Cheryl Tefft - Flourishing with the Broad-edge Pen - July, Aug, Sept

For more information, contact Cheryl Tefft: or 636-441-7225
John Neal Books is not hosting this class. 

Flourishing with the Broad-edge Pen
With Cheryl Tefft

Flourishing is one of the skills that almost every new calligrapher covets! This class will cover flourishing created by the broad-edge pen, both flourishing that is attached to letters (for example: double letters, ascenders/descenders) and stand-alone flourishes.
Lessons in this class will use the italic style of calligraphy as the basis for studying flourishing, since it is the broad-edge style best suited for it, though you can apply the principles and techniques to any broad-edge style of calligraphy. (This instructor offers a separate class for flourishing with the pointed pen.)

Prerequisite: Beginning Calligraphy II (italic) and Mastering Dip Pens from this instructor, OR at least 4 months' study of broad-edge calligraphy, including working with broad-edge dip pens, and preferably including some study of the italic style.

Cost: $185 (US$)

Class will be presented live, with recordings available to all enrolled students for an extended time afterward.

This class includes five weekly lessons. It will be offered at your choice of two different times:

Session 1: Saturdays, July 2 through August 13, 2022 (5 lessons; NO class July 16 or August 6), from 10 am to noon Central Time (11 am to 1 pm Eastern Time). --Session 1 link for info/registration:

Session 2: Tuesdays, August 23 through September 27, 2022 (5 lessons; NO class on September 6), from noon to 2 pm Central Time (1 pm to 3 pm Eastern Time). --Session 2 link for info/registration:


Supply list:

Basic items:

  • Ruler, 18” long (S271)
  • 2 Small plastic dropper bottles (S897) (S1017)—get two of these bottles (one for distilled water, one for gum arabic—suggest 2 to 4 oz. capacity for water bottle and ½ to 2 oz. capacity for gum arabic bottle)
  • Distilled water (put in dropper bottle)
  • Protractor (S632)
  • Paper towels
  • Toothbrush, for cleaning nibs and other supplies
  • Painter's tape or artist’s tape (S412 or S931) (½” width suggested, though ¾” is okay too)
  • Note-taking materials of your choice
  • Optional: 3-ring binder with page protectors, mostly for standard 8 ½ x 11” handouts


Writing tools:

  • Pencil, preferably mechanical (PL21)
  • Eraser, such as Pentel Clic (E06), or eraser of your choice
  • Mitchell/Rexel roundhand square (right hand) nibs, 10-nib set, with or without reservoirs (N04 or N04-S10A or N04-S10B); OR your favorite alternative brand of broad-edge dip pen nibs (in a variety of sizes) [Note for lefties: You may wish to substitute the same set, cut for left-handers (N05 or N05-S10A), though some lefties prefer the right-hand nibs, which are actually cut straight across]
  • Straight penholders of your choice; only one is required, though having at least 2 total is recommended. (H104, H111, H113, H138, H78, H79, or H81)
  • Parallel Pen (FP67), in the 3.8 mm size (required) and the 6.0 mm size (optional)
  • Optional: Automatic pens, in any size(s) (N27, N27-6); the ones most useful for this class will probably be the middle sizes, 4 through 6
  • Optional: Pigma Micron fine-point marker (black ink), size 005 or 01 (M17)


Inks/Writing fluids/other fluids:

  • (required) Gum arabic; get the liquid kind (I84)--suggest putting some in dropper bottle and some in a dinky dip
  • Use whatever writing fluids work well for you on white paper in the pens you are using. Some favorite options (you don’t need to get all of these; just get/use what you like):
  • Winsor Newton gouache (WNG1, WNG2, or WNG3), in color(s) of your choice, or use a different brand of gouache if you prefer
  • Walnut ink (crystals recommended over bottled form): S449
  • Bister inks (I157 or I157-S4 or I157-S or K132): similar to walnut ink, but with more color options
  • Stick ink (with ink stone): my top two recommendations for black ink sticks would probably beEiraku Ink Stick or IS29 [Chinese Ink Stick – Dense Black], then IS06 [Skakyozumi Ink Stick 02409] or IS11 [Seiryutai Ink Stick 30213]) (NOTE: If you get an ink stick, you MUST also obtain an ink stone in order to use!) (IS19)
  • Pelikan 4001 ink, your choice of colors (I04)
  • FOR PARALLEL PEN: Parallel Pen cartridges (or other suitable ink for the Parallel Pen) (FP69 or FP70)
  • Optional: Coliro (also called FineTec) watercolors (S1000); Get a pan of the Arabic Gold color (for lettering in gold), plus (optional) any other colors you want, especially if you want to work on dark paper. I also recommend that if you aren’t buying a pre-selected set of Coliro colors, get a storage box to hold the paint pans you have selected (S999 or S1016)


  • Layout paper (P09-50), perhaps 20 sheets, at least 8½x11” size
  • Non-bleeding grid paper for practice, approximately 8-1/2 x 11” or larger, such as Rhodia grid pad (P55 or P56) or John Neal grid pad (P21 or P22)), AND/OR non-bleeding blank paper for reproducing guidelines for practice (such as a blank Rhodia pad (P53)); grid paper will probably be the most helpful if you need to choose one or the other
  • Watercolor paper for projects, one or two large sheets recommended (pads of it are okay for smaller projects)--white or off-white, something very smooth (but not slick) and non-bleeding, such as Arches Hot Press, any weight (PS42 or PS47, and/or PA42), or Stonehenge Hot Press (PS110 and/or PA110)--OR whatever type of paper you prefer for calligraphy projects (the large sheets can be cut into quarters); be sure to get Hot Press rather than Cold Press if the paper comes in both varieties.
  • A handful of large sheets (or a roll) of inexpensive blank (unlined) paper—butcher paper, for example, and/or large sheets of copier paper or layout bond (P20) (P09-50)—mostly we will use pencil or monoline pen with this, so it isn’t absolutely necessary for it to be good with calligraphy ink, but that would be a bonus just in case
  • About 10 identical calligraphy-friendly envelopes
  • Optional: Blackwatercolor paper, smooth and non-bleeding, such as Strathmore ArtAgain (P58), or John Neal Deluxe Black Paper (it comes lined (P87) or unlined (P81))—for experimentation or projects with metallic inks if you wish
  • Optional: Samples of a variety of smooth “good” papers, mostly white/off-white, for testing (PA101), if you haven’t already done this
  • Optional: Any other kind of calligraphy-friendly paper you like for projects


Other tools:

  • Several small brushes for mixing and loading ink; rough-haired flat brushes about ¼” wide are ideal (BR43)
  • Optional: Dinky dip (S934 or S852 or S1064) for holding a small amount of gum arabic (you only need one fluid container)
  • Jumbo Dinky Dips (S853), at least one 4-jar set recommended, or your favorite comparable wide-mouth containers for holding small amounts of ink
  • Dedicated cover sheet: Recommend using a piece of card stock in a distinctive light color
  • Optional: Pen rest 
  • Optional: Rubber jar opener, a flat, flexible piece of rubber used for persuading stuck equipment to un-stick without damage; available with kitchen supplies
  • Optional: Nib containers (such as S1074 or S231)
  • Optional: Thin lint-free rags (old cotton t-shirts work well)—some people prefer these to paper towels for using as pen wipes
  • Optional: Adjustable (slant) drawing board (S156)
  • Optional but highly recommended: Light pad (such as S1013)
  • Optional: Artist bridge (S925, S896)
  • Anything else you normally use for your calligraphy practice


Suggested books (all optional):

  • Optionalbut highly recommended: The Speedball Textbook (B4346)
  • Optional: The Zanerian Manual of Alphabets and Engrossing (B145)—a reprint of a turn-of-the-century manual; the reproduced documents in the end section are phenomenal examples of decorated gorgeousness even just in black and white.
  • Optional: Ames’ Compendium of Practical and Ornamental Penmanship (B368), by Daniel T. Ames, is a reprint of an original 1885 instruction manual. It is all in black and white, but even without any color, it contains a number of stunning examples of decorated documents of the 19th More pointed pen than broad-edge.
  • Optional: The Universal Penman (B255), by George Bickham—this is a reprint of George Bickham's definitive 18th-century publication featuring a smorgasbord of work from 24 of the best calligraphers (a.k.a. penmen) of his day. Script styles (copperplate variations) are the most prominent, with lots of flourishing in evidence, and including all kinds of decorative elements. This is not an instructional manual, but a collection of gorgeous 18th-century calligraphy, and would be especially useful to anyone studying copperplate or flourishing.
  • Optional: A Passion for the Pen: The Art of Georgina Artigas, edited by Brenda Casey Zobey—lots of examples of beautiful traditional calligraphy and decoration in all the classic styles, both script and broad-edge, by 20th-century calligrapher Georgina Artigas.
  • Optional: Scribe: Artist of the Written Word (B2982), by John Stevens (or any other examples of John’s work)—John Stevens is one of the best living all-around calligraphers today who have mastered all of the major lettering styles and classic decorative techniques.
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