Author Topic: Hello from the Arkansas Ozarks  (Read 68 times)

Offline ShawnHoefer

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Hello from the Arkansas Ozarks
« on: September 10, 2019, 09:24:52 PM »
I actually taught calligraphy as a non-accredited college course some 35 years ago, but then I set it (and many other artistic endeavors) aside to go career hunting.

Yeah, that worked... I spent nearly 17 years in the newspaper biz working in many departments, but most of my time was in production... read that as graphic design with a purpose.

When I left the newspaper biz, I struck out on my own... well, with the family... to be self-unemployed. I'm a spinner (quite good at this), dyer, woodworker/woodturner, farmer, weaver (that's more the Wife's bailiwick... she also spins, dyes, and crochets), and multi-award winning artisan broom maker.

Wait... farmer? Yeah, we raise Jacob sheep, Angora goats, and Alpacas for fiber. We also have chickens, Alpine dairy goats, a guardian llama, cats, dogs. It's a real zoo out there.

All these years later, I find I want to start up again in all my spare time. To that end, I have sought out and purchased a bunch of stuff, but I'm kind of obsessive... feel free to recommend more.

Current gear, you ask? Sure...

2 oblique holders
3 straight holders
A nice dozen dozen bottles of ink (mostly Speedball)
About 6 G nibs of various makes
3 Rose nibs
3 Steno (blue pumpkin) nibs
1 Arrow nib (thought it was a pack of 3 and seriously overpaid)
All the nibs that came with the biggest available Speedball kit
All the nibs that came with the awful Walmart kit
All the nibs that came with a Hobby Lobby oblique kit
Various pads of paper and grids...
Plus, I found an old set of broad nib Schaefer fountain pens... they'll need some serious rehab, though.
Not wanting to hope for the best with the old Shaefers, I sprung for a couple... OK, a nice round 10 more... fountain oens. Several with flex nibs.

Did I mention I was obsessive?

Also bought several books, subscribed all over the place on YouTube (I watch videos every morning as I use my excercize bike... the phone is clipped the the handlebars).

And, I carved my own pens from River cane (native bamboo) and a couple turkey quills.

Looking forward to interacting and learning.

Offline K-2

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Re: Hello from the Arkansas Ozarks
« Reply #1 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

Offline ShawnHoefer

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Re: Hello from the Arkansas Ozarks
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2019, 12:12:47 PM »
Oh, yeah... already on that. Not happy, at all, with the Speedball inks... I feel like they're too thick (I know I can thin them out a bit). Quite enjoying the Sumi ink I bought, and looking at an array of India Inks. Also toying with the idea of getting a watercolor set and a set of gouache paint to play with.

I've got walnut trees on my property, and the thought had crossed my mind. Lord knows my hands have been stained often enough.

Thanks!

Offline K-2

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Re: Hello from the Arkansas Ozarks
« Reply #3 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: https://nickstewart.ink/  (we were recently having a conversation about adapting fountain pen inks to use with dip pens on the "tools and supplies" thread: https://theflourishforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=6692.0)

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!