Wednesday, August 29, 2012

a fledgling pen enthusiast

That's me. Even though I have been naturally drawn to fountain pens and calligraphy pens for years, I have never really taken any serious steps to studying these objects. I just pretty much went by with how I felt or how I liked a particular writing instrument.

I've always had a strong fondness for sharp and thick inks, and have little love for the blandness of ballpoint pens and their inks. My disposable pens are either gel pens or technical pens that are at least 0.5 mm -- pens that write wetly and darkly on white clean pages.

I have a preference for brown inks, possibly inspired by the letters of Sabine to Griffin. I love the sight of ink pooling at the edges of letters and along the fancy loops of words. I love calligraphy writing. I love the flow of thin and thick lines through every stroke.

from Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock
I love handwriting. I love hand-written anything. One of my projects this year is to revive snail mail by starting to write letters to people instead of always falling into the default of the convenient e-mail or text message. It will also be a chance for me to showcase my artful envelopes as well as my love for marginalia. Maybe when I become a well-known artist in my own right then those friends will be grateful for my simple-letters-turned-valuable-artwork.

One of my recent joys was discovering my grandfather's old Speedball textbook as I was clearing clutter a couple of weeks ago.

And we have heard it said that the Universe supports our heart's desire especially when we set ourselves to move towards it. In the same manner I stumbled upon this book which will help inspire me in my calligraphy and marginalia artwork.

Meanwhile here are my small attempts at beautiful writing.

Practice makes perfect, but I am not even aiming for perfection. Just maybe a few notches above ordinary.

Currently I have a very humble pen collection:
1) a silver Waterman, my most expensive at about Php 2,800 if I remember correctly
2) a Rotring Art Pen, 1.5mm
3) a set of Sheaffer calligraphy pens, with fine, medium, and broad nibs
4) a white Lamy Safari, my newest purchase, with a medium nib. I also purchased a broad nib for variation
5) a dip pen that was gifted to me last year, with a very fine nib that scratches noisily on paper. I think it's semi-flex. I like how it writes though even if it's scratchy.

I hope to have a few more. I'm on the lookout for pens with flexible nibs. Most modern pens are said to have un-flexible nibs so there's a lot of advice to hunt for vintage ones. Brand-new pens with flexible nibs do exist but I believe they would cost me my fingers and possibly even both hands so there would be no sense in having them afterwards. It's going to be a tough hunt but I remain optimistic.

What passion bug has bitten you lately?

1 comment:

  1. I started handwriting cards recently. To a boy. (there's always a boy) But I've actually really been enjoying it. I've learned that I either like writing the cards or making the cards - but doing both is just too much to handle for me. Also - I hope you following this blog already: (or maybe I even got the link from you)