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Primitive to Modern - Month 1

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Month 1: 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(S650)
• sharpener(S859)
• white vinyl eraser(E13)
• ruler 18 to 24"(S271, S504)
• Moon Palace black sumi ink(I70)
• Winsor Newton gum arabic(I84)
• alizarin crimson gouache or watercolor(WNG004)
• Dr. Martin's Bleed Proof White (or other white)(I38)
• 2 mixing pans, 2 mixing brushes(S679, BR43)
• dropper and water(S706)
• good small pointed brush (#2 or smaller)(BR26)
• xacto with #11 blade(S417, S130)
• grid pad-8 squares to the inch made for calligraphy(P21)
• matte spray fixative
• newspapers
• paper towels(S817)
• masking tape(S931)
• Scotch Removable tape
• red ball point pen
• Saral transfer paper(S612)
• tracing paper(P43)


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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S859. Rotary Lead Pointer / Sharpener
Rotary Lead Pointer / Sharpener.

In his year-long classes, Reggie Ezell has his students use a lead holder with a 2mm lead which can be sharpened to a fine point. He gave this sharpener high marks after it was tested by his class at Calligraphy Northwest. Reggie prefers a drum sharpener over a mini-sharpener for sharpening these thick leads.



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E13. Staedtler Mars White Plastic Eraser
E13. Staedtler Mars White Plastic Eraser

A highly recommended white plastic eraser. For erasing pencil.



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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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S504. Self Healing Cutting Mat
Use this cutting mat to protect your table or desk when cutting paper or board. Unlike a piece of paper board (or your table) the cuts from your craft knife will heal and disappear!


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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 & 60 oz are temporarily unavailable: arriving Dec 2019




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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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I38. Dr. Martin's Bleed Proof White Ink
Dr Martin's Bleed Proof White

A dense, opaque, smooth-writing white for your dip pen. Thin with water to the proper consistency. Tint with watercolor or gouache for pastel letters. Recommended by John Stevens and Peter Thornton. 1oz.

Diane Von Arx uses a similar product, Pro-white (I62).



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BR43. White Bristle Brushes (pack of 3)
BR43. White Bristle Brushes (pack of 3)

Great for mixing gouache or loading ink.

Choose Flat (sizes 2,4,6) or Round (sizes 1,3,5).



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