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Paul Antonio video - Oblique v. straight holder

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Erica McPhee:
Check out this great video by Paul Antonio. I'm surprised he is not using an oblique holder (perhaps why he has to turn his paper more and gets the splat at the end?). But in any event, I would watch any video by Paul as he is so incredibly charming. Oh, and masterful at calligraphy, too! Thankfully, this is also a great subject matter!  ;D  This site has many more fabulous calligraphy videos, too.

How to Write Copperplate by Paul Antonio

Estefa:
February 11 2016: Please take everything I write here regarding Paul Antonio and his reasons to use an oblique or straight holder with a grain of salt this thread dates from January 2014 and I just assumed he uses a straight one for Copperplate because most European calligraphers do so (or did as I said, 2014 a lot has happended also here regarding writing of pointed pen styles ). What I want to say, I had no idea of his true reasons, as he explains later in videos and now Periscopes etc. :).

Thanks for sharing this, Erica! He truly has a unique personal style of Copperplate that still stays classic, I think.


--- Quote from: Erica McPhee on January 12, 2014, 07:13:08 PM ---I'm surprised he is not using an oblique holder (perhaps why he has to turn his paper more and gets the splat at the end?).

--- End quote ---

I guess that's because he's English ;)

No, joke aside, a lot of European calligraphers write Copperplate with a straight holder as it is the traditional way to write it some even seem to think the use of an oblique holder to be some kind of trickery or something for beginners before they can get it right.

About the splats at the end, I think he did this intentionally to demonstrate what happens if one is not careful in the upstrokes? Also he is using a L. Principal which is one of the sharpest nibs ever (but I don't have to tell you, haha!!).

Here's a feature about him that's quite interesting too:

http://www.theguardian.com/money/audioslideshow/2010/feb/18/work-and-careers

Regarding Copperplate, I noticed that a different weight seems also to be a difference between American an European versions of this hand (generally speaking of course) Europeans tend to write it less bold. Maybe that has to do with the Engrosser's or Engraver's Hand which is wholly American, as far as I see, and is much bolder than the historical Roundhands for example in the Universal Penman?

Check out Swiss calligrapher Andreas Schenk writing Copperplate miniscules:

FrenchBlue Joy:
It's true that the oblique holder is an American invention.  IAMPETH has an article from the Penman's Art Journal someplace in the archives from waaaay back where some old writing masters are arguing about whether it makes things too easy!  Exactly.  How funny. 

Paul Antonio is getting the Spencerian facts a little bit wrong in this video.  He gives Spencer's year of death (1860) as the year the writing system was developed... but Spencer was developing this hand from about 1815.  I'm totally pro-oblique holder, because of the simple fact that the tines spread more evenly when writing on a slant-- no matter how much you turn your paper!  Edges are less raggedy.  It's an innovation that made slanted writing easier and quicker.   

BTW, I think Schin Loong made a video about this for youtube!  She demonstrating using a straight penholder and an oblique. 

I remember seeing another video of Paul Antonio talking about why he doesn't use an oblique, but I can't remember now what he felt the advantage of straight penholders to be...  I think it had something to do with flourishing.  In fact, I know that some calligraphers who write with oblique nibs still do choose to change to a straight holder when doing off-hand flourishing because there are some kinds of strokes that are easier to make with a straight holder... 

Erica McPhee:
Fascinating on all fronts! I am not much of a historian when it comes to calligraphy. I just dig in. But I certainly appreciate learning it and you both sharing it! Anything which is helpful in my book. Funny on the oblique holder v. straight holder topic. Seems we can find anything to disagree on. I try not to ever take myself too seriously and I know there are many calligraphers who are very serious business. It's all just fascinating to me! Whatever works I say!  ;D

Estefa:

--- Quote from: FrenchBlue Joy on January 14, 2014, 02:11:17 PM ---It's true that the oblique holder is an American invention.  IAMPETH has an article from the Penman's Art Journal someplace in the archives from waaaay back where some old writing masters are arguing about whether it makes things too easy!  Exactly.  How funny. 

--- End quote ---

Hi Joy, I read that too some time ago fascinating!


--- Quote from: FrenchBlue Joy on January 14, 2014, 02:11:17 PM ---I'm totally pro-oblique holder, because of the simple fact that the tines spread more evenly when writing on a slant-- no matter how much you turn your paper!  Edges are less raggedy.  It's an innovation that made slanted writing easier and quicker.   

--- End quote ---

I hope you did not understand me wrong here I do love oblique pen holders very much, I think they are great - I even write German Kurrent with it (not that I am very good at it), that is an old script style that was also originally written with a straight holder and has a similar slant like Copperplate. I just wanted to make a guess about the fact that Paul Antonio doesn't use one, is all ;)

I assume it has to do also with tradition, very simply. As calligraphy per se is maybe not the most revolutionary craft I hope it is understandable what I want to say. For me in the end what counts is how the script looks, not how it was written (although that is interesting of course!)


--- Quote from: Erica McPhee on January 14, 2014, 05:28:48 PM ---Whatever works I say!  ;D

--- End quote ---

Yes to that, Erica!!

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