Author Topic: Hello from the UK!  (Read 6205 times)

Offline NikkiB

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Hello from the UK!
« on: January 06, 2014, 08:11:49 AM »
Hi there!

I'm Nikki and I live in Staffordshire, very close to where the Saxon gold was discovered a few years ago.  Intact, my house used to be owned by the sister of the chap that found it! Ok, tenuous links over with  ;D

I'm a creative girl with my fingers in many papery pies, my love of stationary stretches back to when I was a wee girl.  I used to practice calligraphy but never even got close to being proficient so I'm going to put myself in the 'newbie' category.  I hope it's OK for me to be here because from what I've seen you guys are scarily good!

I'm particularly interested in learning modern calligraphy and hope to take advantage of the tutorials Erica has very kindly provided for us to learn from.  I would like to know (especially from any UK calligraphers here who will be familiar with UK products and stockists) the basic kit I need to get started.

I'm looking forward to getting to know you all better!
Nikki x

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Hello from the UK!
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 10:16:44 AM »
Hi Nikki,
Welcome from across the pond! Yes - it is definitely A-OK for you to be here! We have all levels of experience from very new/just getting started to professional. So glad you found us!

I have a profound love of paper and stationery as well. I'm fairly certain I accumulated some credit card debt just out of college from excessive purchases from Current (a US stationery mail order catalog)! In fact, I still have a stash of it in my bin!

In terms of supplies, I know the calligraphy kits are wildly popular right now (and with good reason because they come with yummy exemplars and calligraphed goodies!). However, if you are looking for just straight supplies, I have put together a list in the beginning pointed pen tutorial. But here is the basic list I recommend:

oblique pen holder (I like the peerless.)
Nikko G nibs
Hiro 41 nibs
Moon Palace Sumi and/or
Walnut ink

Those are really it for basics. For practice paper I use an HP Laser copy paper. I'm trying out a few different ones right now and will report soon on which I like best.

Again, welcome!
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Estefa

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Re: Hello from the UK!
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 05:13:56 PM »
Hi Nikki,

welcome from Potsdam (near Berlin)! I started with calligraphy some months ago here are some adresses in Europe where you will find what you need to get started: I like to order from

http://www.blotspens.co.uk/,

they have a great selection of calligraphy supplies and they are fast.

The very first supplier I came across when I started with calligraphy is

http://www.kallipos.de/gb-calligraphy-shop.html

in Germany. I have often ordered from them, they also send most times an extra nib to try out which is very nice! They have a huge collection of vintage nibs and also some nice inks and one simple oblique pen holder.

Really good oblique holders are only to be found in the US, at least after my research! Have a look at the adresses here

http://theflourishforum.com/forum/index.php?board=15.0

or of course the beautiful handcrafted pen holders from Brian Smith

http://www.etsy.com/shop/UniqueObliques.

I buy iron gall ink and walnut ink from the Schenks in Switzerland, they make them themself and they are wonderful to write with:

http://www.kalligraphie.ch/store/index.php/cat/c54_Inks.html

I guess most of the supplies that Erica listed can be found from blotspens, except the oblique holder and the walnut ink (but they have a sepia ink I would be curious to try!).

Stefanie
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Offline NikkiB

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Re: Hello from the UK!
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 05:41:35 PM »
Hi Stephanie, Erica!

Thanks so much for taking the time to give me the perfect starting point for my new hobby.  I can't wait to check your links out and make some purchases!

I am curious to know why oblique pen holders are so scarce now though!

I checked your website out too Stefanie, your illustrations are just awesome! Some of them remind me of wood engravings and I love your Art Journals, I have a journal too which I dip into from time to time, I find it quite difficult to be spontaneous however, and I fear this holds me back.

Thank you all so far for a lovely welcome :)
Nikki x

Offline Estefa

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Re: Hello from the UK!
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 04:36:00 AM »
Thank you so much for your kind words regarding my illustrations! Sadly in the last years I have rarely found the time to do journals I mostly did these during travels. I had always in mind to begin some kind of visual everyday journal, but somehow everyday life keeps to stand in my way! What I want to try now that I am back from the holidays is to restart participating in the "Word of the day" project here in the forum a very nice way to do some practice every day, in case you have not checked it yet, it is here:

http://theflourishforum.com/forum/index.php?board=24.0

So have fun here, it is a great place, thanks again Erica!

Stefanie
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Offline NikkiB

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Re: Hello from the UK!
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2014, 06:57:34 PM »
Ok, so I got my supplies today from blotspens, even an oblique pen holder which I guess they must have started stocking since you last looked, and you were right Stefanie, they were really fast!  :)

I got a few nibs they recommended for my holder (Gillott404), only a couple of NikkoG nibs because I wasn't sure if they'd fit and some iron gall ink.

 I've been playing! I found the 404s quite scratchy and the NikkoG much smoother, but I'm happy to use the 404s while I'm still very inexperienced. 

So I've spent a few hours following Erica's fab instructions and I'm pretty happy with what I've been able to produce, I didn't expect anything remotely recognisable to start with so my expectations were exceeded!

Not quite ready to share yet but if I keep making progress like I did tonight I'm are it won't be long!

Thanks again to Erica and Stefanie for getting me started! xxx
Nikki x

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Hello from the UK!
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2014, 07:35:00 PM »
Well that is great news Nikki! I'm so excited for you. There are few things more rewarding than feeling that accomplishment. Don't be discouraged if you do great for awhile and things go wonky. It will right itself right quick. That is typically while the muscle memory is being stored. There always seems to be a period of quick frustration just before great improvements.

Keep going and can't wait to see when you are ready to share!
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline FrenchBlue Joy

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Re: Hello from the UK!
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2014, 02:53:54 PM »
Hi Nikki!  So nice to meet you.  I'm just getting caught up after a few busy weeks away from the forum.  I'm looking forward to seeing some of your work here! 

Offline Estefa

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Re: Hello from the UK!
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2014, 03:35:53 PM »
Hi Nikki, I am glad you could use the tips! And I would just write with the nib you feel most comfortable with. Enjoy your practice!
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline sleepycat

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Re: Hello from the UK!
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2014, 03:36:27 PM »
Hello NikkiB

I'm from Staffordshire, not far from the Staffordshire Hoard too - I'm in Alrewas.

Val