicking me out the forum. From now on I promise to be a good boy and respect the topic of the threads. :)

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« on: March 26, 2021, 06:16:56 PM »
@Ngaire_W By the way, I think I have seen your name in Carl Rohrs' class on Oldrich Menhart which have just finished. How did you like it? I just loved it.

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Trying to learn flourishing
« on: March 26, 2021, 02:58:14 PM »
@Ngaire_W John Stevens has announced an italic class for May. Enrollment will start in April. If you are interested, stay tuned to his newsletter, because his last class sold out in hours. I am working in italics myself, so I may try to join if the time suits me.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Oblique Holder for Business Writing?
« on: March 14, 2021, 03:06:04 PM »
I had a Spencerian class with Mike Ward yesterday and, as I promised, I asked him about the use of an oblique holder in BW. The question was absolutely off-topic, but he is extremely nice and he is always keen to answer any question and extend the class log beyond the planned time. Well, his answer sounds something like that: he doesn't know of any historical record of using an oblique for BW and he didn't use it (he says he is not doing BW this days); however he doesn't understand why the old methods proscribe (or at least don't recommend) an oblique for BW, as you surely can have good results with it; he guesses the reason is that there are no shades so the perfect alignment with the slant is not so vital.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Oblique Holder for Business Writing?
« on: March 13, 2021, 12:43:20 PM »
Just to throw something else into the pot. Today I realized that the oblique holder appears in The New Spencerian Compendium, but in the place where one doesn't expect it all (al least I didn't expect it): the authors recommend the oblique for drawing. This is the only section in the book where the oblique is depicted (and probably at all mentioned). For a complete different reason but I was puzzled again, so I consulted Guptill's Drawing with Pen an Ink, which is supposed to be the bible on the topic. No mention of the oblique at all. I am aware that Guptill's book is some forty years younger than the Compendium, but I don't think that explains the whole thing.

Does anybody know if there is any record of any artist (past or present) drawing with an oblique holder?

Well, the oblique seems to be a more versatile tool that I thought. I guess you can also eat spaghetti or do some knitting with it. I may try.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Oblique Holder for Business Writing?
« on: March 08, 2021, 11:25:34 AM »
Thanks for your answer @daviddigi I have been followin @icursive in Instagram for a couple of months now and definitely his work is amazing. However, in the videos I have watched, he seems to use an oblique for Spencerian and OP , but a straight holder (or even a fountain pen) for BW.

As I only use the straight holder for BW, I also have a kind of mental connection between the script and the tool. I guess we all are Pavlov's dogs.  :)

Tools & Supplies / Re: Oblique Holder for Business Writing?
« on: March 05, 2021, 02:44:55 PM »
Well, there are many people posting their business writing on social media, but all of them seem to use a straight holder. And we have in the forum a great specialist as @daviddigi who surely has more information on the topic. I only know Mr. Sull and Mr. Ward as Spencerian penmen and I haven't seen any of their work in business writing. However, I am now attending a long term on-line Spencerian class with Mike Ward, so I will ask him about the oblique holder. Thanks again.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Oblique Holder for Business Writing?
« on: March 04, 2021, 03:22:29 PM »
Thank you @Erica McPhee @AAAndrew for sharing your knowledge. As @jeanwilson says, I find the oblique holder very suitable for any slanted (and even non slanted) script, but I am interested in the historical evidence of its use for plain business writing. I have just realized that Tamblyn also accepts the oblique holder, but in all his pictures and diagrams the straight holder is the only one represented. In the Ziller's method of business writing there are indeed two photographs showing how you should hold the oblique holder. 

By the way, do you know about any today's business penmanship practitioner who uses the oblique holder?

Thanks again.

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