Issue 21 – Ink Inspirations

Let your creativity flow with the perfect ink! Ink Inspirations provides valuable insights into different types of inks to use with dip pens and what characteristics to consider when selecting an ink for your particular project. Say goodbye to confusion and hello to confidence in every stroke!

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Meet Cover Artist Belinda Chim

H‌‌er innate attraction to beautiful lettering sparked Belinda Chim’s journey into the world of calligraphy. At a young age her love for calligraphy blossomed as she delved into the art, finding it to be therapeutic and absorbing — an experience that she could get lost in.

Dip Pen Ink Primer
– Maureen Vickery, Dr. Krista Sue-Lo Twu

When it comes to calligraphy inks for dip pens, the ink can determine the success of your project. It’s important to find the best ink for the media you are writing on, whether you are using high-quality paper, cheap envelopes, sea shells, acrylic, fabric, wood, ceramics, etc.

Sumi, Metallic, & Iron Gall Inks
– Dr. Krista Sue-Lo Twu

When you understand the qualities and components of dip pen inks, it will help you select the best one for the job. Let’s face it, quality inks are a joy to use. And if they are fun to write with, you are more likely to grab your calligraphy pen and make some art.

Walnut Ink Drop-In Techniques
– Julie Wildman

Walnut ink is beautiful to write with on its own, but when you drop in other media such as pigments or watercolors into the wet walnut ink, the effects can be exciting, spontaneous, and surprising.

Walnut Ink Explorations
– Calligraphy Guild Pittsburgh

The Calligraphy Guild Pittsburgh hosted a Walnut Ink Explorations play day for members in October 2023 at Carnegie Mellon University.

Gouache as Ink
– Gemma Black

Gouache (pronounced “goo-ash” or “gwarsh”), sometimes called designers gouache is an opaque water colour which if used well, covers the underlying surface completely. Gouache pigment has been used in painting for a long time and in particular lettering.

Bister Inks: Not Your Kids’ Crayola Colors
– Monica Winters

Bister inks are powdered inks that can be mixed with water to create a range of intensities, from soft, transparent hues to rich and earthy tones. I learned about these versatile inks from Amity Parks, Carol DuBosch, and my fellow calligraphy guild member Rick Garlington. Once you understand the pros and cons of these inks, you’ll be all set to explore their creative possibilities.

Michael Sull’s Manual of Advanced Penmanship
– Erica McPhee

If you are at all interested in Spencerian Penmanship, you know the name Michael R. Sull, as the two are often spoken of hand-in-hand. The calligraphic community has just received the most incredible gift in Sull’s new book, Sull’s Manual of Advanced Penmanship in which he does a deep dive into his 40 years of experience to share all he has learned.

Expand Your Skills with Folded Pens
– Yukimi Annand

A‌‌ folded pen is a versatile tool that can be used as a drawing tool, a writing tool and a mark-making tool. We can make different strokes by changing the angle and direction of the pen, by applying pressure, and by working with rhythm and different speeds. It is a magical tool that allows us to express our own feelings in strokes and marks.

Handmade Folded Pen
– Erica McPhee

L‌‌et’s dive into a super fun DIY project – making our very own folded pen to create fresh, dynamic lettering.

Homemade Walnut Ink
– Angela Welch

I learned how to make walnut ink from the late, great Master Penman Bill Lilly who was the last graduate of the Zanerian College of Penmanship. I’ve been making this ink since the 1990s.

Insider Tips: Calligraphy Inks
– Maureen Vickery

When you are a calligrapher, solving problems with tools and supplies is a skill you need to acquire to move from beginner to more advanced levels. To help you leap forward in your troubleshooting knowledge, I’ve curated a list of tips for solving common ink woes for dip pen calligraphers.

Maximizing the Rewards of Mentoring
– Barry Morentz

Imagine how the calligraphy world would benefit from an increasing number of mentors sharing their expertise and advice with enthusiastic newcomers who may have only limited opportunities to study, whether it be due to geographic limitations and/or financial exigencies.

The Calligraphy Box
– Erica McPhee

Jenni Liandu didn’t know she would end up trading her day job for her dream job. Although her first venture selling greeting cards to a local shop when she was just 11 years old might have foretold her future entrepreneurship.

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