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Messages - InkyFingers

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Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: space between letter?
« on: September 19, 2022, 10:02:30 PM »
That's wonderful to know.  I think this applies to all penmanship: consistency.

For me, what is beautiful might be different for another.  However, when we see symmetry and consistency, we somehow feel a love for it.  To this, I cry out for consistency, second to proportion.

I think the smaller you write (proportion) the more spaces you need to give.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Polishing Nib
« on: September 05, 2022, 08:05:29 PM »
I've resized the images.  It looks okay for me (maybe it's my high resolution monitor.)

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Polishing Nib
« on: September 04, 2022, 09:37:07 PM »
When you have found a nice pen that you enjoyed writing with, and you wanted to extend its lifespan...

and it is a vintage pen that is sought after ....

or any pen that you enjoy.

Richard has a very detailed way to preserve such a pen.

You can read it here:
and a PDF here:

Here's what I do:

New nib often is over polished so that it feels very smooth (outer side of the tine and inner side of the tines).  That's alright, but it won't last long as steel pens are pointed, narrow and won't hold its shape for long.

Here's a picture of a new nib (each pointed tines are well rounded).

Here's a worn-out nib that started to dig into the paper that I was writing with.  It is still usable, but one has to be extra careful, and light handed.

Note that the tines are no longer the same length, and the tines are misaligned.

Step one:  Follow Richard's instruction on aligning the nib's tines.  What I usually do is a bit different from Richards', I pinch the tines are 1/2" from the tip with my thumb nails against my fleshy index finger.  Then I stroke it a few times outward.  Don't put too much pressure on the tines, as this will give the nib a bit of a curl.  (You see these metals are thin.)  That's okay if it happened, don't try to straighten it.  Just as long as the pen is not misaligned anymore.  Look at the center lines, both tines are perfectly matched.

Step two: Flatten the tip to equal lengths.  Please check with loupe after 20 iterations.

Step three: Flatten the two tines width, so that they resemble the original nib
Note how the lapping paper is held.  This is done on both tines.  Please check the loupe after 20 iterations

Step four: Round out the points by doing circles at different angles to the lapping paper.  Note at all times, the lapping paper is help with one hand, and on the other hand, the pen.  Do this for -90 degree, 0 degrees, and 90 degrees.  Check with loupe, then use the paper to polish the ends.

You did it:  It should look like this:  Those unpolished areas on the tines are dried ink.  You can polish them buy why bother!
The outer side of the tines is very well polished, but not the inner sides of the tines.  What does this mean?  Scratchy at first.
Once you start writing with it doing drills (push/pull) shading, the inner side of the tines will be well polished too.  If you done it as shown there, the lines that this renewed pen can lay down a very thin line.

As always, these skills come with practice.  Wanna it give it a go?

But most of all... don't forget to do your drills!

I am drooling over the burl wood… Delicious!

The two examples you posted are both Spencerian as you stated. One is more flourished than the other.  One would not use flourishes if the pen does not allow for flex.  For instance, with a Biro, I would lean toward the first example. I can extract a little of shading with a Biro.  If I had my fountain pen or when I use a dip pen, it would be the latter

Show & Tell / Re: Rare (for me) Roman Cap and Italic Work
« on: June 03, 2022, 05:06:35 PM »
And those are dead gorgeous letterings.  I love the theme and art work behind the letterings.  Great composition.

Thank you for sharing.   I am a huge fan of Italic and Roman.


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

Spencerian Script / Re: Handwriting fluency tips - feedback?
« on: May 30, 2022, 08:58:23 AM »
I am inspired from reading your journey.  I wished I was as disciplined as you are when I first started. I’ve always expected immediate results after just a few days of practice. It is now 10+ yrs and I am still learning.

It takes time to develop muscle memory for me and even now I don’t have the perfect whole arm movement down right. They say it takes 10,000 hours to gain world class recognition.  I practice 1hr/day for the past 10yrs which equal 2560 hrs? 

Btw I enjoyed reading Ms Wilson on the “sweet spot”. I tried not to have one by doing drills that spans the entire page. It is nice and fast to gain a sweet spot but very hard to erase it. I think I created a drill that suits me.

Would you be so kind to let us know which instruction book you follow and possibly a sample of your writing?

I only use fountain pen inks thus far.  They are supposed to dry fast.  Maybe I used too much pressure with the erasure.  I dont use it anymore...I don't care about pencil lines like I used to.  Etching is great when you can see the reflected lines.

I don't etch anymore either.  I dislike lasers as it hurts my eyes and make them feel sleepy.  Should I wear a laser glasses?  I don't know but I am wearing bifocal glasses already...and it is heavy enough as is.

I devised a way to write a semi-straight lines without any method mentioned above (including back lights with guidelines).  Simply by practicing on a newspaper... underlings every line as I read along for the entire newspaper.  Thereby insetting my muscle memory for a straight line

I love using a etched line as a guide line for broad pen calligraphy.  However, with pointed pens, I use a pencil with very light pressure and no erasure.

My pointed pens seem to skip and splattered ink effects.  And when I do use the erasure....smudge lines syndrome comes to mind.

Does anyone use an etched line?

Spencerian Script / Re: Operating pointed pen and ink - tips?
« on: December 06, 2021, 10:37:36 PM »
You're right!

It depends on the ink type, nib and paper combination. 

I usually use fountain pen ink diluted with water.  This combination does not leave a big layer of ink on the nib after extended use.  The ink re-dissolve upon dipping.

The ink will dry out on the pen fast for certain type of ink and dilution rate.

It is good practice to wipe your nib every other lines or sooner to maintain a clean line.

Using other types of ink: acrylic diluted in water might require cleaning the pen on every other words.  You'll be judge of that.  Dry time is different for each type of ink and dilution.

Good luck and enjoy the process.

This "w" style is most popular in italic hand, I think...

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Italic variations
« on: October 27, 2021, 09:34:06 PM »
Ken, thanks for the explanation with each variation.  I prefer a much more flourished italic.

Spencerian Script / Re: Imperfection
« on: October 18, 2021, 11:41:26 PM »
Beautiful work as always Mike.

Imperfection is what drives us.  Hence, the beauty of the chase.

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