Author Topic: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)  (Read 8404 times)

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2014, 06:02:38 AM »
I have a confession to make. I don't like bird flourishes.....I find birds perched on beatiful writing really, really weird.
Count me in...I'm with you!

Offline Milonguera

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2014, 10:21:14 AM »
I have a confession to make. I don't like bird flourishes. And it is eating me up from the inside, so I CONFESS!!  :'(
Now stone me.

No, seriously, what is it with the birds? While I understand the artistry and skill involved, I find birds perched on beatiful writing really, really weird. Does anyone know where this tradition comes from and why it evolved in the first place?

And are there any alternatives? Are there, like, cat or fox flourishes?  ;D

HILARIOUS comment, sister!  I feel the same way--it's their heads that get to me, even though I totally admire anyone who can do them and plan to try at some point, myself.  I saw some horses and tigers and other animals not too long ago that were very impressive, but I'm still pretty sure I'd never use one. 
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Offline schin

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2014, 05:00:25 PM »
Flourished birds and even animals are fine with me.. it fluctuates between amazingly beautiful and plain weird. But what I really can't stand are flourished people.. all the little curls making up the people.. kinda disturbing!

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Offline Lori M

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2014, 06:50:03 PM »
Quote
But what I really can't stand are flourished people.. all the little curls making up the people.. kinda disturbing!
You crack me up! Yes, some of them are kind of disturbing.

Maybe birds were having a design moment in the Golden Age of penmanship. Remember how birds were so trendy in design (at least crafty design) a couple of years ago? It got so cliched that someone even made a satire video about it: Put a Bird on It.

I admit it, I love birds. I have tons of bird stamps and stickers.  :-[  I've never been crazy about the flourished ones, though (or any other flourished  creatures, for that matter).
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 04:05:38 PM by Lori M »

Offline Faeleia

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2014, 11:35:05 PM »
It was bird flourishing that sparked my interest in calligraphy when I was a kid. But though I admire and love them, I just don't do them much either. I feel they are great for practice and exercise though.

There is a funny article on Iampeth by WE Dennis about flourishing.. seems like he really hates it (eventhough his bird flourishes are amazing!), here is an excerpt: http://www.iampeth.com/text_docs/Dennis%20on%20the%20Delicate%20Art%20of%20Flourishing.pdf
Quote
You see I am now on my vacation and I wouldn't make a swan, bird, or any other crazy
thing for a hundred dollar bill. As to this fame (?) as a flourisher, I wouldn't give a row of
pins for that, you understand, In fact I am inclined to think that it is a sort of stigma on a
person's character; he's a sort of leper in the eyes of right-minded people. Time was when
I considered a fellow who could flourish a swan, a bigger man by far than any monarch
that ever sat on the throne, but now I will be blamed if I do not think he is about the
smallest vegetable that grows. If I had a boy and caught him flourishing a bird or any
other thing, I'd ship him on a three years' whaling voyage and give him a good whaling
before he started. If he learned to flourish a harpoon and stab a whale in a tender spot,
then I'd spend my last dollar to set him up in a soft snap where he could make an easy
living.

Hahahahaha that is so awesome! His displeasure lol! Things like these are so fun. I also love reading people of the olden times make snide remarks at their competitors or complain about something they don't fancy in really roundabout ways. Times like now when people just use the f word, it's too straightforward.

Offline AndyT

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2014, 07:31:00 AM »
I also love reading people of the olden times make snide remarks at their competitors or complain about something they don't fancy in really roundabout ways.

Indeed!  The art of the long winded insult reached new heights in the 19th century.  Here's Disraeli (the pot) calling Gladstone (the kettle) black: "A sophisticated rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity".  Nothing like plain speaking when you want call someone a smart alec and a windbag, eh?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 11:26:38 AM by AndyT »

Offline AmyNeub

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2014, 11:23:08 AM »
I am always so impressed by the time they take to make these bird flourishes in. Like 23.5 seconds (j/k). I think they should be given a word and then see what they can come up with. That would be harder.

Offline Estefa

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2014, 11:48:04 AM »
Haha, that's funny ;)! Many of these last posts!
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Offline FrenchBlue Joy

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2014, 04:56:14 PM »
This thread has had me laughing so hard! 

I like birds better than horses or anything else in ornamental writing, quill pens coming from feathers and all that, I see a link.  They are suitably delicate little creatures.  I agree that flourished cherubs are completely disturbing! 

Maybe there ought to be more cats, through...  I was making some art-nouveau stuff lately and trying to work in a cat flourish.  (Still working on it!)

Offline ultraQuiche

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2014, 05:25:16 PM »
Flourished birds and even animals are fine with me.. it fluctuates between amazingly beautiful and plain weird. But what I really can't stand are flourished people.. all the little curls making up the people.. kinda disturbing!



'Full instructions for making these Heads'.... *shudder*

I don't like most typography drawings either. Now I'm not saying I'm a typography object savant, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone more educated in the matter could show me something in the genre that I like. In an art class I took, we had to draw things with words. I chose to draw a violin, and it  just seemed forced. The end result wasn't horrible... but I'm not comfortable with blending writing or flourishing into straight-up drawing.

Cool thread and interesting discussion, people.

Offline elsa.d

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2014, 09:59:16 AM »
Not so fitting on a wedding invitation ;D???
Depends on the wedding theme!  ::)

hilarious!

Offline Meredith S

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2014, 10:57:42 AM »
Flourished birds and even animals are fine with me.. it fluctuates between amazingly beautiful and plain weird. But what I really can't stand are flourished people.. all the little curls making up the people.. kinda disturbing!



Gaahh. That one on the bottom right. Stuff of nightmares. A creepy head holding a creepy head on a stick. There's a wedding theme for you.

Offline dailyblossoms

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2014, 10:22:14 AM »
I was not a huge fan of birds too, but then I took a Mr Sull advanced spencerian workshop...
Spencerian in all about natures and beauty that comes from nature, curve lines etc, that's why there are traditional design featuring birds, quills, achantus, etc...
After hearing Mr Sull explanation I was so in love with all that stuff... now, I don't like every bird of flourished design but understand it a little more, some seems to me like a "show off" of the penman, others are nice and delicate and really add a nice touch to the overall design.

Offline Deckard_47

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2014, 08:51:36 AM »
First, thanks Schin for posting those horrific "human" flourishes - I feel like I'm back in chemistry lab and got hydrochloric acid in my eyes...

Ironically, I just saw this thread this morning, and I happened to attempt my first bird flourish last night. A basic one, from E.A. Lupfer's book. I was surprised to find that I was able to produce something close to a decent bird by my fourth try. I think with a reasonable amount of practice I can learn to do it, and it was quite fun.

As for the "why" I think the quill thing answers that - but why should "we" keep doing it? As a historian, I think it honors the tradition and history of this style of writing. It is an expression of the origins of Spencerian - a representation of its foundation in nature. I think it's worth honoring that history, even if I might prefer some other creature or object. I'm a traditionalist in that sense, I suppose (although if you saw my record collection you would think I'm anything but...)  :)
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Offline DanielGomez

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Re: Bird flourishes (plus a confession)
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2014, 08:02:51 PM »
when michael sull visited mexico few months ago he told me that the birds on spencerian script has been made in honour to the birds because before the nibs they used to write with feathers. thats why they made birds.  ;D