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Messages - Estefa

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Letter Pixels / Re: blurry lettering
« on: October 13, 2018, 05:10:17 AM »
Did you watch the icon in Photoshop at 100%? Because if you look at it enlarged on a big screen, of course it looks blurry. There isn't much information to fit in a 180 to 180 pixel pic. I find that reducing lettering so much usually doesn't work very well, because you loose so much data. Try designing for such a small space – a simple letter or a monogram works better than a complex page 😉.

Digital Design / Download all your Instagram data
« on: October 12, 2018, 02:37:33 AM »
That's probably old news for many of you, but I found it very useful – not that I'm planning to leave IG, but I thinks it's useful to have a copy of all my stuff there. You just have to go to the settings, select privacy & security and can request there a copy of your data. They will send you an e-mail with a link to the download (which can take up to 48 hours).

For anyone interested in medieval illumination and gilding, this article by Patricia Lovett is hopefully interesting – she does not only outline the separate steps of copying an illuminated page from a psalter, but also how long each part of the work took her! You can click on each picture and study in very high resolution how she completed each stage of the process.

Copperplate, Engrosser's Script, Roundhand Calligraphy / Re: Capitals
« on: September 10, 2018, 01:01:09 AM »
I like the classical explanations by Jenkins in »The Art of Writing«! You should find it in the Rare Books section on the IAMPETH website.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Raised Gilding on Vellum
« on: September 07, 2018, 05:12:58 PM »
First thing, Binyamin – I would very much like see pictures of your projects!

I am really not that experienced but from what I read and heard I think the sugar really could help. Do you know this book by Patricia Lovett?

She explains the whole process very, very extensively and I think she said that you could also use honey instead of sugar.

About the lead white or titanium white: I don't know enough about the chemistry involved about the differences. But I also read that lead white is superior, so maybe that is because titanium is more brittle. If you have the time and energy … sure, why not try another white pigment? I'd be interested in your findings :). – And I agree, if you read from the finished book before a meal, maybe lead is not such a great idea …

Regarding your thoughts about the vellum – I also read in Patricia's book that the finest illuminated manuscripts were written on that super fine vellum (don't remember how it's called), and they often used gilding especially in the most precious books in medieaval times. But then again books of hours for example were often very small … it seems like there is a lot of experimenting to do for you! But I think that generally vellum is much less cockling than paper …

Thin lines: I think that usually thin lines were rather painted with shell gold than done with raised gilding – so probably miniatum (minatum ink is even possible to write directly with a dip nib) is the better solution, if you don't want to use shell gold.

Sorry I can't say anything more specific or sure!! Good success again!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Raised Gilding on Vellum
« on: September 05, 2018, 09:16:50 AM »
Like Sue, I am not familiar with the ready made gesso you used, but I second her opinion that the binders / sizes used in an acrylic, sythetic base are so different from those in the traditional gesso, that I would not mix them. The mix might react or behave strangely after weeks or months, and that would be sad for all the work you'd put in it! 

I took part in a workshop about traditional gilding with Peter Thornton two years ago. We made the gesso ourselves. I still have the test sheets – the gesso is in fact not as flexible as Miniatum, but on a 300g paper it still sits nicely and uncracked. I kept it of course in a folder all the time, but when I bend the paper a bit, the gesso stays intact.

I checked the gesso you used and it seems it contains more or less what we used to make it. Which was:

Chalk, titanium white, white candy sugar, rabbit glue plus a tad armenian bole for color.

The gesso you used doesn't contain sugar candy – but according to Peter that is used for its hygroscopic properties (to help the gesso get a bit wet when you blow on it, – adding that could help that the gold sticks better). You need to crush the candy sugar and grind it (best on a glass palette, or in a clean mortar). You only need very little of the sugar (about 1/12 of the whole mix).

Peter told us that it's the titanium white which helps for pliability. So maybe you want to add a bit more of that to the mix – it's hard to say when I don't know the ratio of the materials originally used in your gesso.

Traditionally of course white lead was used instead of titanium white. It seems, if you listen to people who used to work with it, to be much superior to titanium white. Sadly it's highly toxic, and in many countries you can't even buy it if you're not a certified restaurator or such. I also wouldn't advice it without proper training by someone who knows how to handle it!

Regarding Miniatum: you actually can polish it – just not with an agate burnisher. You just use a soft cotton cloth, it gets a real nice shine. But I agree it's somehow »not the real thing«! It sticks quite well to paper in my experience, I did not have that happen that you can loose it with a nail – maybe it behaves different on vellum. Maybe if it's still a bit fat on the surface …?

I hope some of that is of interest to you! It sounds like wonderful projects. Good luck!

Tools & Supplies / Re: Handmade Paper
« on: August 04, 2018, 09:06:52 AM »
I think Khadi papers are based in India 😉! I like them too btw.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Supplies for Workshops
« on: June 28, 2018, 02:58:38 AM »
Congrats to giving your first workshop! Here is a section of the forum which you may find useful.

If you're n the UK – Blotspens offers discounts for teachers. After I first orderered there a bunch of holders and nibs, they offered it to me (after asking if I was teaching). Maybe you can ask them in advance, if you're going to make a »group oder«.

Have fun!

I was wondering about the long s and its use in English too (which looks even more confusing to me than in German  ;D). Thanks for the article, it's bookmarked!

I also was under the impression that there are no fix rules. For example in the Universam Penman on page 91, there is a paragraph where »Understandings«, »Apprehension«, »must«, »understood«, »us'd« is written thus, whereas »thoſe« and »Senſe« have the long ſ.

So is one rule that st always has the short s …?

Tools & Supplies / Re: Gilding – which size do you use and why?
« on: June 26, 2018, 04:44:07 AM »
I think the problem with Instacoll is that it works after a day or so only with an activator (other than real gesso, which can be activated with the blowing method, I learnt that also from Peter Thornton).

While I also learnt that you can fold back the edges on the already sticking gold, that will only work if you have already gold there.

So if the problem is as I understand, that the gold rubbed off and the Instacoll layer is bare, I think only he activator could help :/. But it can't hurt to try and put some more gold on it.

But DON'T use an agate burnisher with Instacoll. It will do no good – it just doesn't work with it. I am no expert regarding traditional gilding, but I've read the instructions about Instacoll from the manufacturer meticulously and they say so. Only use soft cotton, and don't rub – only apply pressure from above. An agate burnisher will only rub off the gold from the acrylic size (happened to me already).

Calligraphy Book Reviews / Re: The Art of Writing by John Jenkins
« on: June 16, 2018, 03:28:32 PM »
I realise this is a very old thread, but as the book @Ken Fraser kindly brought to our intention here is as old that it does not go out of fashion, I thought I'd post my questions here.

I tried to read a big portion of the text, as I am really interested in how writing of English Roundhand was taught back then. According to this text (over which I only skimmed), it was quite revolutionary in that Jenkins recommends learning the script by first analyzing and practicing the seperate strokes (as we are quite used to today when we try to learn Copperplate) as opposed to just copying texts.

I wonder if that is really true? Does anyone know something about that? I am curious because in some much earlier German writing manuals about Fraktur and German Kurrent, they also teach the »Zerstreuung« (dispersal, or fragmentaion) of the parts of which the letters are constructed. But it is true that in the Universal Penman and also in another, much smaller volume by Bickham (»Penmanship made easy«), we can only find some very short descriptions about how to cut pens, and how to write more generally, and nothing about basic strokes, or principals, or whatever.

The other thing I wonder about is if he used a broad or a pointed quill. The description of the quill cutting (the book was written before the invention of steel pens, the first issue appeared in 1791) is a bit confusing for me. Bickham still explains how to cut the quill »the breadth of the full stroke«, whereas Jenkins already writes about »Cut down the shoulders neatly to a point«, but then »cut off the point to form the nib«. Then »Both slit and nib must be in proportion to the size of the copy hand, which you mean to write«. Very confusing, especially because he also writes about »pressure and rise« of the pen, which sounds to me like »pressure and release«. He also talks about swell strokes on o, c and e (sounds like a flexible nib to me), but he says that »the hairline is drawn with the right corner of the pen« – which sounds like what you do with a broad nib.

I know that a quill is less stiff than a modern broad steel nib. So does he use a broad quill, that is still pressed a bit to flex it, or does he just use the breadth of the pen to make the body stroke …?

I am curious to hear if anyone has an idea or opinion about this.

Spencerian Script / Re: Can you help me find my favorite nib?
« on: May 14, 2018, 02:21:52 AM »
You can buy it from here, @InkedPaws ! Is it the one you're looking for? You should see a pic if you click on the name of the nib. It costs 2,20 € (around 2,60 $) which makes it a bit more expensive than the L. Principal, but in my experience most vintage nib last quite a bit ;). Depending on what you do with them of course ;D.

My complaint is that I find the focus of the photos posted are often now more about looking pretty than emphasizing the actual work. I assume this is a marketing strategy to draw in followers. And I get that, but I get frustrated because I don’t care about the pretty surrounding the calligraphy. I want to see pretty calligraphy!
I know what you mean, @Starlee ! I try to post pics that really show my writing, but still are good pictures in themselves … as someone who finds fotography hard, that's not easy  ;) … but pics that are more about ribbons and flowers might be nice to look at, but it's sometimes hard to get a real look at the actual writing!

I think I've exhausted the internet as a resource because  Google controls our searches too much, and spits out what it thinks we want. The search results are not unbiased, nor are they complete. I really dislike that about internet.
I must say that I still find lots of useful information. Especially if I think back to when I started having an interest in pointed pen calligraphy and there was just practically nothing at all! Not in my local library, not in my book store, and also not on the internet. There are so many digitized historical alphabets out there, I feel more overwhelmed by the amount there is that I think I cannot learn and study all that in my lifetime!

Thanks first to everybody who contributed already to this thread :)! I try to answer to some of your points …

I have maintained a really finely curated feed of calligraphers, lettering artists and few more, and I've actively chosen to follow those people - now why am I not seeing those in my feed?!
That's really strange. I still do see posts from people I follow.

That's infuriating IMO. Instead I get 'suggested posts' from people I don't follow to clutter my feed.
Yes, these I get too. Horribly annoying.

I would go so far as to being willing to buy chronological feed as a subscription, as long as it gives me everything.
Totally agree with that! Also I would pay not to get ads. They started creeping into my feed only some days ago  >:(

In regards to stories, as I said one can totally just ignore those, I check them occationally. What is really positive with stories though is that I follow several highly qualified calligraphers and they actually do live sessions with practice or explain inks or whatnot. A wealth of info.
The annoying thing for me is that I can't ignore them – I also get these pics in my feed »Suggested stories« or like that. I must admit I rarely check them, even if there might be something valuable from time to time … I even post some from time to time – usually stuff that hasn't anything to do with calligraphy  ;D

And... I see an ad every 7 posts!!!!!
As I said, that started some days ago. I also hate it. I understand their business model – but still I'd prefer to pay for the service in order not to get ads. Also I wonder why it took so long until I started getting ads.

And ... my phone spies on me and the ads are ALWAYS something I have just been talking about (way too specific to be random). And FB/Insta should know, I used to click on the ads on Insta all the time because there were some neat things. (Have never clicked one on FB.) Now I refuse to click on one out of spite. LOL!  ;D
That (and what you wrote later in more detail about the spying is really, really creepy, @Erica McPhee ! Have you tried what happens if you turn off your microphone for the specific apps? Or if you keep the phone in another room … do these subjects then don't pop up in your feed? I must admit I did some reading regarding that subject – I have kids that will probably use some day social media and I want to know exactly what to expect. Here's one of many articles regarding that subject. (I also have the »selfie« camera on my phone taped over since ages, probably also a bit paranoid …)

It's getting really old. I'm sad about it, too, because I LOVED Insta. But it's annoying to have to search everyone's names to see most recent posts.
Then we're getting old together  ;D!

The old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" should have been followed there.
Totally agree there!

Regarding the searching, I switched to Duck, Duck Go for that very reason.
Yes me too … works just fine, as far as I can tell!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: Thank you
« on: May 12, 2018, 04:29:27 AM »
I also just can say Thank you, @Erica McPhee ! This forum is a wonderful place for exchange and knowledge – I always recommend it to people who just start out with calligraphy :)! Sending you lots of grateful thoughts!!

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