Author Topic: Posture and Ergonomics  (Read 14198 times)

Offline tomcalligraphy

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2015, 06:54:00 PM »
Heebs does nice work. Are these designed for the traditional hold? I was surprised when I saw Jake Weidmann using one of his ergonomic holders in a video and realised that it was for the modern grip. Still, I guess the modern grip can benefit from an ergonomic holder too.

Jake supposedly designed his holder based on the study of Master's grips like Courtney's. I have one but it doesn't fit my bigger hand, so it isn't as one size fits all like he says.

Heebs and Connie design theirs to each person's hand which gives a better feel. I have both and I love them.

Offline andy277

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2015, 06:23:03 PM »
Jake supposedly designed his holder based on the study of Master's grips like Courtney's.

Yes, I saw that on his website but as far as I can see itís all just OTT marketing. I mean, he posts all these shots from Joe Vitoloís site and old penmanship books showing the masters holding their pens and writes a lot about how great this pen is and how itís a link between the masters and today, then he has a video showing him using it in the modern grip (ie, nothing like the holds shown in the pictures). Some of the comments rub me up the wrong way too, where he essentially runs down everybody elseís pens and makes out his is the be-all and end-all, and all for only $350. And what does ĎThe dynamic ergonomic shape is derived from the stuff of legend as it dynamically emulates the grip of celebrated mastersí actually mean?

Nice to read good feedback on Heebsís work. Iím not familiar with Connieís. Do you have a link and can you post a picture of your holders? After getting my Strahms, I find it hard to go back to the PIA Hourglass, which until now was my favourite. I am considering getting a Skeels or Gmeiner replica by Christopher Yoke in the future, though. The Magnusson-style holders with lots of accent rings get all the attention but the ergonomic ones are, I think, the better holders.

Offline tomcalligraphy

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2015, 09:12:03 PM »
Jake supposedly designed his holder based on the study of Master's grips like Courtney's.

Yes, I saw that on his website but as far as I can see itís all just OTT marketing. I mean, he posts all these shots from Joe Vitoloís site and old penmanship books showing the masters holding their pens and writes a lot about how great this pen is and how itís a link between the masters and today, then he has a video showing him using it in the modern grip (ie, nothing like the holds shown in the pictures). Some of the comments rub me up the wrong way too, where he essentially runs down everybody elseís pens and makes out his is the be-all and end-all, and all for only $350. And what does ĎThe dynamic ergonomic shape is derived from the stuff of legend as it dynamically emulates the grip of celebrated mastersí actually mean?

Nice to read good feedback on Heebsís work. Iím not familiar with Connieís. Do you have a link and can you post a picture of your holders? After getting my Strahms, I find it hard to go back to the PIA Hourglass, which until now was my favourite. I am considering getting a Skeels or Gmeiner replica by Christopher Yoke in the future, though. The Magnusson-style holders with lots of accent rings get all the attention but the ergonomic ones are, I think, the better holders.

I mean if you want a no frills kind of holder for the most part, ergonomic ones really are the best. Not always the prettiest looking.

I do prefer Connie's slightly more as it's closer to the flange than heeb's in terms of grip, so my thumb rest pretty much on top of the flange where as heeb's is similarly styled to a Gmeiner. I also like the finger dip it has for the index finger. I believe her holder was modeled after her mentor's William Lilly's natural grip one.

I'll upload a photo when I get a chance, but I guess you can go to her website connie-chen.com to check them out for now.

The Skeel's holder has been intriguing me. I always thought it was like the Strahm holder until Chris uploaded his video about ergonomic holders and lo and behold it has a thumb indentation.

Offline ExtrasbyAlaina

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2015, 08:04:41 AM »
Going back to Elaina's suggestion of the BackJoy - does anyone have any great adjustable chair recommendations? My husband has bought office chairs from Staples and is never happy - but the fantastically amazing ergo chairs are always super expensive! Where to look? Any brands or stores that stand out?

Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2015, 12:56:40 PM »
I have a Herman Miller Aeron chair. They usually run 40-45% off sales a couple times a year. You can also find them used. Larger cities usually have businesses that specialize in used office furniture. Sometimes larger office furniture stores (not the big box stores) have a warehouse with great used furniture. I don't think Staples, etc carries Herman Miller. Yes, $500 is a lot for a chair, but, taking good care of your body is a wise investment. The chair will last a lifetime if you take care of it. I imagine it qualifies as a business expense....but check that out with someone who knows for sure.

Offline ExtrasbyAlaina

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2015, 09:48:33 PM »
Thank you, Jean! Appreciate the advice, I'll look into this!

Offline Jamie

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2015, 03:29:12 PM »
I have a question, and I think this is the right place for it. I know that there is the 'traditional grip' advocated for use with a dip pen.

However is this grip effective when using a brush to letter? Or do you all use a different grip? (Hoping there is at least one person who practices both brush lettering and the traditional grip who can answer this. )

Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2015, 07:52:28 PM »
IMHO, how you hold a brush for brush lettering depends on what style of lettering you are doing. There are sooooooooo many different styles of brush lettering. If I am doing something that follows the general form of copperplate, then, yes, my grip would be more traditional. But, with other styles - you get into a lot of *pen manipulation* or in this case, brush manipulation - where you change the grip depending on which strokes you are on.

The size you are writing would also influence how you held the brush. You can write much larger with brushes, so you might use whole arm movement. I think using whole arm movement might keep your grip in a more traditional orientation. For me, spending some time on brush lettering was a real help to all the other styles. It is another technique that helps you unlearn all your bad penmanship quirks.

So, to answer the question. Yes, I think the traditional grip is effective with brush lettering. But, it is not the only grip. I feel that way about using different grips with nibs, too. It's nice to be flexible and be able to try different combinations.

Offline Jamie

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2015, 08:15:45 PM »
Thanks Jean, that was exactly what I needed to know. :)

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2015, 04:43:39 PM »
There have been several threads regarding proper posture and ergonomics and Jean made a great suggestion of creating a thread to discuss it that would be easily accessible. So please feel free to share any tips you have on proper posture and correct ergonomics to avoid injuries.  :)

This quote is in the hand of calligrapher, Tom Gourdie from "Handwriting for Today".

Admittedly, he was probably referring to Italic writing as, to the best of my knowledge,  he didn't write flexible nib scripts. Nonetheless, it's an interesting statement, bearing in mind his revered reputation as an Italicist.

Incidentally, if you are interested in Italic Handwriting, then this book, written entirely in Italic, is well worth searching for.


Offline garyn

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2015, 03:39:40 PM »
Here are some random thoughts on chairs:
- I like a steno/secretary style chair, one without arm rests.  I found that the arm rest get in they way of positioning the chair best for writing.  And this includes many of the newer short armrest chairs.
- Ideally, you want the chair and table to be adjustable in height.  Otherwise you end up with a situation like Elaina where you need something under your feet, as you do not want your feet dangling in the air.  I used to use old phone books under my feet   :-)   
- A gas piston for height adjustment can be critical.  The old screw adjustment is OK,  adjust once and leave it alone.  But screws are impractical, if you have to change heights often like I do; one height for writing, another height for eating.  My kitchen table chair is a steno chair, as I write at the kitchen table.
- As for the HM Aeron, they have 3 pan sizes, to accommodate different thigh lengths.  For me, with a short thigh, the pan length is critical, too deep and the front of the pan pushes into the back of my calf cutting off blood flow to my feet, and just plain uncomfortable to sit in.
- Adjusting the tilt of the seat pan helps for some people.  It simulates sitting on the front edge of the seat, as Elizabeth said.  But this adjustment on some chairs is a PiA.  My home office chair is an EXPENSIVE ergo chair, but the pan tilt is so difficult to use, that once adjusted I don't change it.  And some chairs do not have this adjustment.
- I HIGHLY recommend a chair with at least 5 arms on the pedistal.  It is more stable than a 4 arm pedistal.  And even many of the lower priced chairs now have 5 arm pedistals.
- Match the casters to your floor; soft surface/carpet = hard caster, hard surface/wood/chair mat = soft rubber caster.   Hard floor and hard caster = a chair that moves too easily, and could roll out from under you before you sit, causing you to fall onto the floor and injure yourself (seen that happen once too many times).
- When you go into the store to try a chair, do it at one of their desks.  It is quite different to just sit in a chair, vs. sitting in a chair in the position of doing work/writing.  The difference in position and posture makes a difference, a chair that feels good to sit in may not feel good to work in.  When I sit, I use the backrest; when I am working/writing, I sit upright and forward and do not use the backrest.
- The backrest of some so called ergo chairs can be PAINFUL.  It is how the backrest fits to YOUR back.  Example, I have a lower bad back, and chairs with a pronounced lumbar curves HURT my back, I need a chair with little to no lumbar curve.
- If you get a chair with armrest, get one that has adjustable height arm rests.  If the armrest is the wrong height, it can do more harm then no armrest at all.  I have a chair that I had to raise the arm rest with pieces of wood, to get the arm rest to the proper height, for ME.
- Finally, most furniture salesmen and many so called ergo consultants do not know what they are really talking about.  They learn one thing from going to a short class, and that is it, and now they are "experts."  I've had many of those so called ergro consultants constantly recommending chairs with a pronounced lumbar curve to me, when I know from experience that those chairs end up hurting my back.  But no, they insist that I need a chair with a lumbar curve, because that is what they learned.
Gary

Offline ExtrasbyAlaina

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2015, 10:32:13 PM »
That is amazing Gary! Thank you so so much!

Offline MonicaA

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2015, 11:16:29 PM »
That video  on the first page posted worked wonders for me. Sitting at the right height opened up the space to actually move my arm. My flourishes went from jagged and pointy to smooth and flowing. Thanks for posting!
Monica

Offline Mudman

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2016, 09:37:35 PM »
I really need to work on mines. I start out proper, but usually end up leaning right over my work and end up with a sore neck/back.

Offline Tasmith

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Re: Posture and Ergonomics
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2016, 03:46:55 PM »
I tend to cross my ankles when sitting.  I have to remind myself not to do this and to make sure my feet flat on the floor when I do calligraphy.  My writing suffers when I change the position of my feet from flat on the floor to crossed.  I'm guessing that my body isn't as stable as when my feet are flat on the floor.