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Topics - schin

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Hi calligraphy friends,

One of my treasured possessions is a large book bound with issues of Penman's Art Journal from Sept 1877 to Dec 1883. I have been going through the issues slowly and posting articles of note on my personal instagram @schinloong, but I thought it would be fun to share my findings with you guys too.

The language used back then is a little harder to read, the English is really formal. But I found lots of 19th century humor and interesting titbits as well!

The journals can also be read online at:

Tools & Supplies / Vintage nib prices on ebay
« on: December 26, 2015, 11:36:38 PM »
Hi friends,

I was just looking at prices for vintage nibs and wonder if it's possible for us to compile a list of 'previously paid' prices for popular vintage nibs? This would be from places such as ebay that everyone can access. Lucky breaks, unfinished auctions or flea markets finds don't count. Since ebay only shows limited completed listings (only 3 months), it would be a nice way to at least have a history of what was paid for a single nib in recent years/months as a reference for all.

To start with here are some of my records (lots of digging in my email!), I hope maybe you guys can help add to it? Prices don't include shipping. All are EBAY auctions unless otherwise stated.


He is from the UK and an amazing pointed pen calligrapher:

Bill Kemp has classes there too!

Coffee & Nib-bles / What to do in Berkeley?
« on: November 30, 2015, 08:57:54 PM »
Hi everyone! I will be visiting Berkeley California in February and am looking up dates of travel and planning my itinerary... anywhere cool to go? I've already got Castle in the air and Twig & Fig already!

I like sushi, artsy stuff, museums, art galleries etc. As long as I can go there using Uber I am fine! Maybe a cool beach somewhere?

Tools & Supplies / De-stashing vintage nibs, stationery and stuff on ebay
« on: September 08, 2015, 04:53:38 PM »
Hi everyone,

I am de-stashing some stuff on ebay to raise some funds.

Here is the link:

So far I have listed a box of Esterbrook assorted nibs (357, 358, 354, 355), a box of 354s.

I don't know what nibs to list specifically so I also listed some random sought after nibs in a lot, vintage 303s, spencerian 1s, 357, 358 etc.

Also included is a box of loose stuff, some nibs, various papers and stationery which are Spencerian and OP friendly, vintage stamps and ink etc. I thought this would be useful for those who would like to try samples of papers and things. Stuff like Conquerer sheets, vintage onion skin letterheads, Crane or Crown Mill stationery...

I don't know what anyone is looking for specifically, but I have vintage nibs if you want to make  a reasonable offer. I'm not looking to gauge anyone but I still would like to make some money for my fundraising. I am happy to make tests for nibs if you want to see how they perform... some less popular vintage nibs are very good!

I also have old collectors stuff like copybooks, art, maybe even a vintage penholder. You can browse through my blog and see if anything catches your eye.

What I would really like to get rid of is stationery! Would anyone be interested in more boxes of loose stationery and stuff?

I came across this and thought it's super interesting... this beloved American artist uses a humble Esterbrook 914 Radio nib.. and the famous story is that he loves this nib so much that when Esterbrook went out of business, he bought out their remaining stock, hundreds of boxes enough to last him a lifetime!

You can see it in action here:


Open Flourish | General Discussion / Calligraphy Haikus
« on: June 09, 2015, 04:51:50 PM »
The bride can't decide
If she wants the upcharges
I say go for it


The ink keeps bleeding
The deadline is tomorrow
Pass me the coffee


"Do you do wholesale?"
Lady, I am an artist
Not a factory

Workshops & Conference News / Intro to Spencerian July 27-28
« on: May 20, 2015, 05:27:41 PM »
It's happening! Remember last year I posted a topic asking how to conduct a workshop.. well my guild and I have finalized everything so it's finally happening.. next month!

See attached for the poster. So our guild found a beautiful local indie bookshop that offers free space for workshops So we asked them to book us in for 2 days in July. We decided on 10:30-5pm both days, and limited to 15 people. I think we can do intro and lowercase on Saturday, then uppercase and sentences and maybe some flourishing on Sunday. So far the attendees are not 100% beginners, most of them are familiar with nib and ink.. and I am also lucky, a good pal and guild member James F (also an amazing penman) is my class assistant so we'll both make the rounds if there are questions.. so I'll have help from him.

Luckily, one of the guild members has a projector she'll lend us! Thank goodness for that.. I don't like the idea of a bunch of people looking over my shoulder at all. I plan to demonstrate 50% of the time and do the rounds the other 50%... I think personal feedback is always useful.
I am also including supplies... it does raise the price by like $20 and some of the others already have stuff, but I think it is best if everyone uses the exact same nib/paper/ink.. or else we'll have a thousand different problems.

I'm still thinking of what to do as a 'project' or if we even have time.. maybe an envelope, or a quote or something. I appreciate all your feedback from the other thread and if you have more ideas or tips on how to make a successful class, I'd love to hear it!!!

We are quite an international group here on FF, and we often send each other letters and packages and things. But every country has its own quirks in their mail service/address format that not everyone may know of, so let's use this thread to share tips to make sure our mail arrives safe and sound!

Here are my tips for international mail TO the United States:

1. A typical US address is very simple:

Mr. and Mrs. Penpal Name
123 Main Street
Las Vegas, Nevada

The Zipcode (eg: 90210) and street name (eg: Main Street) is very important! Our postmen/women can usually figure out which area of the country you're in just by looking up the Zipcode, and from there they just need your street name and house number to deliver it. So you can decorate your mail as you like, but make sure the Zipcode and house address/street name is legible. Sometimes our Zipcodes have an extra four numbers (eg: 90210-1234), which pinpoints the location further but not necessary if you don't know it. It's usually for places that has high volume mail like a PO box or apartments.

2. In my experience the USPS (our United States postal service, not to be confused with UPS, United Parcel Company, a private company) is pretty lenient... I have put stickers, glitter, pearls, washi tape etc on, and it still delivered. But don't expect it all to arrive (some pearls would be missing)... and mail time may be delayed.

3. Since the mail gets tossed around a lot, it's a good idea to use a good quality paper envelope (not too thin or it'll tear) and make sure it is completely sealed. I've received international (and domestic!) mail with torn or shredded corners cos of the thin paper, or barely sealed mail due to the glue unfastening. Better safe than sorry!

Here are some tips mailing FROM the United States
Some of these may be pretty obvious, but believe me it was not obvious when I first came to the US! Lol!

1. Since postal rates are always going up ( >:( ), the US has a special kind of stamp called Forever stamps... even if you buy a Forever stamp for 5 cents like 20 years ago, you can still use it to mail today.. cos it holds its value Forever! As long as your envelope is less than one ounce. You can totally double up two or three Forever stamps if your postage is extra.

2. If you don't have a Forever stamp, you'll have to look up what the current rate is.. right now an envelope less than 1oz costs 49 cents to mail within the US, and the same 1oz letter to an international destination is $1.15. Usually I just put maybe 20-30 cents extra, in case it is a little heavier.

3. To protect your envelope from smudging/rain you can always slip it in a clear plastic sleeve, but put the stamps on the sleeve (so the post office can stamp it). Make sure to account for the additional weight too, though. I usually put extra stamps anyway... better spend a few cents extra than to have it come back!

4. You don't need to write a customs form if you're sending a flat letter internationally... just stick your $1.15 stamp, write the address and return address and off it goes. You'll have to fill in a customs form if you're sending a package though.


I'd like to ask for advice for other international areas, specifically Germany! What is up with the Hausestrasse line? Is that the house name? Do I absolutely need to do the squiggly and umlaut thing? Is German mail very strict and should we tone down the flourishing?

Please share more tips and tricks and advice!

Calligraphy Guilds / What's going on in your guild?
« on: April 07, 2015, 04:49:01 PM »
I thought this would be a fun place to keep each other updated on what our guilds are doing at the moment, any for-public workshops or events that non-members may want to join.

This month the Fabulous Las Vegas Scribes are organizing a walk and lunch tour of Downtown Vegas... there is a new indie bookstore there that is offering us space to conduct classes so we're checking it out. Last month our guild meeting focused on book page construction and this month we will be focusing on illumination and gilding. Super excited!

Please feel free to share and update as more events are planned!

Coffee & Nib-bles / Calligrapher's pickup lines
« on: March 30, 2015, 02:08:03 PM »
Dear distinguished sophisticated scholars of the art of writing, ladies and gentlemen....

Is that a quill in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

What a fine set of... inkwells you have!

It's not the size of the penholder that matters, it's how you use it!

Quick more saucy pick up lines before Erica wakes up and bans us all

Open Flourish | General Discussion / A pen nib dress
« on: December 14, 2014, 09:10:05 PM »
I got this link from our guild.. check it out. I just hope they are not vintage gold nibs, lol!

Be sure to look at the video too to see it in action.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / I am thankful!
« on: November 27, 2014, 12:57:22 PM »
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I don't really celebrate this holiday myself but for non-Americans it is traditionally a day where people give thanks and take the time to be grateful.

I'd like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude and thankfulness for this forum and you guys who participate in it actively. I must admit I am a little obsessed with calligraphy, and where I live there is not much of it going on, so I rely on the Internet for news and discussion. I am always excited when there are new and exciting topics and discussion and must admit I refresh the 'recent posts' button multiple times a day... lol

Also, I am very grateful for such a friendly and drama-free environment. Many times a small hobby community can be a little 'closed in' and intimidating and knowledge-hoarding, but I feel we are growing by the minute and everyone is very welcoming. Not only that, I feel that we don't skimp on knowledge and is very open to helping others learn and grow.. without any unnecessary drama or unpleasantness. I really enjoy it and feel like I can talk freely and discuss stuff with you guys without being judged or whatever, even touchy subjects are approached maturely and professionally and we can help each other out when there are problems in the business.

So thank you and I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and we continue to flourish and support each other! :-* This year it's only Ken and I at Thanksgiving so we're just gonna go to a buffet, where we plan to sit for hours and eat all their expensive foods haha!

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