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Messages - A Smug Dill

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Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Practice phrases?
« on: March 23, 2019, 09:18:19 PM »
Amazingly few discotheques provide jukeboxes.
Glib jocks quiz nymph to vex dwarf.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Magnifiers
« on: March 04, 2019, 06:39:04 AM »
Thank you for the recommendation, I now have the Carson Pro Magnivisor Deluxe, and it's been very helpful as I've been finding in increasingly difficult to focus my eyes when I try to draw as many parallel lines across a 5mm square (as part of testing the behaviour of certain pens and inks I have). The device is making the exercise a lot more comfortable, and also allows me to draw the lines with much more precision.

Word of the Day / Kung Hei Fat Choi
« on: February 05, 2019, 02:37:05 AM »
Happy Lunar New Year, folks.

Word of the Day / Re: four letters words
« on: January 30, 2019, 07:21:43 AM »
I'm sorry you took it that way, InkyFingers.

Word of the Day / Re: four letters words
« on: January 29, 2019, 03:43:20 AM »
just scratching the surface of Spencerian penmanship.

Was that Sailor kiwaguro pigment ink you used for that piece? Since you mentioned 'scratching'… the silvery sheen on the minuscule 'n' and 'g' on the last line made me do a double-take, to check whether that was the paper surface being ripped by the nib!

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: New to Broad edge calligraphy
« on: January 20, 2019, 04:44:35 AM »
What is so great about Pilot

The O.P. was specifically asking about fountain pens (models utilising cartridges/converters as the filling mechanism, specifically) with broad-edged nibs. Pilot is one of the 'Big Three' Japanese manufacturer of fountain pens, with a good reputation for product quality irrespective of price point, and as far as I know all the Pilot pens on with broad-edged nibs (at least as an option) are made in Japan. She could go as low as about US$10 for a Pilot Parallel pen or Plumix pen (inclusive of GST and delivered to her in FNQ), or as high as US$400 or thereabouts for a Custom 743 fitted with a 14K gold #15 Stub nib, or somewhere in between for a Custom 74 or Custom Heritage 912 with a 14K gold (#5 and #10, in Pilot's nib sizing, respectively) Music nib, or even a Pilot Capless Vanishing Point pen fitted with a 18K gold Stub nib.

The entry barrier is lower budget-wise and the available options are more plentiful than, say, Lamy; getting a basic Lamy Safari and then a Z50 italic nib for it in Australia would set her back the price of four or five Pilot Parallel pens, and my experience with the Safari is that the cap is not very good at sealing the nib and section to prevent ink from drying out in a matter of days.

Monteverde USA (mostly made in China, if I'm not mistaken) and Aurora offer a fair range of pens with Stub and/or Italic nibs, but again the entry price point is far higher. I have a Monteverde Rodeo Drive fountain pen fitted with factory Stub nib (in steel) and I like it, but that cost me US$38+ not including international shipping, and then only because I snagged it at less than 50% of the retailer's list price when all the planets aligned. Trying to buy that from a local retailer – even one, such as Peters of Kensington, that sells online and will happily ship interstate to anywhere in Australia – would set her back rather more; and getting pens with Stub nibs from such places is not easy (because other than perhaps specialist pen stores, nobody here stocks pens that come fitted with Stub and Italic nibs).

Pilot is a far more accessible brand of pen in comparison.

and what is "Calligraphy Medium" for a size?

I'm not sure what you're asking me there. Pilot doesn't size it steel nibs in the way it sizes its 14K gold and 18K gold nibs (i.e. #5 on the Custom 74 and Custom Heritage 91, #10 on the C742 and C912 as well as the Custom Kaede and Hannya Shingyo, #15 on the C743 and C823, etc.) or how Bock, JoWo, etc. size their steel nibs (#5, #6, etc.)

Flourishing / Re: Examples of flourishes
« on: January 19, 2019, 08:14:54 AM »
Pages 140 and 141 of The Calligrapher's Bible (2003) by David Harris are focussed on italic flourished minuscules, if you prefer something more concise (but limited). I only just opened up that book for the first time tonight, after buying it from Amazon.

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: New to Broad edge calligraphy
« on: January 19, 2019, 08:09:13 AM »
You could just get a Pilot Prera demonstrator model already fitted with a CM (Calligraphy Medium) nib at the factory; it will come with a Pilot (proprietary) converter included in the retail package.

(Prera models that are opaque do not come with included converters, and CM nibs are not an option offered with those.)

I've seen those in at least one bricks-and-mortar shop in Sydney – specifically, Kinokuniya in The Galeries Victoria – so they aren't impossible to get locally. However, I could order one directly from Japan, and (have to) pay for international shipping by EMS service, yet still come out on top expense-wise; no way such a pen should be selling for $81.

Or you could buy Pilot Plumix pens with the same type of nib (which are in fact interchangeable between the Prera, MR, Kakuno, 78G, Plumix and Penmanship models). Amazon sells them, at more reasonable prices that what I've seen on eBay for the same products.

But, in either case, to answer your question: Pilot is the brand of pen you're after.

You could, of course, opt to try a Lamy pen with an Italic nib instead; you can buy those nibs as separate retail products, and just fit them onto your Lamy Safari, Al-Star, Logo, CP1, etc. yourself; it's really easy to do. Or go all out and buy yourself an Aurora pen fitted with a factory Italic nib.

Flourishing / Re: Examples of flourishes
« on: January 18, 2019, 05:02:07 AM »
Chapter 10 in Italic and Copperplate Calligraphy: The Basics and Beyond by Eleanor Winters would be one such resource.

Introductions / Re: Lee from Far North Queensland
« on: January 17, 2019, 10:22:14 AM »
I'm curious about PIF.  I've never heard of it and would be interested in finding out about it.   Sounds like there are ink samples involved and some sort of membership.

As Lee has explained, PIF stands for Pay it Forward, which is just another term meaning no-strings-attached giveaways. There are a few that are organised, often constrained by national divides and/or geographical location (due to postal charges and/or in-person collection opportunities), on FPN. I saw that there wasn't one in Australia, and I had several unwanted NOS (New Old Stock) pens of a particular model of Hero fountain pen that supposedly has some degree of the prized characteristic of 'flex' in its nib for cursive English writing(?), so I started that particular PIF for Australian fountain pen enthusiasts who have visibility of it through forum membership.

I am using Eleanor Winter's Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy to best understand the copperplate letterforms.  When I started out, I tried copying someone else's version of copperplate and it didn't work very well for me.  I'm doing better now that I'm studying the basics.

My copy of that just arrived from the US (via Amazon) this week. Right now I cannot write more than an A5 page before tendonitis in my wrist starts to play up (and that's an immense improvement from before), though, so 150 pens and 200 bottles of ink are... largely clutter in my concrete shoebox of an inner-city apartment. :sigh:

Introductions / Re: Lee from Far North Queensland
« on: January 09, 2019, 09:50:18 PM »

Excellent! I hope you enjoy the Hero 395 pens more than I did; to my recollection, they wrote too broadly for my tastes and my regular handwriting, but the model seems to have a few fans because of its supposed 'semi-flex'.

Yesterday I started playing with the couple of Jinhao X450 pens that came modified and fitted with Zebra G nibs. Those nibs have been mentioned here quite often as good for English calligraphy, and marrying them to fountain pens to provide an ink reservoir makes them more convenient to use. They cost me about A$7.50 (including GST *sigh*) pre-assembled to order from China, but now I also have a bunch of 'spare' X450 pens (complete with what I deem to be Medium nibs) and Zebra G nibs ordered separately. You might be interested in trying something like that some time; the X450 sections have a faceted, triangular grip, which may or may not help with your question about changing your grip.

I also have some 'spare' Pilot Plumix pens with CM (Calligraphy Medium) nibs, which are good for italic writing. You can order them piecemeal reasonably easily from; I ordered them in 3-packs shipped from the US. I usually take their nibs and transplant them into Pilot MR and Prera pens, but the Plumix pens are usable in their own right if you're not too fussed about portability; they're quite long and clipless. Actually, my fiancée took two of those – housed in a leather pen case – to her book-signing events, because her book is a children's chapter-book themed around a comet, and the Pilot Plumix and Penmanship pens have comet-shaped bodies, so I thought the kids would find it fun to see. They served her quite well.

Anyway, let us know which hands in English calligraphy you're interested in. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm open to organising Round Two of the PIF of pens and inks for Australian users.



Introductions / Re: Lee from Far North Queensland
« on: January 07, 2019, 10:24:46 PM »
Welcome, Lee (here too, as well as on the other online forum)!

I hope you'll receive the box of pens and inks being passed around, and get some use out of the pick of the colours you want.  :)

Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Toilet Condoms
« on: September 29, 2018, 01:33:26 AM »
What an idea. Not that something like that would ‘work’ in Australia; our toilet seats are usually complete loops instead of being horseshoe-shaped.

Everyday Handwriting | Penmanship / Re: Exemplars for a simple script
« on: September 07, 2018, 04:29:30 AM »
Everything is compatible with fountain pen. You just need the right fountain pen  ;D

I'm not sure about the validity of that blanket statement, but I do appreciate that a fountain pen can be fitted with a nib that Joe Random-Passer-By cannot necessarily buy on the spot wandering into a pen store, that has certain features and/or can produce certain effects desirable in calligraphy/lettering. Whether that requires custom/manual modification to a nib, or just ordering a nib that is never already factory-fitted in an SKU, is a different question.

Introductions / Re: Greetings from Northumberland, England
« on: August 30, 2018, 02:36:16 AM »
G'day, Nicola! From one new forum member to another, welcome!

I too am firstly interested in using fountain pens with some flair in my handwriting (once I've tidied up my typical chicken scratch), especially using my personal preference of F and EF nibs with which the production of line variation relies more on the user's hand than the nibs' flexibility. Maybe I'll need to venture out to broad nibs, stub nibs, music nibs, et cetera some day, but for now all ‘my’ fountain pens that write broader than a typical Japanese medium (with the exception of my two Sailor pens with Naginata Concord nibs) have made their way into my fiancée's pen collection.

OK, that's not strictly true; I'm still struggling as to whether to pass my Pilot Custom Heritage pens with SFM (soft fine medium) and FA (Falcon) nibs to her. Those pens sorta irk me with how they write normally, even though both are capable of producing far finer lines than, say, my Pilot Custom 74 with a #5 SF nib.

What do you prefer to use?

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