Calligraphy Supplies for Practice

When starting calligraphy you always grab a list of supplies. We will be needing for our calligraphy practice: pen holder, pointed nib, ink and paper. Then, for your practice sessions a glass of water and a soft cloth or paper towel will be useful. But as a beginner in front of a million possibilities, it is so very had to choose. That is why in this article I would like to point out for you the features of working with a straight or an oblique calligraphy pen holder.

Pen Holders

You can find a great variety of pen holders: black, colored, wooden pen holders, plastic pen holder, ergonomic or graven, with insertions or simple. All these aspects recall the aesthetics of these tools. But further on, we’ll be talking about the utility of these instruments. That is why it’s good to know you can find 2 types of pen holders: straight and oblique.

Straight Pen Holders

What is a straight Pen Holder

All pen holders have a nib holding mechanism. For the straight pen holders, you can find ring groove mechanism or ferrule mechanism to hold the nib. A straight pen holder is suitable both for right handed calligraphers and lefties as well. For very leaned styles like Copperplate you need to keep your nib parallel to the angle of the script.

How  to work with a straight pen holder

When working with a straight pen holder you might find it difficult to adjust your position, so that you are able to keep the angle and not twisting your wrist – all these if you are a right handed. I recommend a simple solution to that: adjust the paper position -this way you can get the right angle and keep your wrist comfortable.

If you are a left handed, things are easier for you, as the position of the pen holder in your hand coming from the left side already positions you in the right angle. Usually straight pen holders are great for Modern Calligraphy that can use upright letters.

Oblique Pen Holder

For all those instances when we cannot work with a straight pen holder comfortably, I find an oblique pen holder is of great help. An oblique pen holder has a flange that hold your nib at an angle, so it is easier to achieve e a slanted script. Oblique pen holders can have the flange on the right side or on the left.

The ones with the flange on the left side are best for right handed calligraphers. The ones with the flange on the right side are proper for lefties. Nevertheless, many left handed calligraphers use obliques with the flange on the left, only they rotate their paper to be on the correct angle with their nib.

Types of Oblique Pen Holders

Some of the obliques offer the possibility for you to transform it, as they are multi purpose tools. Some pen holders can be used both as straight pen holder and oblique pen holders. You can just take the flange out and use the groove to insert the nib. I also found some oblique pen holders- Moblique –  offer an even greater feature. They can divide themselves in two, so you can combine 2 different colored halves. Some also have space inside for keeping nibs. I find that really cool.

I suppose you have an image now about pen holders and I really encourage you to test them both to see which one works best for you. We all have a different approach, grip, position while writing and style so we can work and feel things differently. That is why I recommend always, always testing things out!



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