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Nivarion
10-08-2009, 10:31 AM
So I was writing just now, when I have a character using a wooden quill style pen to write in a journal at the end of camp. Well after a bit I realised that everything I know about writing with a quill pen and inkpot comes either from what I've read in other books, or what I've experimented out on single leafs of paper.

Google only revealed a ton of shopping items for doctors, so I came here.

What is the proper way to write in a book using an inkpot and pen?

alleycat
10-08-2009, 10:40 AM
I've made and used pens made from both reeds and feathers. In arch school I even tried using a ruling pen.

I'm not sure I understand your question. You dip the pen into the inkwell, sort of tap the excess, then write using a bit more care than you would with a felt-tip.

bettielee
10-08-2009, 10:48 AM
You could also try searching for "dip pen". I'm a big pen geek, I am more into fountain, but I have used dip pens.

http://www.wisegeek.com/how-can-i-make-a-quill-pen.htm

this page talks about the paper to use.


eta: sorry, I'd found a place with actual quill pens, but that wasn't it... the link I posted earlier was wrong

Mumut
10-08-2009, 03:06 PM
If you press too hard, the split in the end of the nib separates and you have parallel lines. As Alleycat says, it's very easy to blot your work, so wipe the inked part of the nib on the side of the inkpot after dipping, to take off excess. Our school ink was made from powder and, after a while, the ink in the well became coarse and gritty. Bottled ink didn't do this. It was hard to make the writing look even. After a few words the nib would start running out of ink and the writing looked scratchy.

There was a culture of one-upmanship as to ink colour. Royal Blue was often in favour. I forget the other names. Also you'd have a few sheets of blotting paper in your bag. The page had to be blotted before turning over or the last words, still a bit wet, would smudge.

DrZoidberg
10-08-2009, 03:59 PM
I couldn't imagine an easier research to do. Just go and buy a set. It's dirt cheap.

But it gets messy fast. You have to be very careful with how far down you dip it. You have to blot a lot, and after a few lines you almost always have painted fingers. Everybody spills the pot at some point in their lives = very messy indeed.

But just go and buy it.

Rowan
10-08-2009, 04:16 PM
So I was writing just now, when I have a character using a wooden quill style pen to write in a journal at the end of camp. Well after a bit I realised that everything I know about writing with a quill pen and inkpot comes either from what I've read in other books, or what I've experimented out on single leafs of paper.

Google only revealed a ton of shopping items for doctors, so I came here.

What is the proper way to write in a book using an inkpot and pen?

I love writing with quills! One thing to take under consideration, most of your average papers are thin enough that the ink will bleed through so it's best to use parchment paper (at least I do; others may have better luck w/standard weight paper). As previous posters have said, you don't press as hard with a quill v. regular pen. Also, you can use a feather - tip sharpened to form a nib - or you can buy artificial pens that have interchangeable nibs. Then you simply dip it into the ink well, tap off any excess and start writing. I can't remember the name of the stuff you spread over the page to remove excess ink so it doesn't smear when you turn the page... this might not even be necessary with today's ink. I just let pages dry before turning. :)

dirtsider
10-08-2009, 05:41 PM
Actually, to dry the ink before turning the page - or folding a letter to create its envelope for that matter - they would use sand or something similar. They actually had shakers for it. It looks like a salt shaker but with a wider top that looks almost like a small, shallow bowl. Not sure if that was to help spread the sand over the paper or to allow them to dump the excess sand back into the top and into the shaker again.

Oh, the joys of having colonial american sites close by and spending far too much time there. lol

You might want to look up www.smoke-fire.com. It's a website that supplies goodies for re-enactors, mostly Colonial American (they're in Ohio), and they do sell writing supplies. It think they also sell caligraphy books as well.

Nivarion
10-08-2009, 07:15 PM
Actually, to dry the ink before turning the page - or folding a letter to create its envelope for that matter - they would use sand or something similar. They actually had shakers for it. It looks like a salt shaker but with a wider top that looks almost like a small, shallow bowl. Not sure if that was to help spread the sand over the paper or to allow them to dump the excess sand back into the top and into the shaker again.

Oh, the joys of having colonial american sites close by and spending far too much time there. lol

You might want to look up www.smoke-fire.com (http://www.smoke-fire.com). It's a website that supplies goodies for re-enactors, mostly Colonial American (they're in Ohio), and they do sell writing supplies. It think they also sell caligraphy books as well.


That's actually about what I was looking for.

I should clarify. My character is a general on the move, and keeping a log of everything that happens.

I'm looking for things he would do to his journal before closing the pages to keep them from smearing. Right now I've got him closing the pages on a sheet of softened canvas.

He may be often closing the book, since he dosen't always want the people around him to read some of what he has written, even though they can't read. (he doesn't know)

dirtsider
10-08-2009, 08:45 PM
Only thing I'd be worried about with a cloth is the cloth may become saturated with ink and then becomes too stiff to use. It's also more inclined to smear the ink than sand or sawdust or even fullers earth (or any sort of really soft, fine dirt).

Shakesbear
10-08-2009, 09:03 PM
If you use a square cut nib you have to hold the quill at a certain angle to get the thick and thin lines. I've used goose feathers to make quills and a pen knife is essential.