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.

Messages - NicholasC

Pages: [1] 2 3
Everyday Handwriting | Penmanship / A script that feels like home
« on: July 08, 2016, 03:33:51 PM »
I began learning about calligraphy and dip pens with the intent of finding a script for everyday handwriting.  My search began by googling "old style cursive" and then stumbling upon Spencerian.  This lead to cursive italic, which led to several different broad edge scripts, and then to calligraphy in general.  I became interested in calligraphy, but soon found myself loosing interest in anything that I could not use for everyday writing (Foundational and Uncial may look cool, but they just do not lend themselves to rapid note taking or general writing).  My progress was slow, partly due to a general decrease in overall interest, and partly due to the fact that I am a left-hand dominant person who was forced to use my right hand when I was in elementary school (which resulted in less than ideal fine motor skills).  I felt a bit lost and even began reverting back to my despised Palmer script.

With much work and dedication, I discovered that I could use a slightly personalized version of cursive italic almost as well as I could write with my traditional Palmer script.  It was still a bit messy and inconsistent, but it looked much better than my usual chicken-scratch Palmer cursive  (I even had some people tell me that it looked as if I had printed out my notes on a computer).  But, even though I made good progress with cursive italic, it did not feel like the best script for me.  I began to feel lost again.

Then, while randomly wandering around YouTube, I saw a video in which a Spencerian Business script was used.  I never had much interest in monoline versions of Spencerian, but I really liked what I saw.  This was something that I could write with any pen, and still have it look interesting.  I added some lightly shaded, italic inspired, capitals as well as some beginning and ending flourishes and suddenly I had my script.  I struggle with consistent letterforms, spacing, and angle much more than I did with cursive italic; and I don't have the speed that I do with either cursive italic or Palmer, but I feel much happier with this script than I did with any other.  I have a long road ahead of me, but it finally feels like I am on the right track.  I finally have a script that feels like home.

I'm sure that I am not alone here, so I am curious as to what other folks have found to be their ideal handwriting scripts.  What scripts did you try that just did not work out?  What script did you end up with?  What difficulties did you have to overcome on your journey to finding the perfect handwriting script?

Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Just Vacuumed Up A Dozen Departementale 2552 Nibs
« on: December 09, 2015, 06:19:15 PM »
It actually made a loud sucking noise.  I didn't think much of it until nibs starting spitting out from the bottom of the vacuum.  I suppose it could have been worse, but why couldn't it have been the package of mostly used up nibs, and not the completely unused package of Departementale 2552s?

No matter how thin they are, holders seem to be able to take a lot of abuse...until you find the right spot to stress, and then everything goes horribly wrong!

Coffee & Nib-bles / Just Vacuumed Up A Dozen Departementale 2552 Nibs
« on: December 09, 2015, 03:46:21 PM »
AAAHHHHHH!!!  I just vacuumed up a dozen Gilbert & Blazny-Poure Departementale 2552 nibs!  I knew that the vacuum had grabbed something, but I didn't realize that this was what I had sucked up until I saw my precious nibs being spit back out.  I had to root through the vacuum cleaner to recover them all.  Luckily most of them were basically fine.  Two were slightly sprung and a couple had some finish removed, but were otherwise OK. 
For those of you who do not know, these are very nice, very flexible nibs.  They are not terribly expensive, but they are becoming much harder to find.
This will teach me to not thoroughly check the carpet before vacuuming.  Has anyone else managed to do something stupid like this?  Share your mishaps and make me feel a little less foolish.

Tools & Supplies / Re: What nib do you suggest?
« on: November 23, 2015, 05:46:07 PM »
An Esterbrook Falcon 048 will give you almost as much flex as a G nib, but is far smoother and lasts much longer.  It is my favorite general writing nib.  The old writing nibs, like the falcon, are pretty large, so while they can be used in an oblique holder they work better in a straight holder.  I have found them in quantity on eBay for excellent prices.

Tools & Supplies / Looking for info on some Gilbert & Blanzy nibs
« on: November 17, 2015, 07:01:32 PM »
I found some interesting Gilbert & Blanzy nibs, but I can not find any useful information about them.  I am hoping that some of you folks will be able to help me.

The first is a No.682 and looks exactly like a Hiro 41.

The second looks similar to some tar coated nibs that I have seen, but the only identifier that I see is a shiny "J" on the nib.

The last one looks sort of pinched in the middle and is a No. 605.

I know that this is not a lot of information, so anything that anyone can add about performance, history, comparisons, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Ideally I would use Spencerian script for my standard handwriting and italic cursive for those times when dealing with folks who do not fully understand how to read cursive scripts like Spencerian and Palmer.  Honestly, I find myself reverting to what I was taught in grade school, the Palmer method.  I dislike Palmer cursive, and especially dislike my Palmer, but when I get going or if I am in a hurry it is what comes out.

Thanks to some hard work my Palmer no longer looks like a left-hander writing with his right hand (which is exactly what is happening), but it is still not good.  My Spencerian is even worse as I tend to drop back into Palmer if I am not concentrating.  It is s-l-o-w going, but I am working on it and if I had to only choose one script, Spencerian would be I just have to convince my brain of that fact.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Esterbrook Falcon 048
« on: November 09, 2015, 05:17:15 PM »
When I think of vintage nibs, I think of Estrerbrook.  I have yet to come across an Esterbrook nib that I do not like.  The Falcon 048 just happen to be my favorites.

I have seen the Jackson Stub running around on eBay, I just haven't had a chance to pick any up yet.  It is next on my list.

I have heard good things about Spencerian nibs, but I tend to overlook them when I search for vintage nibs, I don't really know why.  I will have to make an effort to pick up some 40s.

I will have to look into the Lady Falcon, it sounds like an excellent way to get the quality of a Falcon in a more usable size (it would probably be far more compatible with oblique holders).

Thanks for the info AAAndrew.

I'm all for supporting small and independent retailers, and when the difference is a few extra dollars or a little bit of inconvenience, then I have no problem with that.  Generally speaking, the good service and quality make up for the extra cost.  But, that is not the case here.  The price for 10 Zebra G titanium nibs from Amazon is $18.99 with free shipping.  The price for the exact same product in the exact same quantity from John Neal Books is $39, with shipping at $7.50, for a total of $46.50.  That's a difference of $27.51, or about two and a half times more, and that is not an acceptable difference.

A free market system is a lot like evolution, it supports those who can compete.  Independent retailers should be supported and helped along so that they can better compete against larger more connected retailers, but you also have to keep in mind that most of those big retailers started out as small businesses too.  They grew and became popular because the found ways to become competitive and to offer something that no one else could.

John Neal Books does a great job of providing unique and interesting products, but that does not mean that they are always the best choice.  In the case of the Zebra G titanium I can buy them from almost any other retailer for far less (Amazon, J Stationary, JetPens, etc.).  So, as much as I like John Neal Books, the far higher price that they charge for the Zebra G titanium nibs is too much to ask, and their other fine qualities do not make up for this price difference.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: What is your favorite letter?
« on: November 08, 2015, 03:39:48 PM »
In Chancery and italic the miniscule f

In Uncial the A

In Half Uncial the T

In Spencerian the upper case N, S and L and lower case d

In general the upper case S and ampersand (&)

Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Where in the World?
« on: November 08, 2015, 09:17:40 AM »
I'very lived in about 36 or 37 cities...

I'm originally from Charlevoix, MI

Currently living in San Antonio, TX

Tools & Supplies / Esterbrook Falcon 048
« on: November 08, 2015, 12:29:01 AM »
When I first got back into dip pens, I began by using the few nibs that I already had on hand.  I was mostly interested in using dip pens for general writing, so big smooth nibs were the things that interested me.  My favorites were the Hunt 512 and Hunt 513, so to increase my available stock I went looking for similar nibs.  I found an auction for Esterbrook 788s, and picked up about 60 of them for a few bucks.  Mixed in with the 788s were a dozen Esterbrook Falcon 048 nibs.  I liked both Esterbrook nibs and used them to write quite a bit, but after a while I became interested in Spencerian and calligraphy.  My writing nibs went into storage and I began using more flexible nibs.  Today, while playing around with some nibs that I hadn't used in a while, I broke out my Falcon 048s.  I am extremely glad that I did.

The Esterbrook Falcon 048 is a large writing nib, and is huge by modern flex pen standards (you could probably fit about 4 or 5 Brause 66EF nibs into the same space that one Falcon 048 takes up).  the nib has a nice bronze looking coating and has one of the coolest designs ever.  The tip is lightly scored and has slits on either side to allow for greater flex.  The nib also has some rounded wing like deals that swoop down from either side to connect to the base of the nib.  The reservoir hole is long and oval, but otherwise unremarkable.  The design has been copied by so many different companies that a "falcon nib" is like a "comic G nib," everyone has a variation of the design.

Now we come to the reason that I am writing about this nib.  The Falcon 048 is buttery smooth, works far better, and has far more uses than any standard writing nib.  This nib holds a lot of ink and, without flex, writes a nice thin and consistent line.  The tip may be fairly sharp, but it glides across even textured paper and is one of the smoothest nibs that I have ever used.  The nib is thick and takes some use to really break in, but once it is aged properly the Falcon 048 has a surprising amount of flex.  This nib is slightly stiffer than a Zebra G, but is actually easier to control and has a better return from thick to thin.  As a general writing nib the Falcon 048 provides a good amount of character that isn't usually available to the stiffer bowl type nibs, but also does not tend to hold as much ink.  As a flex nib the Falcon 048 is a bit stiffer than most, but still flexes well and has some nice spring.  The only down side to this nib is that it is a little large for use in an oblique holder.  It can be done, but it works better in a straight holder.

If you are looking for a nice writing nib that allows for some character to show through in your writing, then this is the perfect nib.  If you want a smooth, semi-flex nib that holds a good amount of ink and writes smooth as butter, then this is the nib to beat.  The Falcon 048 is easy to find and can be bought for a relatively low price.  I am a huge fan of this nib and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a nice all around steel pen.

Below are some pictures showing the Falcon 048 in various states of use, showing the back side of the nib, comparing the nib to a Brause 66EF and a Leonardt Principal, and a writing sample (please forgive the handwriting, I didn't get much sleep and I am still working to improve my poor handwriting).

AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!  I already spent my allotted money for writing supplies and I just let my Prime membership expire.  It figures that an amazing price on an amazing product would pop up right after I had the ability and means to purchase it.  Oh well, I have plenty of the standard Zebra G nibs, and I like them.  The titanium versions would have been nice though, especially at that price.  They also have a 10 pack available on Amazon, with free shipping (but not Prime), for $18.99.

10 pack, free shipping (non-Prime) $18.99:

10 pack, free Prime 2-day shipping $22.50:

Tools & Supplies / Re: Brause 66EFand Oblique Holder Issue
« on: November 07, 2015, 06:48:43 PM »
The Brause 66EF is an odd little nib, and it can take some work to make it behave properly.  There is a pretty good video on youtube where the presenter suggests making a small dot as a sort of ink guide to help the ink flow.  I have found that this works when the nib is new and not behaving well, but that the 66EF flows well in general once it has been broken in and "aged" a bit.

Show & Tell / Re: 17th Century English Court Hand
« on: November 07, 2015, 06:35:55 PM »
When I began reading the first entry it took me a minute to see the letters.  I ended up doing a "curious dog" head tilt to the left before they became clear...and then I scrolled down and saw the key, and felt sort of ridiculous.

Interesting letters, a little too stylized for my practical tastes, but I like imagining the progression from practical letters to the final highly stylized forms that we see in your post.

Coincidentally I am studying both Spencerian (also with the Spencerian Theory and copy books) and italic cursive (also with Fred Eager's book).  I find italic cursive easier to learn, but Spencerian is quicker and more fluid for me as a handwriting style.  Both styles have their pros and cons and both are quite distinct from each other.  Good italic has a mesmerizing quality and is easy to read.  Good Spencerian has an old school feel to it (think of business letters from the late 1800s/early 1900s) and looks quite impressive.

Either style is an excellent choice for everyday handwriting and is something that you can be proud of once you have mastered.  Good luck on your journey.

Pages: [1] 2 3