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Topics - Myles Ink Calligraphy

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Brush Calligraphy / Please Help ;(
« on: December 14, 2017, 12:12:03 AM »
Hey everyone.

I recently dipped my toes in the beautiful art of brush calligraphy. today, I bought a Pentel Aqua Brush, in Flat.

I expected for my flat brush to have an edge that would be almost like a square edge nib. Instead, the bristles were uneven, and far away from being "square".

Is this valid to request a refund? Or is this a sign of defection?

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Fraktur A to Z
« on: October 09, 2017, 01:47:49 AM »
Hey, Everyone!

Here's a cool video of Fraktur script A to Z. This is my latest upload on my Youtube Channel,

Please share your opinions about my video, calligraphy or just leave me a kind note or a funny question. It all helps  :)

Here's a short story of an experience I had this summer. I almost lost my writing hand! ;D ::) I wrote a short story for my own pleasure and practice but I thought it would be nice to share with all of you guys. Please leave a thought regarding the incident or the story. Thank you. ;D

I have been conserving the art of calligraphy for long as I can remember. I learned to hold a calligraphy pen before a crayon. I showed great prominence in this art. I was able to reproduce many traditional scripts and create expressive letterforms that were original. This art resided within me and I lived for this art. I felt like the art was something I could devote my life for. Something that my hand can carry to represent.

Then the summer of 2017 arrived at me. This season was promised with a very special 6 weeks of Drill and Ceremonial training at HMCS Quadra. Quadra is a heartwarming destination for Royal Canadian Sea Cadets. Selected cadets are sent to familiarize themselves with a military structure of the Royal Canadian Navy. Cadets would eat, sleep and train on base for a variety of 2 to 6 weeks to qualify for specific trades. The Drill and Ceremonial Instructor trade was a unique course that HMCS Quadra offered. I was one of the 28 privileged individuals to be chosen for the 6-week long training.

   One of the highlights for the DCIs were the Symphony Splash, which naval field guns would take part to fire shots in rhythm to Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture.

   The challenge of the Symphony Splash was that a naval field gun crew, or simply Gun’s Crew, had to fire a shot and have another one ready to go under 3 seconds. This was no easy job, but it had to be done to keep up with the vigorous tempo of the 1812 overture.

   A field gun is not a difficult machinery. It is set on wheels and brass shells are loaded on the back of the gun. A door named “breach” would chamber the shell. Then a cocking pin is cocked, then a striking pin triggered by a lanyard would execute the firing. There are 4 positions for each section of the gun. There’s the cocker-extractor; who cocks the pin and extracts fired rounds, the striker; who strikes a lanyard which triggers the firing pin which then fires the gun, the Breachmate; who opens and closes the breach to allow reloading of shells. And there are 2 additional positions: passer and receiver passes and receives rounds.

   And there was the loader, a position which they would fist the shell into the back of the gun and pull the hand out of the barrel before saying “clear!”. This was my position.

   Most evenings at Quadra was offered for recreation, or rec as we called it. When rec was given to me, my rec was devoted to writing calligraphy and penmanship. Unfortunately, a casual rec time was very rare to the DCIs, for we had to practice ceremonies and 1812 guns. 1812 practices were much more common than my hours of serene calligraphy hours.

   For many recs, we practiced the speed and precision of our firing. I was dutiful to my job as a loader. I loaded the shells and they would respond with a cling. I liked my simple job, although it was very risk-taking. It was much simpler than other positions which required more force and precision. In exchange for simplicity, my hand had to be occasionally millisecond away from being shut in the chamber by the breach after yelling clear. My hand never considered the breach a threat, he was too fast and cheeky. Sometimes I called clear when my hand wasn’t fully out of the breach to compensate for the reaction time that my breachmate takes.

   The technique of calling “clear” prematurely was a quite a popular method by many past loaders. This technique is a very narrow tightrope. The loader must exactly calculate the reaction time of the breachmate and the time it requires for the hand to release the shell and leave the chamber. If a loader makes an incorrect calculation and the breach shuts on the hand, a disastrous consequence would follow. First, all the bones of your metacarpals would snap like toothpicks, then its tendons would rupture like stretched gum. Internal bleeding would follow and the ability for all precise motor skills operated with your hand will be lost. Simply put, you lose a hand.

   A Petty Officer, a superior, once told me a story of a girl who was bright enough to call clear with the hand fully in the chamber. Back in his year as a DCI, he was at a breachmate position with the girl as his loader. She accidentally called clear too early and he closed the breach with full might. Metal to the hand to the metal. Her hand was splat and her bones were crunched in all 4 spots. She was in need of immediate medical attention and she became an unfunctional cadet. She was sent home and she is not able to perform precise motor skills up to this point.

   His story didn’t really scare me. I was too arrogant. I kept calling clear early to compensate for the speed of my Gun’s Crew. Then it happened.

   We were called to our loading positions. The first few rounds glided into the barrel in a heavenly sound. The passer passed me rounds, I kept sliding her in the back of the gun. Then, a defective round with a loose primer was passed. I loaded the round and called clear, then my round lost balance and my hand took an extra millisecond to secure it.
   Then, the breachmate shut it.

   The acceleration of the metal breach jammed my hand. My spine was given a chill. I realized my hand would be lost. All my years of practice spent to conserve the beautiful art was about to be lost. My hand would drop the torch of the light of calligraphy. To lose the ability to beautifully express letters. To lose the art that made me. I would not be able to accept this loss.

I instantly reacted and pulled my hand out of the breach. The breachmate was aware of what happened before it was fully shut. He stabilized the breach and stopped it before my hand splat like meat and my bones were snapped like carrots. My hand didn't suffer any serious injury.

My Gun’s Crew was paused for a moment. My Divisional Officer, a big superior, stepped in to check if I was able to carry on. I signaled yes.

The Gun’s crew and I finished the session in success. At one point, we were the fastest out of the three guns. Immediately after the dismissal, I went to seek first aid for a check-up and possible treatment.

Luckily, there was no serious injury. The doctor explained that it was just a pinch. I was too over-dramatic. He gave me ice and candy and instructed me to drink water.

Later that night I was in shock. I had severe panic attacks. I realized how close I was to losing calligraphy, and calligraphy losing me. I was scared and traumatized. I sat on the staircase of my barracks sobbing few tears.

My teammates, my fellow shipmates of DCI, approached me. They gathered for me to ensure that I was safe. We assured each other of trust and courage. We learned that we are a team and a family. They encouraged me to continue excelling my position and carry on as the loader. I was the one that my team needed in this position, and I was sure as hell that I would not give it up for our Symphony Splash.

The day of the Symphony Splash arrived. We showed the city of Victoria the best 1812 Overture that they’ve seen and that they will see. In the midst of the orchestra, an enchanting realization came to me. We were family. We are the Gunners of Quadra. I would look at my calligraphy and always remind myself of the time I almost lost the art. But as much as my heart was shook, I realized how close and committed we were as a team and learned that we were there for each other. What a year it was to be a Drill and Ceremonial Instructor.

Dear Flourish Forum

I am currently working on a youtube project that you may have noticed if you were following my recent posts.

I am always looking forward to making improvements for my video production and I have faced a problem…

That is, what angle is the most optimal for making shots of my handwriting? Which angles allow the viewers to focus on my writing?

Currently, I do not have a desk rig and I only have a tripod and a Sony Handycam.

Please reply if you have a solution to this issue.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Ink Academy's IndieGoGo campaign
« on: April 28, 2017, 02:32:05 AM »
Ink Academy launched announced themselves as a new school of penmanship through Indiegogo's crowdfunding.

I think a new wind is blowing to our calligraphic community. The internet, especially the younger platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat, are spreading the art to many different audiences. Could this be a major revival of the art of calligraphy? I surely think so.

I am not associated with Ink Academy or IndieGoGo whatsoever, I just thought it would be a nice thing to discuss because we have a new powerful member that can spread calligraphy. But I do wish that Ink Academy fulfill their purpose of reviving calligraphy.

         I have a topic that may upset many calligraphers, but I have done a fact-based research and the following opinion is a very likely scenario. If you have an opinion that may add or contradict to my topic, please do leave a comment on your thoughts. All of your ideas are welcome to the discussion as long as they are constructive.

           First off, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Myles Kim and I am a student at Clayton Heights Secondary in Surrey, B.C. I discovered the art of calligraphy when I was buried under 6 ft of snow in Moncton N.B, a place where I recently moved from. I am young, but I am able to construct well-organized thoughts and conveyed them into words. I love contributing to this community and other calligraphic societies as well. I enjoy calligraphy as much as the dear reader does and I am always cognizant that we are one of a kind.

           As much as the art of calligraphy is unique, it has become sort of an endangered art. I always deny this description but as I have observed all of my peers, it is evident that there is only going to be a certain number of individuals that will carry our wonderful tradition. I personally never met a student whom can write cursive, or read cursive as a matter of fact. I have yet never seen cursive handwriting been commonly used at a public institution. The majority of my teachers can read my cursive, but they never have written instructions in cursive. It seems like cursive has joined the ranks of Latin, traditional Chinese and Sanskrit in the public education.

           Artistic handwriting in public institutions nearly vanish, but calligraphers remain as professions that we all love and enjoy. We are talented and able artisans who are able to produce works of beautiful handwriting. Our works are commonly seen in Christmas cards, letters, envelopes, wedding invitations, logos and wherever letters must be expressed in a delicate fashion. Calligraphy is special and unique. Our human minds have such creative ways to express certain letterforms and throughout history, we always have done so. Many different cultures across time and space have created handwritten documents which we have inherited.

   Today, we face a new threat to our inheritance. It’s not a printer or photoshop, they have already left their impact. It is Artificial Intelligence or A.I. A.I is capable of teaching itself in many different subjects. They have recently invaded what we used to consider our noble specialty, art. There are some A.Is that can paint, write poems and express artistic thoughts. Some A.I form Neural Networks and analyze myriads of information and teach themselves to beat human standards. This has already been proven with the Alpha Go Google DeepMind technology which played a game of Go with the best human competitor. Machine learning is more strategic than we expect and soon it will have capacities that will take over certain fields that we would never have expected to lose. I am afraid our beloved art of calligraphy falls into one of the fields that the A.I may excel. A.I can very easily analyze every scripts, exemplars, flourishes, style, etc… and mimic them to pen their own creative works. I used to believe that certain scripts like Spencerian and English Roundhand would be immune to replication by machines but I am afraid to say I am incorrect. As soon as the scientists code our creativity, A.I will be able to replicate every stroke that a master penman can write.

   Calligraphy may be vulnerable to A.I, but if it is, what can us, calligraphers, do to ensure the survival of human calligraphy? A.I and automation will take over many different fields that humans excel and calligraphy may not be an exception. If so, what must my generation do to ensure its survival? What must I do to ensure that letters are still expressed by human hands? I sincerely hope that it is not a matter of time which machines are able to creatively express letterforms, I wish it is a matter of dedication and effort. I wish to deny that my generation possibly could be the last generation of efficient handwritten calligraphy.

   On an optimistic note, there has been a noticeable rise of calligraphy as a therapeutic hobby. Calligraphy is coming back to many who enjoy calm and tranquil meditative writing experience. Maybe the tradition will endure with humans as a therapeutic form. I would like to further my pursuit my calligraphy with the relation to therapeutic causes.

Eastern Calligraphy / Han's Thousand Character Classic
« on: March 30, 2017, 10:38:32 PM »
The Thousand Character Classic has been used as a primer for learning Chinese characters for many centuries in Korea. The prominent calligrapher of Korea, Han Seok-Bong, have produced a script that was taught was standardized throughout the Korean peninsula.

It is notable that his calligraphy was well-known throughout the oriental calligraphers and he can be compared to the George Bickham of the West.


   The oblique penholder is one of an essential writing instrument which a penman possess. A good oblique penholder will determine the performance of the lettering, while a poor oblique holder will frustrate and deter the writing experience for the penman. A couple criteria are essential in choosing a penholder and a writer must examine each factor prior to purchasing an oblique penholder.

The Ergonomics.
The ergonomics of an oblique penholder is the first thing a penman should consider. Is the penholder too thin, or uncomfortably thick? Is it too long or too unnaturally short? Is it too heavy or too feathery light? When executing penmanship scripts, a good performing oblique penholder should always provide a grip that is comfortable, free but secure. A good rule of thumb to identify this criterion is to confirm an ‘hourglass’ design in the pen. A pen that has a shape that curves wide to thin and back to wide will usually provide the writer a smooth and effortless hold.

The Compatibility.
   The compatibility of an oblique penholder determines what shape and size of nibs the pen can accept. The nib is secured into the penholder by a section called the flange. Some flanges are made by folding a thin sheet of brass which encloses the arc of a nib to hold the nib securely. The malleability of the brass aids for writers to modify the curvature of the folded brass to accept smaller or larger nibs. However, this is not the case for certain economic penholders in the market. These penholders have a plastic cylindre which encloses the nib in a circle. Those flanges have limited types of nibs and generally, they’re not recommended for professional work. Certain special penholders may host a flange that is unique and innovative, and they will accept all variety of nibs without adjusting the brass flange. One of them is called a Bullock flange, and it has 2 flanges housed within each other that the arc may be adjusted by using a screw. Another well known adjustable flange is called the Blackwell holder, which has a screw on the side to tighten the hold of the nib. There are different types and mechanisms of making a flange, but a successful penman should choose the pen that will accept the nib that you desire to write with.

The Price
   Some penholders are regarded as lifetime writing instrument that may be handed down to generations if maintained correctly, but some penholders will only last the writer a month. Usually, the more expensive the penholder is, the longer that the pen will sustain its writing capacity. Believe it or not, there are penholders that are available for sale for less than $2. However, certain pens are crafted with careless plastic and they do not accompany the quality. If a writer is opting for quality, they may ask for customized options that the writer knows that they’re accustomed to. A pen manufacturer may design such pens with different materials and different types of flanges, and those options will suit the writer neatly if the options are considered correctly. Such customization is surely more costly than a plastic holder but the writer shall decide carefully if it is worth the monetary value. The cost of the penholder will generally reflect the amount of devotion that you will spend towards into learning scripts.

Everyday Handwriting | Penmanship / A helpful sample video...
« on: March 24, 2017, 05:27:30 PM »
Check out this penmanship video beautifully executed with a TWSBI Eco.

Please leave a comment on suggestions for future topics! Thank you for watching ;D

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Gum Arabic Substitute
« on: March 22, 2017, 02:57:52 AM »
If you are a calligrapher on budget, like myself, we always contemplate to reduce costs for our supplies.

This led me to experiment using maple syrup en lieu of Gum arabic. Living in Canada, Maple Syrup is ubiquitous as water. I will update this experiment as I go. Please leave a comment on your thoughts to this experiment.


Tools & Supplies / Hunt 101 vs Zebra G
« on: March 09, 2017, 10:23:49 PM »
Hello, everyone, it's Myles Ink. here.

Today in the spotlight we have the Hunt 101 and the Zebra G.

Both are pointed nibs and most straight and oblique holder can accept these nibs without a problem.

The Hunt 101 is made in the USA and it is available for around $2 CDN. It is a remarkably flexible nib that is very suitable for ornamental penmanship, English Roundhand, and Engrosser's hand. The hairline is exceptionally fine and sharp, however, due to this factor, a delicate hand is required to handle this nib. If your hand is on the heavier side, it will splatter occasionally. Hunt 101 is a fragile nib, however, this can be forgiven considering its dramatic swells. When attempting Spencerian, this nib is reserved for oblique penholders. On the other hand, English Roundhand is approachable in a straight holder, but you must be very elegant and soft when handling the letters. The 101 is the go-to nib for professional fine work.

The Zebra G is manufactured in Tokyo and it is available for 2.60 for 1 CDN. The G nib is intended for manga artists but many Western penmen may find it very exceptional. It is exceptionally smooth and precise. The Zebra is exclusively outstanding for Spencerian hand, but it also performs wonderfully with Roundhand and Engrosser's script. This is very tolerant to heavy handed writers. If you have not trained your hand yet to write with fine delicacy, this pen will guide you to find the proper pressure in script writing. When attempting Spencerian, this is an ideal nib. the downstrokes for 'p' and the upstrokes for 't' follow the design of this pen. Simply put, this pen will give the desired strokes for Spencerian letters. Writing with a Straight holder for Spencerian is viable, however, using an oblique holder will give you almost the butter-on-hot-knife experience. This pen is recommended for beginning penmen. If you have just jumped in into script writing, buy a dozen of this pen. Nothing negative will be coming from this pen.

Both the 101 and the Zebra G are masterful instruments, but my favor bends towards the 101 just for the style of the script that I pursue.  However, the Zebra G will never be a disappointment. All contemporary penmen must acquire these two pens, for they are the pinnacles of modern pen manufacture. In addition, they are very accessible practice nibs that is available in some local stores and online for sure. Give them a try!

Please leave a comment on your opinion on these nibs and suggest future topics that I should review. Thank you for your attention and pen on!

Spencerian Script / One silly Question...
« on: March 08, 2017, 12:41:29 AM »
I am puzzled about the relationship between Herbert Spencer, an English philosopher of the Victorian Era, and Platt Rogers Spencer, the legendary penman who founded the Spencerian system of handwriting. Do those individuals just share their last names, or share a bloodline that may suggest that the two intellects are related?
I await to hear your information...

Suggestions & Ideas / New Category- Eastern Calligraphy
« on: February 24, 2017, 11:07:01 PM »
I would like to suggest a new category to the forum, Eastern Calligraphy. As a man of South Korean heritage, it has come to my attention that this forum pays little attention to the Eastern Calligraphy. In order attract more users of different cultures, I firmly believe that our forum should provide resources for other areas of Calligraphy. Dear Forum, please share your thoughts to my suggestion to start a new category, it would be wonderful to see our forum include the beautiful art of Eastern Calligraphy. Thank you. ???

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Connie Chen- Master Penman?
« on: February 19, 2017, 12:55:12 AM »
I have a question regarding the status of a popular calligrapher Connie Chen. She has described herself as a Master Penman although she is not represented on IAMPEHT's website that lists the Master Penman's society is Connie Chen an official Master Penman recognized by officials? If then who are the officials that grant the status of an official Master Penman?
That was low-key annoying but can someone answer my qs pls? Thanks y'all!

[edit: photo has been removed]

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / INSPIRING video for Blackletter hand
« on: February 03, 2017, 01:48:40 AM »
Here's a video on Blackletter hand. I hope you find the video helpful. Please give it a thumbs up if you enjoyed it and subscribe if you want to see more videos like this. Thank you for watching. I will be back next week with more calligraphy videos, stay tuned!

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