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Topics - AnasaziWrites

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Tools & Supplies / New/Old Ink/Nib Test
« on: January 16, 2022, 12:04:25 PM »
The topic of when to throw away a nib and replace it with a new one comes up once in a while, and, more rarely, when to throw out ink and replace it with fresh. I'm one who is reluctant to throw away a nib, perhaps because the nibs I use most frequently are hard and somewhat expensive to replace. Nevertheless, when the nib won't give proper hairlines (the most obvious clue) on any paper or with any ink, out it goes. This might occur after 5-10 pages of writing or maybe 50-75 (?) envelopes addressed. Never really precisely kept track. It's one of those things you know it when you see it.

Ink is another matter. Its usefulness seems to degrade much more slowly over time and vary among the various types of ink. I have some rarely used inks over 10 years old which still seem to work well. My go to ink is McCaffery's Penman's Black, and I keep a once ounce bottle on my desk all the time, topping it off as needed from a master bottle. Every 6-18 months, I dump the bottle and start with new. Last week, I dumped the one ounce bottle, which lasted about a year, I think, and it had about 1/4 inch of near solid sludge at the bottom, which, if I wasn't careful, would mix in somewhat with the new added ink and cause problems.

So, with the new year, out with the old and in with the new, both ink and nibs in the five pens I use most--three with Gillott 604ef nibs (two for iron gall ink, one for non-iron gall, mostly colored inks), one with a Spencerian #1 nib, and one with a vintage Gillott 303.

I've compared the nibs/ink, old and new, starting with one of the G604ef nibs (the others I'll test as I use them). What a difference.
Morale of the story for me--change the ink and nibs more often, and bear the cost.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Hmmm
« on: January 13, 2022, 08:24:46 PM »
Hmmm . . .

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Addressing Christmas Envelopes
« on: November 26, 2021, 11:57:34 AM »
Technology has come a long way from 1993 when I addressed my Christmas envelopes using a light box I made myself. No LED's back then, so I used fluorescent tubes for the light source. That thing must have been 8 inches thick, but worked pretty well. I'm toying with using this script for this year's envelopes, but time may rule that out, as each one took me a half hour or so back then, and I'm probably not any faster now. Then, I had less than a dozen to do, now more than a hundred. Anyone else using broad pen to address their holiday offerings?

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Medieval calligraphy
« on: November 16, 2021, 06:00:13 PM »
@Ken Fraser  @K-2
Ken Fraser has been admirably holding down the fort almost alone for the past few years in the broad edge section of the forum, so I thought I'd post a few things here to enliven the place. This is an envelope I did 5 years ago for my wife Kate. Any guesses as to what script this is?

Workshops & Conference News / IAMPETH Virtual
« on: November 01, 2021, 01:34:16 PM »
IAMPETH is offering demonstrations of 12 different calligraphic styles by 12 well known teachers on line November 18-19, 2021. The demos are offered in blocks of three for $45 or all twelve for $160 and you don't have to be a member of IAMPETH to participate. So, if you are interested in seeing how these styles are done, check it out. Looks interesting. Registration begins today.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / For your enjoyment
« on: November 01, 2021, 10:08:04 AM »
from today's paper.

Spencerian Script / Imperfection
« on: September 05, 2021, 02:17:25 PM »
In the spirit of this quote of Conrad Hall, I'm posting this rough bit of work (the first sentence I've written today). Do you agree with Hall?

You might notice here ghosts of other letters. As I use both sides of practice paper, work from another day is on the back of this piece of paper. I generally fill one side and put it aside to dry and use the second side another day. No sense wasting paper.

Spencerian Script / from "The New Universal Letter Writer"
« on: August 22, 2021, 06:03:49 PM »

Open Flourish | General Discussion / R. I. P. Bill Lilly
« on: June 07, 2021, 11:26:21 AM »
Sad news this weekend. Master penman William "Bill" Lilly passed away on Saturday. Last graduate of the Zanerian College of Penmanship, studied under Lupfer, a wonderful penman and teacher. Here is a video interview of him done by Jody Meese of IAMPETH. Last of the "old school."

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Contest: Who wrote this?
« on: May 25, 2021, 05:29:58 PM »
Let's have a little fun.
Here is the signature of a contemporary of P. R. Spencer (although he lived a good bit longer than PRS).
The first person to correctly identify the signer wins a nib capable of making this signature--your choice of Spencerian #1, Gillott 303, or Gillott 604EF. Guess as often as you like. If no one guesses correctly after a day, I'll give more clues.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Hemingway
« on: April 16, 2021, 12:07:08 PM »
During a recent tv special detailing Ernest Hemingway's life, an interviewer asked him what was most important in writing well. The answer was long, but one sentence stuck in my mind (appearing below). So, respond to this thread, if you like, with a word or sentence, or multiple sentences, in any style, with any materials, pen, pencil, crayon--whatever you like. It can be a quote or something original by you, and you may reply more than once if you so desire.

Coffee & Nib-bles / Ice Sculpture on a Foreign World?
« on: December 25, 2020, 10:09:04 AM »
No, just a reverse icicle (stalagmite of water) on the top of our recycling bin this cold Christmas morning in Atlanta. Wonders surround us if we only look.

Merry Christmas to all.

I'm making a separate post here with an answer to your question as to how to find examples of handwriting from the Spencerian era, as it might be of interest to others in the future and this makes it easier to find.

A great source of handwriting by ordinary people is, naturally, letters. After 1845 (in this country), any letter mailed required a stamp. All US stamps have a Scott number, which can be found in a stamp catalog such as this one (my favorite):

Look for a stamp made in the year you wish to see a letter from, for example Scott 65 (again, one of my favorites, as this was during Spencer's lifetime). Choose a stamp that is the cheapest to buy, you'll get more results this way in the search to follow.

Go to ebay, type in Scott 65. Refine search by choosing US stamps. Refine search further by going to Covers.
(Sometimes the search will immediately go to US stamps if you have done this search before, whereupon refine to US postal history covers)

This mornings search resulted in 223 hits. I didn't go through them all, but in the first 10 covers (envelopes), there were two with letters--great examples of everyday writing from the 1861-3 era. photos 1-4 attached). Save the images for future study, or, if you really like them, buy them to add to your collection.

Occasionally, you'll find examples of a master's work (see last photo--Flickinger) (This cover is currently for sale. These can be pricey, though, particularly if the stamp is rare. In this case, $500 or best offer. I sent a modest offer on it, but was rejected).

Say you want to create a custom color paper that matches an 3-D object or an element in a photo or image, and you want to add hand lettering to that colored paper. Here's a simple way to do it, even without a photo program (although that makes it easier).

1. Scan the item or part of the item that has the color you want. You don't have to scan the whole item--just the area with the right color. If that area is small, scan at high resolution--600 dpi or higher. If you are copying a color in a photo, if it is a printed photo, scan that portion of it with the color desired, and if it a digital photo, print it and scan the desired portion or if you have a photo program, crop the area containing the desired color. The crop does have to be any particular shape--any rectangle will do. Let's call this ""PaperColorFile".

2. Do your writing on plain white paper. Let dry completely.

3. Put the original written piece back into the printer and print the "PaperColorFile" over it, fitting the file to fit the paper size. If you doing a one-off, you're done. If you're doing many exact copies, either scan the original work, print it, and color the paper, or do further originals and color those. Remember, copies are never quite as good as originals (in my opinion).

Note carefully, that just printing the colored paper and then writing on it won't give as good results. Somehow, the colored ink changes the paper, making the writing bleed more. I'll show an example in the last photo.
If you have a photo program, you can improve your results of the PaperColorFile by resizing it larger, blur any imperfections out, and even fine tune the color, brightness, etc.

Here's an example--I wanted paper to match the car color, and even put a border around it.
1. original photo
2. Scanned small area of car, resized larger, blurred out imperfections/variations in color, toned down saturation a bit.
3. Pasted the original photo onto a 5 x 7 crop of the papercolor file (thus adding a border).
4. Example of original ink (iron gall) on white paper (bristol smooth), the first 3 1/2 lines then colored the paper. The S at the bottom was added after the color. See how the thins are not as thin and it is somewhat feathered? So ink first, then add color.

Word of the Day / Ataraxia
« on: September 01, 2020, 05:54:39 PM »
Try it in your own hand.

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