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Topics - prasad

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Open Flourish | General Discussion / Another SUPER HERO
« on: March 30, 2017, 10:30:59 AM »
And we have another superhero member.   ;D ;D ;D

Big congrats @ash0kgiri

Show & Tell / Happy New Year
« on: December 29, 2016, 12:34:48 AM »
Hi All,
I won't be internet connected for the next couple of days.  Family and I are headed into the wild back of beyond for New Years.  Away from all the noise and mess in the city :)  So I though I should send my wishes out to all a little early.

This Forum has really given me a magical place to loose myself into and has been a great support for me in my calligraphy journey.  I have had a wonderful 2016 here and look forward to an even better 2017. 

SO to everyone..............

Open Flourish | General Discussion / The Super Hero Master Calligrapher
« on: August 12, 2016, 01:27:32 AM »
A big big thanks to @Ken Fraser for all your inspiration and guidance on this forum. 

You truly are our SUPER HERO. 


Calligraphy Book Reviews / Collection of resources by Dr. J.M.Vitolo
« on: February 08, 2016, 11:13:37 PM »
Hi All,
I am sure most of you know of this, but I just wanted to put this out there for the few who may not have seen this.  I follow Dr.Vitolo on Instagram and his post a few days back was about a pdf file that he has compiled with downloadable links to a Record of Penmanship.

He has made an awesome list of: (Index of his collection)

Books Published on Script
Calligraphic Web Sites Owned/Founded
Recovered/Scanned Rare Penmanship Books
Instructional Videos Created/Edited
Documents & Specimens Scanned/Compiled (partial List).
Invited Publications
Text Converted/Compiled Documents (259 documents)

This is the link to download the base pdf file and in it are the links to all the above.

Yet another example of his selfless work and help to the calligraphy community :)
Happy reading folks (it's a huge read)


Show & Tell / Merry Christmas inspired by Ken Fraser
« on: December 07, 2015, 11:30:51 PM »
This writing blew me away :)

Inspired me to write in "Devnagiri Script"  Language: Hindi
Lets all post "Merry Christmas" in our local script and language. 

Have a great Christmas Flourish Forum Family.

Hi All,
I was reading up on some old posts in the tools section and remembered something that Ken Fraser said.  He said that there should be a resurrection of older posts for mew people joining the forum.  Calligraphy is a field where much of the information remains constant and is applicable irrespective how old it is.

So I thought I would make a list of the posts that really interested me over the last year.  There has been a lot of searching by me to get some snippet of information I wanted from older threads and I hope this will help the new and old members a little.

Some of the posts have input from me, but most of them are from the fabulous people on this forum.  All credit to them for making this information available and I hope they donít mind me collating it. :)

Here goes

Stuff on writing
My all time favourite post of exemplars.  Totally mind blowing.  Had to make this my first
My Exemplars by Ken Fraser

Offhand flourishing exchange results   For some drooling and feeling minuscule] :)

Exemplars (Copperplate) from Business educator - grouped beautifully

Are my down strokes too thick
Great stuff on letter sizing and guidelines.  (this is the guidelines that I use and find great for beginners)

Then and now  An inspiration for us beginners.  Even the pros wrote just like us once :)

How to mail letters Internationally   Points to remember when writing international addresses

Stuff on Ink
Making your own Walnut ink

Making your own INk- Iron gall and others

Stuff on Paper
This is a long thread on everyones favourite practice paper.  A good place to start to see what paper suits which writing.....
Favourite practice Paper

Holders, Flanges and general drool-worthy stuff

First the holders,
For the master, Chris Yoke, check out his website

From Brian of Unique-obliques - check out his instagram and glance briefly (1 or 2 secs ) at his Etsy site, before the holders magically disappear in a puff of smoke.

My hand made Obliques - Heebs

The early works of one Ash-bush :)    Great piece in it by Chris on holder sizing

You have to check out their instagram sites to see the magic they are creating now :)

This one is from another website and has a lot of pages and pictures of obliques.  I could not find one on this site for Salmanís obliques so posted this link.

The works of Salman among others

Insanely amazing carved holders of Salman from his website

What happens when Brian and Schin get together

Collection of Vintage Holders

Double sided holders, oblique for writing and straight for flourishing

Sizes and styles of all production holders - Visual reference by Chris

How to hold an Oblique holder - grips

Oblique or straight? What and why of Obliques

Some stuff on adjusting/making flanges
Professional Nib flange making/Adjusting pliers   Must have to make life easy
Bullock (original) vs Modern flange 

Reference for making oblique flange

Adjusting you flange

Nice discussion on fixing flanges to holders

Now the dreaded Nib section.
Beware.. Once you read this you will go bankrupt. :)

European nibs

How to find information on nib sizes and uses

Vintage nibs

Latest nib experiences

Different site but a nice collection and information on most available Esterbrook nibs with pictures

Esterbrook project

Brand wise list of nibs with pictures
Kallipos site with nib identification pictures

This is a thread for the members, compiled by Nik.  He has a Huge collection of nibs, some for sale too.  The best part of the thread (for beginners) is the compilation of nib pictures and reviews he is working on.  Its an ongoing process, so keep checking back.
LOTS of hard work gone into it and amazing resources for someone who wants to know how a nib performs
Nik's Nibs and Things

And for a bit of fun
when you are bored or tired of Oval practice, started by the legendary Schin and contains tonnes of contributions

Pick up lines for the Calligrapher

Calligraphy RAP

This is my list as of now. There is obviously a LOT of stuff that I have missed. There may be a few more that I will add from time to time.  Huge request to all.  Please post interesting threads and links that you have on here, so that we have a nice Library of Old and new Flourish forum threads.

And now, for the beginners,  once you are armed with all of this,  GO to the pointed pen Nirvana section for Erica's tutorials
- Prasad

Tools & Supplies / Flange making Pliers by Chris Yoke
« on: September 29, 2015, 12:50:07 AM »
HI all,
I am sure a lot of you know of these already.  But for the minuscule few who have not heard of Chris Yoke, his holders and now, more importantly his Pliers,  here is a small write-up.

Disclaimer :)  I have no affiliation with Chris.  I am an ardent admirer and now a totally satisfied customer.

If you are even thinking of any form of adjusting your flanges on existing holders or planning of making flanges,  I highly recommend getting this set of pliers.

Chris made this thread for Professional nib flange pliers and has a youtube channel on which he demonstrates the pliers.  Please watch it. 

I finally got my hands on the pliers and of course had to try it out immediately.
I had done a lot of DIY earlier to make a replacement for Bail making pliers (as these are terribly expensive to get here).  It used to take me about 15 to 20 mins to get a flange made and the flange was full of bend marks and plier teeth marks.

Used Chrisí pliers and from cutting the brass sheet to fixing the flange took exactly 4 mins.  I timed it :)

Proof that even a novice can use these pliers

The Pliers

Bend the brass and use Bail priers

Use flat nose for final shaping to suit nib

Voila, one flange ready

Big thanks to Chris for making this available.  These are worth every cent.

Happy flange making

Hi all,
There is a good chance that I will be conducting a writing workshop for children.  The ages of the kids are 8 yrs to 17 yrs.

For the age group of 8-12 I will be practising cursive writing with them.  I already have a fair amount of resources for this,  thanks to Erica.  (as always there is no dearth of help from her  :)  ) 

I was planning to do some basic copperplate classes for the older children and again Erica has been wonderful in letting me use her guide sheets and tutorials as the core of my class. 

What I wanted to know from anyone here who has done classes for kids, is,  How do you keep the children interested in classes?
If I start with basic shape drills and oval practise I am worried they may be bored  :)  I remember how frustrated Ovals made me, and I am over 40 ;D.  I dread to think what a 14 or 15yr old will feel.

I had already conducted a workshop on origami for these children and that was easy to keep them interested.  I made them fold flowers, butterflies, swans and stuff that they could take home.  They had something pretty and concrete in their hands after an hour of folding.

I wanted suggestions on what I could do to entice their interest in calligraphy too.   

Also, as an introduction to pointed pen writing, is it ok to start them off using obliques, or should I go for straight holders?
From a convenience point of view,  it is easier for me to make a dozen or more obliques than straight holders, as bending some brass into flanges is easier than getting those ferrules for the straight holders.  But what is your opinion on holder types for starting out in pointed pen?

As I have just started talking to people and the class is still in the inception stage, these are the only things that came to mind right now.  If you guys have any suggestions or ideas, I will be much obliged to hear them. :)

Thanks guys

Guidelines / Guidelines and Slants
« on: February 18, 2015, 10:24:07 PM »
HI all,
I had posted a couple of words on another thread and was asked where I got the guidelines from.  I do these guidelines myself using Illustrator.
I take a writing sample of the Old Masters that I like and draw guides and slants on it to understand how it is written and TRY to replicate it.   Most of the times, it's frustrating but it also gives me something to aim for.  Immediate aim precision and eventual aim-perfection.  ;D

I first draw in the horizontal (red) x heights and then make one pair of slants using an oval.  This slant is then replicated to get an idea of the size relation between the oval and other alphabets.
There is a lot of text in the instruction manuals of the Masters that explain the sizes, but this visual guide helps me a lot.

The one I am using now is written by Lupfer and it is for the capitals.
I made it so that there is a practise line for me after each of his words.  helps keep the focus on the page instead of having to refer to the computer all the time.

This is just a small example, but I made a printable pdf of the full thing and you could download  my guidelines here.

It has all the capitals and most of the minuscules.  The only ones not here are f,k,q,x and z.
It helped me a lot in getting spacing and sizes correct. 

Happy Writing :)

Tools & Supplies / Question about Pilot parallel pens - please advice
« on: February 13, 2015, 12:42:54 AM »
HI all,
Please advice.  I was going through the Pilot parallel pens on PIA and I noticed something.

They have the (new size) 1mm, 2mm and 3mm at $13.35 each and the older 1.5,2.4 and 3.8mm at $9.25.

Does anyone know the difference in use between these two variants?  Are the new ones only more expensive because of the new sizes?  Or is there any change in the functionality too?


Hi all,

I was not sure if this is the correct category to post this in,  so Erica, please move it to a suitable category.  Also, if this is not allowed in the forum please delete the thread.  This thread helped me a lot and i just thought I would share it.

I was doing a search on instructions and came across this thread.  It's from a Forum for Engravers.  Dr. Vitolo has made a great thread there for Engraver's Script.  I am sure most of you have read the stuff in one place or the other, but for a beginner like me it was an amazing post with just about all information, exemplars and work of other master calligraphers all in one place.

It's a very long thread that I have printed out (came to about 125 pages) and it's my bedtime read  :)

It has everything from letter formation to spacing to angles to Dr.Vitolo's analysis of script of masters.

Just thought it would benefit newbies like it has helped me.


HI all,

Apologies in advance for a picture heavy post.  :-)

We donít really celebrate Xmas and there is not much available in India as far as pointed pen is concerned. 

Interacting with you wonderful people on this forum and getting inspired by the artwork of your writings and designs of oblique holders,  I decided to have a calligraphy xmas for my son and I.

He is a leftie and starting to practise copperplate.  So I made a Leftie holder for him and made one for myself.
I had a local pen maker make a dip pen with a feed for me which accepted a G nib, so I contacted him and asked if he could modify his existing fountain pens to accept a pointed flex nib.

It worked, not in time for xmas but just in time for a wonderful new year.
He turned a couple of basic holder blanks also, for me.

Gift box - totally excited to open it

my treasure :-)

The fountain pens

These are full ebonite pens, eyedropper filling with ebonite hand cut feeds.  The pens needed a little tinkering to write smoothly.  Main tinkering was heat setting the feeds to the nib and adjusting the how far the feed covered the eyelet on the nib.  Took a few attempts to get it just right and the results were lovely.

Please donít judge the writing.  Was way too excited to focus on letterforms.  Just wanted to fill the pens and scribble away :-)

With the LP EF I can get a flex width of 2mm with hardly any railroading.  But have to write at the same speed as a dip pen, slow and steady.

With the Tachikawa nib, the writing can be a little faster but obviously it does not flex as much as the LP.

I also got a few blank ebonite rods from him and looking at the amazing holders of Chris Yoke, Salman and Heebs I decided to try my hand at that too.  Lots of broken blanks and elbow grease later, I managed to make 2 half decent holders.  One for my son and one for me.

Leftie holder to take G nibs

My holder to take Easterbrook 354/355/356 nibs

Going to make some to take other nibs soon. :-)


Tools & Supplies / Opinions on nibs....
« on: August 14, 2014, 06:35:23 AM »
Hi all,
The shameless inquisitor returns :)

Based on suggestions by members here, I got the principality EF nibs and they are incredible.
Will be ordering a few more, have people travelling from the US to india, so they can carry it for me.

I wanted your opinions on the Brause 66EF and the Rose. 
My experience with nibs are, G-nibs, Gillot 404 & 303, princ. EF

If someone could tell me how the Brause nibs compare to these , I would be most grateful.


Kind Critique / Need critique for improvement..
« on: August 11, 2014, 06:25:07 AM »
hello all wonderful calligraphers, :)

Itís time again to expose myself to your comments.  Please donít be too kind. 

After the wonderful advice from members here,  I ordered and finally received the Walnut crystals and Principality EF nibs.  I also got an adjustable Oblique holder.


sorry for the caps but the EF nib is an absolute dream.  The hairlines one gets from it are just lovely.  Of course, my hairlines turn out like squiggles, all shaky and twisted,  but there is hope.  :)

I have put up two samples of writing for critique. 

Self critique for both:

1) Shaky strokes, specially on hairlines
2) Non-existent squaring off
3) variations in ovals.

I have the patience of a 3 year old and loose interest when I practise just letter forms and shapes, so I copy out passages, quotes and poems that I like. 

I also feel that I have hit a plateau, for despite slowing down and focussing on letterforms, after about a page or so of writing I find the same problems cropping up each time.

Enough rambling I guess and on to the samples:
I tried some basic flourishing, and some of it look alright, while others just look like a mess,

Principality EF nib, Tomoe river paper and Higgins eternal ink
x height - 2mm

Principality EF, Tomoe River paper, Walnut ink
x height - 3 mm

Please be brutal.

Tools & Supplies / Cuppa Tea anyone?
« on: August 09, 2014, 11:31:45 PM »
Hi all,
I was reading up on recopies of Ink on a couple of forums and particularly about Iron Gall ink.  It is not so easy to get my hands on Gall so I tried something else.

Anything with Tannin should get good ink, according to the stuff I read.  Tea also has a fair amount of Tannin.  SO i wondered if my morning cup of black tea could be used for ink.

Here is my first attemptÖ.

The shade is a darkish grey, not really black.  Maybe needs more tea leaves and less water.  But itís a nice grey and CHEAP  ;) 
Great for practice.  The writing is 2mm 'X' height


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