Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Miss Karma has been snoozing next to the crinkle bag the past couple days. Not even the cooler floor can deter her fascination with the hidden bird. ;)
I did get out the dip pens--tada!
Have I mentioned before how much of a pen nut I am? ;)
I had some of these supplies long before I took the calligraphy class--let's see, must be about 17-18 years ago now. Here's all my dip pens--or pretty nib holders.
I also have some plain, utility-type nib holders that I used for practice, but these are all the cool ones.
Left to right, 2 metal, 2 glass, 3 wooden, a hand cut quill, and my all time favorite the feathered one with the brass nib holder.
Next I had to pick an ink bottle. I have this entire drawer filled with a variety of inks. Some are for drawing and art only. A lot of them can be used for dip pens and some of them can be used in fountain pens.
I also have these two Levenger boxes I keep in my desk hutch...
...that are sets good for fountain pens.
I picked a new brown J. Herbin ink bottle.
Love the few bottles I have with the built in pen holder.
Of course, I needed my wooden ink blotter.
And after I pick a pen, I have to pick a nib. I have this little plastic container that holds the used nibs (I picked from there). The ink eats away at the nibs, so I keep the used ones separate from...
...my bigger container of nibs.
I labeled them or I'd never remember which was which when it comes to reordering.
Out of all the nibs, I have only reordered three--this blue Brause...
...this blue Hiro...
...and my all time favorite for letter writing--this Brause nib...
...I have reordered twice. :)
It has a reservoir to hold ink so that you can write and write for quite a while before you need to get more ink. Talk about a thin calligraphic point, too. Love these!
If I am in a very contemplative mood I use one of the blue nibs. There is a soft rhythm to dipping and writing--dipping and writing--that comes with those nibs that need constant refilling. And they do tend to look even more like they are written with a dip pen--at least in my hands--hehe! The thick to thin handwriting--the occasional small blobs of ink...ahhh! Transports me to another age. :)
But I chose my favs since I am out of practice, after all.
I always have a scratch pad nearby, too, so I can check to see that the ink isn't going to be coming out too fast after I first dip it.
Anyways, it was marvelous! A slower pace to savor. :)
Well, we have a day off tomorrow from the class. A perfect time for a break since we just finished up on "the past", which was a rough and enlightening week for me. I have lots of concepts to absorb and ponder. And since they won't post the Wednesday audio call and mediation until Thursday, I have a good long time to think about all of the things we covered the past week. (With my irregular hours I just wait till they post the following day.)
Today Caroline comes to clean--but to me it feels like the weekend because I have two days off from class--ROFL! I don't want to lose my basic focus, tho--so I'll still be working on a little class stuff every day. ;)
Happy, happy Tuesday!!! :):)
"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live."
Flora Whittemore


Furry Bottoms said...

There is NO end to your talents, Rita! So cool!

Toriz said...

I always loved using a fountain pen, because it reminded me of the dip pens. I made too much mess with the dip pens, but I didn't make as much mess with the fountain pen, so I used one of those most of the time.

I'm glad you've been having some fun with your pens, and think that a day to reflect before moving on is a good call on your teacher(s) part.

Rita said...

Nikki--I can only do one version of calligraphy and not proficiently, but I have always loved it. Luckily--you can write and write in your own hand--hehe! ;)

Tori--I love love love fountain pens, too. Use them a lot! I have several of those, too. Surprise! LOL!!
Yup! I think it will be nice to have a break for a couple of days--just to absorb everything. :)

Queenie Jeannie said...

So amazing!! I'll just bet you have the most incredible handwriting too! Mine is awful and no matter how much I practiced, it was never gorgeous and loopy like some women's. Thank you for sharing your art and collection with us!! Sooooo interesting!

Deanna said...

Girl, I had NO idea there was so much to know about pens! I am in shock. I've always loved fountain pens and still have one that belonged to my grandma. But wow! I didn't know that ink deteriorats the nibs. Heck, I didn't even know what a nib is. I learned a lot from this post.

Hope you are enjoying your class.

AliceKay said...

I didn't know what a nib was either until I kept reading and found out. LOL

This was a very interesting post. I never knew there were so many pens or nibs to choose from, but wow...you certainly have a big collection. (I haven't used a fountain pen in ages.)

Cool post! I hope the rest of your Tuesday was a good one. Enjoy your Wednesday.

giddy up said...

Wow love your pens, I just bought some to try yesterday. I am trying them out with acrylic paints to do some fine lines.

Rita said...

Jeannie--My handwriting can be nice if I concentrate but I tend to get scrawly because my brain moves faster than my pen. A dip pen forces me to slow down and take my time. :)

Deanna--Yes, that is why you don't want to use a harsher more caustic ink in a fountain pen. It can clog up and can actually ruin the pen's nib and metal parts. You're not supposed to leave ink in them for a long time if you aren't using them regularly, but I confess that am not as good about that. I have had to soak fountain pen tops/nibs in warm water many times because they clogged up. At least fountain pen ink isn't as harsh and my fountain pens are not expensive pens. There are actually fountain pens out there that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars!

AliceKay--All the pens don't have the same width of nib holder, either. Most are about the same size, but you'll come across some that are narrower and have to have special nibs. Then there's copperplate and oblique nibs--but I've never tried the Spencerian or ornamental calligraphy with all the swirls and such. Looks hard! Check youtube. ;)

GiddyUP--Dip pens will work with acrylics. We even used sharpened branches in art class. That was a hoot! Have fun!! :)

Anonymous said...

Karma is so cute with her bag. I love love your pens those are so cool. I am a pen fanatic LOL drives hubby crazy hehe

Rita said...

Lynn--Ah! Another pen fanatic!! It is beyond me how other people can resist them--ROFL! ;)

Intense Guy said...

Goodness. I've never seen so many tips in my entire life. I bet the only place with more would be a little dusty wing somewhere in the Smithonian...

I bet Soul Comfort can be signed nice and big like John Hancock.

akartisan said...

Just checking in on you. I thought I remembered that you could use ammonia to clean pen nibs, but I would have to look it up for sure. I have one like your blue glass pen, but can't find it right now. Hope you class is helping you.

Rita said...

Iggy--Yup! Funny the things one can collect over the years. ;)

Sue--Never heard of cleaning nibs with ammonia. That sounds rather harsh in itself. I might have to goggle that. Maybe it's for cleaning the glass pens--which are perfect for acrylics and anything harsh because they are easy to clean and hard to corrode. You've got me curious about that now. ;)

Serena Lewis said...

I adore your collection of pens and inks! WOW! You must have a nib there for every occasion. I LOVE fountain pens but don't own one. I remember the one I had in my teens and I loved using it. I can't even recall what happened to it. Would you believe fountain pens are just not a readily stocked item here it seems. I need to find me a speciality pen store or shop online. I have some nib pens and Speedball ink which I haven't really used yet. I admit that I'm not used to nib pens and have no idea how to actually use them....could be an idea for another one of your how-to videos, Rita???

Rita said...

Serena--I should take some pictures of my fountain pens one day. And all my refillable gel pens...and all my disposable pens...and the art pens.....LOL! I'd be soooo undone if we didn't have all these pens available here. No fountain pens! Not even online? Admittedly, there are only a few available in stores in town--that's true. I buy most of my pens supplies online and before computers I bought by catalog.

I will have to show you a link to some of the most expensive pens I have seen! The top ones are $28,000.00!!! No lie! Whew!

BTW--the speedball pens and inks are mostly meant to be for drawing or art. Good old India ink. That was the first dip ink I used in junior high school--a Speedball. And I still have the nibs--and might even have the old red wooden holder, too. And I just realized that they are over 45 years old! Ha!! *shakes head* :):)