Author Topic: The sponge!  (Read 170 times)

Offline Daniel McGill

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The sponge!
« on: June 03, 2022, 10:00:37 AM »
Good morning/afternoon/evening to you all!

I have recently watched a documentary about the late William. A. Lilly. Within it I saw a sponge being used beside his desk that he used as a secondary tool after dipping into his ink. I have scoured the internet trying to find a reason for this, but I have, alas, failed to discover the explanation.

Could one of you (or a multitude) give me the reason I desperately crave!

Thank you!

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: The sponge!
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2022, 12:40:51 PM »
OOOooo - inquiring minds want to know. I didnít know there was a documentary about Bill either, so I look forward to checking that out. And I anxiously await any answers.  :)
Truly, Erica
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Offline InkyFingers

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Re: The sponge!
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2022, 04:52:02 PM »
I found this on  An interview with Billy Lilly that was posted two years ago.

Offline Zivio

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Re: The sponge!
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2022, 05:30:54 PM »
@InkyFingers This is so interesting, and what a delightful man! Though I'm pretty new to the world and history of famous penman and had not encountered his name, it is intriguing to hear him name drop on some of the masters I have come across. Viewing the video now, well, listening to it, while I practice.  Hoping for some mojo to rub off on me!  "The Sponge" has not yet made an entrance.   ;D
« Last Edit: June 03, 2022, 05:32:51 PM by Zivio »
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Offline jeanwilson

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Re: The sponge!
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2022, 09:16:59 AM »
I did not watch the video - so I don't know if Bill talks about the sponge.
This is what I observed - back in the day - at IAMPETH.
I remember having one for a while - but I switched to brush loading.

The sponge was step two - after dipping the nib into a jar of water to clean it.
Instead of stopping to wipe it with a cloth - you moved to the sponge - which would absorb any excess water that might be on the underside of the nib.
You could also draw the nib across the sponge and wipe off any ink buildup that might have accumulated on the top of the nib.

Or any easier way to say all that - the sponge is a hands-free, moist wiper.

I think some people just used the sponge as the only step - but, to me, there would be too much ink accumulating on the sponge - and a mess to clean up.

I also saw people use the sponge with gouache. If you loaded the nib, but the gouache would not flow - you dabbed it on the sponge to add a little water to thin the gouache and get it flowing. This is not a beginner move. Working with gouache and keeping it the right consistency has a bit of learning curve to it. But, I can see how it would be efficient to use up that current load of gouache - then you know it's time to stop and clean the nib and thin the gouache properly.