Sunday, 21 October 2012

Pen and Ink

A Selection of calligraphy projects

Choosing Calligraphy Pens

Choosing a good calligraphy pens and inks is a personal choice.  There are many types of calligraphy pens and colored inks to choose from in the shops.  Trying them out is the best way to choose what is best for you.

Disposable Cartridges

Some calligraphy pens have a disposable cartridge inside.  When the cartridge runs out, you either pull the cartridge out or unscrew it from the pen and dispose of it.  You can remove the cartridges by taking off the lower cover of the pen to access the cartridge inside.  Cartridge pens are clean and easy to use and you can buy many colored cartridge inks from good art and craft stores.

Re-Usable Cartridge Pens

Other calligraphy pens have a reusable cartridge inside.  You simply squeeze the cartridge gently and dip the pen nib inside the ink well and then gently let go of the cartridge to let the ink flow up inside the cartridge.  The pressure takes in the ink from the well, inside the calligraphy pen and inside the cartridge.  These pens are good to use but you need to clean them regularly and this can be messy.  Again, be careful with ink staining clothes or work surfaces.

File:Calligraphy Fountain Pen.jpg

Fountain Pen or Dip Pens

Fountain pens or dip pens are pens that you use by dipping the pen into ink well and then writing on paper.  The oldest traditional dip pens are the quill pens, which you dip into the ink well and write on paper.  This type of pen has been uses since the Middle Ages.

When cleaning calligraphy pens, it is always a good idea to wear old clothes because most calligraphy inks are not water-soluble and can stain work surfaces.  Use old newspapers to cover work surfaces or old cloths.

You can remove the nib of the pen by unscrewing it from the main body of the pen.  Run the nib constantly under cold running water until the water runs clear.  Keep it running under the tap and then gently dry it onto a soft cloth, then let it dry normally. 

Cleaning calligraphy pens can be time consuming but it is vital to look after the pen nibs so they do not clog up or leave unwanted residue of old ink previously used.  Cleaning calligraphy pens nibs is very important when changing ink colors. It is also important when you know you will not be using the calligraphy pens for a while.

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Calligraphy Inks

Good quality inks offer vibrant and beautiful colors, some are waterproof and some are not waterproof.  Many non-waterproof types of ink have improved flow, ensuring that the nib does not clog and are good for fountain or dip pens.

Writing calligraphy in color can be very effective and you can create many wonderful and vibrant effects with ink, paint or other color mediums.  Windsor and Newton inks are wonderful and quick fast drying permanent inks that you can buy from any good art or craft store.  They are relatively inexpensive to buy.  The Windsor and Newton inks have been around for years and you can use them with fountain pens, dip pens or any other type of calligraphy pen. 

Experimenting with color calligraphy

The trick is to experiment with different colors and effects with these inks.  Try to practice with different colors.  Use paper that does not bleed, run or crinkle so the ink runs. Try to use paper that is not waxy.  Windsor and Newton inks have been around for many years and are the obvious choice for calligraphers.  There are many vibrant colors to choose from.

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