For the love of writing

by Jenny
(St. Albans)

Inks, Pens & Nibs

Inks, Pens & Nibs

Inks, Pens & Nibs My calligraphy books

I love nothing more than a decent pen. I first took to liking the art of calligraphy when I was a teenager.

It gave me an alternative art study to do, while in class. As a result I was frequently asked to produce the posters for the local school play or concerts.

My Dad seemed to be my biggest fan though. He was always insistent that I could do this to earn a living! I wasn’t convinced by this, but it was lovely that he had the faith.

In fact many of his dinners with friends, got me work and practice on producing menu’s for him.

The ultimate praise I considered, was one of the Firefighters he worked with, asked if I would write the nameplates for their wedding! That was a lot of names, and I was paid 2 cents per letter. Doesn’t sound much, but it soon became a lot of money!

My favorite nibs are the copperplate nibs. They are so fine and delicate. You can also gain the fancy swirls significantly better. However, copperplate is hard to master. It is also hard to learn from a book! I find studying old parchments and texts allow me to work out how the writer sculpted the text, and I have found some lovely techniques.

While studying some of the older parchments, (looking at old English church records for instance), you can also see the Roman, roundhand, and Gothic letter forms. I have a personal favorite in the Gothic writing; though it can be confusing when writing in the style!

In 1997 though, I had to undergo carpal tunnel surgery in both hands. I have found it hard to write for any length of time, like I used to. I find I have to do hand exercises before I start writing and definitely a practice piece, to build the strength in my finders and palm.

If anyone has any recommended hand strengthening techniques, I would be grateful to know. :-)

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