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Messages - Ergative

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Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Broad Pen Mail Exchange?
« on: August 17, 2014, 01:29:05 AM »
Oh, I'd love to do a broad pen exchange! And I'm much happier with quotations than addresses. There's a lot more scope for creativity with spacing and so on.

Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Calligraphy confessions
« on: August 14, 2014, 11:44:32 AM »
I simply can't make pointed nibs work when robbbing banks. I really need a good stiff broad-edge nib (like a Brause) to pick those locks. William Mitchell are too bendy ---

Oh, that's not what we're confessing, is it?

-I use spit! I love using spit!
-I don't take nibs out of my speedball holder to clean them, because they're all beginner practice nibs, I have trouble getting them out, and the whole set-up costs maybe $4.00. So I use one nib, write it into the ground, yank it out with pliers, and re-insert another. I shudder to think what's happening to the back end, but at least the front end is clean!
-I only have a Speedball holder! I'm in that weird position where I don't need any supplies and I don't want to order a better oblique holder from John Neals until I'm ordering some other things as well. So now I have a bunch of nibs that don't fit in the holder and are just sitting, waiting until I have something to stick them in before I can try them out. (I figure that at my level I can lock a Nikko G and a Speedball and it will train me just as well as anything else.)
-My posture is terrible I have to hunch over my desk with my eyes a few inches from the paper. I'm sure it does terrible things to my back, but I never feel as if I can see the paper otherwise. (Also, I do rather like shutting out the rest of the world even from my peripheral vision.)
-I'm sure I grip the pen too hard. After an hour or so my fingers are enormously cramped, although I usually don't feel it until I try to let go of the pen. (Is this normal?)
-I don't really like using gouache. I know what Ken says, but I've never been able to get it satisfactorily opaque and still have it flow properly from the nib. I love that ability to mix colors and the quick drying and all, but I prefer to use regular ink for writing.

I'm only just seeing this, and you've probably already figured it all out but just in case, here's what little I know. Each year there is the International Calligraphy Conference, and it's hosted by various calligraphy guilds, but mainly by the guild in the area the conference is being held. This year's was the 33rd annual conference and they called it Legacies. Actually Legacies II, because there has been one in Dallas before. 2013's conference was in Colorado and they called it The Summit. The Passionate Pen will be the 34th annual. So I guess whichever guild is hosting comes up with the name. My understanding is that IAMPETH is mainly pointed pen, but this one is both broad edge and pointed pen.

Here is the link to last year's conference to give you an idea of the types of classes they had And then this is the link to this year's Legacies

Hopefully that's helpful!

Thanks! That's extremely helpful.

That is gorgeous! As you can see the board a bit, I've just discovered the glories of white and gold on black myself. Isn't it glorious? I love those little flourished leaves and sprigs!

Show & Tell / White-and-gold on black cards
« on: August 01, 2014, 01:04:28 AM »
Here are some cards I made with white gouache and gold sparkly ink. I figured I'd make up for my still-fragile copperplate skills by adding lots of glitz and a really pretty knotwork border. (You can see that I figured out between the first and second card that I should center the name in the box.)

A nib rag that absorbs liquid ink but repels dry ink. So it will absorbent enough to wipe and dry the nibs like normal, but as soon as it dries, you shake it off into the trash and it's all clean again.

Lori! I also like calligraphy in Russian! I took many years of it in college and grad school, but it was so inconsistent that I keep forgetting and re-learning, rather than improving. I learned the cursive script quite systematically as an adult, so I have a good understanding of the letterforms, and it's easily adapted into some variety of copperplate. (I still haven't figured out a good broad-edged nib way to write Cyrillic, but you can see an example of what I'm aiming for in my userpic.)

I also really like the medieval scripts in Latin. I think it's something about the proportions of various letters that's different in Latin from English. English has lots more ascenders and descenders than Latin does, so a block of text in Latin is more uniform or smooth or something.

I've also played a little bit with Polish, which I took two years of in grad school. It looks fairly similar to English in terms of the balance of ascending and descending letters.

This thread needs to be more active!

It's currently 4:48 PM here in California. I'm planning lessons for a class that I'll be teaching at a local college starting at the end of next month. I am delighted to have the job, but I would much rather be doing calligraphy.

Introductions / Re: Hi from Brisbane :)
« on: July 26, 2014, 07:46:10 PM »
Hi, Kimmy! I don't envy you the challenge, but I hope you'll stick with it! I hope to see some of your uncial variations before too long.

Introductions / Re: Hello from the Shenandoah Valley
« on: July 26, 2014, 07:44:46 PM »
Welcome, Jodi! I love science fiction and fantasy, and now I'm going to read some of your books! (And, of course, I look forward to seeing your calligraphy. Because you are a calligrapher now, however shy you might feel about owning it.)

Flourishing / Re: Jane Farr's mandala construction
« on: July 26, 2014, 07:42:04 PM »
here's my first attempt from this morning.  i actually really enjoyed making this and learned a lot just from this first attempt.  totally going to do another!
i should have studied each step by step, but of course i just jumped in feet i didn't have enough room for each stem.  and i used a Hiro 41, which was not a good choice.  next time i'm going to try a Hunt 101 or EF Principal.

thanks Meredith for posting this!!!

ps- i have no idea what i would use this for, but it is fun to make!

Joi, that looks terrific! Could you elaborate on why you would prefer a Hunt 101 or EF Principal to a Hiro 41?

AmyNeub, I know literally what is on the website, and nothing else. I imagine if it were associated with this year's Legacies conference it would say so, but all it says is "The 34th International Calligraphy Conference."

Briana and Meghan, initial registration is only $100. You don't need to fork over everything right now. *poke poke poke*

Meghan--this is next year! 2015! You can still register!

Tools & Supplies / Re: Recommend Supplies for Beginners
« on: July 25, 2014, 03:19:58 PM »
Patzy, I had some terrible problems with snagging when I first started. My suggestions:

1. Make sure the paper you have is very very very smooth! It was a revelation when I finally switched to a Rhodia pad and everything suddenly got better.
2. Get a nib that's known for being smooth. The Gillott 303, which I started with, is pretty snaggy. The Nikko G, which I'm using now, is incredibly smooth.

Kind Critique / Re: What else? Feedback, please!
« on: July 25, 2014, 01:36:07 PM »
Thank you very much for all your support! I'm now using a Nikko G and rhodia paper, and it makes all those upstrokes so much easier! At first I took a strange little pride in using a Gillott 303, because it was more of a finicky nib, not so great for beginners. But now that I have the beginner's gear, I can certainly see why they're designated that way. So much easier!

1. Schin, I'm now writing at 1-cm x-height. It magnifies all the wobbles of my pen, which I guess will eventually train me to be better.
2. Dailyblossoms, I'm working on those ascender and descender loops. Now that I can make upstrokes I hope that they will start looking smoother, but I really dislike them.
3. AnasaziWrites and Dailyblossoms, I'm working on the spacing! I can't see much improvement yet, but I'm always thinking about it!
4. Sisterofdream, you can see that I'm now completing the oval of the round letters. In particular you can see because there are a couple of places where I mis-calculate where to begin the ascender of "d" and it doesn't quite match up!

Half of my practice sheet and today's quote are copied out below. I'm ignoring majuscules for now until I've mastered the lowercase letters better. (The quote is from Grendel, by John Gardner -- a very impressive book re-telling Beowulf from Grendel's perspective. This is the closing line of the chapter where Grendel gets some unasked-for advice from a dragon about how to conduct his life.)

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