Author Topic: Quills! Where to get them and how to make them!  (Read 1333 times)

Offline kmedina

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Quills! Where to get them and how to make them!
« on: December 02, 2015, 09:27:38 PM »
Hello Folks!

My nephew asked for quill pens for xmas and I have no Idea where to buy and of all things how to carve them.

Any suggestions where to buy and best tutorials or reference to carve them. I feel like I've stumbled across something at some time but truthfully have not had a need at this point to work with them. Any help is so appreciated.

By the way, happy holiday season to all!

Best,
Kelly
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Offline nono1077

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Re: Quills! Where to get them and how to make them!
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2015, 11:20:46 PM »
Hello Kelly,
That is such a cool gift you are an awesome aunt for sure! Here is link to John Neal Books for some quills. Im not sure on the trimming them, but Micheal from John Neal books is on FF here im sure he could give you a better idea of where or how to trim.
Good luck and have fun!
Noah

http://www.johnnealbooks.com/prod_detail_list/s?keyword=Quill
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Offline prasad

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Re: Quills! Where to get them and how to make them!
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2015, 12:32:58 AM »
Hi Kelly,
Like Noah said, JNB is a great place. 

For information on how to carve, cure, cut quills you can try this site.  IN addition to explaining the process there is also a list of Online resources on different aspects of making the quills.  Its a great read.

http://alexandresaintpierre.blogspot.in/2013/12/playing-with-quills.html


This is one more site that I found for getting quills in the US.
http://www.jtresser.com/QUILLS.html

Happy Quill pen making :)
-Prasad
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Offline kmedina

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Re: Quills! Where to get them and how to make them!
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2015, 01:10:02 AM »
Wow, this is great information. Thank you both so much. This will make this 8 year old one happy little boy!
INSTAGRAM: @kellymariecalligraphy

Offline AndyT

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Re: Quills! Where to get them and how to make them!
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2015, 10:50:21 AM »
I get mine from the local poultry farm.  :)

There's one real fly in the ointment with quills, and that's the knife.  You can get by without a proper one, but it makes life difficult and precludes getting a really nicely shaped cut.  Last time I checked, the cheapest purpose made quill knife on the UK market was something like £50, which is fair enough if you can see yourself using it regularly for many years, but a bit much if it's a matter of dipping your toe in the water.  My suggestion is that you keep your eyes open for an old pocketknife with a small, well worn blade which is not hollow ground.

For information on curing and cutting, there's an article by Donald Jackson in this book which is pretty much definitive.  For a good demonstration of cutting, here's a quick video by Ewan Clayton.

Offline JohnNealBooks

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Re: Quills! Where to get them and how to make them!
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2015, 08:15:33 PM »
Hi Kelly,
We do sell quills, both uncut and cut, cured and uncured.  You can see them all here:
http://www.johnnealbooks.com/prod_detail_list/s?keyword=Quill
Specifically, the cut quill is available here:
http://www.johnnealbooks.com/prod_detail_list/s?keyword=N151

Please let me know if you need further assistance. 

An 8 year old asking for a quill!  Hope for the future of calligraphy 😃

Cheers, Michael

Offline Blotbot

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Re: Quills! Where to get them and how to make them!
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2015, 07:35:09 AM »
Here is a blog post on making quills from Paul Antonio. 

http://calligraphymasters.com/how-to-cut-a-quill-with-paul-antonio/

Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Quills! Where to get them and how to make them!
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2015, 01:00:20 PM »
All very interesting, thank you all for sharing, and the OP for asking the question.

So, it really takes several years to dry out enough? Hmmmm. I periodically encounter Canada Goose feathers around the nearby pond where they nest. What I would really love would be a big old feather from one of the giant Turkey Vultures or Black Vultures that are so common 'round here. I'll have to keep my eyes open for something like that. And then let it sit for a couple of years. [sigh]
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Offline AndyT

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Re: Quills! Where to get them and how to make them!
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2015, 02:56:37 PM »
Opinions differ on old feathers.  They certainly are harder and often appear clear, but the most authoritative advice I've heard is that they still need to be cured to stop them softening up unduly when exposed to ink.  That's good news Andrew: you don't have to wait.  :)  When you're on the lookout for quills the good ones will be strongly curved and with asymmetrical barbs.  Those are the primaries, which are tougher than the symmetrical feathers.

Offline FrancescaV

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Re: Quills! Where to get them and how to make them!
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2015, 03:33:20 PM »
I'm pretty sure Paul Antonio put a step - by- step guide to cutting a quill on his instagram. In fact, heres the link to the first video:
Video 1 to Quill cutting
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