Author Topic: oblique vs straight holders  (Read 20554 times)

Offline ErikH

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2014, 11:56:43 AM »
Same here - for me it just feels weird to use (although maybe I should have kept at it for more than 10 minutes...).

Perhaps one day I'll try again with more dedication, but for now I'll stick to my straight holders, both for flourishing and for writing :)

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2014, 01:17:20 PM »
I feel it is one of those "start as you mean to go on" things. Once you become comfortable with the straight holder, you most likely won't switch over. Some do, but it is like learning all over again.  ;)
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Offline Linda Y.

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2014, 01:35:18 PM »
It's so interesting to read everyone's preferences! I learned with an oblique, and so when I switch to straight (which I rarely do), my hand starts to hurt after a few lines. With an oblique, I can write for hours!

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2014, 01:53:20 PM »
LOL! My lettering looks like a 3rd grader's with a straight holder.  ;D
Truly, Erica
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Offline AndyT

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2014, 12:09:28 PM »
An oblique holder was a revelation to me - suddenly those low capital stem shades I'd been struggling with started making themselves.  Apparently some people maintain that they're only appropriate for Spencerian and Ornamental Penmanship, as opposed to copperplate, though why that should be escapes me entirely.

Offline FrenchBlue Joy

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2014, 07:59:09 AM »
Do you mean the swelling point on the stem which is near to the baseline, like in the Spencerian D?  It's true, it's higher up the stem in Copperplate /engrossers, and is supposed to thin out again before it reaches the baseline.  Nothing to stop you mixing and matching different styles, though!

Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2014, 09:30:37 AM »
Whatever works best for you - is best. How it appears on the paper is ulimately all that matters.
However, for what it's worth, here's my own opinion on the matter.

Flexible nibs work best with the nib set at a fairly low nib-to-paper angle. This avoids the nib catching on the paper with fine, upwards hairlines. The plastic oblique holders with the fixed flange position are less user-friendly than those with an adjustable metal flange which can be modified to suit the individual. Having said that, the plastic holder is perfectly OK if the fixed set of the flange suits your hand.

I use the classic "tripod" (triangular) pen hold for all styles of Script. With this hold, the flange on an oblique holder sets the desired, low nib-to-paper angle for Spencerian and Copperplate.

When writing with a flat, edged nib (Italic, Gothic etc.) I use a straight penholder. With the same tripod hold, the nib-to paper angle is about 45 degrees. I believe that this angle produces the best results with most rigid nibs.
 
I avoid using a straight penholder for Spencerian and Copperplate as I would have to use a different penhold  for even flexed strokes and to lower the pen-to-paper angle. I prefer the consistency of using the same tripod hold for everything. The shaft of the holder is positioned on, or close to, the large knuckle of the first finger - not down in the webbing between thumb and finger. The fingers are fairly extended with the hand relaxed.

I find that the fewer the variables, the better the quality of my writing.

None of this is carved in stone, of course and every opinion is equally valid.

AndyT : The oblique holder works equally well for Spencerian and Copperplate.

I'll post a couple of photos of the penhold for clarity.

Ken
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 09:34:55 AM by Ken Fraser »

Offline AndyT

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2014, 09:46:58 AM »
Hello FrenchBlue Joy, yes that's just what I mean.  I have my doubts whether I've got the hang of the attachments system here yet, but all being well there ought to be a nice little swirlicue by C P Zaner accompanying this by way of illustration.  Also, I now remember that it was Paul Antonio (no mean penman in either style) who voiced reservations about oblique holders for copperplate in one of his seminar videos on Vimeo, but I still don't understand his reasoning.

Offline Brad franklin

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2014, 11:19:22 PM »
I hate to beat a dead horse here but I want to bring up some points. I still am not conformable with a oblique holder after 7-8 months what ever it is. It just feels unnatural in my hands. So here are my point please note none of these opinions or facts are mine. I got them off from Wikipedia and Paul Antonio's Copperplate class. If you do not know Paul is a Master Scribe in London who is a very successful calligrapher. here are the point (from wiki. or Mr. Antonio)
copperplate was created in around
 1604 by Lucius Mataro (sp)
dipped steel pens where not created till 1803 with a possible letter mentioning a steel pen in 1724-1726.
 So obvious they used quills before the steel pen was invented (this is what I assume may be wrong) quills are not oblique so how did they write Copperplate with them?

Paul concern with oblique holder are as follows: The way you have to hold the nib flatter to the paper the tines open more easier, which is good for Spencerian
which is why you will fond him using a oblique holder for Spencerian only.
Also the tines do not snap back as readily and requires more control with the oblique holder. Plus you move along alot faster and as you write since you are pushing the script in another direction the angle might change from 55 degrees to 60 if not careful. And you can not do the proper T and Q without having to move the paper or holder the holder sideways. There is a video accompanying all of this which he said.

So to rap it up I am sorry if it is long winded, I have ask IAMPETH and they told me to use the oblique in ALL pointed pen. If I took a lessen from Paul he would want me to use the straight holder, which is more comfortable to me. What do you my fellow peers think or your opinion?

 

 

Offline AndyT

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2014, 05:17:31 AM »
Brad, no-one can say that you haven't given the oblique holder a fair chance after 8 months, and you're under no obligation to persevere with it if you don't get on. 

I'm neutral about this business of whether an oblique holder is suitable for roundhand because I have no copperplate experience whatsoever.  As you say, plainly a straight pen or a quill will work, so the answer from IAMPETH sounds rather doctrinaire to me.  If memory serves, in addition to the things you mention Mr. Antonio also says that the line of universal beauty has a tendency to change into an asymmetric Spencerian capital stem shade with an oblique.  There may well be a grain of truth in that, although frankly, I wish that tendency was more pronounced.  ;)

There's a strong case for right handers using an oblique holder for Ornamental Penmanship - in fact the style is partly defined by it - but otherwise I see no reason for putting up with discomfort if you're getting results with a straight one.


Offline Mandy

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2014, 10:10:19 AM »
I started out with calligraphy over 2 years ago and since then, I've mostly been using a straight holder. I do have the plastic oblique fr Speedball and it was only very recently that I got myself a wooden century(...) oblique fr John Neal. I'm ok with both, I prefer using a straight so far, only because I can't always fit the oblique into the ink bottle (hahaha -- I do realize that this is easy to solve :o).

But it is quite helpful for beginners to learn with an oblique so they can "lay" the tines of the nib evenly and not hold the nib in an awkward position. :)

Offline Nickkih

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2014, 12:05:25 PM »
I think whatever your preference is is fine. I started out with a straight but switched to a oblique and I love it. I use the straight for Modern calligraphy and sometimes for flourishing. I had a few custom holders made by Brian at Unique Obliques and I find them much better than the speedball or century and I have both of those too. Brad give that Beautiful holder that Brian made for you a little bit more of a chance before you throw in the towel on Obliques altogether.
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Offline Heebs

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2014, 12:16:14 PM »
As Andy said, you certainly gave the oblique a fair try and if you're more comfortable with the straight holder I'd stick with it. It really should be what you feel works best for you.

Paul's reasons for using a straight holder are valid but it's all down to comfort and what you're accustom to. I have no problem turning the paper to finish off a T because the overall experience with an oblique for me is far superior to a straight holder (I would have to turn my paper at an insane angle to get the slant on my letters without the right tine ripping into the paper). I would have a hard time giving up the flexibility of a flange in terms of customizing my nib angle and tilt. I've tried a straight holder and while it's great for certain things I can't do any slanted work properly while others have an easy time doing it.

I would never tell anyone they absolutely have to use one over the other, do what works and enjoy calligraphy.

Offline Brad franklin

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Re: oblique vs straight holders
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2014, 12:25:02 PM »
I think whatever your preference is is fine. I started out with a straight but switched to a oblique and I love it. I use the straight for Modern calligraphy and sometimes for flourishing. I had a few custom holders made by Brian at Unique Obliques and I find them much better than the speedball or century and I have both of those too. Brad give that Beautiful holder that Brian made for you a little bit more of a chance before you throw in the towel on Obliques altogether.

I would never throw the towel to that beautiful holder from Brian. I do use it. Most of the time I use an oblique, but was thinking about the above statement.