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Pat Blair


SPENCERIAN SCRIPT – Pat Blair
Spencerian Script, or Ornamental Penmanship, is the beautiful, flourished style of writing that was developed in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Almost a lost art, it is characterized by gracefully written lowercase letters, and dramatic and expressive capitals. This course will be suitable to students new to the art, or those wishing to refine and improve their existing letterforms. We will begin with an explanation of the tools used, the basic characteristics of the alphabet, and the finger and muscle movements needed to achieve the delicate hairlines. A study of the fundamentals of shading, and the beautiful forms and flourishes of the capital letters will follow. An introduction to some basic flourishing techniques will round out our class. Skill Level: All

Supplies: Oblique pen holder (H95, H50, H61), your favorite pointed pen nibs, such as Hunt 22, 56 or Gillott 303 or 404, Nikko G Nib, Zebra G nib or Leonardt Principal (N93, N86, N72, N74, N113, N118, N120), 9" x 12" Canson Layout Bond Paper (P32-9), Moon Palace Sumi (I70), or Black McCaffrey's Penman's Ink (I37).


H61. Blackwell Plastic Handle Oblique Holder
Blackwell Oblique Pen Holder Plastic Handle

Black plastic hourglass penholder with the same brass flange for holding the nibs. The brass work is not as finely finished but is just as functional. Works with small nibs such as the Brause 66EF and almost all other nibs.

A remarkably simple design that holds most pen points for
Spencerian and Copperplate. Designed to hold the nib at a less steep slant angle for ease of upstrokes. Also available with a brass and wood handle.

(Works with most all nibs except the very largest vintage nibs and crowquill nibs.)



Your Price

N93. Hunt 22 Nib (22B)
Hunt 22 Extra Fine

A very popular and dependable bronze-finish nib that is great for Copperplate, Spencerian, and other pointed-pen scripts. The Hunt 22 has good flexibility -- not too flexible, not too stiff and can produce very thin hairlines and good swells. The nib works for x-heights of 3/16"-1/16". It has a sharp point but will work on slightly textured surfaces, though it will have a tendency to catch on upstrokes on those papers. Compared to the Gillott 303, the Hunt 22 point is less sharp, and it has more stiffness, so more pressure will be required to create thick shades (swells).

Hunt 22 is used by both beginners and professional scribes. HUNT EXTRA FINE 22 is stamped on the nib. The nib is sometimes called Hunt 22B. This nib is part of the JNB Pointed Nib Samplers (N154 and N117-1).

For more information about Hunt pointed nibs, click here.

Vintage Hunt 22 nibs (N93-V) are also available. When they were made, many decades ago, a higher quality of steel and craftmanship was employed in nib manufacture. They have similar characteristics, but are of a better quality.



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N86. Hunt 56 Nib

The Hunt 56 nib is useful for writing larger letters on smooth or textured papers. The nib is a steady and durable one making it a great nib for beginners. The Hunt 56 produces healthy swells of ink when firm and deliberate pressure is applied. Strong hairlines. Comparable to Gillott 404 in stiffness and width of hairlines.

For more information about Hunt pointed nibs, click here.



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N72. Gillott 303 Nib
N72. Gillott 303 Pointed Nib.

A popular nib for Copperplate. Good flexibility - not too stiff, not too flexible. Very thin hairlines and good swells. Works for scripts 3/16-1/16". Sharp point but will work on slightly textured surfaces. Tends to catch on upstrokes.





Your Price $1.19

N74. Gillott 404 Nib
N74. Gillott 404 Nib.

The Gillott 404 is a popular, sturdy nib. It is long-lasting, fairly stiff nib, and suitable for writing at x-heights from 3/16" to 1/4", on all surfaces from smooth to textured. It is a good choice for beginners (or those with a heavy hand.) Because they require more pressure to create the swells, stiffer nibs are easier to control. With thicker hairlines others, The Gillott 404 is a good choice for work for reproduction. The Gillott 404 is stiffer and less sharp than the Gillott 303 and Gillott 170.

Recommended by Eleanor Winters in her Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy (B1109) for beginners and professionals because they "provide fine line quality without being too fragile." Satisfactory for Spencerian Script.

The nib is part of the JNB Pointed Nib Samplers. The nib is also available in a longer-writing Ink Cage version.

Discounted quantity prices at 10 and at 144.




Your Price $1.35

N113. Nikko G Nib
N113. Nikko G Nib.

These nibs from Japan are hand cut, extremely smooth, and long-lasting. They are chrome plated and have a medium flex. Great for Spencerian. Smooth writing with no burrs or scratchiness. Highly recommended by Michael Sull.



Your Price

N118. Zebra G Nib
Zebra Nib.

Similar to the popular Nikko G Nib, but a little more flexible and sharper. It will produce a finer hairline than the Nikko. Same sturdy quality. If you are using the Nikko G but would like to be able to write with thinner hairlines and thicker strokes, give these nibs a try. Michael Sull still recommends the Nikko G nib as best for learning Spencerian, but this Zebra G Nib is a good one, too, for Spencerian.

Which holders will work with this nib?
https://www.johnnealbooks.com/product_help#Zebra

Just wanted to let you know about my experience with the ZEBRA G nibs: Santa was very generous to me this year and I got a dozen. I pulled the nibs out to play with this weekend and I have found my new love. I used the nib with Walnut Ink and the hairlines, so thin, so smooth, with a light touch and the nib skated effortlessly across the page. I really enjoyed working with this nib. If you haven't had the chance to try this nib out yet, it's worth the couple of bucks. I haven't tried any of my other inks, but I will be doing that this week. So far, I'm loving these nibs. Don't know if they are workhorses yet - I only had them a few days. - Ilovepenmanship

I love them too. The nibs are great with the iron gall inks because the ink does not eat the nib as fast. Great hairlines and just enough flex for shades. Much thanks to John Neal for these!!! - Nan DeLuca



Your Price

N120. Leonardt Principal EF Nib
N120.EF Principal Nib

You can now purchase a modern nib that is equal to the best of the vintage nibs. Brian Walker, a respected pointed pen enthusiast, has worked with a pen manufacturer to duplicate the quality and performance of the legendary Gillott No 1 Principality. The new nib has received rave reviews for both Copperplate and Spencerian. It's flexible and responsive and gives fine hairlines, but is smooth-writing and catches the paper less.





Your Price $2.95

I70. Moon Palace Sumi Ink
Moon Palace Sumi
The Ink is now in a bottle with a Gold Label

While the packaging is a bit different, this is the highly sought after and highly recommended Japanese Sumi Ink. For both broad edge and pointed pen work. Dries waterproof. A great calligraphy ink.

"I like Moon Palace better, but both Moon Palace and Best Bottle are beautiful inks. The Moon Palace has a slight sheen to it, which I like. Michael suggested this ink to me so please tell him I said, "thank you". I just finished a job of 200 invitations with Moon Palace and the ink is beautiful. I did not dilute the ink.
A client just brought me invitations (slick paper) to address. This bride knew going into this that I probably couldn't do pointed pen. However, for fun, I tried the Sumi inks and to my surprise they worked pretty darn good. I usually have to use a sharpie on slick envelopes, yikes!!!"

--Clair F., Jan 2011.

Four sizes available:

2.0 oz (widemouthed jar)
6.0 oz (180ml)

15 & 60 oz are temporarily unavailable: arriving Dec 2019




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