Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - Doesy

Pages: [1]
I’m less than an amateur when it comes to design, layout and anything vaguely artistic. I usually have to generate a series of mock ups with a lot of scribbled notes and crossed out / moved elements on them until I reach something that I think might work. These are in addition to a notebook of sketched out ideas.  I like being able to look back on these experimental “failures” because they give me an idea of maybe things to avoid or to try out in the future. Do other people do the same thing? How do you keep your mock ups/ project failures organized? I sometimes glue them into my sketch book but am not as organized about it as I’d like to be. What do you do?

Flourishing / Running out of ink
« on: March 12, 2017, 09:13:16 PM »
So, having stutter started flourishing months ago only to give it up (also months ago) as way beyond my skillset I've been tempted again. I was leafing aimlessly through Fascinating Pen Flourishing and somehow meandered over to my desk, pulled out pen and paper, opened a bottle of ink and started exercise 1 (all this while brushing my teeth).

The teeth brushing part was probably a bad idea (this is how I chew up and mangle brushes).

Anyway, there I was trying to smooth out my ovals, reading the text that indicated you should use a firm stroke for the shaded portions and aim for 100 ovals (or shaded portions) per minute. Yikes! I tried counting the shaded strokes as I drew them but I had to stop every 8-10 ovals to re-ink. Definitely not condusive to 100 ovals per minute. I cheated and jammed an ink reservoir from a broad edge nib onto my pointed nib. This way I could draw about 30 ovals before I needed to re-ink.

I started wondering - how do people get their nibs to hold the amount of ink needed for large/long flourishes? Am I running out of ink quickly because I'm moving the pen fairly slowly? When people flourish do they preplan multiple start/end points with re-inking in mind so that they don't run out of ink mid swell?

Tools & Supplies / Calligraphy using a standing desk?
« on: March 04, 2017, 02:17:58 AM »
I wasn't certain if this question should go under the tools and supplies topic but i guess a desk is a great big tool.

Does anyone here use a standing desk for calligraphy? I've seen pictures in old publications which show people writing at a standing desk and wondered if it was possible/comfortable (once you got used to it). We have a standing desk that we use for the family computer but while it's height works well for the keyboard/mouse it's a bit awkward for writing on. I don't know if it would more comfortable for writing if the height were lower or it could be the top needs to be more angled.

Thank you for any info you can give me.

I would love to have some penpals to share my bad calligraphy with. I've always wanted to participate in one of the exchanges but can't seem to build up the necessary courage so I thought that maybe starting with very small steps, like having some penpals, would be a good start.

About me -

Calligraphy: I can sort of do an engrosser's script and spencerian hand. I really love all things calligraphy but am definitely more enthusiastic than talented. Let's see...I'm a pen nib geek. I also like experimenting making inks that never quite work correctly applied to paper but somehow always permanently stain or eat a hole through whatever they spill on.

Non calligraphy: Is there more to life than calligraphy?  ;)  I enjoy hiking in all weather, gardening (only really hardy plants that can survive benign neglect), and am a terrible cook.

If you'd like a pen pal too, have a high tolerance for poor penmanship and don't mind an occasional moth eaten looking letter with amazing fading ink send me a pm.

Coffee & Nib-bles / Old practice sheets - what do you do?
« on: February 04, 2017, 03:54:11 PM »
So I was haphazardly cleaning up my desk area this morning when I found a thick folder of old practice sheets. I generally check my old sheets to make certain I've used both sides then either write more on them or recycle them (making little origami boxes and containers, really messy looking envelopes, weed barrier in the garden etc).

As I was checking out the used papers for any available writing area left I wondered if I should be saving a few pages just as a record of my progression (haha! more like regression) in whatever I'm trying to learn. It might be a good reminder to myself when I get impatient with my slow progress in a new hand. On the other hand, maybe it would just be a reminder of my slow progress in all things calligraphy.  :)

What do you do?

The Library / Antique Pattern Library - Vere Foster lettering
« on: November 26, 2016, 02:20:01 PM »
I was looking for pdfs of the Vere Foster lettering copybooks when I came across the Antique Pattern Library. It has a small but interesting selection of calligraphy resources in addition to other antique pattern books/resources.

Here is the linky:

I thought others might be interested in this study by Frank Freeman that was published in 1918. It's basically an in depth study of the motor movements that make up fine penmanship. A large group of children and adults and C. P. Zaner had their hand movements filmed while they were writing and the individual film frames analyzed to determine pen grip, hand positioning, movement speed, and wrist and finger movement if any. It's actually pretty interesting to see the collection of data they amassed and how they tried to see if there were certain quantifiable attributes to good penmanship. I enjoyed skimming through it just to see some of the analysis they did for Zaner's penmanship and some frame by frame drawings they did of his hand position. It is a bit on the dry side I have to admit.

The link below starts at pg 34 in the study (drawings of Zaner's hand position when writing). The beginning of chapter three (pg 31) is where they start to talk about some of the results of their analysis.

I've always loved studying Jean Midolle's works. Here are links to two of them:

Jean Midolle - Album du Moyen Age

Jean Midolle - Midolle-Recueil ou Alphabet de Lettres Initiales Historiques

Coffee & Nib-bles / Copybook confessions
« on: November 14, 2015, 01:37:37 PM »
Ok, this is slightly weird but I thought I might find others here that do the same. I like reading through old copy books. Not just the new (as in unused) but also the used (as in completely written on, ink smeared, dog chewed). It doesn't even have to be a letter writing drills copybook. It can be any sort of copybook - history, mathematics, you name it. I love looking through the subject matter and the handwriting.

There's one in particular I really like which is Nancy White's Arithmatic copy book from 1781. It's filled interesting word problems about large fabric orders, handwritten conversion tables for dry weights, wine measures (63 gallons = hogshead), lengths (3 barley corn = 1 inch) and multiplication/long division equations. Most interesting to me are the hand doodled flourishes that are everywhere in the book. There's also one page where she is clearly plotting out the doodled big flourish for a capital letter L with dotted lines. I can just see her quickly copying the conversion tables getting bored and then start flourishing and doodling in her workbook.

The reason why I'm posting is because I was wondering if anyone might know more about this copybook, who Nancy White was and her age when she started this workbook. Anyone else out there a closet copybook reader?

Link to Nancy's copybook:

Coffee & Nib-bles / Penmanship books
« on: November 09, 2015, 01:15:10 PM »
Don't know if any others here are members of the Ornamental Penmanship yahoo group but there was a recent posting there I thought others might find interesting. I wasn't exactly certain about where to post this because it's about books that are for sale at Zaner-Bloser. I know these are also available for free as pdfs at IAMPETH  and but I'd been looking for a physical affordable copy of The Secret Skill of the Madarasz for awhile now and thought others might want one too.

The books being sold are:

The Secret Skill of Madarasz, C. C. Canan – Collection of Penmanship, and Fascinating Pen Flourishing

The books are $70 for all three including shipping or $25 each if purchased individually. Here's the link:

Coffee & Nib-bles / Undelivered letters - what a treasure!
« on: November 08, 2015, 11:25:27 PM »
Stumbled upon this in the news recently. A chest full of 2600 undelivered letters (600 unopened) dating from 1680 to 1706 that was in a postal museum in the Hague was made available to academics worldwide recently to study. What a treasure trove of writing and history! (It also made me think about the wonderful exchanges here on the forum and the mailing mishaps that sometimes happen. I wonder if sometime in the next 300 years someone will chance upon a chest of undelivered letters from 2015?   :)   )

There's a great website that displays some of the letters. The first 15 or so photos I browsed through are really interesting pictures of the seals on the envelopes followed by some photos of the letters themselves.

Introductions / Hello from Seattle
« on: June 23, 2015, 03:03:34 PM »
Just wanted to say hello and thank you to everyone at the Flourish Forum. I loved calligraphy when I was a student (sometime back in the paleozoic era) but then got distracted from it for so many years it's embarassing. I stumbled on the flourish forum a few months ago and was so inspired by all the amazing art, hard work and dedication of everyone here that I decided to pull out my old calligraphy supplies and make the time to start again. It feels like I'm starting from scratch and my hand/eye coordination is terrible now but I love it! So thank you all. You are all such a great inspiration!

Pages: [1]