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Archive for the ‘Calligraphy’ Category

Here is the drollery from the previous post, but in its natural habitat. I really like doing long, complicated lists and decorating them.

DrolleryToModda

I really like the hanging dragon in the bottom of the picture. As you can see, this is reminiscent of the background art of the blog. I have some plans on making another complicated, detailed work of art with pen and ink, but this time with fountain pens in A3 (background was made with fiber-tipped pens in A4).

When I get my next job I think I am going to sponsor myself with a modified Namiki Falcon XXF (spencerian modification) from Richard Binder. I’d like to see what I can make with that kind of instrument. I am planning om spending some more time on Fountain Pen Network and perhaps getting a used one. They somtimes show up in the marketplace. In this review by The Penny Writer there is some pictures of a modified Namiki Falcon that got me interested in this pen. Here is another on the calligraphy blog A Place To Flourish by Jane Farr, a very inspiring artist. There is also some reviews and more photos on Richard Binders homepage and on Fountain Pen Network (take a look in the subforum with Japanese pens, Pens from the Land of the Rising Sun where I found this impressive Youtube review of the pen).

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I had doubts using the word “loot” as a category, since I am aware that it can have negative connotations. Sometimes, making finds on Tradera and Ebay, I almost feel like a looter, getting amazing stuff for next to nothing. Just almost, though. I am content with the fact that I buy to use and that I take care of my things according to their proper value (e g not letting them rot away somewhere dark and dusty).

This is from my latest netlooting:

Ink: Burma Road Brown (same as the blog header, BTW. The header is scanned and the above image is obviously a photograph. BRB is a chamelon ink!). My penmanship is a bit shaky since I spent about 10 minutes trying to separate the section from the barrel before making the text sample.
Pen: Mabie-Todd Blackbird Self Filling pen. The cap, the section, the feed and the barrel are all marked “blackbird” with a fine imprint. The black hard rubber parts are faded, but nicely coloured still, I think. No clip. Lever not gold, I think this is the original furniture. Sac perished, of course.
Nib: Nib 14ct, not numbered. Seems to be a medium with some flex. Standard (but oh, so wonderful) fare for these pens (just like the Moore L-92 I wrote about earlier this year).
Spectacles: one of my other obsessions that has not appeared on this blog before. I collect them. These were a good find. They are genuine, in very good shape and will do nicely in the spring. I have another similar pair but I like having a second pair in reserve.
Shameless boasting: I paid about 6 dollars for the pince-nez and 15 dollars for the lot containing the Blackbird (an enourmous lot with, among other things, Caran D’Ache leads, two antique lead sharpeners (pics a-coming) and eight (8!) old drafting compasses). Making finds like this is obviously one of my greatest talents.

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Ever since starting this blog I have hinted on a post focusing on me finding a grail pen in the wild. I have never seen one of these on Ebay and never really anywhere else either. I have seen some similar Watermans and Mabie Todds. But never an Edward Todd BHR clipless, silver overlay pen. I am going to make a post about this pen on FPN as well, so we’ll see if I get any interesting comments or more information (please comment if you have any information!).

I found this pen in a truly sumgai way, maybe not technically in the wild since it was on the Swedish equivalent of Ebay. The main item of the auction was an extremely ugly and broken (!) ceramic pen stand glazed in a hideous beige-light brown-grey colour, “some pens included”. The pens were huddled in a miserable heap in the shadow of the monstrous pen stand. I took a chance and made a bid. I won the whole lot for less than 20 dollars (shipping included). Amazing, I can hardly believe it myself.

The metal is slightly discoloured at the breathing holes (two in the cap) resistant to polish. The BHR has become brown/olive with age. I did polish the silver (marked sterling on the cap). The pen is not marked except for STERLING printed on the barrel.

Here is a writing sample in my own bastardized Spencerian/Copperplate/nonsense scribble…

Yes! I misspelled “whiskey’s”, due to making a jumble of the last three letters…

Pen: Edward Todd silver overlay pen. Nib no 2. I dare claim this is a wet noodle. It does railroad sometimes, but not in writing the sample above. It is (of course) an eyedropper.
Computer manipulation: Exposure +0.25. Removal of stuff from left hand corner and top middle (not engaging the text).
Ink: J Herbin Cacao du Bresil. I love the shading.
Room for Improvement: I could still use some practise to perfect the readability and the flourish detailing. I would also like to have more continuity in my lines and lettering, making the end result more orderly. On the other hand, I do like a little irregularity and whimsiness as well.
Verdict: Instant feeling of I-am-not-worthy-ness and joy.

Close-up on the nib (click on the image to see it REALLY big).

One more pic (just because it is so wonderfully gorgeous) (more…)

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When I was in 6th grade I decided to learn the Morse-code. About a year later, my school decided that all students should be obliged to write journals (that would be left in the classroom during the school year). The teachers told us that the journals would be private for each student, that nobody besides ourselves would read them. I did not trust the teachers. In a silent protest I wrote my entries in Morse-code. I got told off for it, especially after sweetly asking why they cared which alphabet I was using if they weren’t sneaking looks at what I wrote. Thankfully, I changed schools a short time after this incident. As an adult, I wonder what in the world the teachers, just a little older than I am right now, were thinking assigning this “journal-project” and handling my protest the way they did.

Like many other bullied little kids without any friends I had an active fantasy life and read a LOT. Of course I had read Tolkien, repeatedly, by 6th grade. What changed everything was a book named ”The Languages of Middle-Earth” that I got my hands on a year or so after I moved. Tengwar, Tolkiens elvish alphabet, among several of his constructed languages and a bit general lingustics if I remember correctly. For me aged 13-14ish it was an epiphany. I promptly got inspired by ways to shorten the longish morse code characters and invent ways to shorten words and sentences. I also made a foray into various shorthands. (Still looking for a good book about shorthands, any tips?).
What you see is the rather impractical but somewhat pretty result. Unfortunately it takes too long to write to be practical for everyday use. Sometime I use it to remember codes or initials that I don’t want others to see, like when noting passwords etc. I’d like to work with it more. There are more advanced versions as well, I might post some in the future.

Note the flourishes that indicate capital character and punctuation. Also, the Tengwar-inspired diacritics. The ink is J. Herbin Cacao du Bresil, the pen is the Edward Todd Wet Noodle. A great combination, I love the greyish brown.
In the detail below (from another writing example) you can see the nice shading of this ink and the almost magical flex capabilities of the pen.

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