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Messages - Karl H

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Tools & Supplies / Re: "Go-To" ink?
« on: December 18, 2021, 09:11:16 PM »
Hi K-2,

The paper's a bit difficult to say... I was 'gifted' a huge mess of paper from someone closing down an arts & crafts store/studio.  I played around with them to see which would take ink well and which just blotted or feathered (using Sumi), and kept the 'good' stuff.  What it is, I can't really say.  Some have a bit of texture, some don't, one looks like old tea-stained parchment.  Mostly off-whites.

Broad-edged for this piece; either Mitchells or Brause. I prefer the Mitchells (when I can get them to work...), but sometimes I just go with whatever seems to be working best on a particular piece of paper; I've had some that gave me grief with Brause, but worked well with Speedball... go figure!

X-height is about 5 mm, as I'm using a 1 mm nib.  A couple of the lines are a bit long-ish, and in order to letter it as she laid it out, I had to go a bit small (8 1/2 x 11, which is mostly what I have on hand in quantity) to fit it.

I'd actually like to give gouache a try... I liked the results I got in my classes, but as I said, it was just the one exposure, and my experience with it is almost zilch.

Did you have to do anything to the fountain pen inks to get them to flow consistently?  I tried using Private Reserve 'Tanzanite,' but it's blobby at first, then writes great for a couple of letters, then starts skipping.  No consistency.  Add gum arabic?

I don't think she's too picky about the blue... somewhere around mid-register; not sky blue or baby blue, but not navy, either... somewhere in between... maybe cerulean?  I'll be using Coliro for her 'signature' at the end, but the body will just be straightforward color - no 'special effects' as that's beyond me at this point.

Spray the paper??

Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions... I'm tempted to go with gouache, maybe one of those sets of small tubes so I can fiddle around to get a blue I like!

Thanks again!


Tools & Supplies / "Go-To" ink?
« on: December 18, 2021, 03:22:32 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Been away for a bit... lot of busy water under the bridge!  Medical issues, all kinds of fun!

Anyway... doing a piece for someone on a forum I'm a member of.  She wants "blue ink" for the lettering.  As luck would have it, I don't have a thing in the blue range, other than fountain-pen ink!  I suppose I could thicken that up with gum arabic if necessary, but I'd be shooting in the dark.

I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a good, solid, all-round ink that gives crisp, clean edges thins/thicks, and isn't too fussy about different papers.

My mainstay has been Moon Palace Sumi for the most part, with walnut playing a supporting role.  I have been exposed to gouache when I was taking classes in italic/copperplate some years ago, but never explored it any further.  My one exposure to an acrylic ink was a used partial bottle, and I wasn't too happy with that stuff (I *think* it was FW).

Guess what I'm saying is that while I have a fair amount of lettering experience, I don't have much with different inks beyond the two I use most.  Can anyone recommend a good, all-round, seldom-disapoints ink?  If gouache gives the "best" results, I'll deal with the learning curve and go that way.  If acrylics are a better bet, what have you had experience with?

I'm going to be shipping this piece, I think most likely in a mailing tube (more rugged that flat, I think), so if gouache gives the "best" results, but needs special handling/processing so it won't crack off or smudge, maybe that wouldn't be the best way to go?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated... and it's nice to be back!  Didn't realize how much I missed this place until just now!


Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Italic at an excessive slope
« on: February 12, 2021, 04:04:42 PM »
I'm actually a fan of italic at a slant in excess of what is considered "normal."  Try as I might, I find that my hand just wants to write it at just such an angle, and I find it equally pleasing to the eye as the classic slant.  If I don't use ruled slant lines, as I progress the letters start slanting more and more of their own accord (it feels like.)  If I'm just messing around, no big deal (other than that it reinforces a bad habit), but if it's to be a finished piece... well, I'd better use guidelines.  For some reason though, I don't have that problem when writing in a circle or spiral ... just in a straight line.  Odd....

Nice work as always, Ken!  And I've always loved that quote from Isaac Asimov... one of my favorite sci-fi authors from younger days.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Collecting pen holders
« on: March 10, 2020, 03:41:59 PM »

Not sure if this is considered "necro-ing" an older thread, but it's of interest to me, and this seems pretty relevant.

I can't say I actually collect holders; I have a couple of nice ones, and probably close to 80 others (all straight) that came with "box lots" of stuff from yard sales, auctions, flea markets, ebay, and the like.  Most are of no real interest; many unbranded, some branded, some of those even recognizable, and one real oddball; it appears to be made of swirled red & black ebonite.  The business end looks as if it should be removed from the barrel, the nib inserted, and then everything pushed back into the barrel.  Can't verify this because I can't get the end out of the barrel.  It looks to be cemented in place with dried ink (probably India ink, at a guess), and I've not been able to come up with a non-destructive method of getting it out.  If it's ebonite, soaking it in water is a no-no, heat didn't make any difference, fresh India ink didn't soften up the old stuff (if that's what it is)... So rather than persist, I just keep it as a collector item.  I'd love to get it working again, as I'm among the "user" party more than the "collector" party.  If anyone's seen one of these before and/or knows anything about them (in particular how to get it apart), I'd love to see it or learn something!

Tools & Supplies / Eberhard Faber metal powders?
« on: October 20, 2019, 09:22:13 PM »
Hey Forum Folke!

My wife (a stained-glass & hot-glass artisan) gave me two small (6 gram) bottles of some really pretty stuff: Ebarhard Faber "Metallic Farb Pulver"; it's basically powdered metal.  One is an interesting metallic rich bordeaux color, and the other is a brilliant sapphire blue.  All of the instructions and information are in German, of course, and equally of course, I can't read German (I can barely read English :D )

I'm curious if anyone has experimented with this stuff as an additive to ink or as an ink in itself, with water and gum arabic, maybe?  The colors are to die for, similar to Finetec/Coliro, but more intense (at least as a powder in a jar, they are....)

I think its intended use is in Fimo and other polymer clays, and in glass fusing and other glass kiln work.  I'd love to hear ideas on what to do with this stuff; it's just too gorgeous to toss!

Copperplate, Engrosser's Script, Roundhand Calligraphy / Re: oval
« on: October 17, 2019, 04:14:16 PM »
Hey Mike,

I can't say that I've noticed what you describe.  I do understand what you mean: the inside of the "o" being a perfect oval, and the "swell" of the shade being to the outside of that oval. and vice-versa for the other.

The way I understand it, or at least the way it turns out when I'm practicing by tracing letters, is that the tip of the nib follows the perfect oval guideline, and is centered over it, so when the tines splay to form the shade, they do so equally to both sides of the perfect oval "guideline."  The resulting shape is a perfect oval neither on the outside nor the inside; it's 'bulged' a little towards the outside *and* the inside where the shade is, from roughly the 7:00 position to the 11:00 position, the rest being hairline.

I hope I understood what you're getting at, and that this is of any help to you.

Hey Folks,

If you could recommend only one or two books that have good exemplars of the Old Masters, which ones would they be?  I'm just comfortable enough with basic techniques now and am interested in exploring the letter forms in more detail, and studying the masters and comparing their differing styles sounds like a good way to go about it.  There seems to be quite a few to choose from, and I've no idea which would be "best" for what I'm after.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations!

Tools & Supplies / Worst Papers??
« on: October 09, 2019, 03:43:11 PM »
Hi Forum Folke!

I'd like to come at this from a different direction: what papers have you had issues with, stuff that was just miserable to work with, didn't take ink well, bled, blotted, fibers pulling up, etc.  There's a whole list of "good" papers to use, but I can't find anything about which papers to avoid.  Anyone willing to share their disasters with us?

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Italic with a Manuscript nib
« on: May 09, 2017, 07:31:04 PM »
Hi Ken,

I hate to sound like an absolute newbie, but what's the difference between a Manuscript nib and a "regular" italic nib?

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Favorite Quote
« on: November 22, 2015, 03:55:18 AM »
Here's one of mine:

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Favorite Short Poem
« on: November 22, 2015, 03:38:44 AM »
I'm not really into poetry as a rule, which is why it's unusual that this one has stuck with me for many years:

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Priceless nibs
« on: November 22, 2015, 03:19:18 AM »
I have a vintage Esterbrook #357 that I haul out when I want the best possible result I can get.  I seem to be able to achieve better results with this nib than with any other on my "normal" paper (HP premium laser).  There probably is an ideal nib, but it's going to vary from person to person and situation to situation (ink/paper, etc).

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Drip
« on: November 22, 2015, 03:13:35 AM »
oooohh... where did you find Schin's video on flourishing?  Sorry about your carpet; other than flooding it immediately, I know of no other way to get Moon Palace out of carpeting.  Tell me it isn't white carpeting!

I don't care for it; it looks as if they started with the assumption that they didn't need to pay some PR firm big bucks to come up with a corporate logo when they could do a perfectly good job themselves.  The pictogram just makes me worry about what's in or on the bread (food and hair in close proximity are a no-go for me), and the lettering...   The "BREAD" part is okay, but the "Panera..." I don't even know where to begin.  For a nationwide chain, I'd expect something a lot more polished.

Can't really say whether it's effective or not as I have no idea what they're trying to communicate with it, other than the bare fact of their existence.  Maybe they thought that a truly awful logo would stand out more than just another slick corporate logo in a sea of slick corporate logos :)

Zebra G Titanium nibs (JNB); White lead mechanical pencil (JNB); Copperplate nib sampler (P&IA); Fine Tec gold palette or color palette; 18" flexible centering ruler (P&IA).

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