Sometimes you just have to pick up a pen.
July 1, 2014 10:34 PM   Subscribe is a wonderful throwback to the early days of the Web, when someone would just helpfully organize and present a wealth of information on a given topic for free, simply because they were that into it.

Looking for inspiration? Theosone (he has a YouTube channel, too) has a fantastically unique style, though it's really best treated as something to be dazzled by rather than emulated.

Looking to get started? The general consensus is that Pilot's Parallel Pen line is the best calligraphy pen overall that you can get, and they're only like ten bucks on Amazon.
posted by DoctorFedora (8 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
Oh man this is great! I recently started practicing calligraphy again because I find it as soothing as knitting/crocheting but you actually get to see the results faster (my half crocheted dinosaur is resembling a yarn condom right now).
posted by astapasta24 at 2:09 AM on July 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

I practiced 14th century italic script for many years, and then there was a lapse of about 20 years, but I got back into it a few months ago. I rediscovered why I enjoy it so much: Concentration, breathing, head and eye coordination, studying the classic works. Thanks, DoctorFedora. Good find. More inspiration.

I've heard and seen good things about Pilot's Parallel pen. I want one, but haven't gone out searching in Taipei yet. Sheaffer's calligraphy pens are the ones I've used the most and enjoy the most. The ink flow is outstanding. Not the sharpest of pens (though that can be remedied with a whetstone if you know what you're doing), with a bit extra of a flick you can get those hairlines.
posted by rmmcclay at 5:07 AM on July 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seriously, find a Parallel Pen (but don't get the smallest one unless you just want it for normal writing, because it isn't a very exciting calligraphy pen). They are so good, and for hairlines you just use the pen sideways without fear. Maybe Amazon has them in Taiwan?
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:08 AM on July 2, 2014

MetaFilter: a wonderful throwback to the early days of the Web, when someone would just helpfully organize and present a wealth of information on a given topic for free, simply because they were that into it.
posted by escabeche at 6:51 AM on July 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

This is fantastic. I've been interested in lettering for a while, and also I've been looking for things to sort of practice getting better at drawing with different line weights, and I think that calligraphy might be a nice way to play with both.
posted by klangklangston at 12:49 PM on July 2, 2014

This is awesome.

I never practiced calligraphy very seriously - it was an occasional hobby in high school, one that I over-indulged when I offered to make and letter graduation cards for my class. (The friend I introduced to calligraphy went on to become a scribe at her local SCA and hold office and stuff, so y'know, my standard of comparison is pretty high.) But I've always found it very soothing - once you get into the rhythm of the strokes it was almost meditative - and I definitely recommend it as a relatively easy but very satisfying hobby to get into.

I was digging through some old sketchbooks recently, and came across some lettering I'd done in high school just because I had an afternoon free and wanted to create something pretty. Hard to imagine having that kind of free time now.
posted by Phire at 9:12 PM on July 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, very cool. I did a hand lettering class a few months ago, and this is a perfect followup. Thank you!
posted by korej at 6:52 AM on July 4, 2014

My mother taught me (basic) calligraphy skills when I was about 5 or 6 years old - I remember showing off to the Brownies in my pack by carefully printing their names for them in a very fancy-seeming script. Over the years, I didn't practice much and didn't see much of a reason to keep doing it.. but more recently I invested in some pens and inks and spent a few hours shakily writing my name. Despite the wonky spacing and wobbly lines that I produced, I was reminded that, like Phire said, it is so soothing, and so satisfying. It's also a reasonably portable hobby and you can practice while you're on the phone at work!
posted by VioletU at 7:25 AM on July 4, 2014

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