Information about Equipment

1. Pen or Nib?

“I want to learn calligraphy, but I do not know what equipment I need”. As with any new activity at first it all seems quite bewildering, with so many choices. Your first decision is to decide if you are going to use a pen or nib?

2. Which type of nib?

If you have decided to use a dip pen or nib for your calligraphy the next decision to make is which nib to use. There are a wide range of nibs available. They fall in to 2 categories; edged nibs and pointed nibs. For most styles of calligraphy including Roman Capitals and the Foundational Hand you need an edged pen.

3. Which Penholder?

Choosing a penholder is much easier than selecting nibs or ink. Penholders can be made from a range of materials; plastic, wood and metal. The most popular penholders are the William Mitchell Multi-Purpose penholder and the Standard Round penholder.

4. Selecting an Ink

There are many Calligraphy Inks, but not all of them are ideal for lettering. Many inks do produce a very dense black, which is what most calligraphers want, but some inks are watery whilst others are too sticky. Other inks are too think and do not flow well in a dip pen

5. Choosing Paper

Most art shops stock a bewildering range of papers, but the choice of papers for calligraphers is not as great as it may first seem. This is because calligraphers require a smooth paper with a tooth or edge so that the letters are sharp. In comparison, water colour artists do not need a smooth surfaced paper and therefore have a much wider choice of papers available.