Keeping this short and to the point, the oblique pens in the shop are designed with the tripod/triangle grip in mind. Why is that? Because an overwhelmingly large portion of calligraphers that contact me use or strive for the classic three finger grip (loosely illustrated above) and while there is flexibility with how you place those three fingers, I recommend a custom holder if you use something completely different. I've seen enough instances where a calligrapher has been convinced there is one proper way to hold a pen only to see them disillusioned with writing after attempting to re-learn how to grip--if it makes you happy and you're not in pain, write your way.
Wood - Available in a wide variety of domestic and exotic species which include rare burls from around the world. Most blanks, especially dyed ones, are only available once or twice and will not make another appearance.
Acrylic - Although not as commonly offered, acrylic holders will usually come in a 5-6" lengths.
Hybrid - Also known as cast blanks, this style contain a combination of wood (usually burl) and acrylic to create highly unique results. The wood is first stabilized using a chemical agent to strengthen integrity before being placed in a mold and combined with resin.
Grip (A) - 3/8? 5/8? Small? Oversized? What's it all mean? I'm not completely sure but I like to take a practical approach--measure your favorite holder across to determine your preferred grip thickness. Using an appropriate thickness for your grip/style is important for maintaining comfort while writing. Too thin and your hand might fatigue ("death gripping") quicker, too thick and it could be uncomfortable to hold. Feel free to contact me if you are unsure and would like some help figuring out what works best for you.
Thumb Distance (B) - The space from the end of the flange to the beginning of the thumb rest groove. Another personal preference, the location of the thumb varies from one calligrapher to another. While relaxing your grip and placing the thumb further back is often recommended it is important to get a holder that you'll want to write with whether your thumb rests right up against the flange or a quarter of an inch back. If your thumb sits directly on top of/above the flange please contact me to confirm a specific holder will work for you.
Weight (Grams) - Different materials and shapes result in a variety of weights which should be taken into consideration depending on your personal preference. Some people prefer the feather-light feel of a softer wood while others enjoy the heft of a stabilized dense burl.
Traditional - A standard flange formed by a single strip of metal which can be curved for any particular nib during customization and can be adjusted by the user afterwards using pliers. Traditional flanges will shaped for a Nikko G unless otherwise specified during checkout.
Bullock (Adjustable) - The popular choice for calligraphers who switch between nibs of different curvatures. All that is required to adjust for a new nib is a small screwdriver (included) to tighten/loosen the tension between.
Brass or Nickel Silver - Primarily an aesthetic preference in metal color that can often help highlight/contrast the rest of the holder, either material will hold up well over time if properly cared for.
- Please don't drop your holder - pen rests/pillows can be a great way to keep your holder from sliding off the desk and onto the floor (if you're in need, Ashley Bush offers a colorful variety of pen rests--her pens are pretty awesome as well!).
- After each use remove the nib to prevent rust and promote flange longevity. Easy does it - please no quick yanking and always loosen the screw on a Bullock flange when inserting/removing nibs.
- Upon removing the nib use a slightly damp cloth or paper towel to wipe ink residue from the flange and the foot if required. Gently!
- Transport with protection. Your holder was shipped to you well wrapped and needs a similar degree of care if and when you decide to travel with it - yes, even to your local coffee shop. Avoid using a pen wrap that requires too much force when inserting the holder and do not wrap too tightly.
- If you feel that the flange on your holder needs adjusting in any way, either to accommodate a different writing angle or nib size, please ask. Using pliers to manipulate a flange can be simple but we would prefer to walk you through it if there is any hesitation.
- Lastly, keep your holder far away from paint thinner and/or nail polish remover.