Author Topic: Oblique Holder  (Read 18787 times)

Offline Perfectsettings

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Oblique Holder
« on: February 26, 2014, 09:07:59 AM »
Please tell me again what an oblique holder is for.  How does it give you an advantage over a straight holder?
Daisy
Lover of all things beautiful.

Offline Roseann

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2014, 10:51:29 AM »
Hi Daisy,
It helps you achieve the 55 degree angle for Copperplate. 
Roseann

“The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”   R. L. Stevenson

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 05:13:19 PM »
LOL! I'm glad you asked.  ;D The following applies mostly to right handed calligraphers - not as much left.

The oblique holder puts the point of the nib more squarely on the pen. This is important, especially with shaded lettering, because you want even, fluid, graceful strokes. This is most true when doing copperplate because it is at a 54-55 degree angle.

The slant of the lettering is important, however, also important is the shade. When we write, we already hold our pens at an angle to the page. So using a straight holder would seem counterproductive to equally smooth shades as you are already fighting the nib which is not straight up and down to the page but slightly angled. The exception, of course, was when someone did off-hand flourishing - because then they were holding the pen quite differently than was done for writing.

Like with anything, we tend to adapt to what we are comfortable with and if you only knew lettering using a straight holder and that is what you have worked with, it might not make much difference. If you are just learning, I *highly* recommend starting with an oblique.

The other difference - many of the "modern calligraphers" are not actually drawing strokes - (i.e. lettering) - they are "writing" with a pointed pen. So their lettering reflects the difference - and that is part of the charm of their style. There can also be some roughness to the edge of their lettering which is not necessarily good or bad but more reflective of style.

This wonderful article by Dr. Joseph Vitolo of IAMPETH does a great job explaining this (much better than I). If you don't want to read the whole thing - at least look at the first diagram - you will see clearly what I am describing. IAMPETH Oblique v Straight

P.S. If you aren't a member of IAMPETH yet - and your interest in pointed pen is here to stay - I definitely recommend it!
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 05:21:45 PM by Erica McPhee »
Truly, Erica
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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 05:16:52 PM »
Also, I wanted to note - while the oblique does assist us with achieving the 55 degree slant with Copperplate - it doesn't do so on its own. We have to intentionally write on the slant. If the pen automatically did this, we wouldn't need guidelines to guide us in learning the slant. The oblique can be used just as successfully for writing done with no slant.  ;)
Truly, Erica
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Offline Perfectsettings

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 08:38:38 PM »
Thanks for all of that info!  I actually reconsidered the oblique again b/c somewhere here I found a link to a left handed article.  They suggested an oblique holder and they had pictures (graphics) of left handers and holding the oblique.  It helped me b/c - as I said a multitude of times - I think and act like a right hander.  So I didn't realize that the left handers flip the oblique and nib in the opposite direction.    But I picked it up the other day and thought... now what's the purpose of this?!
P.S. If you aren't a member of IAMPETH yet - and your interest in pointed pen is here to stay - I definitely recommend it!

Wellll.... I'd love to but truly I have so many irons in the fire right now.   :-\
Daisy
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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 10:31:53 PM »
Did you watch the video of John DeCollibus? He is a lefty who uses the oblique.

http://youtu.be/B_djOJGY2dc

I actually tried it with my left hand and it worked really well. Go figure!  :o
Truly, Erica
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Offline Estefa

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2014, 04:12:00 AM »
Hi Erica, I just watched this video (again). If I am not mistaken, he uses a regular oblique holder for writing with his left hand, but he basically writes vertically from the top of the sheet, and makes his swell strokes by pulling away from his body, not towards. This is at least how I interpret what I see if I load the video on a mobile device and place it in front of me like he holds his hands, if you know what I mean. For his flourishing, he uses the same holder for the left hand, but for his right hand a reversed oblique holder – you can see this clearly at 1.40', where he showes both holders. This also enables him to pull the swell strokes away, like with the traditional flourishing penhold we discussed in some other thread ;).

This looks to me very complicated, but then I know that for lefties pointed pen can be super complicated depending on if they are under-, side- or overwriters! I guess like for righties it may be a question of try and error, just with even more possibilities! Because some lefties seem to find straight holders comfortable which for me is logical, because at least when I take a straight holder in my left hand and try some swell strokes, they are aready more or less on the 55° angle.

Hi Perfectsettings, I don't know which kind of left hand writer you are – I just remembered there are some lengthy discussions about this on the Fountain Pen Network.

These seem heplful, maybe check them out?

http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/258244-spencerian-for-left-handed-writers/

http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/249183-oblique-holder-for-a-lefty/

http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/245654-show-us-your-oblique-penholders/page-9
(start reading from post #244, next interesting one would be #283).
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline Perfectsettings

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2014, 08:53:27 AM »
Precisely why I love this forum.  Thank you!!
Daisy
Lover of all things beautiful.

Offline Brad franklin

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2014, 02:05:04 AM »
I wanted to try the priciple ef because I heard high regards of the nib. I inquired about getting some and was told my holder is a "NIKKO" holder and it would be alittle loose. Oh gosh when will the madness end. I had no idea when I purchused the holder (ziller model). The store only had two the speedballplastic and the affore said mention model, I purchused both. As most of you know the speedball is not adjustable so therfore not very much use. How does one try differnet nibs without having to buy 4 differnet holders?

Offline Estefa

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 03:35:32 AM »
Precisely why I love this forum.  Thank you!!

You are welcome, I hope it's useful!
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline Estefa

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 04:52:25 AM »
I wanted to try the priciple ef because I heard high regards of the nib. I inquired about getting some and was told my holder is a "NIKKO" holder and it would be alittle loose. Oh gosh when will the madness end. I had no idea when I purchused the holder (ziller model). The store only had two the speedballplastic and the affore said mention model, I purchused both. As most of you know the speedball is not adjustable so therfore not very much use. How does one try differnet nibs without having to buy 4 differnet holders?

Hi Brad, it should be possible to adjust the flange of the Ziller holder for the Principal. You need to make it a little less round (with the left hand, while holding tightly the foot, to prevent the material from breaking). A tip I got from Brian Smith.

But honestly, the Principal is a nib I personally, well, I don't want to say hate, but it's supersharp and super small. I don't know at which skill level you are, but I would regard myself as an advanced beginner, and I nearly never have nibs catching or scratching, because I have a very light hand. But with this nib I only get scratchy-catchy. So give it a try, but don't be disappointed!

As to the other question – I guess there are different ways to cope. There are not so few pros apparently who found out after a while that they don't need more than, say, 4 to 6 different nibs to achieve what they want. Erica mentioned somewhere that her whole calligrapher life she hasn't had more than 4 or 5 holders, if I remember right?

I, again, beginner, but with a bit of an addiction for beautiful tools, have 6 or 7 holders, and I found out that the flange of the Century holder is very easy to take out and adjust to very different nibs. So I use this when I feel experimental ;). The other holders more or I less I only use for one kind of nibs, I often leave them in the flange. The G nibs and Rose nibs for example fit the same flange, and the smaller Gillots etc. I have in another holder.

I know that 4 or 5 holders sound a lot, on the other hand a holder is not so expensive if you think what you have to invest in other crafts, just think about painting or fotography? And also, but I as well needed some time to find out this, usually it's a good idea to stick with one nib when learning one style (except if you really don't get along with it! Than you'd need to find another "workhorse"), it helps with consistency. And, while it can be fun and also useful, no nib (and honestly, especially not the Principal!,) will magically improve the writing … I hope you don't get this wrong!!

When I was at the workshop with Barbara Calzolari, she recommended for the first  2 – 3 years of practice to use only the Nikko G!

I also have a collection of about 20 different nibs though :D. But I really use regularly only 3 or 4 of them, for different stuff – smaller writing, normal size, for reproduction / scanning, Spencerian, flourishing.

Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline Estefa

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 05:22:18 AM »
I forgot to add that of course there are calligraphers who can get a amazing results with the Principal nib!
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline Brad franklin

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2014, 02:19:25 PM »
Ok thank you Estefa, i don't want to start messing with my flange, so I will slow my roll so to speak. Stick to the ones I have for now untill I get better. By the way I am a begin begineer only about 1 month 2 at the most. My tach g nibs are sharp and I think i might be better suited for A flexable nib. My writing seems to look nicer ( more control) with my leonardt Copperplate 1: Crown Nib.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 02:29:20 PM »
Stefanie answered so well, nothing for me to add, except I didn't care for the Principal either.  :o
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 02:36:09 PM by Erica McPhee »
Truly, Erica
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Offline Linda Y.

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Re: Oblique Holder
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2014, 07:46:00 PM »
If you're like me and want to try all the different nibs you can get your hands on - I highly recommend getting a Blackwell pen holder. It's available at John Neal. It has a tiny screw where you can adjust the width of the nib so you can try almost every nib you can find.

http://www.zanerian.com/BlackwellOb.html

There is also a cheaper plastic version (the one I have):
http://www.johnnealbooks.com/prod_detail_list/133/2