Here’s a holder I made last year. This is an attempted replica of the famous and much sought after 12″ long Magnusson holders. It was an interesting project as I don’t own a lathe and my hand drill had died some time before this project.
The proportions are figured out from a picture of the original holder and are approximate but they work well in my hand so I guess they are close enough. The long stalk was difficult to do with my bare hands but I got help from a 2″ length of thin bamboo. The bamboo was split and padded with some foam that held rough grit sandpaper on both sides of the stalk – a fair bit of going back and forth resulted in an acceptable finish and size.
I had planned on shaping the end to math the original but like the organic shape that resulted naturally and left it at that. I now feel that it should have been reduced somewhat to keep the weight at the end down.
Magnusson Replica Holder in Dark Walnut
The holder feels surprisingly good and doesn’t feel unbalanced at all. I liked it so much that I made another one, albeit with a shorter stalk and a thicker grip, to accompany it.
This was done for a penmanship contest to promote the San Francisco Pen Show. My entry won a wonderful Namiki Falcon with a special Oblique Italic nib with added Flex that was very kindly offered by Mr. John Mottishaw of www.nibs.com.
The innermost ‘Lord’ and the outer circle of virtues is written in German Gothic script in Pelikan Brilliant Brown. The ‘Make me an instrument…’ circle is written with Higgins Eternal Black in Uncial script. The two rings in lighter color in between are written with Walnut Ink available in crystal form in vertical Italic and Uncial scripts. The panels are shaded with soft colored pencils.
Here are three more holders I made some time ago. Two of these went to friends. I’m glad to have received positive feedback on both so I guess these work for other people too This one is my favorite. … Continue reading →
I have been meaning to share this for some time but didn’t get around to it until now.
I really like the Dollar 717i Demonstrators. They are cheap piston filled pens that are quite reliable and hold a lot of ink. The cheap Inoxcrom pens that are commonly available have the perfect donor nibs for the Dollar as they are a perfect fit in the section and are long enough to be ground quite a bit and still have enough left over ahead of the feed.
The ink channel in the feed can be deepened/expanded a bit for better ink flow. I do it only if I have the nib drying out during use, most of the pens work fine without having to do this.
I use the same method for grinding left-oblique nibs I use for practicing Arabic Calligraphy.
I have laid out the steps in a handy pdf in the hope that it will prove to be useful. Click on the image below to download the pdf.
I have been learning Copperplate over the last couple of months. I have a collection of nibs that I have been playing with – my favorite thus far is the Gillot 303. I have read good things about the Brause 66EF and wanted to try it. The 66 EF is a small nib and does not fit the _standard_ holders I have. So I decided to make one. I have some walnut wood salvaged from an old shelf and decided to make one out of it. Here’s the result. The idea was to have the thumb, forefinger and the part that rests on the first knuckle in approximately the same relation to each other as on regular shaped holders. It turns out that attention needs to be paid to the middle finger under the holder too – I had originally left that part almost flat but had to shape it so the angle of the nib to paper could be adjusted with the grip. The flat underside limited the angle to a very steep slope that wasn’t very comfortable for me. The good news is that the holder works fine i.e. holds the nib properly and does not feel awkward to use. In fact I hardly notice any difference in the feel of it compared to my other oblique holders. I’ve been asked if this is a _custom_ holder only suited to my hand. I didn’t design it to fit only my hand but I suspect the curve might not suit people with hands that are much larger or smaller than mine. Since I have an average sized hand I think it’ll fit most people. The first part of the curving handle was dictated by where I wanted the flat part to rest against the first knuckle. I tightened the curve slightly past this point. I had initially thought about tapering the top part but liked the way it ended up. Here’s another view. I like the shape that came out. And I like the nib too – its my new favorite.
This is a study I did for drawing with pen and ink. The building is Islamia College Peshawar. The foliage is made with a Dollar Demonstrator with a medium-fine nib and Pelikan Brown ink. The building is done with a manga dip pen with the same ink.
I will probably do the final drawing with the manga nib and Indian ink in a 10×8 size.