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Messages - Ergative

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Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Mitchell Nib Question
« on: September 16, 2019, 03:35:58 AM »
1. I find that with Brause broad-edge nibs too I need to wiggle a little back and forth to get the flow started, and when I see people post exquisite videos of their own broad-edge work on instagram, they often do that too. A little starting-wiggle might just be par for the course.

2. For broad-edge work, I find that paper with just a little bit of tooth to it seems to worker better, so you might find better results if you have a slightly less smooth paper.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Walnut ink crystals -lightfast?
« on: September 11, 2019, 05:09:30 PM »
I've heard Michael Sull say that walnut ink is not lightfast. But Erica's comments make it sound as if there are many different flavours of walnut ink, some of which are and some of which are not.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Iron Gall Ink Degradation over time?
« on: September 11, 2019, 05:08:09 PM »
Yes, iron gall ink is not shelf-stable. There are two ways it can go bad. One way is 'mothering', which happens when the ink generates a gelatinous mass that congeals at the bottom of the bottle. The other way is by precipitating, which happens when the ink generates a grainy sludge that collects at the bottom of the bottle.

I have been told, but have not confirmed through my own experience, that when your ink 'mothers' (gelatinous mass), you can revive it by adding distilled water, and it will turn liquid again. However, when it precipitates (grainy sludge), it's done.

If your ink bottle is plastic, it may have breathed a bit, and allowed ink to escape through the bottle itself, no matter how tight the cap was on.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Brause No. 538 ?
« on: October 24, 2018, 05:19:19 PM »
There are some that look similar on ebay:

The second picture looks like the nibs on the box, although from what I can tell the make and/or number are different. But the design seems akin.

Because I don't have a smart phone, my experience has been very different. I don't use the instagram app; rather, I interact solely through the website on my computer browser. I have an adblocker (ublock Origin) which means I never see any ads, and I have a user-agent switcher, which fools the IG website into thinking that I'm accessing them through a mobile device browser, so I can upload pictures directly from my computer.

The downsides, of course, are that I must transfer images to my computer before I can upload them (no snap & post), and I can't upload multiple images or videos. But I've really been enjoying the ad-free experience, and the pictures I get on my feed are larger than they would be through a phone screen.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Gilding – which size do you use and why?
« on: June 26, 2018, 03:02:50 AM »
I'm with Jean. I took a workshop once, and one thing that was very clearly emphasized was that gold is the only metal that sticks to itself. So just breathe on your existing layer and put on a second layer, and it should adhere. I've done that successfully--although, now that I think of it, never after a delay of the sort you describe. (In videos I've also seen people take the excess leaf from the edges and rather than brush it off they fold it back onto the letter, where it sticks smoothly. If you burnish it, you don't even get any seams.)

Let us know what happens! I've recently been getting into gilding again myself!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Free Oblique holder
« on: June 08, 2018, 03:40:24 AM »
Oh, I'd love to have a shot at this too. Thank you so much for this generous offer!

I'm fairly new to IG, and I just don't understand stories. I like the pictures of the work, not collections of plates of food with dog ears on them. So I just ignore them. I do wish that the pictures could be posted chronologically, but the number of people I follow is small enough that I can keep up with the new things anyway.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Broad edge nib supplies
« on: April 24, 2018, 02:55:09 PM »
Isn't it strange the German nib companies make oblique cut nibs, when they are not ideal for fraktur?

No more so than Speedball making nibs which are not ideal for Spencerian.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Blanzy-Poure Sergent-Major Superieure No. 2500
« on: April 23, 2018, 03:30:04 AM »
I just now won a bid on a box of unopened  "Sergent Major Superior" On  E-Bay.  It was for £13.40 Plus postages. When I was going after Baignol and Farjon French nibs, Just two nibs attracted me.
This S-Major pen and Henry Superior pen nib. I have got one H-Superior nib to try and see what it gives before I get hold of more of that nibs. :D

Are the old Blanzy Poure Sergent Major Supérieure n° 2500 nibs good for any particular style of lettering?   The 2552 seem to be in great demand and highly sought after, but I never hear anyone talk about the 2500s.   Do any of you use these nibs, and if so, for what kind of lettering in particular? 



Judging from the availability and marketing, those 2500 were enormously popular back in the day. The company brands itself as the maker of the Sergent Major on boxes for other nibs, and the 2500 boxes have different images of battles on them (like a 'Collect them all!' marketing campaign).  I played with one once, and it was certainly flexible enough to do copperplate with, but I haven't had a chance to really give it a proper work through. Maybe next time I'm on an Ebay nib-spree I'll grab a box of those.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Broad edge nib supplies
« on: April 16, 2018, 03:01:22 PM »
I use different nibs for different scripts. Like Jean I started with Mitchell nibs, but the oblique-cut Brauses make it so much easier to maintain a shallow nib angle, for scripts like Insular Majuscule and even Foundational. Mitchell nibs are better for Gothic and Italics and Fraktur. (Also, the Brause reservoirs come off like the Mitchell ones.)

Mitchell nibs are also more flexible than the Brause nibs. This can mean that your hand gets fatigued using the Brause ones, if you've got a lighter touch, or it can mean that your line widths aren't consistent with the Mitchell nibs, if your pressure isn't constant. Try them both and see what you like!

[on preview] For sizes, you should start with larger sizes for new scripts. I like Mitchell 2 1/2 or 3 for learning something new, and only when I feel much more confident do I start shrinking the nib and script size.

Here's a dialogue from the second century BC, in which handwriting was compared to chicken scratch. (The whole website is quite good--it's the companion to an exhibition of some Roman cursive tablets excavated from a site in Northern England---notably, written in almost indecipherable Roman cursive). Concern about poor handwriting in our contemporaries has been around for literally millennia.

I've either stopped being able to or else have finally realized that I never could make ascender loops gracefully. I've been working on those the last few weeks.

Also, squaring off the tops! I can fake it well enough by touching up the bottoms, but somehow I can never make the tops graceful.

Also, I need a lighter hand, because my shades are too thick, and I'm always impressed at how graceful other people's writing with thinner shades looks. I've even switched to a stiffer nib because no matter how hard I try to lighten up with a super-flexy one, I end up thickening.

(My ovals are pretty good, at least!)

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: WARNING about Cloud Backup
« on: November 09, 2017, 01:45:13 PM »
I have dropbox set to sync between three different machines. One of them is off at any one time, so if anything were to go wonky with Dropbox itself, I could just unplug the other from the internet and turn it on, and recover the files from there. I think your story is a good cautionary tale of why one physical plus one cloud backup--especially if they're set to sync to each other--might be problematic.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Cracking fingertips
« on: October 30, 2017, 07:38:50 AM »
Every time there is a spell of cooler, dryer weather the tips of my fingers develop painful cracks. This makes it very difficult and painful to write until they heal. Does anyone else deal with this? Any tips for prevention/treatment/working through it would be greatly appreciated!!!
Try Blistex Medicated lip ointment a few times a day.
Also Vaseline Jelly cocoa butter or Vaseline Jelly original on your fingers overnight would help greatly. As this is a little oily, you might consider wearing light cotton gloves overnight when using this.

Yes, this. Or even vaseline + old socks. I went  through a spell in college (old dorm rooms + Chicago winters--go figure!) where I had to slather it on my hands and feet every night, and it worked beautifully. Cheap and effective!

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