Author Topic: When Calligraphers Move  (Read 3701 times)

Offline Elisabeth_M

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When Calligraphers Move
« on: January 15, 2016, 04:11:23 AM »
We are in the midst of a cross-country move--from California to New England.  For such a big move, we went through a lot of our things to decide which we could let go of and which we really couldn't bear to part with, regardless of its necessity.  It's been somewhat enlightening, and has emphasized who I am as a person right now.  For instance, I defended my thesis and graduated in 2010.  I had a bunch of stuff from grad school in our storage unit and originally I thought I would just pitch it all into the trash.  But, that was more difficult than I anticipated.  I realized that, no matter what my current career aspirations are, I'm still enough of a scientist that I simply cannot throw out my protocols and old data.  It's not even the original data, it's photocopied from my lab notebooks which remained in the lab, but I just can't throw it out.

Likewise, it became clear how much a part of my life calligraphy has become when I had to figure out what to bring with me and what could go on the truck with the moving company.  There was never any question that I would bring some supplies with me and it turned out that it was actually imperative because I wasn't able to finish my family tree project before the move and ended up setting up in the hotel.  I brought all of my nibs (why?  really, how likely is it that I will need more than one or two), black, blue, and purple inks (totally random selection of colors because I couldn't decide and the movers were waiting on me to pack my suitcases), a Rhodia notebook, two Clairfontaine notebooks, gum arabic, Pearl Ex Brilliant gold, my ink rag, a drawing board, and a selection of calligraphy markers.  And a copy book.  And, exemplars for three different types of alphabets.  And some watercolor paper.  And 3 broad nibbed fountain pens with different nib sizes.

I am oddly attached to these items and even though I seriously doubt I'll have much time for calligraphy in the next couple of weeks, the idea of leaving it all to the movers and not having any supplies on hand just in case I got the sudden uncontrolled urge to start learning uncial while staying at the hotel, waiting for the moving truck to appear, made me twitchy.

Please tell me I'm not alone in this.  People don't do long distance moves frequently, but when you go away for a few days, do you bring a large (and somewhat odd) assortment of calligraphy supplies with you?
Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.  --Carl Sagan

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Offline Scarlet Blue

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Re: When Calligraphers Move
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2016, 07:33:29 AM »
I don't take any calligraphy supplies with me anywhere, because I'm scared of them getting damaged or lost or that I'll end up with an ink spillage in a bad place. But, I have now acquired a very nice brush pen and a bigger handbag so things might change.
I am more likely to take a book about calligraphy on my travels :-)

Offline ericp

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Re: When Calligraphers Move
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2016, 10:18:28 AM »
Please tell me I'm not alone in this.
Haha!  Don't feel bad, this *is* the FF after all  ;-)

People don't do long distance moves frequently, but when you go away for a few days, do you bring a large (and somewhat odd) assortment of calligraphy supplies with you?
I was in the Caribbean for a week last march and I brought calligraphy stuff with me, just for fun.  There is no such thing as "Calligraphy Anonymous", but it's OK, we're all addicted to the copperplate!   ;D

How is that family tree coming along?

Offline Ergative

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Re: When Calligraphers Move
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2016, 12:37:09 PM »
I just moved from California to Pennsylvania, and I went to the Passionate Pen in between, so I brought almost all my calligraphy supplies with me in the car.
Clara

Offline Jonathan C.

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Re: When Calligraphers Move
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2016, 01:29:53 PM »
Ohhhhh for sure.  For a quick, two day trip to Virginia from New York, I bought: all of my nibs, an oblique holder, a light box, Higgins eternal, watercolor inks, and guideline sheets.  So yeah, you're definitely not alone!  :)

Offline Estrella

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Re: When Calligraphers Move
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2016, 01:41:51 PM »
I'm sorry, I couldn't help but laugh while reading this...

...I brought all of my nibs (why?  really, how likely is it that I will need more than one or two), black, blue, and purple inks (totally random selection of colors because I couldn't decide and the movers were waiting on me to pack my suitcases), a Rhodia notebook, two Clairfontaine notebooks, gum arabic, Pearl Ex Brilliant gold, my ink rag, a drawing board, and a selection of calligraphy markers.  And a copy book.  And, exemplars for three different types of alphabets.  And some watercolor paper.  And 3 broad nibbed fountain pens with different nib sizes.
...
Please tell me I'm not alone in this.  People don't do long distance moves frequently, but when you go away for a few days, do you bring a large (and somewhat odd) assortment of calligraphy supplies with you?

I have gone to Baja California for 2 days, Napa for a couple of days, a 2-week roadtrip in the Northwest - and always had calligraphy supplies with me! You're not alone! I have a clear box with a locking lid that I fill with an oblique and a straight pen holder, various nibs in a small container, ink in small lock-top jars (black sumi, walknut ink, vermillion), my ink rag, and I place that in an overnight bag along with my rhodia pad, books, piece of felt (blotter) and maybe a few loose sheets of paper - depending on what I'm working on. And my husband already knows this is going to happen! He will ask me as he packs up the car - are those your bags? How about your calligraphy bag, that one will go inside the car with you, right? (As opposed to the trunk with everything else)! LOL  ;)

Offline ericp

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Re: When Calligraphers Move
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2016, 03:17:50 PM »
And my husband already knows this is going to happen! He will ask me as he packs up the car - are those your bags? How about your calligraphy bag, that one will go inside the car with you, right? (As opposed to the trunk with everything else)! LOL  ;)
LOL Estrella!   ( And I thought my wife travelled with a lot of luggage!!  ;D )    Always keep the precious close at hand.

Offline Tasmith

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Re: When Calligraphers Move
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2016, 01:44:58 PM »
I always bring at least some of my calligraphy items with me when I travel; guide sheets, a book or two, a few pens and a drawing board.  My trusty 20th Edition Speedball Textbook has been around the world with me over the past 35+ years.
Todd

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Offline Elisabeth_M

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Re: When Calligraphers Move
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2016, 09:24:14 PM »

How is that family tree coming along?

It's finished!  Unfortunately, I don't have good pix of it because I finished it in the hotel two days before we left.  My mom or my sister (both very good photographers) will take pix of it when it gets to Iowa.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out!  The only small grumble I have is that I used artist's tape to make guides for the straight lines I used for the lineages.  Unfortunately, in a couple of places, the tape marred the paper a little.  It's probably only really noticeable to me.  In any case, I will have to find another way of making very straight lines.  I tried a few different ways before I decided on the tape (for instance, I tried a ruler, but the ink would sometimes wick under the ruler and make a mess) which worked perfectly in my test runs.  I guess I pressed it on the tape a little too hard and it really stuck to the paper.  BUT, I'm very happy with the way the calligraphy turned out and that makes me feel very good.  I know my grandmother will love it!
Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.  --Carl Sagan

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Offline AndyT

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Re: When Calligraphers Move
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2016, 03:49:09 AM »
... I tried a ruler, but the ink would sometimes wick under ...

Somewhere I have an old draughtsman's ruler, but it's still hiding after the move.  I suppose it's hanging out with the calligraphy stuff which hasn't turned up.  Anyway, suffice it to say that I have a lot to learn about conducting removals in an organised fashion ... and absolutely no wish to repeat the process any time soon.  Can you believe that I'm still hunting for a drawing board?

Returning to the point, my ruler is typical of the kind found in drawing offices many years ago: a length of boxwood with a thin steel fillet let into the edge which stands proud of the paper or film.  They were used with ruling pens, and the point was that the the ink couldn't get pulled underneath and smudge.  The modern equivalent is a strip of acrylic or polycarbonate with small rebates cut in the edges.  They're okay, but meant for use with technical pens which don't deliver anything like as much ink as a ruling or dip pen.  An inexpensive and rather superior substitute would be to stick a piece of thick card to the underside of any old ruler with double sided tape. 

Offline Tasmith

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Re: When Calligraphers Move
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2016, 11:28:54 AM »
I tried a ruler, but the ink would sometimes wick under the ruler and make a mess...

The ruler needs to have a beveled edge.  This makes the side facing you a bit off the page so the inked doesn't get wicked under.  I use Westcott clear and C-Thru.  The packaging should say "beveled".

http://www.dickblick.com/products/westcott-c-thru-plastic-rulers/
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 11:31:23 AM by Tasmith »
Todd

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Offline evjo

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Re: When Calligraphers Move
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2016, 01:12:27 PM »
I tried a ruler, but the ink would sometimes wick under the ruler and make a mess)

At school we put a long piece of tape on the underside of our flat ruler so we could use it with ruling pens.  I might have put 2 layers of tape to give it enough lift.
Ev

Offline Moya

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Re: When Calligraphers Move
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2016, 08:29:38 PM »
Yes I was going to say - I have about 20 layers of masking tape down the centre of a ruler, which lifts it maybe half a cm off the page and means I can use it to paint straight lines with a brush as well as with a pen. Cheap calligraphers unite!

And when it comes to moving .... hoo boy. I just finished moving apartments and I never want to do it again. I have so much stuff... and I had to keep out just the basics so that they could be with me at all times, you know, lightpad, blue ink, black gouache, copper pearlex, gold spectralite, gold finetec, gold iridescent, gold gouache ... three oblique holders with different nibs, two sketchbooks, three dozen spare nibs, ruler, pencils, watercolour field box ... 

*shame face* that's normal, right? I just didn't want to need something and not have it!

Offline AHemlocksLie

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Re: When Calligraphers Move
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2016, 01:48:06 AM »
I could pick up almost every bit of calligraphy gear in one hand if I had to move today. I got a tackle box a bunch of tiny compartments and a few long, narrow ones that I find to be absolutely perfect for storing nibs, holders, brushes for ink loading, toothbrush for cleaning nibs after use, and containers of ink. I'd prefer to get some small containers I know will stay 100% sealed even during travel before I put ink in it, though, just in case. My Higgins eternal black, for example, comes in a soft plastic bottle that will let air out if I squeeze it firmly, not even hard. Just about the only things that won't fit in there are a ruler for making guidelines and pads of paper, and as soon as I get my hands on a Dremel, I'm gonna cut a slot to squeeze in the ruler.

If I was only going on a trip, say for vacation, I'd probably take just part of it. It has one fixed container the size of an entire side of the box, whereas the other side has two half sized removable containers I mainly store nibs in. With a bit of modification, though, I could make everything but the paper fit in it pretty easily. Fortunately, the tools for the trade are small enough that I can fit just about everything I'd ever need in just one of them. I tend to spread out among all the compartments, though, for the sake of more detailed organization.