August 21, 2015

Calligraphy Tutorial | Additional Tools for Lettering, Pen Holders

We thought it was HIGH time to share some of our favorite resources in a new mini blog series, Additional Tools for Lettering. 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.

It seems like every time we post a photo with one of Bailey's pens on Instagram, we get questions about what pen it is and who made it. Compared to some others, her collection is really, really small. But the holders that she has are for a reason...and I'm sure that there will be more on her desk in the future!

From left to right: Yoke Pen Co., Unique Obliques (with painting by Open Ink Stand), Michael Sull, Jake Weidmann, Black Oblique from our Calligraphy Starter Kit

So, besides being GORGEOUS, why would you have different pens? 

The biggest reason for us, is to have pens adjusted the the different nibs that we use (more on that later). Nibs are like people, all made in different shapes and sizes, so it makes sense to adjust your flange (the brass piece) once so that you don't damage it. The other reason is that different pens have different grips and weights. It's really hard to know what you like until you try lots of different holders, hold them in your hand, and write with them.

It can be VERY hard to buy a pen online, especially at $100++ so that's why Bailey attends workshops and conferences, such as IAMPETH (more on that later too) where they sell them in person. Once you get an idea of the feel that you like, you can compare the measurements to the one that you have and use. That way, you're more likely to invest in a pen that really suits you.

Pens can be very simple (and really only NEED to be simple) or they can be very elaborate, like Bailey's hummingbird, shown above. But really, they should mostly be balanced in your hand and the flange should be adjusted correctly. If you order a pen from an artisan, you should be able to request that it be fitted to a particular nib before you receive it. can do it yourself!

This article, written by Chris Yoke, is one of my favorites for selecting a pen. And the video below, also by Chris is an excellent tutorial in adjusting your flange.

We hope that this shed some light on some of the more expensive and FUN penholder options out there...and why you would choose to upgrade or add to collection as your practice grows. There are SO many other lovely craftsman (and women) out there too! Just trolling Intsagram these days shows how many new, beautiful options there are!

Who's your favorite pen by?? Leave us a comment or tag us in a photo of your own pen collection on Instagram @antiquariadesign.

Until next time...
Peace, Love and Letter,
Emma and Bailey

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