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Modernizing Blackletter

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Modernizing a Traditional Calligraphic Hand: Blackletter
  • Speedball C-0, C-1, C-2 nibs (N09)
  • double ended wooden pen holders (H39)
  • mechanical pencil 2-H lead (PL21)
  • sharpener for mechanical pencil
  • white vinyl eraser (E24)
  • ruler 18 to 24" (S271, S503)
  • Moon Palace black sumi ink (I70)
  • Winsor Newton gum arabic (I84)
  • alizarin crimson gouache or watercolor (WNG1, WNWC1)
  • Dr. Martin's Bleed Proof White (or other white) (I38)
  • 2 mixing pans, 2 mixing brushes (S679, BR43)
  • dropper and water (S705)
  • good small pointed brush (#2 or smaller) (BR26)
  • xacto with #11 blade (S417)
  • grid pad-8 squares to the inch made for calligraphy (P22, P21)
  • paper towels (S817)
  • masking tape (S412)
  • Scotch Removable tape (S699)
  • red ball point pen
  • Saral transfer paper (S654)
  • tracing paper (P43)
  • normal pencil sharpener (PL13)
  • 4 to 6 sided fingernail sander/buffer
  • 10x power magnifier or higher
  • Ames Lettering Guide (S91)
  • pouch of gum sandarac (S123)


N09. Speedball C Calligraphy Nibs
American calligraphy nibs for Italic, Blackletter (Gothic, Old English), Uncial, Half Uncial, Foundational and many other hands or alphabets. C-0, C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-5, C-6. C-0 is largest, C-6 is smallest. Best in larger sizes. C-2, C-3, & C-4 are popular for beginners' classes. They rust easily so let them dry thoroughly before storing them away. Speedball C Calligraphy Nibs.

For more information about Speedball C nibs, click here.




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H39. Double Pen Holder
Double Nib Holder
You can insert a nib in each end of this short penholder. A smooth cylinder, not faceted. Interior metal collar, metal grippers. 4.75".

How do I insert a calligraphy nib into a penholder that has a metal ring and four prongs?



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PL21. Pentel GraphGear 500 Mechanical Pencils
PL21. Pentel GraphGear 500 Mechanical Pencil

This technical drafting pencil with an industrial design features a 4mm fixed sleeve for template work and technical drawings. Metallic-mesh grip for precision and control. Top click, stationary eraser and tip. Pencil includes one tube of HB lead.

Choose lead size: 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 0.9mm.
Barrel colors: 0.3 Brown, 0.5 Black, 0.7 Blue, 0.9 Gray
Refill leads are item PL22
Eraser Refills are item PL23



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E24. White Vinyl Eraser for Pencil
White Vinyl Pencil Eraser.

For erasing pencil, such as guidelines. Similar to the Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser, but perhaps a little softer. Economical for use in classes, for beginners, etc.

2-3/8" x 7/8" x 1/2".






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S271. Metal Ruler: 18in
S271. Stainless Steel Ruler. 18".

18" Flexible, cork back. Marked in 1/16" and millimeters. An essential tool for calligraphers and bookbinders.



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S503. Metal Ruler 24 inches
24 Inch Stainless Steel Ruler.

24" flexible, cork back. Marked in 1/16" and millimeters. An essential tool for calligraphers and bookbinders.



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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 oz
60 oz



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I84. W&N Gum Arabic: 2.5oz
Winsor & Newton Gum Arabic.

Add this binder in gouache to make it more durable and easier to erase pencil guidelines. Add several drops to a bottle of Higgins Eternal for copperplate writing. 2.5oz (75ml) glass bottle.

I have worked with metallic gouaches for many years. I always add a little more gum Arabic if there are going to be lines to erase, then allow the writing to cure for several hours before erasing. A white vinyl eraser is the gentlest choice for erasing guideline. I avoid guidelines if possible via a light box. -- Don King




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WNG1. W&N Gouache Series 1
WNG1. Winsor & Newton Series 1.
14ml Tubes.

Winsor & Newton produces the highest quality artist's paint. Gouache is priced by the color (based on the pigment's price). See WNG2, WNG3, WNG4 for other colors of Winsor & Newton gouache. For larger sizes (37ml) of Ivory Black, Jet Black, Lamp Black, and Permanent White, see WNGLG.

Choose color: Alizarin Crimson, Brilliant Green, Brilliant Purple, Brilliant Red Violet, Brilliant Violet, Burnt Umber, Flame Red, Flesh Tint, Gold Ochre, Indigo, Ivory Black, Jet Black, Lamp Black, Lemon Yellow, Marigold Yellow, Naples Yellow, Neutral Grey #3, Orange Lake Deep, Orange Lake Light, Permanent Yellow Deep, Permanent White, Phthalocyanine Blue, Primary Blue, Primary Red, Primary Yellow, Prussian Blue, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Red Ochre, Sepia, Sky Blue, Spectrum Red, Spectrum Yellow, Ultramarine (Blue), Vandyke Brown, Venetian Red, Yellow Ochre, Zinc White



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WNWC1. W&N Watercolor Series 1
WNWC1. Winsor & Newton Series 1.
5ml tube.

Winsor Newton produces the highest quality artist's paint. Watercolor is priced by the color (based on the pigment's price). See WNWC2, WNWC3, WNWC4 for other colors of Winsor & Newton watercolor.

Choose color: Alizarin Crimson, Chinese White, New Gamboges Yellow, Indigo, Ivory Black, Lamp Black, Naples Yellow, Neutral Tint, Olive Green, Payne's Gray, Sap Green, Prussian Blue, Titanium White, Venetian Red, Winsor Blue Green Shade, Green Blue Shade, Winsor Yellow, Winsor Violet



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