What is Calligraphy?
Calligraphy is a visual art related to writing. The words itself came from a greek words: καλλιγραφία (which read ca-lli-gra-phia). It is a design and execution of lettering with a broad tip instruments, brush, among any other instruments. A contemporary calligraphic practice can be defined as, "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner." (source: wikipedia)
Calligraphy principal tools are the pen and the brush. However, there are also other tools that is needed in calligraphy beyond the instrument that we use to implement calligraphic works. Here are some simple explanation about calligraphy tools:
In learning calligraphy, we seldom heard about the name "pen holder", this tool name is actually the same with dip pen or nibs pen. It is a tool to hold the nibs when we write calligraphy.
Dip pen was introduced in the early 19th century to replace the quill pens, or in some part of the world, reed pens. Dip pen was used before the development of fountain pen. (Source: Wikipedia)
There are various style of dip pen/penholder that we can find in internet. The dip pen that is generally used by most of calligrapher in modern world, are straight penholder and oblique pen holder.
Top: Straight dip pen, made by Kate Burlington;
Bottom: Oblique dip pen, made by Christopher Yoke
The modern dip pen holder is ergonomic pen. Why ergonomic? To some people ergonomic pen was made for comfort when they write in calligraphy. Some master penman who make their own pen, made this ergonomic pen holder, such as Master Penman Jake Weidmann.
Dip pen/pen holder made by wood
Common straight penholder that was first used in the past as writing instrument before the mass production of steel pen in 1822 was quill pen. Afterwards, other manufacture company starts to make the steel pen.
Oblique dip pen was designed for writing pointed pen style and it was used for writing copperplate script around 18th - 19th century, however it is more
Top: Straight ergonomic dip pen; Bottom: Oblique ergonomic dip pen
Ergonomic dip pen shown above was made by Lindsey Hook
Various inks can be used for pointed pen calligraphy. From gouache to the chinese sumi ink. The most popular inks are walnut ink for calligraphy practice and dr.Ph.Martin's Bleed proof white for a dark writing surface.
Some inks are more acidic than the others and sometimes it is shortening the lifespan of a nib.
Good Quality Paper
Many writing paper can be used for pointed pen calligraphy. However, not all papers can accept the scratch from the pointed nibs or inks.
A good smooth quality paper will help the flow and movement of the pointed nib that transfer the ink to the writing surface.
Papers that are used by artists in general are vellum or translucent paper, although there are other good quality paper such as, Rhodia, Canson, Clairefontaine, Strathmore, Speedball, Borden & Riley, etc. The weight of regular paper that usually be used in practicing pointed pen calligraphy is above 80 gr.
Some more explanation about the Pointed Pen by Master Penman Harvest Crittenden
It's What's for Calligraphy
Learn and find out more about calligraphy, check out these links below.
It's the International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers and Teacher of Handwriting website. Based in USA, and usually held a conference once a year in various states in USA.
A website that focus on promoting the Engrosser's Script with an addition of Ornamental Penmanship. The Zanerian college was an institution that offered courses in penmanship.
Modern Calligraphy Website
This website focus on the modern calligraphy study, from faux calligraphy, pointed pen to brush calligraphy.