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Messages - Erica McPhee

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Tools & Supplies / Re: The Victorian Pen Wiper
« on: March 20, 2023, 12:59:19 PM »
That is so cool! I have never seen one before.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Favorite Practice Paper
« on: March 20, 2023, 12:58:18 PM »
@BrightStar - I have never heard of it - will definitely check it out. Thank you!

Introductions / Re: Greetings from Wisconsin
« on: March 19, 2023, 11:54:49 AM »
Beautiful! You’ve caught the calligraphy bug. It does makes sense given your abilities with precision, sharp edges, and metal tools.  ;D
Welcome to Flourish!

Found this incredible video from Calligraphy Masters. For anyone not familiar with them, they are an impressive group of very talented calligraphers who share calligraphy with the world.

Here she compares dip pen vs parallel.

I prefer Tape but my broad pen - old school calligraphy friends - prefer Mitchell. It wears in nicely and has a smooth but crisp line.

Excellent video from Vivian showing how to prepare broad nibs and explains the Mitchell nib. She has other great broad pen videos as well.

Workshops & Conference News / IAMPETH 2023 anyone?
« on: March 18, 2023, 12:15:35 PM »
Anyone going to IAMPETH in PA this year? I just registered.  ;D

If you are serious about learning, this looks like a fabulous class with Gemma Black. It’s a pre-recorded, at your own pace, class:

Intro to Foundational with Gemma Black

I found this online Foundational course for on sale for $15.99 (for the next three days). Intro to Foundational

It looks like fun. I’m not sure if the class is in Spanish with English subtitles or not. But Leo Calderón is an amazing calligrapher.

You are correct using broad edge pen, as it’s a generic term.

I used a holder and Tape nib and some ink which may or not be acrylic based (can’t remember), but watered down. You may want to try a different nib. I find the Brauses can be very stiff and scratchy until really worn in. You shouldn’t have to apply much pressure and the tines should splay equally.

I like the parallel pens but find the ink bleeds more on various papers.

I’ll keep my eyes open for a foundational course.  :)

Excellent advice and observations @Teresa !

I took a look at both books and gave a go at the ‘z’ and ‘c’. Can you please explain the difficulty you are having @Chessie in making the ‘z’? You must turn either your hand or the pen in order to get the zero degree angle. I used the same HP paper and some thicker ink I have but also did the same with McCaffrey’s and Walnut ink - both sort of watery and was able to accomplish it. None of these are as crisp as an India ink would produce or a textured paper. It’s a lot of ink for a copy or laser paper to absorb.

Sheila has a note on the “Irene” type ‘x’ that says, “too fussy and cluttered.” This would lend itself back to the comment I made about Sheila’s discriminate use of anything flourished or “extra” - especially in the foundational hand.

I’m not sure what you mean by “skating” but the second stroke of the ‘e’ is carried around the curve and into the first stroke. I was a bit surprised to see it is not a third stroke instead of being carried around the curve, especially since the bowl of the ‘a’ is made with a similar stroke except upside down and it is separated into two strokes. Perhaps this is because of the direction the pen must travel, down and around on the ‘c’ which would require an upstroke on the ‘a’ bowl, versus a down stroke and then across.

I hope that is helpful.
P.S. Tap on the image to see it full size.

Hi Chessie,

This is a great question and really gets to the essence of calligraphy, imho. There is no debating Sheila Waters was one of the best broad pen calligraphers in the world - an expert. I recall a Facebook thread many years back when another highly regarded calligrapher posted a beautiful flourished pointed pen piece and Sheila called it out as, how can I put this delicately, unrefined. What proceeded was a thread of some well known and some not known calligraphers arguing about it. But what it essentially boiled down to was opinion.

Being a lover of all things flourished - I defended it. (And trust me, I don't put myself even near the same level as Sheila in terms of skill. I know my lane.) But, she favored broad pen which utilizes minimal flourishing. She was also a purest and pedantic in the best sense of the word. Those who have studied with her know this (and sought her instruction for this reason, myself included).

One of the things I have discovered while researching historical Engrosser's script is that while there is an accepted standard of what it should look like there are a variety of ways in which both the capitals and lowercase were made - even for the most formal of scripts, even from the masters. The height of the t, d, and l differed, where the i and j were dotted varied, etc. My point is, you will always find variations in even the strictest exemplar. While some calligraphers could spend a lifetime arguing which one is "correct", I say use the accepted one you most like, as long as it has well-made letter forms.

In time you will find that you change how you make certain letters. Some will argue there is only one way to truly make it correct. I hope we hear some arguments/pointers from that side. For now, you are on the right path by seeking out strong exemplars and instruction from calligraphers like Sheila and Irene. Look for more examples from say Julian Waters, John Stevens, Donald Jackson, and Sue Hufton just to name a few. Look at their finished work to see if you note any variations from the exemplar in Sheila's book.

Also, consider that many of them, like Sue Hufton, often do work with a pointed brush instead of a broad edge as you can manipulate the brush in ways a broad pen would not work. Likewise, I took an Italic class from John Stevens who manipulates the pen in a way I had never seen before (and thought I could never do) but eventually really changed how my letters looked for the better.

I have no experience with Foundational, sadly enough, so I can't make any suggestions in terms of your specific challenges. Hopefully someone else will.

Oh, OK. I wasn’t sure if it was just this and a couple other collections. Because many of their collections they have digitized and you can view on the site. Thanks @Mary_M  ;)

Spencerian Script / Re: Antiques Roadshow Spencerian
« on: March 15, 2023, 12:10:55 PM »
Oh Mary - what a find!!! Loved watching this and seeing the details.  :)

Tools & Supplies / Re: New Hunt 108 Not Inking
« on: March 14, 2023, 06:46:04 PM »
Oh so lucky! I have dropped ones that broke off and had to go to the garbage. That’s great it’s writing nicely!  ;D

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