John Neal Bookseller
order tracking  |  my account  |  view cart:  0 item(s)   $0.00
1-800-369-9598 (USA)  
catalog, supplement
facebook instagram pintrest twitter
arrow John Neal Bookseller
  Bookbinding / Book Arts
  More Books
  Writing Tools
  Nibs & Holders
  Fountain Pens & Markers
  Pencils & Erasers
  Ruling & Folded Pens
  Writing Surfaces
  Pads of Paper
  Fine Paper
  Journals & Cards
  Ink & Paint
  Ink & Ink Sticks
  Gouache & Watercolor
  Other Ink & Paint
  Calligraphy Tools
  Easels & Lightpads
  Inkwells, Jars & Dinky Dips
  Rulers & Guidelines
  Storage & Organization
  Other Tools
  Metal Leaf & Shell Gold
  Size & Base
  Gouache & Watercolor
  Gifts & Kits
  Art Prints/Posters
  Gift Certificates
  Calligraphy Kits
  Sealing Wax
  New & Sale Items
  New Books & Supplies
  Adhesives & Repair
  Awls & Folders
  Binder's Board & Trimmers
  Cutting Tools
  Thread & Needles
  Book Presses
  Event Info & Supply Lists
  Calligraphy Teachers
  Online Classes
arrow Letter Arts Review
  Current Issue
  Special Issues
  Annual Juried Issues
  All Back Issues
  Mailing Schedule
arrow Bound & Lettered
  Current Issue
  All Back Issues
  Mailing Schedule
  Online Articles from B&L
arrow More Information
Product Help
View PDF Catalog
Request a Catalog
Shipping Info (USA/Overseas)
Payments Accepted
Subscribe to E-Newsletter
Edit Account Info
Teacher Info
Group/Guild Sales
Our Blog
Calligraphy and Bookbinding Events
Contact Us

Trish Meyer

Resources page for “Introduction to Calligraphy Pens
published on

Below are the materials I referred to in the videos, plus a few extra.


Traditional Nib & Holder:
(N09-S6.) Speedball C Set of 6 Nibs
(N02-S9.) Brause Set of 9 Nibs
(H65.) Speedball Colored Pen Holders

Pilot Parallel Pen:
(FP67.) Pilot Parallel Pen (recommend 6mm and 3.8mm sizes)
(FP70.) Asst Color, 12 Refills for Pilot Parallel

(P10-50.) Boris 9x12 Layout Pad 50 Sheets
(P39.) Cotton Comp Pad
or any good marker paper pad, or try a sample pack:
(P103.) Pad Paper Samples

Fine paper: Arches Text Wove is a perennial favorite as it shows fine hairlines but also has a little texture. Or try a sample pack:

(PS101.) Calligraphy Paper Sample Sheet Pack



(N113.) Nikko G Nib
(N154.) Pointed Nib Sampler

(H95.) Speedball Deluxe (Comfort Grip) Oblique Pen Holders

You might even treat yourself to a custom pen holder from Christopher Yoke (I love the Dr. Who Tardis design!). See Yoke Pen Company's website and Facebook pages.

For help adjusting the flange on an oblique pen holder:

Smooth paper that doesn’t bleed, like Layout Bond or Pro-Marker:
(P10-50.) Boris 9x12 Layout Pad 50 Sheets
(P36.) Clairefontaine Blank Pad (Unlined)
Rhodia pads and notebooks, such as
(P53.) Rhodia Blank Pad (Unlined)

INK - see INK section below, plus McCaffery's for pointed pen (not broad-edged)
(I37.) McCaffery's Penman's Ink


INK & Stuff

I use Sumi ink with just about any pen; add a few drops of water to your small container (not the bottle) if it feels thick. (I avoid using sumi if my hands need to look clean; if it gets under your nails/cuticles, it can take days to get it out...)

(I70.) Moon Palace Sumi Ink

I used gouache mixed with distilled water in the videos. I also like sumi ink (above), but gouache doesn’t stain your fingers like sumi ink does (something I had to think about when recording!).

(WNG331.) W&N Gouache: Ivory Black

Lots of other ink will work too; everyone has their favorite. I use acrylic ink only when a waterproof result is necessary.

(I27.) Dr. Martin's Spectralite Ink
Dr. Martin's Spectralite Liquid Acrylic Color

This metallic ink is gorgeous with pointed pen, especially on black paper.

Gum Arabic:
I apply a touch of gum arabic to a nib at the start of a session to make the ink stick better:
(I84.) W&N Gum Arabic: 2.5oz.

Dinky Dips:
Along with a small container of water to rinse your nib, you’ll need a small container of ink to dip into – don’t dip into a full bottle of ink! Not only will your holder get dirty, but you’ll forget to put the lid back on and the ink may dry out and thicken.

I love these screw-top Dinky Dip containers from John Neal:

(S934.) Small Screw-Top Dinky Dip
Small Rectangle or Square Dinky Dip, with 4 screw-top vials.

(S935.) Screw-Top Dinky Dip Refills
Packet of 8 vials. Refills for S934.

(buy refills only if you plan on buying lots of different inks)

Labeling Tip:
If you buy lots of black ink, you’ll soon lose track of which ink is in which vial. I stick an Avery 3/4” round white label (#6736) to the top and write the name of the ink or color on the label.

(Note: I do not recommend the smaller dinky dips with the flip-top lids; I always get ink in my fingers when I flip the top off, the plastic tops crack and break easily.)



(BR01.) W&N 995 Chisel Lettering Brush

Pointed Brush:
(BR22.) Escoda Brushes

Large Brushes:
Liquitex Freestyle Paddle Brushes, from Dick Blick and

N09-S6. Speedball C Set of 6 Nibs
American calligraphy nibs for Italic, Blackletter (Gothic, Old English), Uncial, Half Uncial, Foundational and many other hands or alphabets. Sizes: C-0, C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-5. C-0 is largest, C-5 is smallest. Speedball C nibs are 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.

Size C-6 is available, but not in the set.

For more information about Speedball C nibs, click here.

Your Price

N02-S9. Brause Set of 9 Nibs
Widely used by professionals, the Brause Nibs are also the best calligraphy nibs for beginners. Stiff, durable high-quality nibs from Germany. Oblique cut calligraphy nibs, with the reservoir on top. If you have a heavy hand, Brause Nibs will work well. You can't go wrong with these chisel edged dip nibs for Italic, Blackletter (Gothic/Old English), and other hands. (Bandzung)

Sizes in set:
1.0 mm
1.5 mm
2.0 mm
2.5 mm
3.0 mm
4.0 mm
5.0 mm

Your Price $19.71

FP67. Pilot Parallel Pen
Pilot Parallel Pen

Extremely smooth writing from this pen, offering crisp edges and sharp hairlines. Nib point consists of two parallel metal plates and allows for lettering in two sizes. Use the 0.5mm edge for sharp, monoline writing or use the broad edge for calligraphic writing. You can also produce color-blended letters by touching ink from one pen to a second pen loaded with another color. Available in four sizes, includes one red and one black cartridge and a cleaning bladder.

Specify size:

Your Price

FP70. Asst Color 12 Refills for Pilot Parallel
Asst Color Refills for Pilot Parallel, 12 pack.

One cartridge each of: Black, Blue-Black, Sepia, Violet, Blue, Turquoise, Green, Light Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, Pink.

These cartridges fit both the Pilot Parallel and the Pilot Plumix Pens.

Formerly Code Number FP67-12

For individual color packs, see FP69.

Your Price

P103. Pad Paper Samples
P103. Pad Paper Samples.

Try a sample of 13 different types of papers, great for all levels of calligraphy. One page each from the following pads:
P21. Light Grid JNB: Best for work for reproduction.
P21. Dark Grid JNB: Best for student use in classrooms.
P01. Copperplate Grid: Light blue with slant lines.
P09. Boris Layout: Popular for beginning classes and for copperplate for reproduction.
P32. Canson Pro-Layout Marker: Black guidelines under the sheet are easily seen even without a light table. Higher quality than the Boris. Highly recommended.
P39. Cotton Comp: Takes ink without bleeding or feathering. A step up from the regular Marker Layout. A Sheila Waters favorite.
P36.Clairefontaine Triomphe: Extra white, super smooth. 23lb vellum finish paper.
P64 Maruman Mnemosyne Imagination Blank Pad: Delightfully smooth paper. Super for pointed pen work. A favorite of Heather Held.
P76. Strathmore Writing Pad - Blank: Enough tooth for broad-edged pen, but smooth enough for pointed pen.
P76. Strathmore Writing Pad- Lined: Dotted, light-blue lines.
P69. Gilbert Bond: high quality paper for broad edge calligraphy.
P99. JNB Linen Finish Paper. Ivory color, for broad-edge or pointed pen.
P92. Mastering Copperplate Pad. Uses the same guidelines as Eleanor Winters book "Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy"

Teachers can request this item for free. Type: "Free
P103 for Teachers" in the SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS field
on the SHIPPING ADDRESS page. The free P103 will
not be reflected on your cart but will be adjusted once the
order is processed. Please pay using a credit card; if you
pay online with PayPal, you will be charged for the P103.
We can't adjust PayPal payments because PayPal
processes the payments immediately.

Your Price

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

N154. Pointed Nib Sampler
N154. Pointed Nib Sampler

This nib sampler contains one each of our most popular pointed nibs:

Brause 66EF
Brause Rose
Brause Steno
Gillott 303
Gillott 404
Hunt 22
Hunt 101
Leonardt G
Leonardt Principal EF
Nikko G
Zebra G

For a sampler that includes all of our pointed nibs, see item N117.

Your Price $19.60

P36. Clairefontaine Blank Pad (Unlined)
Clairefontaine Writing Pad

Triomphe. Paper is bright white, extra smooth, pH neutral paper, 24lb/90gsm (sheets 26lb/100gsm), 8.25"x11.75". Blank. Pad of 50 sheets. From France. Recommended by Michael Sull for Spencerian and Off-Hand Flourishing.

Your Price

P53. Rhodia Blank Pad (Unlined)
P53. Rhodia Blank Pad (Unlined).
Blank Sheets. 8.25"x11.5" (Sheet Size). Black Cover.

Highly recommended for pointed pen work. Non-bleeding, bright white, smooth satin finish, 80gsm (22lb), acid-free, pH neutral paper. Micro-perforated to provide a clean edge when you tear out the sheet. The pad is staple bound. 80 sheets.

Also available as Lined Pad (P54) and Graph Pads (P55, P56).

Your Price

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

Your Price

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

Your Price

S934. Small Screw-Top Dinky Dip
S934. Small Rectangle or Square Dinky Dip, with 4 screw-top vials.

These mini inkwells allow you to see your nib as you dip into the ink, allowing you to easily control the depth. They are especially well-suited for pointed pen. Each has four plastic vials, four screw-tops, and an unfinished wooden base. The screw-tops seal the vials tight for transporting or storage (you should keep the filled vials upright). Vial inside dimensions: approximately 14mm dia. x 20mm high. (These are larger than the vials for our regular small Dinky Dip, now called "Flip-Top Small Dinky Dip.")

Choose your base shape:
Rectangle 1" x 4"
Square 2.75" x 2.75"

See S935 for refills.

If you prefer a vial with a flip-top, please see our Flip Top Dinky Dip, item S852.

If you prefer larger vials, please see our Jumbo Dinky Dip, item S853.

Your Price

S935. Screw-Top Dinky Dip Refills
S935. Screw-Top Dinky Dip Refills.

Packet of 8 vials.
Refills for S934. Screw Top Small Dinky Dip.

Your Price

BR01. W&N 995 Chisel Lettering Brush
Chisel Edged Lettering Brush

The standard brush recommended by John Stevens, Carl Rohrs and other instructors for chisel-edged alphabets. Golden nylon flat watercolor brush with seamless nickel ferrules and clear plastic handle. Durable and responsive.
Winsor and Newton Series 995 flat watercolor brush.

Choose from three sizes:


Change size selector to see sale prices.

Your Price $20.29

BR22. Escoda Brushes
Escoda Brushes. Series 1212. Reserva.

Annie Cicale uses these round, pointed, sable watercolor brushes for painting. Eliza Schulte Holliday, coauthor of Brush Lettering, highly recommends these brushes from Spain for pointed brush lettering. They have plenty of bounce and good snap and are reasonably priced. Kolinsky Sable.

Choose size:
#6. (Discounted - Limited quantity)
#10 (Discounted - Limited quantity)

Your Price $22.26

  © John Neal Bookseller · 1833 Spring Garden Street, First Floor · Greensboro · NC 27403 · USA
contact info