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Messages - K-2

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Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Mitchell Nib Question
« on: September 15, 2019, 02:19:15 PM »
I think Jean has it exactly right about the reservoir.  I use Mitchells almost exclusively for my broad edge work (which is most of my work), because of all the broad edge nibs, they feel most like tempered feather quills to write with (I think they were designed with that goal), with the pros and cons to match.  They are quite flexible, just like quills, but not so much with the reservoir attached.  For that reason, I almost never use the reservoirs and just dip more often, like a quill.  Even without the reservoir, they hold a decent amount of ink though, so if you can't get the reservoir to work, try it without.

I also think that every nib has its favorite ink, and in my experience, Moon Palace sumi works better with them than the Kuretake or Tachekawa brands.

Introductions / Re: Hello from the Arkansas Ozarks
« on: September 14, 2019, 12:33:27 PM »
@ShawnHoefer -- There are a couple applications that I still like those Speedball inks for (and it almost doesn't matter how cheap your paper is - they almost never bleed)...  In addition to some India inks, you might like to try an iron gall ink.  It'll seem really watery, but they give the most delicate hairlines with pointed pen work.

Get some gum arabic and some dinky dips, and you'll be set up to use practically any ink your heart desires with pointed pen or broad edge.  How many inks does my heart desire?  So many inks, and Nick Stewart keeps making me want more of them:  (we were recently having a conversation about adapting fountain pen inks to use with dip pens on the "tools and supplies" thread:

I'm pretty envious of your walnut trees.  I love experimenting and making ink, but these days I live too far north for walnut trees -- about a hundred miles outside of their natural range.  And I love walnut ink.

Lots of folks on the forum use gouache for color.  Watercolors are great too, and produce a lovely delicate effect.  In my own work, I mostly use sumi ink (I make one of my own) and Japanese gansai paints for medieval-style decorated & illuminated manuscripts.

Have fun inking it up!

Introductions / Re: Hello from the Arkansas Ozarks
« on: September 13, 2019, 10:24:11 AM »
Welcome @ShawnHoefer!  I'm kind of new on the forum myself.

If you haven't done much calligraphy in the past 35 years, you should really check out some different inks.  I know we used to use those Speedball all the time, and there's still nothing wrong with it, but there are so many more inks that the internet gives us access too.  So many more colors, formulations, sheens & shimmers and other special effects.  And since you're a crafty one, I'm betting that you might be interested in making your own walnut ink sometime too.

--yours truly, K

Tools & Supplies / Re: Iron Gall Ink Degradation over time?
« on: September 11, 2019, 07:01:46 PM »
Yes! -- furthermore, that grainy sludge is the actual iron of "iron gall ink" that has precipitated out of the solution.  Some iron gall inks are effectively transparent when they're "fresh", so manufacturers like Diamine, for their Registrar's Ink, put a light blue dye in it so that you can see what you're writing, but the real dark blue-black color comes from the iron in suspension binding to the paper and then oxidizing as it's liquid holding medium evaporates.

The microscopic iron particulates are dissolved and held in suspension by the gallic acid (the gall in "iron gall ink").  When that evaporates or breathes out of your plastic bottle, since it's molecularly smaller than water, the iron will fall out of suspension and form that grainy sludge at the bottom, and all that's left is your lightly tinted grayish water.


Tools & Supplies / Re: Acidic, wood-pulp paper.
« on: September 11, 2019, 06:52:15 PM »
Chemically pulped & bleached cellulose paper (i.e. bleached wood pulp paper) is sold as "kraft paper" these days.  Butcher paper is a type of kraft paper.  So is cartridge paper.   I'm not sure it's the exact formula the old pen masters you're thinking of used though.  Wood pulp paper enters the consumer market in Europe somewhat after my academic specialty ends.  I'm supposing cartridge paper might be quite similar though.  Fully bleached kraft paper is very strong and very beautiful, and bright white.

Most of the paper that was have from say, England in the 17th-18th centuries is made of linen, sourced from old clothes.  It was very expensive, because it was a byproduct of the life-cycle of clothing, and clothes were the most expensive single item that most people owned, on account of the amount of grueling manual labor required to produce them -- from harvesting the linen (or wool or cotton in some parts of the world - like the American South) to washing, carding, spinning, weaving, and finally cutting and sewing it into garments, all by hand.  It's telling that the first thing that got industrialized in the Industrial Revolution was cloth-making, and the first "computer" run on wooden punch cards was a jacquard loom.

Before industrialization, people saved their clothes, reused, refashioned, repaired, and finally recycled them into paper, because even the rags had value.  The rag pickers bought rags and then separated the fibers out from the old clothes and sold them to paper makers to turn into paper.  The single most expensive element in the first edition of Shakespeare's First Folio (1623) was the paper.  It was so expensive that they didn't waste any on editing - they edited on the fly, so every copy is different.

This type of linen (or cotton paper) is very very durable though.  It can last for centuries, remaining soft and supple.  Wood pulp paper, on the other hand, degrades rather rapidly when exposed to light, since the acidic bleaching compounds literally digest the paper from the inside out.  It smells great thought, because as it happens, it releases volatile chemicals similar to vanillin (which makes vanilla smell good too).  Hence, that special smell in old bookstores.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Ink that changes color as it dries??
« on: September 09, 2019, 11:49:46 PM »
OH I JUST REMEMBERED!  (am I over sharing on this thread? I have so many feels about this ink)

You can get a bunch of that sheen to show up on less smooth/fancy/expensive papers (or just other papers that aren't Tomoegawa, because sometimes you need to use a different paper for a project):  Spray the heck out of the paper with a matte fixative spray.  Let it dry completely.  Spray it again, just to be sure.  Let it dry some more.

Now you can write on it, and your overpriced J.Herbin 1670 Emeraude de Chivor will do its special color changing trick.  So will any of those other inks with sheen.  And they'll all take a good long time to dry, but they will dry.  The Iroshizuku yama-budo will be a delicious royal purple, with thin gold edging around each and every letter.  The Sailor Jentle yama-dori will glint russet copper sheen on top of a dramatically shading teal, like the mountain pheasant feathers it's named after.  And the Emeraude de Chivor will shine like the color of magic.

But EdC will still probably blob up on you; and a tiny drop of it will get on your fingers, and you won't notice it, because it's a very small drop (or maybe just a tiny smear from the threads of that dinky dip).... so then you'll touch your face or something....something that you don't want teal ink on.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Ink that changes color as it dries??
« on: September 08, 2019, 07:29:39 PM »
@JanisTX I would bet folding money that those inks in that video @jeanwilson linked to are all from the J.Herbin anniversary line(s), 1670 and 1798 - that the orange-gold ink is the Cornaline d'Egypte, the brown-gold is Caroube de Chypre, and the Blue-Green-Gold-Pink is the Emeraude de Chivor.  The first video seems to be spelling out "Chivor."

Can also confirm that they work better in the pilot parallel (as in this video) - I think the calligrapher in the video is dipping, rather than drawing from a converter reservoir.  But then paper becomes even more of an ugent issue, because the Emeraude de Chivor BLEEDS and bleeds and bleeds.  Even sometimes on Clairefontaine and Rhodia paper, which don't show that gorgeous sheen & shimmer off either!  In my experience, Caroube de Chypre is a little better behaved for dip nibs (pointed and broad edged), but the shimmer clogs fountain pen nibs right up, if not in heavy use.  It's not as beautiful as the Emeraude de Chivor, but it's about as beautiful as a brown ink can be (and truly, I compulsively buy brown inks, I love brown inks so much, so I personally think brown ink can be pretty darn beautiful, and I'm saying that this is the Emperor of brown ink).

I have spent a lot of time obsessing over these inks.  The 1798 inks at least have a more sensible, slightly wider bottle neck, so you can fill a fountain pen in them; and they don't stain everything they come into even glancing contact with like EdC.  But you still need to decant them into a dinky dip (and add gum arabic) if you want to use them with dip pens.

But for those of you in Europe - they're somewhat less expensive in the Euro zone.

By the way - many of the Pilot Iroshizuku inks also have some of this sheening quality, but it's more subtle.  And there are some Diamine and Robert Oster inks that are known as sheen queens too.  The Sailor Jentle Yama-dori ink is similar to the J.Herbin Emeraude de Chivor, insofar as it's a teal ink with russet sheen, but it doesn't have the gold shimmer.  On the other hand, it's much much easier to use.  I'd share images, but they don't always photograph in ways that really show off how beautiful the sheen is.

TLDR: there's really nothing exactly like Emeraude de Chivor.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Ink that changes color as it dries??
« on: September 06, 2019, 03:38:46 PM »
Confirming that Emeraude de Chivor is an exceptionally frustrating ink to use with pointed pen.  well, with any pen, actually.  It's my favorite ink that I love to hate, and hate to love.

The unbelievably tiny bottle neck means you need to decant it into a dinky dip or something in order to use it with pretty much any pen.  It's even a pain to fill fountain pens from.  So then you don't even get to look at the beautiful, square, wax-capped bottle while you use it.

The gold shimmer falls to the bottom almost immediately after you shake it up, so if you have a magnetic stirrer, it's good to keep it going.  Otherwise, you need to shake or stir it every 3 minutes.  not exaggerating.  Less than 5 minutes for all the shimmer to fall to the bottom.

Dosing it with a rather hefty amount of gum arabic seems to help it cling to a nib better, broad edge and especially pointed.  However, finding the right amount of gum arabic to give it a little body, while also letting it slide down a pointed nib can take some trial and error. mostly error, in my experience.

It also stains everything it touches. And it's not cheap.

Fully agree with @jrvalverde that paper makes all the difference with this ink.  The gold standard for showing off the sheen & shimmer here is the 64gsm version of Tomoegawa paper.  But the regular 52gsm Tomoegawa paper does a beautiful job too -- it's thinner, so it buckles more under the ink, and if you were hoping to mat & frame a piece with EdC on it, it will never lie completely flat.  Hot press ultra-smooth watercolor paper also works for it very well.

But it's so pretty, it's hard to give up on it.  And when you finally get it to work, it is hypnotically beautiful.

Show & Tell / Re: Happy 200th Birthday Walt Whitman
« on: September 05, 2019, 12:06:58 PM »
So kind of you, Erica!  The summer away from teaching helped, and I'm back at my academic work and taking commissions again.  Most of my work is broad edge anyway.  And one can joke that maybe it knocked some sense into me.  Actually, it really knocked some of my memory clean out, but who needs to remember everything anyway, eh?

I'm terribly self-conscious about my pointed pen work though - it wasn't great to begin with, and it might never be good again, so I'm grateful that this community is so kind.  And also, that my livelihood does not depend on it.

You all can call me "K"

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Help with Logo opinions
« on: September 02, 2019, 01:06:19 PM »
Why not download the image and then manipulate it on your screen to the size you're interested in?  IRL those circles are only 1.25" in diameter, so they're not huge to begin with.  I suspect a broad edge style will scale down better than a pointed pen style on the finial of a pen cap - there's actually a lot less detail in that second image than there is in your initial idea.

Sorry the images got loaded in sideways.  I didn't realize when I posted it.

Anyway, glad I could offer a couple idea sketches.  If you'd like me to do a more finished looking sample, PM me; maybe we could do a swap.  Otherwise, I'm sure you can extrapolate on the the basic idea yourself.

--best wishes getting the design you want just right!  K

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Help with Logo opinions
« on: September 01, 2019, 05:13:09 PM »
It seems like a broad edge "T" might help solve the "it looks like F" problem?  What about something like one of these with the E in the middle of the T?

Matt & Lizt - I'm going to stand by my suggestion to get a Copperplate sampler, but given that you're both interested in exploring nibs from the perspective of the Hunt 101 and maybe you also don't want to buy 15 nibs in one go, I thought I'd give a little more detail. It also occurred to me that my last post might have been more generally encouraging than strictly practically helpful.  Mind you, I'm not as much of a copperplate expert as some folks around here, but I'm a teacher by trade, so this information is pedagogically oriented and intended to respond to your specific queries about trying something OTHER than the Hunt 101, and I'll say again: there isn't such a thing as "best" - only "better for particular context/activity/project," and there's nothing wrong with the Hunt 101 (except that I personally think it's kind of a difficult nib to learn on, because it's SO sharp and flexible, people get frustrated).

The Leonardt Principal is quite similar to the Hunt 101/Imperial (and I find that it lasts a bit longer for me than the 101/Imperial before wearing out).  If you're looking for something a little firmer, the Hunt 99 feels less fidgety, is slightly less sharp, and might help you in developing confidence, especially with hairlines & flourishing.

Two very popular "bowl-shaped" nibs, the Brause Arrow/EF66 and the Blue Pumpkin, hold a little more ink than the straight sided nibs like the Hunt 101 & Leonardt Principal, so they might give you a longer run before re-dipping (but it also might be that you're over-flexing the nib for those swells or that you haven't gotten all the factory oils off the nibs).  The Blue Pumpkin/Steno is also a little stiffer than the Hunt 101, and less sharp, so it gives less dramatic hairline to swell variation; but if you're maybe over-flexing your nib, causing it to dump its ink in a few strokes and/or railroad, then that might be a feature.  It's also a nib that helped me get more confident in my flourishing, because its very slightly rounded point doesn't catch on the paper fibers quite as readily as the really sharp ones.  The Hiro 40 with its leaf shape is also a little stiffer and less sharp.

For another extremely popular, and stiffer, option, you might try the Nikko or Zebra G nib.  They are sharp (seriously, I accidentally stabbed myself with one and got a tiny tattoo from it this week), but the stiffness gives you more control.  Work at getting all the oils off, or they won't hold onto the ink.  I use them with sumi ink to correct and add details to broad edge calligraphy, and can say that they can hold a very good amount of ink, if that's the priority for you.

If you want things MORE sharp, try the Gillott 303 or 404.  They're smaller, so they hold less ink, and don't produce swells quite as wide, but you get the most delicate hairlines.  It's very easy to snag them on a paper fiber though, so I'd say, at first, only use them on the smoothest paper.

I hope this is more like the practical perspective you were looking for!
--yours, K

Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Hilarious Ink Spill Question
« on: July 28, 2019, 06:58:32 PM »
Oh, thank you so much for the encouragement, Jean!  I'm going to try re-treating the rug (and maybe the clothes).  I shouldn't have scrubbed, I guess, since it messes up the nap.

Alas, my spouse just tried to slap & pick my tiny new tattoo off of me, thinking it might be a deer tick.  :o  I don't think it's going to come off with salt water.  oh well.

Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Hilarious Ink Spill Question
« on: July 27, 2019, 09:21:09 AM »
Thanks, Jean!  Because of an earlier post you had written about using Clorox II to get ink out of clothes, I was able to get most of the ink out -- I scrubbed at it, blotted, massaged the carpet fibers and kind of messed up the pile of the carpet in that spot.  I have two kids; it's not the first time I've clean an unspeakable stain out of a rug (just not the nice new one).  But thanks to you, it doesn't look like a horrible ink spill anymore - you can tell something happened there; it just has a sort of blotchiness.  I think it did take out some of the color of the rug, while not getting quite all the ink out.  I worked at it for several hours before I had to leave for an event.  Do you think there are any other measures I could take?

The Clorox II worked better on my clothes - some of which were white, however, and those still show a shadow where the ink was, but I guess that's what I get for wearing white.

Frankly I'm more disturbed by my new tattoo than the other ink.

Thanks again for the Clorox II tip! I really appreciated being able to find it on the forum when I most needed it!
--yours, K

Coffee & Nib-bles / Hilarious Ink Spill Question
« on: July 27, 2019, 12:44:53 AM »
I just wanted to share about my terrible no good very bad ink spill, which I feel this forum can empathize with.

Today I managed to spill most of a bottle of Iroshizuku take-sumi ink on my relatively new clothes and onto a relatively new wool area rug, simultaneously ruining three not cheap things.  The ink stain on the rug is several orders of magnitude more horrifying, of course, but my spouse has offered me no recriminations at all.  And thanks to this forum, I had some guidance to removing the worst of it.

"Yes, yes," you're saying, "K, we have all spilled a bunch of ink on ourselves and ruined things! It's not so bad!  You can replace ink & clean the clothes & rug."  And I agree that it is not the end of the world... (although it is probably why I can't have nice things, and I definitely can't afford to buy another rug)

BUT the hilarious part is that while scrambling to clean things up, I managed to stab myself with an ink-covered G-nib that I had been using to fine tune some work, so now I have a TINY TATTOO.  I have bathed, and scrubbed, and gotten all the other ink off of my legs, feet, arms, hands, etc (not the clothes or the rug, alas).  But the dot seems to be permanently and clearly dotted under my skin.

So Serious Question: Has anyone else ever accidentally stabbed themselves with a pointed nib and inadvertently given themselves a tiny tattoo?  Truly, I have been doing calligraphy for a long time, and spilled a lot of ink, but I have never tattooed myself before.  Is this common, and I've just been lucky until now?  And follow up question: Has anyone gotten rid of a self-inflicted accidental tattoo?  Any advice on this?

I guess I should be glad that it was black ink and not some other color, so it only looks like a tiny, very precise mole, and not like I changed my mind about body art at an awkward juncture.  And at least the project I was working on came through unscathed, so maybe it wasn't so bad after all.

--thank you for any tattoo removal advice, K

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