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Messages - Erica McPhee

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Those Majuscules! Swoon!!!  :-*

Tools & Supplies / Re: Oblique Holder for Business Writing?
« on: March 04, 2021, 10:14:07 PM »
@lyric Give it a go! It takes a bit to get used to it but it is all I use now!  ;D

Thanks @AAAndrew ! Fascinating information!

@Trazo The only ones I know who do business writing are Michael Sull and Michael Ward and both use an oblique.

Introductions / Re: introduction
« on: March 03, 2021, 05:51:13 PM »
Hi Rick!
Copperplate is definitely tricky being a lefty. But I am sure you can do it once you determine the best approach that works for you. As you probably already are aware, there are several different approaches you can take. Some hook their hand, some write from the bottom up, and others work with their paper at an extreme tilt.

I like John DeCollibus's approach. He uses an oblique holder.

This whole board has: Tips for Lefties.

This was a great topic: Using an Oblique for lefties.

And this great video from John DeCollibus with Tips for Left Handers

Hope that is helpful! We have quite a few lefties on the forum.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Gold ink/gouache/paint
« on: March 03, 2021, 12:13:48 PM »
Oh that is very cool! Thank you for the tip!

Tools & Supplies / Re: Oblique Holder for Business Writing?
« on: March 03, 2021, 12:08:53 PM »
Great observation @Trazo . I have separated this into its own topic so as not to hijack the other thread. And because I find it such an interesting question!

I have seen several mentions of the oblique holder recommended for business writing in the old texts. There is also a distinction made between business and ornamental writing and using an oblique.

In his 1884 guide, Gaskell called the oblique, “the best in use for ordinary [business] writing” but unfit for flourishing because the pen is reversed.

Daniel T. Ames (of Ames Compendium) mentions the preference for an oblique holder [in reference to business writing] in the Penman’s Art Journal, 1881: “The advantage is in the fact that with a straight pen or holder, it is necessary to turn the hand toward the body beyond what is natural in order that the nib of the pen may squarely face the paper and each rest under equal pressure which is necessary for perfectly smooth lines, which difficulty an oblique pen or holder obviates by changing the angle of the pen points instead of forcing the hand into difficult or unnatural positions.”

Rene Guillard, who developed “penmanship fever” after seeing Bloser’s fine work, mentions in his lessons for Ornamental Penmanship, that you must have the best materials for your work, including an oblique pen holder, properly adjusted. He then goes on to describe the pen hold as the same for business writing.

What is interesting though is that Palmer says in his book (1915) to never use an oblique holder for business writing as it is “out of place and of no advantage.” He further writes, “Nothing beats an oblique for ornamental writing, but there its utility ends.” So it is curious that Palmer & Co would be advertising an oblique holder, especially for business writing.

Oblique pen holders really came into use after about 1860. (Oblique nibs however were in use prior to 1800). Ornamental writing became more popular around 1870. It’s peculiar to me that an oblique would be recommended for Ornamental but not business writing when the slant is the same. While ornamental has significant shading, the pressure is still placed on a straight pen nib during business writing. The oblique alleviates that stress. Perhaps some of the resistance was refusal to change set ways?

I agree with Jean, I always use an oblique for the same reasons.

I think Aristotle must have been a calligrapher.  ;D  Beautiful work as always Ken!

This is a great question. Many students of calligraphy never make it past practicing letters over and over. But where you make the best progress is when you start creating things. Make a few birthday cards or some sympathy cards to keep on hand. Write a few quotes. Start jumping in to learning the composition part - see how letters, words, and sentences work together in a piece. This is why you learn calligraphy right?

There are a couple of great books that have calligraphy projects. But Instagram and Pinterest are free and FULL of inspiration. The only way to make progress from here is to pull it altogether and start creating.

I like these books (affiliate links):


Tools & Supplies / Re: Gillott Principality clone nibs
« on: March 01, 2021, 04:48:49 PM »
Oh I am in love with how he wrote, "Dear Platz" !!!!  :-*

Open Flourish | General Discussion / The Calligraphy Podcast
« on: March 01, 2021, 01:06:35 PM »
Just wanted to remind everyone about this great Calligraphy Podcast!   :-*

My interview/episode here: The Flourish Forum

Tools & Supplies / Re: Gold ink/gouache/paint
« on: March 01, 2021, 12:58:49 PM »
I second the Finetec watercolor pans. I use them almost exclusively for gold. Great idea @Inked botanicals;D

Tools & Supplies / Re: Favorite Practice Paper
« on: February 27, 2021, 06:59:50 PM »
So interesting to see different kinds of paper available all over @callmanishsoni .

In the US, Walmart is carrying a new printer called Pen + Gear, super premium bright 97, 28 lbs. It isn’t as nice as the HP but it does take the pen ok. Sometimes (not always) there is a very faint feather to the ink which may be depending upon which side used. But so far it has worked well as a practice paper. It has a good tooth to it.

But I have turned more and more to pads of Rhodia. Love that paper for practice.

Everyday Handwriting | Penmanship / Re: Your current writing specimen
« on: February 27, 2021, 05:08:20 PM »
@Cyril Jayant  - Beautiful flow!

Tools & Supplies / Re: Gillott Principality clone nibs
« on: February 27, 2021, 12:15:45 PM »
This is fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing. I did not realize the Vintage Hunt 101s were so rare.  :)

Tools & Supplies / Re: Vintage nib prices on ebay
« on: February 27, 2021, 11:41:34 AM »
Oh OK! Thank you! I do not think anyone is doing that.  ;D

I am still hearing from friends and family who are receiving my Christmas cards now (third week of February). And I know some of my Valentines have still not arrived (like the one I mailed to my husband who lives in the same house as me!). The US mail has been extremely backed up ever since the holidays but seem to be working through it. I had three cards returned to me that were written in very clear Engrosser's Script with no flourishing. All three had the correct address. Just said undeliverable.

A friend had a card sent to me returned to her and it had two stickies over it. The first one had my correct forwarding address on it. The second one said, "Return to Sender; Insufficient Address; Unable to Forward." For no apparent reason. She put it in a new envelope and mailed it again with the new address and it was finally delivered.  (See photo.)  :-\

Given that, I am trying to be conscientious about not making the postal workers' jobs even harder by trying to decipher addresses through all my flourishes.  ;D So I put my Valentine exchanges inside a clear envelope with a white piece of paper over the top with a text printed address on it. It's not as exciting to receive but at least it gets there! (See photos of my Valentine exchange below.)

Schin Loong suggests using a craft blade to cut out a rectangle over the stamp area and put the stamp on the original envelope. This way there is a postmark on the envelope itself instead of the clear one. Either way, so far folks are receiving them.

Clear Bags (Envelopes) is having a 10% off sale right now using "SAVINGS" as the code. I plan to stock up.

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