Nib holder calligraphy: Nib Holders: High-Quality Art, Comic, & Calligraphy Supplies


E+M Artists 2062 Nib Holder + Nib – Mahogany

E+M Artists 2062 Nib Holder + Nib – Mahogany | JetPens JetPens is accepting and shipping orders. See COVID-19 for more details.   >    >    >     >    >    >  


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DescriptionSpecificationsQuestions & Answers
The E+M Artists nib holder has an ergonomic shape similar to a paintbrush, making it excellent for art drawing or large lettering. Its long wooden body is balanced and lightweight in hand, and it will accommodate any standard calligraphy or comic dip pen nib. Included nib is made of nickel-plated brass. Black or mahogany colors available.Compare Colors & Sizes
Model NumberE+M 2062-3
Body Color Dark Brown
Body Material Wood
Capped or Retractable Neither
Diameter – Max 12.0 mm
Length – Body 23.0 cm / 9.1 inches
Nib Color Silver
Nib Holder Type Straight
Nib Material Brass (Nickel-Plated)
Tip Type Nib
Weight – Item Without Packaging i

For a product that contains more than one of the same item, this is the weight of one single item.

0.39 oz / 11 grams

There are currently no questions.

Frequently Bought Together

This item: E+M Artists 2062 Nib Holder + Nib – Mahogany – $8.00

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

The nib holder it great,. ..

March 29, 2013

Verified Purchase

The nib holder it great, it has a nice balance and feel to it. The nib the came with it, was defective. The nib slit was not centered, making one of the tines tip extremely pointy like a needle, picking up paper. Jetpens sent me some replacements nibs, and out of the 6, 3 were defective like the one that came with the nib. It was very nice for Jetpens to send me a few replacement nibs, but the fault is at the manufacturer. I recommend buying the nib holder and using a different nib.

19 people found this helpful

I had an initial scare…

January 8, 2015

Verified Purchase

I had an initial scare when I first used this nib holder. I decided to try on a different nib and as I was pulling off the nib that was included the entire ferrule, the metal part that connects directly to the wood handle, came off. It was just held in place with a tiny bit of cheap glue. It really wasn’t a huge issue, a good amount of super glue fixed it right up, but I don’t like purchasing supplies that I have to repair on day one. The manufacturers need better quality control.

Aside from that, I’m still happy with my purchase. It’s a beautiful nib holder and feels great in the hand. The nib that came with it was a pleasant surprise. It writes smoothly and leaves a nice thin line.

9 people found this helpful

The nib holder is one with a great design and a nice feel. It’s pretty nicely balanced, most nibs I’ve used (including the Brauss Arrow/Blue Pumpkin for those looking to buy those too) go in very smoothly and stay in place. The nib seems to have had cases in which it was defective but for me personally, it was fine and it’s a nib that easily outperforms similar ones at my local art store. Definitely a holder worth buying.

6 people found this helpful

I love this holder. The…

December 13, 2012

Verified Purchase

I love this holder. The bevels on the mahogany make detailed writing easy. It has a nice, warm look and feel. Perfect for the holidays!

7 people found this helpful

The nib comes to me in…

January 24, 2014

Verified Purchase

The nib comes to me in good status, on my staples filler paper it writes smoother than the G nibs bought at same time, the nibs work better with manga ink(thick), the holder looks so elegant and beautiful, both black and Mahogany, I like them so much that I bought two of them again with a box of the E+M nibs, wish I do not get defective ones like the other reviewers.

4 people found this helpful


Beginner’s Guide to Nibs and Nib Holders

One of the primary advantages to using dip pens is that they do not have an internal filling system that can become clogged. They can be used with a variety of liquids, including thicker metallic and glitter inks, as well as homemade inks crafted from tea, berries, and more. Dip pens are also simple to clean, even when used with permanent inks like India inks: you can remove the nib from the nib holder and scrub it with a toothbrush and rubbing alcohol.

Additionally, dip pens are an inexpensive way to add unique flair to your writing. Flexible pointed pen nibs are far cheaper than fountain pens with flexible nibs, but they can create the dramatic downstrokes prized in cursive calligraphy. And if you get tired of writing in Copperplate, you can change it up by swapping nibs and inks easily.

Of course, dip pens have disadvantages too. Without an internal filling system, dip pens have to be dipped into ink over and over again. Additionally, dip pens tend to write very wetly and may need special paper to ensure that writing does not feather or bleed. The nibs can be finicky, requiring some preparation to remove machining oils and ensure they work properly. Nibs will eventually wear out, too, so they need to be replaced. It can be difficult to start writing with a dip pen in the first place: you will have to teach yourself the correct hand position, and slowly learn how to control your writing pressure. Finally, a dip pen simply isn’t as portable as a self-contained writing instrument like a fountain pen. It can get quite messy when you use a dip pen, even at your desk.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Variety of “inks” to choose from
  • Easy to clean
  • Adds personality to writing for a low cost
  • Switch between nibs and inks with little effort
  • Lower entry cost
  • Vintage appeal
  • Must be constantly dipped into ink to maintain flow
  • May require special ink and paper suitable for dip pens
  • Nibs have to be prepared and are often not usable straight out of the box
  • Nibs eventually wear out, requiring replacement
  • Steep learning curve
  • Can get messy
  • Not as portable

What is the difference between straight and oblique nib holders?

While practicing calligraphy, you may have come across straight and oblique nib holders – and wondered what the difference was between the two! Or, maybe you were like me when you started out, just bought one, and winged it! In either case, I’m here today to tell you about the difference between straight and oblique nib holders.

Straight Nib Holders

My personal favorite – straight nib holders – look exactly how they sound, straight! These nib holders are good for those calligraphers who want a tool that is similar to what they’re used to using. For me, a straight nib holder was an easy transition from a typical pen, or a paintbrush. While you should hold a nib holder a little different than you would hold a pen, a straight nib holder feels and behaves very similarly to a pen!

I prefer straight pens because they give me the flexibility to easily create the letter shapes and slants that you typically see in modern calligraphy. There is no natural bend to the nib holder, so I can add as much (or as little) slant to my work as I want. This flexibility gives me the ability to be more creative with my calligraphy.

Oblique Nib Holders

The other style of nib holder is an oblique nib holders. These have an angled piece at the end of the nib holder to hold your nib. Most calligraphers switch to oblique nib holders for one of three reasons. The first, the natural angle of the nib holder makes it really easy to create your letters at a beautiful angle. This works well for traditional scripts like Copperplate or Spencerian where you want to create a consistent slant.

The second reason many calligraphers use oblique nib holders is because they make it a little easier to use less pressure. Because of the angle of the pen, it is much harder to push hard on your nib and dig the tines into your paper. If you end up ripping your paper frequently, this may be a good nib for you.

The last benefit of oblique pens is for lefties! Many left-handed calligraphers love oblique nib holders because the angle of the nib creates a more natural feel for them.

So Which Should I Pick?

This is the question I hear a lot! And, the answer is always – both!

As you can see, there are benefits of both styles of nib holders. Neither one is better than the other, but most experienced calligraphers have a strong preference. I recommend purchasing both, and giving each one a try to see which you like better. You may be surprised by what you find! As with your nibs, it is all a matter of personal preference, and there is no right or wrong answer.


Let’s talk Holders – halfapx

When I first saw that the prices for a nib and pen holder were below 5 dollars I was happy. I felt like for the first time in this lettering world something was not gonna bankrupt me. Boy was I wrong.

Pen holders. Ranging from straight to oblique, from cheap and inexpensive plastic sticks to custom pieces of art made from exotic woods. I have totally fallen down the rabbit hole of pen holders and as the next installments of the Calligraphy 101 series it is the next logical step. We’ve talked general. We’ve talked nibs. Let’s talk the calligraphy version of a magic wand.

I’m sensing this will be one of my rather long-running blog posts so I’m gonna start with my outline. The links below will take you to the corresponding section. If you are just interested in obliques, I still recommend reading the straight section too, I will differentiate and give additional info you might like to know too.

  1. Straight Holders
    1. What’s a straight holder?
    2. When to use a straight holder
    3. Different nib holding mechanisms
    4. How to insert a nib
    5. How to write with a straight holder
  2. Oblique Holders
    1. What’s an oblique?
    2. When to use an oblique holder
    3. Different Flange Types
    4. How to insert a nib
    5. How to write with an oblique holder
  3. Let’s talk money
    1. Price Classes
    2. mass-produced vs. artisanal
    3. Pen Makers on Myriam’s Wishlist
  4. Choosing the right holder
    1. First Time using a nib
    2. Let’s talk about that Speedball Oblique
    3. Personal Recommendations

We’ll start with the holder type I am more familiar with, because it is my type of choice.

What’s a straight holder?

There are two different types of holders, straight and oblique. If you are from around Europe you will find obliques rather strange at first, they are so foreign in the german speaking part of the world that we don’t even have a word for it. So straight is what we are more familiar with and straight is what you will find in art supply stores for sure. A straight holder is basically just a pen handle that has some kind of nib holding mechanism, most common holders are fitted with a nib ferrule, which is a metal ring with four prongs to hold the nibs. You insert the nib and the result is a combination that ends up looking a lot like a fountain pen.

When to use a straight holder

You can do any writing with a straight holder, basically, here are the use cases where everyone would argue to use a straight holder.

Flat edge, blackletter, gothic, fraktur or whatever you call it. No one will do blackletter with an oblique holder. Because fraktur is upright. And that’s basically your answer

Use a straight holder whenever you are writing upright letters. Using an oblique to write non-slanted letters defies its purpose. That’s what straight holders are made for.

You can use straight holders to write slanted too. If you’ve seen me write Copperplate, you know I use a straight holder for it, it’s all a matter for how you hold it. A straight holder can be used across the board, it is best at writing upright, though.

Different nib holding mechanisms

There are different kinds of ways to fit a nib in a pen holder. As I mentioned before, the most common one is using a ferrule. I’m sure there will be additional mechanisms, but following are the ones I know and have tried.


I’ve used one of these for the first time in fourth grade, so I already knew how to use it, when I got into calligraphy. It never occured to me, that some people thought you might have to insert the nib in the center of the holder. But we’ll talk about that in a minute.

This ferrule basically acts like a clamp. and holds most different nibs. Because the prongs can be bent, it is able to accomodate even some weirdly curved nibs.

Since it is metal, it is prone to rusting if you are not careful and the prongs can be bent. I have some pretty bad looking ferrules, but most of them still do their job. However many manufacturers don’t glue their ferrules into the holder, so it can be replaced in case you break it.

In the picture you see a straight plastic Caran d’Ache holder, I can get everywhere since Caran d’Ache is a swiss brand (not particularly fond of it, which is why the ferrule looked most photographable). You’ll also see this mechanism on the straight marbled holders you find everywhere. I can get a “naked” version of those wood pens in my local store and have painted some of them with acryllic paints and added some acryllic based wood laquer over the top. Most of my holders are fitted with ferrules and they hold basically every nib possible.

Ring Groove

I first saw this mechanism in Tachikawa straight holders, I think the straight speedball has this too, if I’m not mistaken (not sure though, I don’t own that). The Tachikawa holders have two of those ring grooves, for standard nibs and crowquill nibs. If you check the blog post of my nib collection you will see that most of my nibs fit in a holder like this, but not all of them.

Because it is made of plastic, you might think it is basically unbreakable. Let me tell you: it is not.

I broke my first one by melting it with acetone. That was totally user error though. I clean my nibs with rubbing alcohol and keep that in a dropper bottle, the same kind I use to hold acetone to clean my nail art brushes from nail polish residue. I mixed the bottles up and some of the acetone dripped into the holder. Misfigured, but it still holds some nibs.

The second of my tachikawas got probably ruined because I tried fitting too many unfitting nibs in there. The outer ring kind of loosened and at some point the center fell out. That one no longer works, and was only kept for demonstration purposes.


This is common for crow quill holders, so holders that are made for small tiny nibs. They basically just have a hole drilled into a stick and you fit it in there.

Simple, effective. I have not broken one of these yet.

“Wood Ferrule”

I only know this one holder (which is one of my favorites ever) that has this wooden version of a ferrule. It is absolutely fantastic. There is no metal involved and no plastic. This wodden mechanism can hold every single one of my nibs, and it is super sturdy. I’d have this on every pen if I could.

This weird thing

Okay, I ordered this holder just because I had no idea how to use it. and I wanted to know if I could figure it out. This holder is pretty uncomfortable in my opinion, but it’s kind of a novelty so I had to have it and check it out. I’ve never actually reached for it to use it, but it’s kinda fun to look at.

It consists of a plastic stick and a more flexible plastic tube, that slips onto the stick.

How to insert a nib

I kinda touched on it, but I just wanted to specifically tell you how to fit nibs into each and every one of these holder types, since finding out that people have stuck nibs in the center of ferrules before, so it might actually be not as straightforward as I thought it was.


By now you know the nib is not inserted in the center. You actually want to push it into the outer ridge. When doing this for the first time, it might be quite hard to do. So make sure to protect your fingers from the nibs edges, I have cut my finger before because I was gripping the nib to tightly when pushing it in.

At first you might think the nib will never fit, but at one point you’ll get it and hear this clipping (is that a word?) sound and then it’s in there.

Ferrules soften with time, so only the first few times are a pain, then it’s a lot easier to fit the nib in.

Make sure not to get water or ink in your ferrule, if you do, take the nib out immediately, otherwise they might rust or dry together and good luck getting the nib out in one piece then.


Grooves are a lot easier. Check the curvature of your nib and choose the right ring. Most nibs will fit in the outer ring, even the hunt 103 which is a tiny nib, will hold better in the outer ring.

The fit is not as snug as with the ferrule, which is why it doesn’t accept as many nibs, but it is definitely less intimidating at first.


Aim for the center, when you push your nib in and then just apply some force. The hole is smaller than the curve of your nib, so this will also take a bit more hand grease than the groove. Again, protect your fingers with a tissue or my secret weapon I’ll talk about towards the end of this post.

Wood Ferrule

This one is like an in-between of the ferrule and groove, so again, place your nib in the outer ridge, it holds more securely, so a bit more pressure is required, but it will not be as hard as a ferrule.

Weird Plastic Thing

I was actually having trouble with this at first. I thought that maybe because the outer plastic slides arount you aligned the nib with the stick and pushed the plastic up, but it’s acutally a lot easier if you align plastic sleeve and stick and then push the nib in between. With force. And I mean as much force at using a ferrule for the first time.

How to write with a straight holder

I’ve given some people an introduction into calligraphy and most people naturally use it like they hold a pen. I’ve recently started to pay a little more attention to this and was quite surprised how some people could look at a nib and attempt to use it from the side.

So I asked them how they hold a fountain pen.

I’m from Switzerland, and we are lucky enough to have quite a fountain pen culture, so we all get a fountain pen in second grade. I got my first one at age 6 because I wanted one in first grade already. I’ve always been drawn to them.

Well, obviously you have to hold a fountain pen so that the nib faces down but for me it was kind of a given to write from below.

Some people don’t do that. Actually most of the people I asked write from the side.

This is not how you hold a dip pen.

When using a dip pen, you always want to hold your nib in the axis of your letters. And you always want to drag your nib downwards. Thus you want to hold your hand below the letters, not to the side. This makes it quite hard for certain lefties. In case you are not an underwriter, you might run into some trouble using a dip pen.

If you want to learn how to hold a straight holder for Copperplate I strongly recommend checking out Paul Antonios Video series (Posture, Placement & Position). He was the first person to tell me how important posture is for calligraphy, because I never even considered that that might have an impact. I am really bad at posture, so I keep going back to the video and really try to pay attention to this. I think this video series really outlines the importance of being aware of your whole body while writing, and not just think about your hand.

Most of the tips in the video also apply to oblique holders, so I recommend checking those videos out even if you want to do Copperplate with an oblique.

But obvisously, Paul being Paul, he’ll show you how to hold a straight holder, for Copperplate, which is also the way he teaches it in classes, and the way most european calligraphers and scribes will still write. Because Obliques are american, and a lot of people around here will not be aware of them, until they turn to the internet.

Good, let’s talk about the thing everybody loves and everyone is fascinated with, when they first learn about that magical looking writing instrument.

What’s an oblique?

Oblique holder has its purpose already written in its name. Oblique, Italic, Slanted, all of those words describe Letters that are not standing upright, but bent on an angle usually bent forwards.

The oblique holder was developed way later than the straight holder. It is an american invention which is why it is a lot easier to find in the US and that’s why we europeans usually have to order these overseas.

Obliques have a flange that sticks the nib out and holds it at an angle, which makes it easier to write slanted. Slanted being the key word here. So please read on.

When to use an oblique holder

This is a very very important point I want to make, because I see obliques being depurposed everywhere. I am not saying that obliques are bad. I really liked them when I first got them, because I was horrible at writing slanted.

But then I personally decided I preferred my modern calligraphy upright, which a lot of people end up doing.

So I switched to a straight holder for that, many people around instagram don’t.

As mentioned before, writing calligraphy demands the nib to be held at the same angle as the letters you are writing. If you are using an oblique to write upright letters you’ll have to adjust your wrist. The oblique holder was invented to make writing slanted easier, not to make writing upright harder.

So we take away: Oblique Holders for slanted writing only.

Different Flange Types

There are different flange types. Classic flanges, Bullock flanges and different inventions that I compile as universal holders.

A classic flange is a curved piece of metal (brass), where you stick the nib in. A Bullock flange looks the same but features more than one slit, this means that you can fit many different nib sizes in it, without having to change the cuve of your flange.

There are many different universal holders, I have one I got on etsy from Russia, that I really like.

There is also the speedball Oblique, which is basically a category of it’s own, we’ll deal with that later.

I personally have never gotten a bullock flange, so I can’t show you how to insert a nib, but I’ll link you a video below.

How to insert a nib

The way your nib is fitted into the holder is much more important with an oblique holder because you want the nib tip to be aligned with the center of the pen staf.

Flanges are a lot less confusing on how to insert nibs, you just shove them in there.

In case of my universal holder you just use a little screw to hold it in place, but getting the nib in there isn’t really a hard thing.

Aligning is a little harder and adjusting obliques is another thing.

I made this little video that shows you the alignment. Then a few links to Videos from Chris Yoke (who is one of the true masters when it comes to pen making and knows all of pen holder history) on bullock flanges, and adjusting flanges.

How to write with an oblique holder

Kei Haniya has a video on how to hold and write with an oblique pen I really liked, so I’ll just leave you that to check out. Video How to Hold an Oblique Holder I think this explains it better than me writing a bunch of paragraphs on it.

I have kind of touched on this in my intro. There is a big price difference with pen holders, so let’s talk a bit about that.

Price Classes

There are a different price classes for pens. Obviously ranging from super inexpensive to true masterpieces, that cost a small fortune.

As with fountain pens and many other categories there is this curve that would correspond to what you get for your money. So if you go up a little bit with your budget say from $3 to $30, you’ll have a big improovement in your writing experience. If you amp up your budget from $30 to $100 the difference won’t be as big, but the pen will most probably be a lot more special in its aesthetics, and quality maybe, it will probably be a lot more unique, but might not necessarily feel better in your hand.

You might think $20 for a stick is a lot. Paying $150 for a stick is a lot more. Especially when you get a perfectly working stick for $5. So if you don’t care about the looks, how much money do you have to spend for the optimal writing experience?

I’d say it depends on your hands. If you have problemes with your fingers (arthritis for example) or a very special grip and you’ll need something that is suited for your hand specifically, you might have to go as high as 50 dollars for the optimal writing experience, because you’ll have to get a custom pen that is fitted to your hand, just cheapest material and all. But if you don’t have a weird grip or anything, you’ll probably be able to find a mass-produced pen that works for you.

I would say if you spend 20 to 30 dollars on your holder you will get something that is of quite good quality and something that is comfortable for most people.

I personally wouldn’t call my pen grip weird and I’ve not struggled with cramps or anything. I quite like thin pens, so a “default straight holder” for two dollars will totally work for me personally. Of course my more premium holders are gorgeous and they have a little more weight to them, which I personally quite like. Also because they have more of a curvy shape to them, they lie better in your hand, but going with somehting like a Turn of the century holder from Paper and Ink Arts will do that too.

So why would you spend more than 100 dollars on a pen?

mass-produced vs. artisanal

I guess you can have this discussion on almost any subject. Here are some of the things I think about this whole custom pen thing.

I’ve gone over a year before I decided to invest in an expensive pen holder. I loved some of the work I saw, but I really could not bring myself to spend more than 40 dollars on a pen for the simple reason, that my holders worked for me. They were comfortable, had a weight I liked. They were not ugly, after I handpainted some of my two dollar holders and the 20 dollar ones from paper and ink arts totally did their jobs.

But at one point my relationship to Calligrpahy changed. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you might have really seen that moment. At one point I would just take the nibs whenever I wanted to do lettering. At one point I was ready to do practice. I was ready to fill a page just with letters. I think it was that point where I really fell in love with it. I fell in love with it more than I’ve fallen in love with Brush Pens or brushes or fude pens. I think I have fallen in love more with dip pens than with fountain pens and fountain pens and I go waaaay back.

I reached a point where I had been using my pen holders multiple times a day for months in a row. It’s the same thing with everything for me. When I really really use something, I am ready to spend a little more on it, because I know I will use it every day, I’ll appreciate it for a long time.

So that’s when I decided to start getting more into artisanal holders. It was also around that time that I seriously started buying nibs like crazy, but we’ll leave that out for the moment.

I also think that pretty pen holders are truly pieces of art. There is so much care put into each handmade pen. Especially custom orders mean that you truly get a piece made for you. Something that’s unique and something that suits your personality somehow. And I really like the fact that you get to know the person behind the product you’re getting. Usually ordering a pen piece like that comes with conversations with the makers, you know where your money goes and usually you are truly funding passion, which I think is a great thing to invest in.

Pen Makers on Myriam’s Wishlist

So I just wanted to put together this small collection of amazing pen makers I’m following, I’d love to have at least one of each of these people, but since I’m only on a student with part-time work budget it might take a while to get through this list. I’m still gonna put it together here, in case you are interested in getting a gorgeous pen yourself.

Pens I already have

Just a quick shoutout to the makers and pens I already own

1. Miles Calligraphy

I got this pen at Selim’s Etsy store, it was not a custom order, but it was an instant love story. This holder is made from a vintage french kind of plastic from the 1920s. The material feels incredible, the shape and weight are perfectly balanced and I love the colors.

He also does some more ornate pens which have decorative pieces to them, which are absolutely gorgeous. I’m definitely keeping Selim on my list for a true custom piece in the future, I have ideas running around.

Find him on: Etsy · Instagram

2. Kalemkes

Ali is incredible! I’ve instantly fallen in love with his work when I first found it and ordered my pen the same day, which turned into two pens that are absolutely gorgeous.

The darker of the two is made from Kuka, which is a type of nut similar to coconut I believe and the center twist is acryllic. The second pen is made from Rosewood and Sandalwood. Woods will oxidize and change when they are untreated. Ali asked me for colors I liked and when I told him dark mossy green he showed me a piece of oxidized rosewood which had turned into this really cool dark green. So the second pen was left unfinished so it can develop some of that color and change with time (and has done beautifully, as you can see in more recent posts on Instagram) I guess it’s the same thing as with metal pens. Some people go and polish them up, others deliberately touch Copper Pens with their hands so a nice patina forms. I’d do the patina thing, so obviously when I learned the same thing happens with woods, I wanted a pen like that.

Ali does not have a shop, everything he does are custom orders, so just contact him. Instagram


in no particular order, they are all amazing

  1. Yokepencompany
    Okay, this one first because I am currently in the ordering process for a custom piece. Chris was the first penmaker I ever followed on Instagram and he does truly spectacular work. He knows so much about the history of pens and does amazing replicas of old historical holders. I love all he does.
    Shop · Instagram
  2. MP.Oblique
    Gorgeous pens, I especially love the clear ones. Mostly obliques.
    Etsy · Instagram
  3. Ash Bush
    Wooden Pens with beautiful handpainted designs on them.
    Etsy · Instagram
  4. InkMeThis
    Fun acryllic obliques, I’m waiting for them to start making straight ones 😉
    Shop · Instagram
  5. Tomsstudio
    Clean looking partial copper pens I love.
    Shop · Instagram
  6. Held Holders
    Beautiful pens with handpainted floral illustrations.
    Etsy · Website · Instagram
  7. Huyhoangdao
    Beautiful replicas and lovely painted accents.
    Shop · Instagram
  8. FC Penholders
    Transparent holders, very limited quantity though.
    Etsy · Instagram
  9. Lindsey Hook
    Handcarved ergonomic pens.
    Shop · Instagram

Choosing the right holder is a choice that no one can do for you. It really all boils down to personal preference. When using a pen holder you shouldn’t feel any kind of pain, so make sure you get a pen that’s made for your grip and make sure to inform yourself on how to use the pen properly, take care of your hand.

First Time using a nib

When you are using a nib for the first time, I would recommend getting a straight and an oblique pen, so you can try out both and find out what you are more comfortable with. Only then can you really judge what your preference is.

Let’s talk about that Speedball Oblique

Okay, I had actually done A LOT of research before I placed my first oblique holder order because I am a crazy researcher (which is why I always have those gigantic blogposts, because I like my stuff all in one place). I never ordered a speedball until I decided to write this blogpost, because I had read about the reasons why pen experts and makers hate it.

I never extensively used the speedball, but the times I tried using it with a G nib were a pain. As mentioned before, the nib in an oblique holder has to be placed in the flange so that it aligns with the center of the handle, which is obviously not possible if you use a speedball, because the “flange” is closed in the back, so you cannot align it properly with every nib.

G nibs are incredibly large and definitely cause a very big misalignment with the speedball, which then leads to you overcompensating with your hand, and twisting it to a point where your wrist ends up hurting after a longer period of time.

If this holder really is your only option, then go with a smaller nib. A nib like the Gillott 404 which is a nib of similar stiffness and feel to a G nib, actually does not align perfectly, but it is a huge improvement to the G nib in there.

Personal Recommendations

Okay, first of all Chris Yoke has resently released an amazing two-in-one Oblique and Straight Holder. The Deuce I haven’t ordered one (yet) so I didn’t personally try it, but it is the cheapest metal flange oblique available and Chris definitely knows his geometry. So I would say this is probably your best option to try out both holders in one for a very low budget.

If you are willing to spend a little bit more, maybe after you decided which pen type you prefer, I absolutely love the straight turn of the century holder, it is the most comfortable mass-produced pen I own. I still use it almost every day (it is my pen for the “travelling nibs” my favorite nibs have permanent homes in my custom holders, the other ones are mostly used in this holder).

As for obliques I haven’t tried as many, but I just really like the Calligraphicashop Oblique Domique I got. The angle of the flange is not adjustable though, some people might not like it. Also it will be harder to use with smaller nibs, sometimes they will not line up with the center of the pen. But it works great with the standard ones and very large ones too.

I find the other flange holders quite hard to use with alfred type nibs, since they are very long and you have to push the nib really deep into the flange for that.

You don’t need a super fancy holder to do gorgeous calligraphy, just to make that point again. But a pen that makes you happy is a reason to pick it up more often. If a holder causes frustration practice is obviously not fun, so in a way a nice holder does help in getting better, in the way that it is part of the motivation to sit down and use it more often. Or at least that’s how it works for me.

And if you seriously read all of that, thanks!

As I have mentioned in the inserting nib section, nibs are quite sharp and sometimes they like to get stuck.

To minimize that kind of frustration I actually use a Goulet Grip. It is just a piece of rubber that adds some additional grip.

This little thing has saved me lots of cuts, frustration and actual nibs that I would’ve killed with some pliers if I didn’t have the grip. So if you ever order from goulet, definitely throw one of those in your cart, it’s fantastic!

Cork Calligraphy Nib Holder – The Paper Mouse


Online orders are packaged within 2-3 business days of purchase and sent via USPS Priority Mail.

Customers who would like to pick up their orders may select the free pickup option at checkout. Completed orders are available for pickup during our regular shop hours:
Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-6pm
Sunday: 11am-5pm

If you prefer curbside pickup, please call (617) 928-9898 when you arrive outside.

USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Here are the recommended December 25th shipping deadlines for the contiguous 48 US states, from the USPS website.

Shipping Method USPS Deadline

Place Your Paper Mouse Order By

USPS Retail Ground Service Dec. 15 Dec. 14, 5pm ET
First-Class Mail Service Dec. 18 Dec. 17, 5pm ET
Priority Mail Service Dec. 19 Dec. 18, 5pm ET

Priority Mail Express Service

Dec. 23 Dec. 21, 5pm ET

Check the USPS site for more details about arrival date guarantees, shipping to Alaska and Hawaii, and international shipping. The Post Office may experience delays this year, due to the much higher than average volume of mail expected this year. They recommend that you ship as early as possible.

The USPS only guarantees shipping dates for their Priority Mail Express Service. If you have a tracking number with USPS and your package does not arrive on time, please contact them to check on its status.

If we have made a mistake in shipping or missed a shipping date on an order placed before the Paper Mouse Order Deadline, get in touch with us, and we’ll expedite your order or issue a refund.

Local Area Delivery

To help our customers shop safely, we’re offering local order delivery. For customers who live within three miles of The Paper Mouse, we’ll provide local delivery services when you make a purchase on our website.

Customers with eligible addresses will see a local delivery option at checkout when you place an order online. Delivery is a flat-rate fee of $5. Orders will be delivered after 5pm on the business day after the order is received.


**Due to concerns about COVID-19, we are currently unable to accept returns on the items we ship. Please contact us at [email protected] if you receive a damaged or defective item, and we will do our best to help.

We accept returns for unused or defective items for up to 30 days with proof of purchase. Customers are responsible for return shipping costs unless an item was defective or an error was made on our part.

Backordered Items

In the event that an item you purchased becomes backordered, we will attempt to contact you to see if you wish to exchange with a different item or cancel your order. If we are unable to reach you within 72 hours, we will automatically refund the backordered item and ship the remainder of the order to you.

The Basics of Using a Dip Pen for Pointed Pen Calligraphy, Part 1 –

At first glance, looking into the world of pointed pen calligraphy can tend to feel a little overwhelming. Hopefully in this article and the next few articles as well, I can help de-mystify a little bit of the uncertainty for you so that you can learn what you need to know to begin your writing journey.

Anatomy of the Pointed Pen

Pointed pen calligraphy requires the use of a nib holder and a pointed pen nib. The nib is the part of the pen that you dip in the ink and use to draw your letters.

There are two types of pointed pen nib holders: straight and oblique. The straight holder looks just like a pen without a tip. It has an opening at the end that allows you to insert your nib directly into the end of the holder.

Straight holders are useful for creating calligraphy scripts with very little slant and for offhand flourishing or other calligraphy artwork.

Oblique holders have a flange that sticks out to the side at an angle to hold the nib. This angle allows you to produce writing at a slant while still using a natural pen hold.

Oblique holders are most helpful when writing calligraphy styles that are heavily slanted, like Copperplate (55º slant), Spencerian (52º slant), and modern calligraphy scripts that are slanted. (For my personal modern calligraphy style and brush calligraphy I use a 65º slant.)

How the Pen Works

The nib is shaped in a concave manner so that it can hold a good amount of ink, allowing you to write a word or two before having to re-dip the pen in the ink. This area of the nib is called the reservoir.

When pressure is applied to the nib, the two tines spread apart, allowing ink to flow to the paper in generous proportion. When pressure is released, the tines then snap back together and give a minimal amount of ink flow.

This difference in ink flow is what allows the calligrapher to draw varying thicknesses of ink to give the fine-appearing hairlines and the nice thick-looking downstrokes. We call these thick downstrokes “shades.”

Apply gentle pressure for downstroke
Release pressure for the hairline upstroke

Differences in Pointed Pen Nibs

Different nibs have varying amounts of stiffness/flexibility that greatly affect both the thickness of the shade and the thin-ness of the hairline. There are other differences in nibs too, like their compatibility with certain types of papers, how smooth or scratchy they feel, and how long they last.

Each person tends to develop a preference for a particular type of nib based on the amount of pressure they naturally assert on the pen. Beginners almost always tend toward heavier pressures than experienced calligraphers, and as the writing muscles are not yet fine-tuned, beginners are recommended to learn with nibs that are stiffer and can handle the higher level of pressure without releasing too much ink.

Like-wise the stiffer nibs are more forgiving with a little bit of shakiness on the hairline strokes, whereas more flexible nibs tend to react more quickly with a shaky hand and give uneven strokes.

The Best Pointed Pen Nibs for Beginners

I almost always see Nikko G nibs being recommended for beginners. However, I prefer to recommend the Zebra G nib, because it has a very similar flexibility, but a smoother writing experience. If you are just starting out with learning calligraphy, purchase as many different nibs as you can afford so that you can see the difference and determine which ones you like better than others.

Nibs are also rated by the range of x-heights they can accommodate. X-height refers to the measurement of the height of the lowercase letterform. Very small x-heights absolutely require extra fine nibs that are made for writing very small letters. The opposite concept is true for writing larger letters.

In future articles we will explore specific nibs in more detail and do some side-by-side comparisons.

How to Use a Dip Pen for Pointed Pen Calligraphy

In today’s article we looked at the very basics of dip pens, including the anatomy of the pen, how the nib works, and differences in nibs. I also gave you my recommendation of the best pointed pen nib for beginners.

In the next article in this two-part series, we will look at a step-by-step approach for how to properly use a pointed pen.

My Supply Recommendations

If you don’t already have your pointed pen supplies, I have some specific recommendations on my supplies page as well as on my beginners page. It would be a great a idea to go ahead and purchase these supplies so that you will be ready to get started when I post part 2 of this article in a couple days.

Looking for an Oblique Pen Holder? Here are a few things to consider

An oblique pen holder is an essential tool when you plan to take your calligraphy journey to the next level. Using an oblique pen holder is much more comfortable than using a straight pen holder, so much so that many calligraphers (including me) prefer to continue using an oblique once they’ve graduated from the straight.

However, purchasing an oblique pen holder isn’t quite as straightforward as purchasing a straight pen holder. This may come as a surprise to calligraphy beginners. There are two main things to keep in mind as you look for your first (or tenth!) oblique. And it is these two things that can make or break your calligraphy experience.

Wondering what they are? Let’s head right in!

The nib to oblique pen holder alignment

Imagine a line running through the center of the oblique. For the optimal scribing angle, it is important that the tip of the nib lie on this center line. If the tip extends too far out, like the Speedball plastic oblique pen holder pictured below, the nib will sit unbalanced. In other words, you will end up exerting more pressure on one tine of the nib than the other. Not only will this leave you with rough and jagged downstrokes, but will ultimately end-up being a cause of frustration. We don’t want that, do we?

Imagine a line running through the center of the oblique pen holder. The tip of the nib should lie on it.
This is clearly visible on the oblique on the left, whereas the nib extends too far out on the oblique pen holder on the right.

The angle between the nib and oblique pen holder axes

The second important criteria to keep in mind while purchasing an oblique pen holder. To better illustrate this, let’s take the example of the two pen holders I’m using as a reference for this post.

If you take a look at the Speedball oblique pen holder below, you will notice that the axes of the nib lies exactly on the axes of the pen holder. The angle between the two is zero.

In the case of the Speedball Plastic Oblique pen holder, axes of the nib and the holder lie on the same line.

However, when we consider Master Penman Michael Sull’s oblique pen holder below, you’ll notice that there is a slight angle between the nib and holder axes.

The angle between the axes of the nib and Michael Sull Oblique Pen Holder allows for a smoother writing experience.

This criteria is important because having an angle between the two ensures that your pen holder isn’t held at a steep angle while you scribe. When this scribing angle is not steep, your nib flows more smoothly over the paper. In other words, your nib is less likely to catch the fibers of your paper as you scribe, thus giving you a smooth, frustration-free writing experience.

The smaller nib to paper angle is much smaller, thus giving a smoother experience as you scribe.
The nib to paper angle is large, which means that the nib will catch the paper fibers more often.

One more thing…

So I’ve illustrated the difference between a plastic-flanged and a brass-flanged oblique pen holder and you now know which one of these will give you a better writing experience. Great!

But what happens if you buy a brass-flanged oblique pen holder and it still isn’t correctly adjusted?

In that case… grab a set of pliers and adjust it yourself!

This is the great thing about brass-flanged oblique pen holders. In case you find yourself with an oblique pen holder that is not correctly aligned, you can always DIY it. Simply insert your nib of choice into the brass flange and using a pair of pliers, align the tip of the nib with the center line of the pen holder.You might need to adjust the angle of the flange with respect to the nib as well. This usually varies from person-to-person depending on the size of one’s hand. Once you adjust this angle, you may need to go back and ensure that the tip of the nib is lying on the center of the pen holder.

Oblique pen holders with a brass flange can be easily (re)adjusted as opposed to those with a plastic flange

Speaking from experience…

With a plastic-flanged oblique pen holder, you’re severely limited because (a) the nib to pen holder alignment is incorrect to begin with, and (b) you cannot adjust the flange because it is fixed.

As someone who has brought a poorly-adjusted brass-flanged oblique pen holder, I cannot stress this enough. Make sure you can adjust your flange. When I first bought that pen holder, I thought I was doing something wrong and I continued using that oblique pen holder trying to figure out my mistake. However, it wasn’t me! It was the pen holder itself! It was only after I used my teacher Michael Sull’s oblique pen holder that I saw the amazing writing experience that a perfectly-adjusted oblique can offer. Till date, it is the oblique pen holder that I use most often and highly recommend to my students. Once I realized what was wrong, I made sure to adjust my first brass-flanged oblique pen holder and needless to say- it has made a huge difference.

What’s the investment like?

By now, you’re probably wondering how a brass-flanged oblique pen holder is going to affect your pocket.

I’m happy to report… not a lot.

The most basic oblique pen holder is the Speedball plastic. If you have absolutely no other tool to work with, by all means go ahead and use it. This pen holder costs about $5.

The next option is to grab an adjusted oblique pen holder from *here or here. I purchased this one when I was ready to move on from the Speedball. However, I did need to re-adjust the flange to get the correct nib to pen holder alignment. You might need to do this as well. This wooden oblique pen holder can cost you around $15.

Moving up the ladder, let’s talk about my favorite oblique pen holder. These handcrafted obliques by my teacher Master Penman Michael Sull cost around $50. If this falls within your budget, by all means go ahead and grab one. There’s no need to think twice. Michael’s obliques come in a variety of colors and styles. However, he doesn’t sell them online. If you’re interested in grabbing one of Michael’s magic wands, send me an email ([email protected]) and I’ll put you in touch with him.

That said, you’ll probably see oblique pen holders costing wayyyyy more, some as high as $300! They look exquisite and are gorgeous pieces of art. However, I haven’t bought one of these yet so I can’t speak about their writing quality. That said, it’s always a good idea to understand that you might need to re-adjust them instead of feeling disappointed that the price of the pen didn’t include the correct alignment between the nib and pen holder.

In conclusion

When you’re looking for a new calligraphy tool, always do your research- especially when it comes to an oblique pen holder.

Remember to keep the two criteria in mind as you do so:

  • the tip of the nib should lie on the center line of the pen holder, and
  • the axes of the nib and pen holder shouldn’t lie on the same line

In the event that you purchase a brass-flanged oblique pen holder but still lack the proper alignment, adjust the flange yourself. If you can, invest in a good quality oblique pen holder- preferably made by a professional calligrapher or from someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.

I’d love to know what your thoughts are. Did you notice the nib to oblique alignment before reading this post? Or perhaps you were also the victim of a poorly-adjusted oblique? Leave your comment below and let’s get talking.

Until next time!


*Psstt… I personally buy and use the products recommended above. However, this post contains affiliate links which means when you make a purchase using the links in this post, I get a small bonus (at no additional cost to you) to fund my monthly quota of cappuccinos.

90,000 pens, ink, ink, paper, pen holders

Calligraphy is a beautiful writing style and a form of fine art that consists in the artistic design of letters and numbers, which look like individual characters or whole texts. In our store you can buy goods for calligraphy, and for this we have a whole “calligraphy” section on our website. In it you will find:

  • Calligraphy paper
  • Calligraphy pens
  • Calligraphy pens
  • Calligraphy ink and ink for refills with ink and pens

Calligraphy paper

When you need to understand calligraphy that paperwork for training will take a lot.However, this does not mean that you need to choose plain or office paper. The fact is that on it you will not be able to achieve the desired progress – ink and ink behave unpredictably on it: they spread, you cannot control the thickness of the lines, the paper can take a wavy shape due to the amount of moisture or repel the ink. Therefore, to begin with, you should nevertheless choose a paper suitable for calligraphy, simply, perhaps not the most high-profile. The optimal student paper thickness is from 90 to 120 g / m2.This thickness may not seem too large to you, but the fact is that during training, you will most likely need to put a lined copy under the sheet so that the letters are written in even lines and do not “move” along the sheet. An accurate understanding of whether paper is right for you can only be given by the practice of writing on it. All artists work in different techniques, different ink and ink, to find “your” paper you need experience. When you have reached a new level of writing and already understand that you can try yourself on more serious paper, it is recommended to take paper with a thickness of 200 g / m2 made of cotton, smooth and even – the smoother the paper, the less texture and lack of relief, the it will be better to walk the surface of the feather on it, without clinging to anything.Paper that is not suitable for calligraphy:

  • Glossy and laminated paper – it is clear that ink and ink simply will not absorb into its surface and will rub off if you do not write with a permanent base.
  • Gelatin-coated paper
  • Textured, uneven paper
  • Paper with a coated surface – it is printed on by printers and it is not suitable for calligraphy The color of the paper can be any: white, ivory, bright or not very colors.Experiment with paper colors and ink colors! What kind of calligraphy paper can be bought in Art-Kvartal? Almost all reputable manufacturers. In our store, the assortment is selected in such a way that the artist chooses only among high-quality materials that have proven themselves in the creative community.

In the Art Quarter you can buy paper: Lana, Daler Rowney, Hahnemuhle and others. Calligraphy nibs Calligraphy nibs vary from thinnest to thickest and have different names, for example:

  1. Extra Fine (EEF, UEF, XXF), Extra Fine (EF, XF), Thin (F ), Medium (M), Wide (B).Extra-wide (EB), Extra-extra-wide (EEB), Oblique (OF, OM, OB), Cursive (IF, IM, IB), Truncated (Stub), Musical (Music).
  2. Or the pens have numbers: from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 including half sizes: 1.5 or 2, 5, etc.
  3. Sizes of poster pens: 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 15 The shape of the pens can also be different, and allow the writer to achieve different shapes and styles of lines and dots:
  4. Round hand (“Caroline Minuscule”) nib – the classic version of the pen, suitable for learning calligraphy
  5. Drafting pen with a small reservoir for ink accumulation – as you write, gives ink to paper
  6. Poster nibs with a wide nib – Scroll nib – double nib, creating two parallel lines at the same time when writing.
  7. Round nib nibs – Ornamental nib – Sharp nibs Drawing nib and Mapping nib – Fine nib nibs – Flexible nibs
  8. Scratching pen
  9. School nibs
  10. Universal nib or asterisk as it is also called Basic materials making calligraphy pens: bronze, steel, plastic, glass, wood and other materials. Perhaps, at the moment, one of the most popular materials for making feathers is bronze.

Pen holders. In addition to feathers, our store also sells their holders. The holders are straight and angled or oblique. The first is more suitable for vertical lettering, and oblique for mixed styles. A suitable holder can be selected by practice.

Calligraphy pens.

Calligraphy pens have a number of advantages:

  • Typically refilled with ink cartridges, they will last a long time.
  • The pen is elegant and aesthetically pleasing
  • The pen makes the writing process cleaner in the literal sense – excess ink and ink will not spill
  • The pen is convenient in terms of volume and regularity of ink supply Ink and ink for calligraphy.The classic calligraphy ink is black. There are also colored mascaras. Most often, ink is liquid, but it also happens in dry form in tiles or pressed sticks.

There are different types of mascara:

  • One of the most popular is waterproof Indian mascara, which consists of soot in a shellac solution. – Water mascara – consists of soot dissolved in glue, therefore mascara has an average water resistance.
  • Acrylic ink – a colorful pigment dissolved in a polymer – is an acrylic paint adapted for calligraphy and having the consistency and other properties of ink.
  • Polymer, latex mascara is one of the most resistant mascaras; it is precisely this ink that artists use with watercolors to draw outlines. Good mascara – it does not have extra hard sprinkles, pellets, does not exfoliate and does not fade over time. Other calligraphy tools. In addition to ink and calligraphy pens, there are other writing tools such as markers, liners, and brush-heads. They can also be used for artistic writing. – Markers are watercolor, acrylic, chalk, oil and, of course, alcohol of various thicknesses.- Liners and capillary pens – pens with thin rods of various thicknesses, black and colored – Felt-tip pens and brush pens – have a fine tip and a fairly large palette of colors. Go to Calligraphy section


In 2015, we invented a unique universal flange for calligraphy oblique holders, in the same year we launched our own production and began to sell the holders all over the world.Our Calligraphica Oblique Domique holders are sold in renowned calligraphy stores such as John Neal Books (USA) and Scribblers (UK). Our tools are sold by representatives in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia, and with our store on, holders are sent to all parts of the world. The unique author’s flange allows you to write with any pens without additional tools: large vintage, standard modern, the thinnest crumbs like Hunt 104 or Brause EF 66 and cartographic ones with a tube base.The shape of the flange is so convenient that the craftsmen began, if not to copy it insolently, but to use the principle of operation.

Feathers are not included in the price, laid out here in order to understand the capabilities of the holder.

Universal holder for cursive writing – Copperplate, also known as English Italic, Spencerian and popular modern calligraphy. Holds all types of pens, does not require additional tools for adjustment – screwdrivers, round-nose pliers. The flange (the part that directly holds the feather) has a unique shape, which was specially developed after a detailed study of all available species.The adjusting bolt is located on the side of the holder, thereby balancing the handle, making it convenient in practice, eliminating unnecessary stress that may arise from unbalanced universal holders. The holder itself is made of oak. Natural wood is impregnated with linseed oil mixed with natural beeswax, which protects the wood while maintaining the natural pleasant texture of the wood.

The holder can be purchased in different configurations:

  • standard – just a holder
  • complete with a stew-accumulating clip
  • a holder with pen angle adjustment
  • and a complete set: a holder with pen angle adjustment and a stew-accumulator clip.

Pen Angle Adjustment: Calligraphica Oblique Domique Oblique Holder is the only holder with adjustable pen angle. This may have happened before, users simply put some stops in the flange, which helped to fix the pen in the desired position. Now such fine tuning can be done using the built-in adjustment, which makes it possible to adjust the pen angle strictly for yourself for the most comfortable writing.

90,000 Calligraphy Tools –

This category contains all the pens and sets of the store intended for calligraphy. Broad nibs (1 to 6 mm) for western calligraphy and nylon or natural brush pens for oriental calligraphy.

Kaweco Calligraphy pen set (white body) 5306 p.In garbage Kaweco Calligraphy pen set (black body) 5782 p. In garbage Lamy Joy 1.1 (black-red) 2370 p. In garbage Lamy Joy 1.5 (black-red) 2370 p. In garbage
Lamy Joy 1.9 (black-red) 2370 p. In garbage Lamy Joy 1.1 (aluminum) 2740 p. In garbage Lamy Joy 1.5 (aluminum) 2740 p. In garbage Lamy Joy 1.9 (aluminum) 2740 p. In garbage
Lamy Joy Calligraphy Kit (Matte Black) 6610 p.In garbage Pentel Pocket Brush (4 black cartridges, black body) 1200 p. In garbage Rotring Artpen Calligraphy 1900 p. In garbage Rotring Artpen Calligraphy 1.5

1660 p. 1730 p.
Sold out!

Rotring Artpen Calligraphy 1.nine 2109 p. In garbage Rotring Artpen Calligraphy 2.3 1900 p. In garbage Rotring Artpen Lettering M 1900 p.In garbage Rotring Artpen Lettering B 1790 p. In garbage
Pilot Parallel Pen 2.four 620 p. In garbage Pilot Parallel Pen 3.8 620 p. In garbage Pilot Parallel Pen 6.0 620 p. In garbage Platinum 5000 calligraphy brush (black body, natural bristles)

4790 p. Sold out!

Platinum 3000 calligraphy brush (aluminum finish) 2870 p.In garbage Pilot Parallel Pen 1.5 620 p. In garbage Sailor Calligraphy ‘Fude de Mannen’

1144 p.Sold out!

Sailor Profit (brush handle) 2118 p. In garbage
Platinum 2000 calligraphy brush 1910 p.In garbage Lamy Joy Calligraphy Kit (gloss black)

6190 p. Sold out!

Platinum 4000 Calligraphy Brush (Cranes & Sunrise) 4300 RUBIn garbage Platinum 4000 Calligraphy Brush (Sakura) 4300 RUB In garbage
Sakura Calligraphy pen 1.0 200 p. 195 p.
In garbage Sakura Calligraphy pen 3.0 200 p. 191 p.
In garbage Sakura Pigma Brush (black brush handle) 258 p.In garbage Edding Calligraphy pen kit (2.0, 3.5, 5.0 mm, black) 350 RUB In garbage
Cretacolor Calligraphy Ink (Black) 450 p.In garbage Cretacolor pen holder (green) 490 p. In garbage Cretacolor pen holder (red) 490 p.In garbage Cretacolor pen holder (wood, varnish) 475 p. In garbage
Cretacolor Pen Holder (Silver White)

464 p.Sold out!

Cretacolor calligraphy nib set (5 pcs) 577 p. In garbage Cretacolor Leonardt Calligraphy Nib (2.4 mm)

47 p. Sold out!

Cretacolor calligraphy set 2492 p. In garbage
Cretacolor pen holder (red) 217 p.In garbage Cretacolor pen holder (green) 217 p. In garbage Cretacolor Leonardt Right-Oblique Feather (2mm) 85 p.In garbage Cretacolor Leonardt poster nib (8 mm)

108 p. Sold out!

Cretacolor Leonardt pen for drawing 54 p.In garbage Cretacolor Leonardt feather for ornament (3.5 mm)

78 p. Sold out!

Speedball pen holder Ergonomic

320 p.Sold out!

Speedball nib holder Oblique 450 p. 300 p.
In garbage
Speedball nib C0 5mm 390 p.212 p.
In garbage Speedball C1 nib 4mm 390 p. 212 p.
In garbage Speedball C4 pen 1.5 mm 390 p. 212 p.
In garbage Speedball C6 nib 0.5mm 390 p. 212 p.
In garbage
Speedball 512F Feather 205 p.In garbage Speedball 513 EF Feather 205 p. In garbage Feather Brause Pfannen 50

135 p.Sold out!

J.Herbin Calligraphy Ink 50 ml (white)

895 p. Sold out!

Calligraphy ink J.Herbin 50 ml (black)

895 p. Sold out!

J.Herbin Calligraphy Ink 50 ml (blue)

895 p. Sold out!

Calligraphy ink J.Herbin 50 ml (red) 895 p. In garbage J.Herbin Calligraphy Ink 50 ml (green)

895 p. Sold out!

Calligraphy ink J.Herbin 50 ml (brown) 895 p. In garbage J.Herbin Calligraphy Ink 50 ml (yellow) 895 p. In garbage Calligraphy ink J.Herbin 50 ml (purple) 895 p. In garbage Tachikawa G-nib Feather

140 p. Sold out!

Nikko G-nib pen

180 p.Sold out!

Zebra G-nib nib

180 p. Sold out!

Calligraphica Oblique holder

2040 p.Sold out!

90,000 Calligraphic start: the first experience, tools, tips

“Being a calligrapher is almost the same as being a dancer: you have to train every day to become a master,” – Nicolas Ushenir.

Just 25-30 years of rapid development of technology – and we live in a world where paper for writing is being replaced by displays, electronic books in bags have been replaced by ordinary ones, and children learn to type on the keyboard before they grab a pen.In such a context, it might seem that calligraphy is a doomed art. But this is not the case.

What unites fashionistas Dior, the White House and IT giant Apple?

Let’s look for a second in Paris, at the shows of fashion houses Dior, Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, Lanvin. Each guest – from the first place at the podium to the last one at the entrance, carries personalized invitations made in an excellent calligraphic style. All cards were designed by one person – French calligrapher Nicolas Ushenir.

He not only signs by hand about 15 thousand cards a season, but also comes up with new fonts, logos, “graphic cards” of the brand for demanding clients. The master had a good handwriting since childhood, but then he could not even dream that stylish curls and letters could become a real profession and open the doors of legendary houses for him.

The leaders of the IT market are using the ancient art of “beautiful writing”. Apple has invited American calligrapher Jake Weidmann, who holds the rare title of Master Penmen, to unveil the new iPad Pro with Apple Pencil.In the promo video, Jack uses the stylus to follow the movements of the pen and draw something incredible on the tablet screen. In fact, the master never changes handwriting: he is sure that the human hand is the best tool capable of creating, if not ideal, but meaningful inscriptions and paintings.

Calligraphy occupies a special place in the life of the White House. Separate office employees are responsible for all letters, envelopes with addresses, invitations and notices sent by the residence of the President of the United States.In high-level diplomacy, the personal character of correspondence emphasizes respect for the addressee. And even the cards with the names of the guests at the Thanksgiving table are also written by in-house calligraphers.

Why learn calligraphy

Anyone who wants to can learn how to make sophisticated lettering on envelopes, postcards, invitations to parties and weddings. Even if now it seems that you are capable of ruining a notebook with illegible handwriting, with due diligence everything will work out.You can already love calligraphy for the fact that it promotes artistic self-expression, teaches patience and accuracy: try not to spill ink on the table and not grind such a carefully drawn symbol.

This hobby takes a little time, and the minimum set of tools does not require significant financial costs. After all, is it really not curious to touch the ancient traditions of “beautiful writing”, dating back not only to the history of European civilization – Ancient Greece and Rome, but also to eastern China and Japan?

How to choose your first tools

Let’s start with the main calligraphy tool – the conventional pen.In fact, today it can be a metal nib with a holder, a fountain pen, a rollerball pen, a paintbrush, a more modern brush pen, and even a real quill pen. The tool you choose depends on your background in calligraphy, the style and the font you want to learn.

Beginners will find it easier to use a fountain pen or rollerball pen that can be refilled with pre-made ink cartridges in a variety of colors. Some craftsmen also advise a pointed metal nib and a simple straight holder made of metal or wood.Beveled holder – for more experienced learners. It allows you to change the angle of the pen and experiment, for example, with the Latin alphabet.

There is also a wide nib, suitable for Italic and Gothic fonts. Working with him is not so easy, but interesting. It is less flexible when pressed than pointed nibs. He is often chosen by left-handers. The thickness of the nib is indicated on the package in millimeters.

After the first lessons, you can purchase a set of nibs of different flexibility with a holder to individually select the thickness of the lines.

Traditional Chinese and Japanese calligraphy uses brushes rather than pens to draw characters. The bristles on the hands are usually made of synthetic materials, so they stick well together. Brushes are suitable for so-called “square” fonts.


Brush pen is a modern brush implementation. It is refilled with a cartridge, not dipped in an ink tank. There are also paintbrushes, which are essentially a marker with a brush. It is much easier to write with them.


For beginners, drawing paper with a smooth surface (from 90 g / m2) is more suitable. Writing looks nice on texture sheets, but to learn how to draw clear, straight, and precise lines, you need to avoid excessive rubbing of the pen on the surface of the paper.

If you choose so-called layout paper or drawing paper, thin and smooth, you can put a template with lines and an alphabet under it and practice the first strokes by example.

It is convenient to use albums with 125 g / m2 paper and special sizing, thanks to which the ink will not bleed through to the back side.

In addition to specialized calligraphic paper, the Rhodia Dot Pad is also suitable – the dots on the pages of the notebook will help to build the inscription correctly.

For oriental calligraphy, you can choose parchment paper. Having mastered the basics of technology, let your imagination run wild and look for materials to your liking.

Inks, cartridges, ink

Sharp-pointed nibs and brushes require ink and an ink bottle, while roller pens, fountain pens and brush pens require refill cartridges.If the pen is equipped with a refillable cartridge, do not dip it into the ink tank.

While modern tools are easy to use and write neatly, working with an inkwell at your fingertips will give you the pleasure of inheriting a tradition. But you need to be careful not to get dirty on the paper, table, hands and everything around. Place a container of water next to it and prepare a piece of cloth to clean the nib on occasion.

Non-waterproof dye-based inks are available for learning by refilling fountain pens or refillable nibs.Pigment ink (ink or Sumi ink) is waterproof, but it will destroy the fountain pen and will only work for nibs. For pointed, thin brushes, you can also use gold, white, or silver leave-in mascara. Here’s how to draw on white and dark paper.

Experienced calligraphers manage to write not only with colored ink, but also with gouache, watercolors and acrylics – it looks unusual, but who said that you can’t fantasize in calligraphy?

Where to start?

Pay attention to the organization of the workspace.Have a lot of free space on the table and few unnecessary items. The hand should be comfortable and hold the pen at a 45-degree angle. Place the inkwell to the right of your hand (if you are left-handed, then to the left) so as not to accidentally turn it over. Many calligraphers advise writing on an inclined surface like an easel or an old school desk.

Before using a new pen for the first time, remove the oil coating from it, otherwise it will not glide smoothly on the paper.Use rubbing alcohol or a feather cleaning solution to do this.

After you have finished your work, wash off normal ink with slightly soapy water and dry the pen. Waterproof ink, acrylic or Indian (pigment) ink must be removed with a special solution.

Remember the writing lessons in 1st grade? And now, first of all, you will have to learn how to draw straight lines and curves. Calligraphic curves have a peculiarity: the line that leads up should be thin, and the line that goes down – on the contrary, thick.Change the pressure of the pen, but don’t press too hard, and the lines will be correct.

When you have mastered the elements of letters, it is time to move on to letters, and only then – to individual words. Learn the style of each letter in the font you choose. A calligraphy exercise book or template sheets will help with this. Those parts of the letters that are below the line must be parallel to each other.

First of all, we advise you to watch the lessons of the owner of the London calligraphy studio Paul Antonio, which will help you take your first steps in calligraphy.The master’s clients are the jewelry house Tiffany, Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton. Here are a few basic entry-level videos: First Touches, How to choose a brush for calligraphy, Tool selection and tips for using them. The calligrapher has his own YouTube channel, where he collected a lot of educational materials.

Three more useful lessons for beginners: Lesson 1. How to hold the pen correctly and draw straight lines. Lesson 2. Draw curves and first letters. Lesson 3.Letters for beginners.

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90,000 Oblique Oblique Pen Holders Overview
  1. Plastic flange, or Speedball .

Compatible with limited edition pens, which are not very convenient for a beginner to write with. However, simple and inexpensive beginner nibs are not compatible with this holder.

These holders do not allow you to adjust the angle of the pen to the paper. To be honest, Speedball holders have only one advantage – the low price. Designed for newbies to try out the oblique nib without spending a lot of money on a pen holder. However, the plastic oblique penholder turned out to be incompatible with newbie nibs, which made the meaning of its use completely incomprehensible.

  1. Fixed flange (on screw)

Compatible with all pens, but does not allow individual adjustment of the angle of the pen to paper.

  1. Metal flange (classic)

This is a flange made of two interconnected metal plates that tilt the pen relative to the axis of the holder. The movable flange allows you to adjust the angle of the pen to the paper, which will allow you to find a comfortable pen position for your writing style and selected font.

Metal holders are available for different groups of nibs, so you need to choose a tool depending on whether you write with large G nibs or standard Hunt 101 radius nibs and similar. Flanges of different radii are needed for these two groups of nibs, and you can buy classic holders of both categories. Then you have only two tools for working with all kinds of pens.

  1. Bullock flange

With this holder, the pen angle is adjustable, the pen is fixed with a screw.This is a universal pen holder that fits all types of nibs, however, you must wear and use a screwdriver at all times to install or remove the nib, which can cause some discomfort.

Calligraphy and lettering for beginners

Are you interested in learning calligraphy?

If so, then you’ve just come across the perfect article to do it.

Learning calligraphy is not an easy process, but with the right teaching materials it can take less time than you think.

What is calligraphy?

This term is borrowed from the ancient Greek language and means the art of beautiful writing.

Instead of just writing pretty letters, calligraphers are expected to follow a number of rules and traditions, including those that govern the placement and placement of letters in text.

How to master calligraphy? More importantly, does it really make sense to do this?

For example, if you’re a designer, modern calligraphy is a great skill to add to your resume and the fastest way to attract clients with elegant logos, signs, cards, invitations, and more.d.

Our article on calligraphy for beginners will help you familiarize yourself with all these things and help you learn calligraphy, and give your work a recognizable and personal style.

Here is our compact guide to calligraphy:

Learning Calligraphy – Getting Started

How to learn calligraphy? The first step along this path is to get the right equipment, including the best calligraphy pens. Calligraphy with a pointed pen will require you to learn how to use a fountain pen.Including one that is made of a metal tip – a feather, and attached with a special holder.
All similar calligraphy basics guides recommend these pens as they contain no ink inside and cannot do any damage – instead, you dip them in a special container while writing and benefit from their flexibility to experiment with different line variations. This way, your nib will never corrode or clog, despite the sheer amount of different inks you must use to complete your project.

How to use calligraphy pens? Here are the tools you will need:

  • Pens
  • Pen Holders
  • Paper suitable for fountain pens
  • Ink


For beginners who are learning how to use a calligraphic pen, we recommend the Nikko G-Nib nib. It is relatively rigid and draws nice lines with the desired level of flexibility.

Pen holder

There are two types of pen holders: straight and oblique (oblique).The first look is better suited for vertical calligraphy styles, while the slanted holders make it easier to combine several different styles.

A high quality, affordable alternative is the Speedball Oblique Pen Nib Holder and the Tachikawa Comic Pen Nib Holder for Various Pen Nib – Model 25 (great for vertical styles as it holds more firmly than other similar pen holders) …

There are designers who use the same pen holder for all calligraphy pens, but we advise beginners to try a few different options before choosing one pen holder.


The roughness of plain paper will prevent you from using it for calligraphy. Other challenges include situations where your nib clings to paper and leaves annoying ink blots.

In addition, regular printing paper has more fibers and therefore absorbs ink and allows it to diffuse within the sheet, which is likely to be an obstacle to the sleek, clean lines that calligraphers aim for.

To make your calligraphy more effective and enjoyable, buy paper that is suitable for nibs and fountain pens. For example, the popular brand Rhodia, whose paper is very smooth and ink resistant. Several types of paper are available: blank, inline, or dotted.


There are several types of ink suitable for fountain pens, but beginners should always choose good quality black samples. Our choice is Speedball Super Black India, as this ink is very dark, waterproof, and in addition to that at a reasonable price.

Preparation tips

As with any creative process, calligraphy is best practiced in a pleasant work environment.

A comfortable and well-organized table where you can place all your supplies and feel positive and relaxed is the best place to practice your calligraphy skills.

Choosing the best place to work

To get the most out of your calligraphy practice, choose a comfortable and relaxing place where you can rest your feet comfortably.Organize your supplies well and keep the area clear of clutter to allow enough room for your hands to move.

Writing paper should be placed on a special writing board or at least 5-6 sheets. This way, you have a soft surface that will allow you to write more naturally than on a desk, and the surface will not allow your paper to fidget.

Instrument preparation

Make sure there is a fluffy towel and a cup of water nearby so you can clean the feather.Paper towels are also great, but keep in mind that the fibers can snag on the tip and cause irritating blots.

Your ink should be placed in a wide-necked bottle or jar so that you do not touch the sides with the nib. And place the bottle where you can’t knock it over easily. Basically, your work tools should be within reach, but still at a safe distance. For example, we put them on a roll of tape or even close them to avoid risk.

As mentioned earlier, you must place the pen inside the holder. The easiest way to do this is to take the nib somewhere near its base and then insert the nib into the holder using its outer ring.

Make sure not to hold the nib by the nib, as this can bend and deform the nib. To get it right, find the YouTube manual and follow the instructions.

Basic Calligraphy strokes

The structural elements of calligraphy are thick downward strokes and thin upward strokes.Subtle upward strokes are easy to draw as you effortlessly hold the pen and move it upward.

Thick strokes, on the other hand, require more pressure as the pen is moved down. Of course, you must balance and combine both movements to get the best line change.

Before starting, dip the nib deep into the ink bottle, making sure the breathing hole on the back of the nib is completely closed. Wipe off excess ink from the side and you can start writing.

Here are the rules you should follow:

Downward strokes come first. Do not press too hard – this will help to observe the change in line thickness. This way you will also protect your pen.

Experiment with different loops and combine thinner ascending strokes and thicker descending strokes. Continuous loops will help you connect them and come up with the perfect combination.

Continue with thick downward strokes and slowly release the pen, working downward.

Change the order. Draw downward strokes so that they appear to flow downward.

Continue with ovals. Apply firm pressure on the left side and lighter pressure on the right side.

It often happens that a new pen draws two parallel lines instead of one, or “railways,” as experienced calligraphers call them. This is because you either pressed too hard on the nib or there is not enough ink left.

Equipment and stroke tips for professionals

For those of you who are sure that you are starting to write professionally, we have prepared some embellishments to add to your beautiful lettering.

Variable letters

An easy way to give your writing a sophisticated look is to change the slant. You can easily change the width of the strokes and the length of their connections. Start by changing the letter spacing and give the baseline a slanted, stepped, or curved look.

Changes like these can help change the feel your letter produces, as well as the message it conveys. Is it formal, dynamic, or eccentric? Think about it!

You can also change the way the letters are formed, make them a little thinner, rounder, or even connect them differently.Do this a few times and you’ll come up with a completely new design for sure.

Swirls and decoration

You are learning calligraphy, so you need to make some squiggles. Squiggles can be added to your text like curls and loops to make it more beautiful and eye-catching. For example, you can cross heavy lines with lighter ones to show that you care about the visual balance of the text.

Another option is to decorate the calligraphy with special designs that match your words, or use banners to highlight important lines.The more complex your design, the smarter it will be to start drawing with a pencil and testing it.

Traditional calligraphy Image source: Inkration

Spencerian and Copperplate are excellent examples of traditional calligraphic handwritten fonts. There aren’t many font options out there right now, but their classic elegance is undeniable. Special projects may require you to become familiar with them, and it is also useful as a workout.

Perfect Nibs

Your ideal nib should be sharp, flexible and responsive.This way, you can draw thinner lines and enrich them with spectacular and graceful finishes. For sensitive projects we recommend, in particular, three excellent nibs:

  • Speedball No. 101
  • Brause 361 Steno Blue Pumpkin
  • Brause 66 Extra Fine Arrow

None of these nibs are easy to use, but all the effort is worth it.

Tips and Tricks

You’ve just started to monetize your calligraphy skills, but something still looks completely wrong.You may be having problems using the pen, in which case you may find the following tips helpful:

If you have problems with strokes:

  • Instead of doing like everyone else, try faux calligraphy and see how the strokes look and draw. Write neatly and fill in the blanks. This way, you will simulate perfect lines and see what you actually have to do.
  • Practice on printable sheets until you learn how to make perfect letters.It is not hard to find samples of basic strokes and uppercase letters on the Internet.
  • Start with lighter pencil sketches and tracing them slowly with the pen. Once the ink is dry, erase all traces of the pencil.
  • Big letters make it easier to see critical errors.

If your letters have a sloping slope:

  • Use the incline guidelines while exercising. Draw one of your own using a protractor, or even use plain paper.Place the sample page under the sheet to make the process easier.
  • Rotate the paper to create the correct slant. You will immediately see which position is best for you.
  • To avoid rotating the paper, replace the current pen holder with a tilted one.

If your hand is unsteady or tired:

  • Use the practice strokes to warm up.
  • Hold the pen loose and shake your hand.
  • Move your entire hand as you write, not just your wrist.
  • Spend more time training. Get more exercise even when you are just using your phone. This will help make your hand move smoothly and naturally.

If ink just doesn’t stay on the pen

  • Some of the newer nibs have a very thin layer of oil that may not match your ink. To prevent a serious problem, wipe it with rubbing alcohol (or a soft toothbrush and paste) or simply run it through a flame.
  • The problem may also be that there is dried ink on the nib that interrupts its flow. If so, take a nib cleaner and clean it out.
  • Please note that a regularly used pen requires periodic cleaning and maintenance. To clean it properly, remove it from its holder, brush it gently and let it dry before using it again.

If your job may require some update:

  • Change nibs and try some new ones.
  • Change ink. You can find many types of ink suitable for calligraphy, but fountain pens can usually carry any liquid that can leave marks when applied to paper. Some designers even prefer to use unconventional methods and make their drawings using watercolors, coffee or berry juice.

Select style

Unlike calligraphers of the past, designers today can choose any style they like, or even master multiple styles professionally to complete a variety of projects.As discussed earlier, knowledge of several styles of calligraphy is useful for showcasing a writer’s personality, conveying an important message, or simply complementing a formal occasion. Here are some popular ideas to inspire you:

Combine styles

Just because the tone is classic and vintage doesn’t mean the font won’t look modern. Combining these styles will impress everyone who sees your work, from your friends to the Queen of England!

Elegant calligraphy

Writing can be fun and challenging at the same time, and elegant calligraphy is proof of that.Mixing classic lettering with energetic swirls is the best choice you should use in your wedding invitation design and other special occasions.

Romantic and artistic

Has it happened to you that a particular thin print reminds you of romance?

These lace lettering features beautiful steep swirls that are suitable for sophisticated caps and invitations that will grab your guests’ attention.


Whimsical lettering seems light and relaxed, and usually inspires us to think about fairy tales and escape from reality. This is because of their flowing baseline and dynamic angles that this font style defines our mood, how a well-written poem makes us dream of adventure.

Cheerful font

Regardless of age, you are always attracted to beautiful invitations – a trick that designers often use.The ideal typeface for invitations like this is fun, done with playful baselines and rounded letters to set a good tone for the times.

Important Facts About Calligraphy
  • Calligraphy is not learned overnight. You must practice as often and often as possible.
  • It will take no more than two hours and several tries to find out if you can really do calligraphy.
  • If you’re not 100% focused, it won’t work.And this is the end of the story.
  • Calligraphy is not only how you write, but what you write. This is why you should always write “real” words and convey a meaningful message.
  • You must learn continuously. By doing this, you will discover a vast world that will captivate you and make you search for more. This entertaining process is simply unmatched.
  • There is a difference in quality, so make sure you buy high quality materials and accessories.
  • Calligraphers are generally friendly people and great conversationalists. As such, they are your best source of information and inspiration, and you should start looking for a mentor immediately.

Top Five Calligraphy Options

In the following we outline the most important basic principles of calligraphy, categorized into five different approaches, sets of lines and letterforms. This section will also help you learn about the different tools and techniques that can be used for your projects, and we encourage you to try them all.

Twin pencils

Twin pencils are simple and very useful for those who draw calligraphic letters. They can also be used to create large and attractive lettering for posters, banners, and similar promotional materials.

You need a pair of well-sharpened pencils and two rubber bands. First, scrape off some of the side of the pencils so that they fit snugly together.

Leave them together in an upright, downward position and make sure their tips are at the same level when touching the paper.For this purpose, you can secure them with tape or rubber bands at both ends.

Then take the double pencil and hold it in the usual drawing position. Ideally, it should be directed at an angle of about 45 degrees.

While both pencils are placed on the paper, lightly press down on them and slide them forward and to the left. The distance between their points is what forms the so-called “invisible feather”.

When you move your hand, you will draw a double line, and if you choose to draw circles by pointing them in the same direction, your double pencil will create unique thin and thick ribbons with unmatched precision.

If you are not comfortable with the angles of the pen, think carefully about all movements and directions.

This process requires three different skills: working with the pen angle; direction of hand movement; and the correct pressure on the paper.


These handles are more than comfortable, very bright and, most importantly, much cheaper than all similar tools.

Of course, there are downsides, and the ink of these pens tends to fade over time, or maybe look too heavy and can be easily damaged by the slightest pressure.This is why these pens are a great training tool, but not the best alternative for important projects.

To choose a marker for yourself, take a pen and a piece of paper. First, take two markers: 3-5 mm and 1.5-2 mm. Start with the wider

You also don’t have to worry about paper: markers work well on printer paper, parchment (not the best for beginners) or similar materials.

Pressing should be light and even, as many calligraphers undergoing training make the mistake of pressing too hard.This will not improve the work of the marker, but will only ruin it. On the other hand, maintaining contact with the paper will yield much better results.

Touch the paper with only one corner of the nib, then try another to see what your letter will look like.

Place the nib all the way down on the page and then rock it slowly: feel that one corner is not touching the paper and the other is still on it? It’s almost like magic!

This time, place the full width of the nib on the page, making sure both corners touch it appropriately.Remember that this is the perfect writing contact, and if you push harder, any corner of the nib will come off the paper.

The pen angle and pressure are two different points and the pen should point to the left and forward approximately 5 degrees. While doing this, the hand should be moved to draw the faint and beautiful ribbons.

For clearer lines, consider buying a higher quality marker, but you should only think about it after you feel confident in practical calligraphy professionally.

The best set at the best price we recommend is the Sharpie Calligraphic, which contains 12 nibs in different colors and sizes; and the Staedtler Duo – a set of 2 good quality markers. An excellent set that won’t smudge or drip is called the Calligraphy Pen Set and comes with four lightfast inks in primary colors.

As discussed earlier, it makes no sense to buy specialty calligraphy paper while you are studying, as printer paper is cheaper and suitable for our purposes.

However, if persistent ink stains annoy you, you may consider buying Ampad office notebooks or heavy drawing paper such as those used in the UK, but keep in mind that this will cost a little more.

Calligraphy with refillable and cartridge pens

You will need: pen, separate ink supply (refill bottle or included cartridge).

Refillable fountain pens and cartridge fountain pens work as follows: Each pen has a large reservoir filled with more liquid ink, and this ink will flow through the body baffles controlled by an internal mechanism.This way, the ink will flow directly into the nib unit and easily be applied to the page.

With a pen like this, you also get several different nib sizes and a wide variety of cartridges for use with the main pen body.

The biggest advantage of using refillable and cartridge pens is that they are easy to operate on horizontal surfaces thanks to their advanced mechanical ink flow control mechanism.

Unlike fountain pens that need to be dipped in ink, these pens run out of ink in the middle of a word and are certainly a much safer option for awkward beginners.

Cartridge ink is thinner to avoid drying out and clogging the insides of your pen. It also gives them a lovely delicate look when applied to paper.

The nib itself is also quite stiff, considering that its mechanisms must be screwed into the body. This means that cartridge inks, combined with a flexible and responsive nib, can truly transform your entire calligraphy experience.

Just like fountain pens, cartridge-refilled pens leak spectacularly.

This does not change the fact that ink remaining inside the pen over time can dry out and clog, making it necessary to maintain it properly. You will need to wash the nib thoroughly, but you can never remove all the ink stuck in their reservoir.

Bonus tip

Refillable and cartridge pens are considered by calligraphy specialists to be the most convenient and common on many popular websites.For this reason, beginners are strongly encouraged to use them.

Fountain pens and quills

There are many different types of pens, but there are a few basic principles that apply to all fountain pens. For example, all fountain pens are composed of the following elements:

  1. Pen Holders – The pen holder is the area that the writer will squeeze while working and therefore should be comfortable and soft in the hand.Most often, holders have internal metal fittings on either end of the pen so you can move them around safely.
  2. Nibs are the metal ends of the handle that have two separate pieces and an elongated “tongue” that holds them together. Their nib has a square cut to make full contact with the paper, and is usually flexible enough to allow ink to be distributed smoothly and evenly over the surface.
  3. Reservoirs are sometimes found inside the structure of your nib and look like small tilted bowls on the side used to feed ink into the slot.Some of them look like individual metal cups that you must clip onto the nib before you can use them, including the ones on the top and bottom of the nib. The main function of the reservoirs is to collect some ink and support it at the top of the slot so that you can write at least a few words before refilling them with ink again.

The reservoirs will not always be inside the pen, which allows you to buy each of the three elements separately, namely to mix and match them with each other.The options are endless and cannot be combined in one tutorial, but the experience of popular calligraphers can help you make the right decision.

As a beginner, you may also want to save time and effort, and therefore consider purchasing a pre-assembled calligraphy kit. In most cases, you will be given 4-6 different nibs with holders and reservoirs, and they will cost less than if you bought them separately. Once again, we recommend the Speedball Calligraphy Kit, which has a holder and even 6 different nibs.

Ink may not be included in your kit, so start searching for a suitable ink.

Best Fountain Pen Ink Types

Best results are obtained with opaque and thick inks such as Chinese, India or even gouache ink that you have previously thinned to achieve the desired consistency.

For faint strokes, you might consider the watery ink typical of fountain pens.

Instead, you can grab a medium sized brush suitable for watercolors and then refill the reservoir at the top of the nib slot.

Sloped Calligraphy

The fountain pen makes it easier to write on inclined surfaces than on a regular writing desk. This includes easels and a board resting on your lap and supported by the edges of the table. Calligraphy is time consuming, so make sure you’re comfortable with it.

  • First, select a stable writing surface that will not slip.
  • Adjust the seating position and make sure you are comfortable and relaxed.
  • If possible, fix the surface of the paper on an inclined surface (you can use office clay (Blu Tack) and duct tape).

If you are using a quill pen or fountain pen:

  • Keep the ink / paint open and place it next to the hand you are not writing about.
  • Choose a good “parking spot” to dunk the pen safely and avoid splashing ink onto other surfaces. You can bring a small saucer that will hold your tools while you are on a break or when you have a phone call.

Please note: Dipping the pen into an open ink bottle will cause ink to spill onto the holder and eventually get your fingers dirty as you work.

How to refill the nib:

  • Hold the pen in your hand and hold it horizontally.
  • Lower the filling pipette or brush so that you can only collect a few drops.
  • Keep the pen horizontal while drawing ink into the reservoir.
  • Replace the saucer and place the pipette / brush on the saucer and leave the handle in a horizontal position. Otherwise, you may have to clean ink stains from your knees.
  • Take a sheet of scrap paper and check how the ink drains on each side of the slant board. Only then will you be able to complete basic tasks.

The choice of ink, nibs and writing surface will determine how often you need to refill the reservoir.At best, you will do this after a few words, not a few letters, but it can also depend on the speed at which you are working.

The same rules apply when you use a quill pen. Unlike steel nibs, a quill nib is more flexible and wears out faster, especially when you use it on cheap and stiff paper.

The layman can tear paper with a quill pen and fountain pen.

If you are not sure if you know what you are doing, we recommend that you look for similar calligraphy techniques that require less effort to learn.

Calligraphy with sponges and flat brushes

Here comes the dirtiest approach to calligraphy that we have prepared in this guide:

The thinner the sides of the brush, the better results you will achieve. Recommended width is 6 to 20 mm, preferably with a stiffer texture (eg sable and nylon instead of bristles). Flat brushes are long and short, the latter being considered the best option that maintains control over the line due to the fact that they are short and stiff.

You can take a regular cleaning sponge and cut it into cubes, then turn it into the most amazing calligraphy tool. Remember to protect your hands from ink with rubber gloves when using.

There are several important differences between writing calligraphy with a pen and a flat brush.

The brush, for example, is very flexible and soft and will respond to more pressure, creating thicker lines, and this is not what traditional nibs actually do.Another feature of brushes is that they tend to run out of ink quite quickly, and they happen to create a modern texture and a unique, rough look.

The best way to use brushes is on an inclined surface (approximately 30 degrees). However, horizontal surfaces will work well as well.

We recommend using the bold and large lettering sponges as their stiffness can make your strokes incredibly curled.

However, you must control the pressure you apply, as any change can affect the legibility of your lines and cause ink to flow down the page.But of course you can do it on purpose (looks absolutely delicious!).

Another interesting effect of sponges is that when working with ink, they create blotchy (non-uniform) effects similar to lines drawn with a brush, and create interesting contrasts and fading lines that look very attractive.

Ideally, you should use a viscous and matte ink such as India, very watery poster paint, or thinned gouache paints for your sponges and brushes.The liquid and watery ink will not last long on the sponge, and thus your letters will look sloppy and uneven.

The biggest advantage of using sponges and large brushes is that they leave enough space and wet ink in the letter line for you to add additional colors, mix them in an interesting way, or just let them drip.

When mixing several colors in one letter, take a small volume – any bright color (white is fine too) and draw the base of the letter shape.Then place it on a horizontal surface and pour in a few drops of darker and more contrasting colors. Do not move it until it is completely dry, unless you originally intended to mix the paints and achieve a unique color.

Mastering artificial calligraphy

Artificial calligraphy is essentially modern calligraphy created with a standard pen (gel, ballpoint, etc.). For many designers, standard pens help to fully familiarize themselves with calligraphy, and there are two important reasons for this:

The point is that standard pens do not intimidate the beginner and are often more flexible and more accessible than fountain pens.After all, these are the tools you’ve been using ever since you can remember, and you already have enough muscle memory to work and create beautiful calligraphy.

However, fake calligraphy isn’t just for beginners. Whatever your professional level, you may find it useful for your important projects.

Assembling your own calligraphy fountain pen set

Here’s what you need:

  • Nikko G Nib Pair – At the beginning of this post, you had the opportunity to learn more about the quality of these nibs, often cited as the best choice for beginners.
  • Straight handle. The Manuscript pen is a good choice as it has a versatile pen insert. We also recommend General cork holders for their flexibility and ease of use.
  • 32 # Laser jet paper – Or just take printer paper. It is an economical solution that still prevents ink bleeding.
  • Screw cap bottles and Sumi ink (India ink works well as well). Both ink grades are matte and will provide the desired viscosity.
  • Water – You will need a cup of water to clean your pen from time to time.
  • Non-fibrous towels and fabrics. You can also use paper towels, but you have to be careful not to let the feather cling to their fibers

Instead of buying expensive, overpriced beginner calligraphy kits, we recommend that you build your own and choose only those tools. which are beginner-friendly, affordable, and really helpful to you.

Pen Cleaning

When purchased, all feathers are in factory oil, as this oil helps them to maintain their presentation and prevents them from deteriorating. At the same time, it is almost impossible to have oil and ink on the nib at the same time, so clean the nib thoroughly before using it.

Once you’re done, you will see the ink flow down the nib smoothly and not blot the paper like it would with oil on it.

Fountain Pen Assembly

Most beginners choose plastic Speedball pens because of their Nikko G nibs, but there is nothing wrong with using universal pen holders.

These holders have a rim and 5 metal petals, allowing you to use many different sizes and types of nibs.

How to hold the handle

Holding a fountain pen is no different from holding a standard pen. This means that you still have to use your thumb and index finger by squeezing the holder and placing your middle finger behind the handle for extra support. When drawing, use your ring finger and pinky to draw faint lines.

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