We thought it was HIGH time to share some of our favorite resources in a new mini blog series, Additional Tools for Lettering. This is part two...all about the surface that you write on! By now, if you're reading our blog, you're probably already obsessed with lettering and stationery. We too are, of course, as well! We try not to buy EVERYTHING that comes out, but we do have a few luxe favorites that make our day to day practice even more enjoyable.
A more recent find for us is one that we would now not want to live without, a leather desk blotter writing surface! Writing with a dip pen is so different than normal writing - as anyone that's practiced the art-form well knows. One thing that is very different is that you NEED to have a good writing surface so that the edges of the nib connect properly with the paper, giving you lovely letters. @antiquariabailey's blotter is shown above.
For beginners, we suggest writing on a stack of paper, so that you have a nice padded surface. This is a good, inexpensive option (it's basically free). Another option is using a craft foam pad, like this one. This is what we used for years...until discovering the GORGEOUS leather ones that are shown in this post, made by craftsman Mr. M.G. Ward.
We had to custom offline order one when we found out that he was making them on Insagram...but luckily, he just opened an Etsy shop for the leather blotter writing surfaces (and some of his rad calligraphy)! Not only is this upgrade beautiful, it is actually a BETTER writing surface than the ones mentioned before. Throughout time, scribes, calligraphers and penman wrote on leather surfaces, as it was the optimal writing surface for lettering.
Not only does Michael Ward (Mr. M. G. Ward) sell just the standard leather writing surface, he also offers beautiful script (or whatever you want) customizations for your luxe blotter. Bailey had a signature custom designed for her...but the choice is up to you! The photo above shows examples of different lettering that has been customized on the blotters (top to bottom, @petitserif, @melissapher, @bienfait, @elegantinkwell, @eileenmgustafson).
One of Bailey's FAVORITE things to-date was watching Michael at IAMPETH, burning this custom signature for @everlycalligraphy one evening on her blotter, shown above! It was pretty incredible to watch in person. Luckily, Michael occasionally posts videos of him burning script into leather on his Instagram account, @mrmgward. Lucky us!!
Have you guys read this AWESOME post about Jake Weidmann's top calligraphy tools? It's pretty good. He also mentions how he uses a leather blotter to write on...and his work is beyond good!
We're just SO excited that the option is now out there for calligraphers! It's something that Bailey has been searching for, for years! We're not even joking.
What do you guys use for your writing surface? We're so curious!! Let us know in the comments or over on Instagram at @antiquariadesign.
Until next time...
Peace, Love and Letters,
Emma & Bailey
P.S. We were not paid for this post or given the product for a review...simply big fans of it!
*all photos except from the top two are copyright Michael Ward