Author Topic: Advice & Ideas Requested  (Read 7018 times)

Offline Empty_of_Clouds

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #45 on: March 08, 2016, 10:06:50 PM »
I know this is hard to believe, but what sort of knife are you talking about?  I have kitchen knives, nothing else.

Woodworking really is that far outside of my knowledge zone I'm afraid.


Edit: I lied, I forgot that I have an old Swiss Army penknife in my bag. Will that do?
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 10:09:39 PM by Empty_of_Clouds »

Offline melanie jane

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #46 on: March 08, 2016, 10:12:23 PM »

Edit: I lied, I forgot that I have an old Swiss Army penknife in my bag. Will that do?

Possibly...is it sharp enough to cut wood?
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Offline Tanvir Ahmed

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2016, 10:13:11 PM »

Anyway, I have a box of 2552s that are more than adequate for low-level people like myself. Just need to get a holder from somewhere now.


I love the Blanzy 2552, it's one of the workhorse nibs in my business, and I know a lot of other professional calligraphers that also love this nib and use it in their work, on the daily.  I don't feel that nibs are for "low-level" or mid level or professional or Master Penman.

You were the person I mentioned in my post above having beautiful work with 2552.  You are so lucky to have studied with Bob Hurford along with other esteemed penmen and artists.

Tanvir

Offline joi

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #48 on: March 08, 2016, 10:20:08 PM »

Anyway, I have a box of 2552s that are more than adequate for low-level people like myself. Just need to get a holder from somewhere now.


I love the Blanzy 2552, it's one of the workhorse nibs in my business, and I know a lot of other professional calligraphers that also love this nib and use it in their work, on the daily.  I don't feel that nibs are for "low-level" or mid level or professional or Master Penman.

You were the person I mentioned in my post above having beautiful work with 2552.  You are so lucky to have studied with Bob Hurford along with other esteemed penmen and artists.

Tanvir

OMG Tanvir, that is so kind, thank you for that compliment.  Yes, I have been very fortunate to study with some amazing MPs and master calligraphers, and I try to pay it forward.   :)

and back on topic...helping Chris to figure out what to do with his nibs...
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 10:27:47 PM by joi »

Offline Empty_of_Clouds

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2016, 10:22:19 PM »
Quote
Possibly...is it sharp enough to cut wood?

Alas, yes. Well, at least it was sharp enough to cut my finger when I tested it just now.  :-[ :-[ :-[

Offline prasad

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #50 on: March 09, 2016, 01:58:38 AM »
Hi,
My few thoughts as a
a) consider myself a beginner (just year and a half into calligraphy)
b) Person who lives in a place where shipping costs are 3 to 4 times the price of goods (read - nibs)

 

--Don't sell to beginners. It's a waste.

-- Another aspect of this is that most beginners never progress beyond the beginning stage.

Oh, ps:  I tried selling a few nibs here at below market prices--some Esterbrook 128's for $1.25 for example--I didn't even make a dent in the demand, but at least they went to people on the forum who, I believe, bought them to use.

This is true, in so much as vintage nibs are a total distraction for a beginner.  Even a modern Gillott 303 was a nightmare to use in the beginning.  The light touch and pen control required to utilise the nib's potential to it's maximum takes time and the more delicate or flexible a nib is, the more frustrating it can be.

On the flip side, however, I was ever so grateful to Mike for making the Esterbrook 128 and the Spencerian #1's available to us at an amazing price.  I did hoard them with the contention that when I do have the talent to do justice to them, I won't have to pay ridiculous sums on the internet to try them.

The hoarding applies to everything I buy, calligraphy related.  Having shipping costs range from $3 unto even $35, can't afford to try nibs.  I have to go on the opinions of professionals and take a chance. 

There are of course a lot of vintage nibs that I have been able to get as a gross for a very good price.  Never more than $30 to $40 for a Gross.  These have included the Blanzy 2552, Gillott 404, Gillott 170, Esterbrooks 345/355 and some Italian beak nibs with the 3 hole thing going (Love these nibs)

I would, at this stage, never buy one of the dream nibs as I know very well that I am not capable of using it to it's potential nor can I afford the prices they are being sold at.
Add to the fact that the nib would cost $30 and shipping would be $20 (I would want a tracked insured parcel if I am paying those prices)

By the time I could do justice to them, they will probably be 3 times the cost now.
If they were available at a reasonable price, I would buy some and keep them until I could do justice to them.  Same as what I am doing with the nibs I got form Mike. 

SO the question of what to do with the Dream nibs
The only way to ensure that your generosity is not misused, is to restrict the sale to people you know. This is the only way you could be a 100% sure. 

If your children are leaning towards calligraphy then I would highly suggest keeping this as an inheritance for them, along with the collection  of your vintage holders. 
Anyway, in a few years down the line, there will be people making videos of Yoke holders like you make of dream holders on Youtube  :)

-Prasad
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Remember - An amateur built the Ark and Professionals built the Titanic
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Offline Empty_of_Clouds

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #51 on: March 09, 2016, 02:06:54 AM »
I feel much the same way, Prasad, but with two distinctions;

1.  I am rubbish at writing, and I don't really expect much significant change even with a lot practice.
2.  Unlike you I will never be able to lay my hands on a gross of 404s (for example) for $40.

And I detest auctions. They bring out the worst in both buyer and seller - at least from what I have seen on eBay.


Offline Estefa

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #52 on: March 09, 2016, 06:03:02 AM »
Very interesting discussion, and thanks for your generous idea of a better way to distribute them, Chris!

I have no problem with people reselling nibs for 1 or 2 $ / €, after they had found a gross for a reasonable price. Honestly just checking and posting and mailing them should be worth a bit of money. That's what for examples the guy from Kallipos does since years, with the bonus that he describes each nib on his website and you have a very good idea what you get.

I never paid (and never will) more than 2 or 3 € for a nib (and that was for a nib I knew was very sturdy, beautiful and long-lasting). I absolutely agree that for example the 2552 and its clones are great nibs for a lot of work. Maybe not for super ornamental, super-swelly shade style script or flourishing, but for a lot of other work. I also have a bulk of other, not very prestigious nibs that I found on auctions and that I like very much.

Some calligraphy good fairies sent me some of the »dream nibs« once (Spencerian #1), and even if I feel that I have reached an ok level of calligraphy by now I cannot say that they feel so much superior to, say, the modern (a not defective) LP Principal. So either my skill is not yet at a level where I can get most out of it, or I just don't get it. So I put them aside for now :).

What doesn't admittedly add to Chris's problem. But I tend toward the idea of giving them to people you know who will make good use of them, or whose work is easily »provable« via their websites or contributions here.

I understand the »clique« problem. Have never cared much for them either.

On the other hand, I know none of the people here on the forum and very few on IG in person, and still from what they write and publish and how they talk on their Persicopes, and from the letters we exchange, it is possible to get in touch and get an idea of how serious someone is about that art (or craft :D) we all love so much. What I want to say, it is not so hard to get to be known here …
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Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #53 on: March 09, 2016, 07:02:44 AM »
<<snip>> I like several of the ideas, but one thing REALLY stands out to me and was said by Evjo and really sums it all up for people new to Calligraphy. Vintage Nibs are a distraction! They are a distraction to learning. If you wanted to learn to play piano and just spent the majority of your time looking at piano models, instead of actually practicing, you would never improve!

<<snip>>
I'm, still interested in other opinions :)

The point about vintage nibs being a distraction is so true. You compared it to music. I can add a comparison that I witnessed when my boys were into speed skating and roller hockey. We happened to have two world class speed skaters who were locals. They had access to (and sold) the most expensive roller blades, wheels and bearings. Parents who could afford to buy their kids the most expensive equipment had happy little kids...but not necessarily the best skaters. The kids who spent every spare minute practicing in the driveway (on mid-range skates) were the ones who excelled at the sport.

I can think of a number of people who deserve the nibs who are not on FF. Serious scribes who can tell the difference and prefer the vintage nibs should have the opportunity to use them. Many of them could be reached through IAMPETH - but not all. A little networking would probably reach most of them. Since you are already running a business, it seems like getting the word out about your nibs would eventually send the logical consumers to your website. One click on Google is all it takes to find out if someone is an established scribe. It is safe to assume that the established scribes would not waste their time re-selling nibs.

The time it would take to package and ship small quantities (to beginners) would be a huge investment on the part of any seller. But, if you wanted to put together some pre-set packages - rather than taking orders, that would make some beginners happy.

I agree with the folks who have suggested that beginners should embrace the readily available nibs. During my 20 years of running with the scribes, it seems like most of the ones who truly love the craft find available nibs that work just fine. Yes, we all tried a few vintage nibs from time to time....but they do not magically improve your penmanship.

The folks who are on the endless quest for enough vintage nibs do seem to be ---distracted.

Here is another comparison - making anything with cloth. If you give a beginner the best scissors, finest silk and top of the line sewing machine, that will not make the garment turn out perfectly. If you are a master tailor, stuck with dull scissors, polyester fabric and a cheezy sewing machine, you will not enjoy the process, but you will still have the skills to offset the difficulties that your less than perfect materials and tools provide....and you will probably turn out something that looks professional.

Chris: I really hope you find a way to get the nibs into the hands of people who will make the best use of them - and not re-sell them.
It's fine if beginners want to try them - but, hopefully this discussion will remind beginners that there are plenty of old timers who have had rewarding careers - using modern nibs.

Offline seanlanefuller

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #54 on: March 09, 2016, 07:57:44 AM »
I'm just a beginner so I haven't learned to appreciate the differences in contemporary and vintage nibs.  I'm pretty happy with my Zebra G's.

My advice is to do all of the above and more.  Sell some at market value, sell some to calligrapher friends at break-even pricing, give a few away, keep a few for your children, etc.

About the only new idea I can think of is to donate some to a calligraphy web site and let them put them up for auction to help defray the cost of hosting and maintaining the web site.

On the other hand, part of me is saying sell them at high prices and buy something nice for yourself or go on vacation.  ;)

Offline Elisabeth_M

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #55 on: March 09, 2016, 08:23:08 AM »
So, being a broad-edge pen enthusiast, I'm not one of the target audiences for vintage nibs and am not totally sure what the fuss is about.  However, I am interested in the idea of whether or not it is "worth it" for beginners to have access to these expensive and increasingly rare nibs.

I used to do some science outreach events with school kids while I was in grad school as was an intern at a science museum.  Some of the best experiences was taking the kids to the lab and letting them use our large research microscope.  These were elementary and middle school kids and they absolutely could not use the microscope to its full advantage and, indeed, what they were able to do could be accomplished more easily on a simple microscope at school.  But, boy did the experience of using the "special", powerful scope that "real scientists" use increase their enthusiasm for science.  Would it be worth it for a parent to buy their child an equivalent microscope for home use or even for an elementary school to buy one for kids to use?  No.  The microscope was expensive because it had insanely good optics and capabilities beyond what kids would be able to do (even I couldn't use it to its capacity at home).  But, were the kids interested in doing more microscopy and even getting a very simple microscope they could use at home?  Yes.  There is something about getting a chance to use the tools that are rare or special or professional grade that increases enthusiasm for a subject, even if you can't use that tool to its full potential.

For better or worse, vintage nibs have gotten a reputation as special or better than modern nibs or capable of producing superior results in the right hands.  If you spend any time at all learning about calligraphy online, you soon hear about fabled vintage nibs.  Getting to take one for a spin could really delight some non-masters even if they aren't able to use the nibs to their full potential.  Of course, it could also be that they take it for a spin and then wonder what the hell is so special about these nibs and decide vintage nibs aren't worth the price.  Both of those responses would be a win, right?

So, whatever you decide to do with the bulk of the nibs, why not put together a few little "taster" packs of nibs especially for beginners or people who have never used a vintage nib?  The packs could have a few different nibs and a little information about what nibs they are, when they were made, and any modern equivalent.  Only one pack per order and the person ordering doesn't get to choose what nibs they are getting ahead of time (again, I don't know much about pointed pen nibs, but if there is a difference between ones you would use for copperplate and ones for spencerian, you could simply label them copperplate, spencerian, and mix).  It would be like a little grab bag of nibs, solely for the purpose of getting to try them out. 
Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.  --Carl Sagan

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Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #56 on: March 09, 2016, 09:21:04 AM »
After teaching for many years, I find it impossible to tell which beginners will benefit from the better tools. Beginners come with all kinds of skills or lack-of-skills. I was a beginner at age 40 and had many skills that dovetailed with lettering. My first teacher recognized my skills and was quick to steer me towards nibs and inks (+gouache) and paper that was very helpful in launching me. So, there is good reason for beginners to at least have someone helping them to find the better tools. I had numerous students who had been working with poor materials who made a lot of progress after being introduced to some better materials.

Is there anything the vintage nibs can do that the contemporary nibs can't? It depends on the scribe. Part of the fun of IAMPETH is sitting around with other scribes and being amazed at what they can do - with which materials. Some people are incredulous at some of the hairlines that come off a Nikko G. Other people can't make the vintage nibs perform... and so on and so forth....

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #57 on: March 09, 2016, 12:13:22 PM »
I feel much the same way, Prasad, but with two distinctions;

1.  I am rubbish at writing, and I don't really expect much significant change even with a lot practice.
2.  Unlike you I will never be able to lay my hands on a gross of 404s (for example) for $40.

And I detest auctions. They bring out the worst in both buyer and seller - at least from what I have seen on eBay.
Time to weed the garden. What is a weed? Just a plant out of place, nothing personal.

Since announcing your unfortunate loss of your oblique pens, many people have chimed in to support and encourage you to continue with your penmanship and offered low cost ways to do so. You have responded with myriad reasons why you can't/won't continue. For every suggestion, you respond why it won't work.
You can't find nibs at a good price (a box of vintage Gillott 170's sold on eBay for $1/nib. Too expensive?--how about a box of Gillott 404's for $96?--too expensive still?--how about a box of 404's for $41?  And those are just in the last month or so.) Don't like eBay? okay. Don't go there. I've met many great people there over the past 16 years. We could go on encouraging you to continue penmanship , but this thread is not the place for it. Perhaps you could take this discussion to the Coffee and Nibbles section of the forum and create a new thread entitled "How the loss of a few pens proved to be the insurmountable object that Derailed my Quest to Improve my Penmanship" or some such. Attached is an excerpt from Volume 1 of Michael Sull's Spencerian Script and Ornamental Penmanship for your edification.

Now, back to Chris's thread.


Offline Empty_of_Clouds

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #58 on: March 09, 2016, 12:56:12 PM »
I want to say something with regard to the "Vintage nibs are a distraction" argument.   

When I was looking around for something to use I noted that many people recommended the Gillott 404. As these were still being produced today I checked out various reviews.  Based on these I came to the conclusion that the vintage 404s are better quality and have more consistent material properties than the modern versions.  These were reviews from well-known calligraphers and enthusiasts, including people on this site.  I didn't seek out the 404 just because it was a vintage nib or a 'special' nib (which I don't think it is), but did so on the advice and reviews of the experts.

So, a distraction? Not really. You cannot argue that point while out of the other side of your mouth you are extolling the virtue of a vintage version versus its modern counterpart.

Note: I am not chasing any of the 'dream' nibs. I have a Spencerian #1 (NY) that sits unused, and I may donate it to someone. The Mussulmans? Not interested.  The 404s just come across as a decent workhorse kind of nib.


AnasaziWrites, you are correct and I am sorry.  I think nearly losing my younger sister to a car accident in January, and having to spend several days in an Acute Stroke unit myself recently, has left me feeling empty of not only clouds but also any confidence.  I'll leave you to it now.  Thank you for the advice, and I am sorry that it has fallen like so much rain on stony ground.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Advice & Ideas Requested
« Reply #59 on: March 09, 2016, 07:43:07 PM »
With respect to the original poster, please keep this on topic to his discussion. If you would like to continue any of the other discussions, please start a new thread. There are great topics interspersed here which I can't really break out without losing the thread of the OP's original question. But please keep it on task for future replies. Thank you.  :)
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