Tales From The Nib



Modern Calligraphy

Hi everyone,
I’ve been busy recently but wanted to introduce you to a new book that United Inkdom asked me to review.
This newly released book is published by “The Orion Publishing Group”  Priced at £12:99

Its a step-by-step guide to mastering modern calligraphy and written by the founder of “Quill London” Lucy Edmonds, she also runs modern calligraphy workshops in London.
Anyway let’s get started…
This book is beautifully presented, with a rose gold gliding effect on the front cover, it’s not overly busy, more of a classic design, but very nicely designed. This book is aimed at beginners, and for people who would like to start their journey into modern calligraphy.


I’m more of a traditional calligraphy kind of girl, and love engrossers script and copperplate, but who knows I might start another path down the modern calligraphy route, for fun projects.
This book covers most of the basics, like listing nibs, paper and inks.


It also goes into various nibs and how each one behaves and there flexibility, preparing nibs for use, the list goes on.


In the exercise section you are taught how to produce heavy down strokes and light up strokes, with examples of good and bad strokes, with tips at the side lines of the book too.
And throughout the book, there are lots of dotted and lined practice sheets.


I’ve not written in the book, so I’m not sure how the paper reacts to inks, nor as to if it feathers, for me personally I never write in calligraphy books even though the paper is there for that purpose. Later in the book, there is a chapter on exploring colour, colour theory and different inks, including watercolour and metallic inks.


I remember searching the internet to find information about using watercolour, and which ones were ok to use with dip pens, I was clueless, so that’s a handy section that has been added. This book covers brush calligraphy too, not this is something I’ve never tried personally, I much prefer nibs and ink, but know many who do love to combine modern calligraphy and brush pens with amazing results.


This book really does cover many aspects of calligraphy, fake calligraphy and also has some super projects too. The envelope section is particularly useful, who doesn’t love a pretty envelope being popped through the door by the postman, someone taking the time to send you pretty snail mail is just wonderful.


I hope that you’ve enjoyed the review as much as I enjoyed it.

Stay tuned, I will be back with experiments and photographs of the outcome of my practice sessions using this book.

Until next time x


Robert Oster Signature inks

Hi everyone…

Well my first review of 2017, and courtesy of Roy from Izods, Roy and the United kingdom team sent me two samples of Robert Oster Signature ink to test out and give my thoughts, good and bad……

The ink samples I received were 2 from the 9 inks in the range, that can be purchased in the UK, from Izods, mine are Summer Storm and Emerald. Robert, the creator of these inks is from the Limestone Coast Australia, and makes the inks by hand, with his team. They did a great job on the ink and also the designing of the branding too.


Summer Storm is a delightful blue grey colour, which goes perfectly with its name.
It struck me that this would be a great alternative for formal type letters, different than your run of the mill blacks and blues, which have a place in the world, but I personally don’t write with them often.


I still write to friends via snail mail, and I have visions of the postal service employees being blinded by some of the inks I choose, I mean can you imagine the postie falling over a garden fence after making his or her eyes go squiffy trying to read an address ????.
But I think it would be a nice colour to write on envelopes and packages, and way more conservative than most of my choices.
The Robert Oster Signature inks are wet inks, so they are quite juicy, great for wet pens,that like lots of flow.


The colour variations are great too, I love how the fade with up and down strokes of the nib, it gives such an interesting effect on the paper, rather than being a solid even colour.
The inks flow well through the nib, I used a Jinhao X750 and my dip pens for this review, and it worked very well with that medium nib likewise the dip pen nibs. No dry spots, or burping of ink through the page.

Although the ink is quite wet, the unique mixture used to make the inks, worked wonderfully, and I didn’t have lots of feathering, it worked extremely well on 120g printer paper, although you might get a different result on the paper of your choice ?

The second ink I had the pleasure of reviewing was the Emerald, a beautifully rich emerald green.


The colour variations again is very pleasing, from a dark emerald to a beautiful mid green with the nib strokes.

Again the Emerald is a wet ink, so would be really wonderful in stub nibs, the wider the nib, the more obvious the ink variations would be. It’s a nice green, quite conservative like the summer storm, and a pleasant colour for every day penmanship should you so wish.


The signature inks retail at £14:95 but you do get 50ml of ink for your money, and if like me, you love dip pens too, then you can pour a little into another dinky jar and add some gum arabic to thicken for use in calligraphy, so you are halving the value of the initial price, if you want to.


I think that the Robert Oster Signature inks are lovely inks to write with, and I’m really sitting on my hands to stop myself from buying a few colours, top of my list would definitely be Summer Storm, I’m in love with that one in particular.

So until next time, take care…

Sarah x

Diamine Shimmer Inks

Hi everyone,
I recently received some new inks to review, yeah I know, I’m very lucky to be able to review awesomeness for
Well today, I bring to you, Diamine Shimmer inks, a range of 10 shimmery inks, that are fountain pen safe.
I remember as a child killing a fountain pen, by adding glitter to a fountain pen, needless to say I killed it. It was never the same after that…. Anyway, I got to test 3 of the range, and had fun playing, I do love glitter.
My first was the Diamine Shimmer “Moon Dust”.15398859_10154722036783433_1114346451_o
A grey black with silver shimmer, the ink was a nice consistency, and flowed well, surprisingly no stop start with ink flow. Some inks are very dry, but this was totally fine.
I noticed that the ink looked quite dark, but seemed to lighten slightly and as it dried you could see the glitter appear.
It’s a great colour if you are slightly nervous of walking on the wild side, a classy tone, that’s not overly in your face.

I much prefer to write with a dark grey, than a black ink, so this is a nice sophisticated colour, that would look lovely for writing notes, envelopes and letters.


My second ink I reviewed “Diamine Magenta Flash” , a lovely pinky/purple, with silver shimmer.

This is such a great colour, one of my favourites, I do like pinks and purples, not your usual ink colour to write with……Well unless you are me, then totally acceptable ha ha.


Again it flowed well, and I found again the glitter appeared afterwards, but a beautiful shade, and quietly classy.


Personally with the bright ones, I’d of gone even more apparent with the glitter ha ha, but still a nice ink.


My third ink review was “Diamine Pink Glitz” this had all the same qualities as the previous two, but this has a gold shimmer.


A pretty bright pink, that would look super for birthday cards and such like, especially for any pink princesses you get to write too.

The pink, has an orange tinge, in reality, this is not the case, it is PINK I promise haha.

it also made my eyes google trying to take this photo, can you tell ???.


I must admit, the brighter colours are very strong pigments, so I didn’t leave them in my fountain pens for too long, I was aware of the glitter possibly clogging the feed, and also didn’t want my converters strained, but I’m probably being a “Diva”, so decided to be cautious. I also found that the ink didn’t work so well on certain papers, it feathered and bled through, even using a fine nib, so I went on to do my review writing on Tomoe River paper, and it worked fine.

I went on to experiment with the inks, I added some of each colour to little empty ink jars, added a little gum arabic, to thicken the ink. The gum arabic made the ink a nice consistency to use with dip pens too. So if you like fountain pens and dip pens, you could save some money, buy using the ink for both, which is a bonus.


The Diamine inks are available in 50ml bottles and are around the £9:95 price bracket, from most pen retailers, and also from Diamine themselves.

So my round up to this review is, they are pretty inks, dual purpose, for fountain pens and dip pens.

They stain a little if you leave them in your pens for extended periods, and will bleed and feather on certain papers, but I think you’ll find that issue with most inks.

All in all pretty cool inks, and was very excited to be able to have a play with them.

I will add that the glitter swatches, were on a large area, so look very glittery, obviously the inks when you write with them, don’t have as much glitter, its much more subtle, than in the photograph.
My  wish would be, more glitter, you can never have too much sparkle ha ha.

Until next time 🙂

Nib & Ink Book

Hey everyone,
Today I bring to you a review of a new book, For United Inkdom how exciting.

I received a parcel, (now you know I love getting parcels ha ha), from “The Book Service LTD” to review a Calligraphy book, “Nib & Ink” The New Art of Modern Calligraphy written by Chiara Perano. Here is the ISBN 978-0-75355-728-0. Just in case you want to purchase your own copy.

Okay, let’s get started, the front cover is beautiful, not overly busy or fussy, straight to the point, and classy in design, really well thought out, so you can see what the book will entail. I really like it.


This book covers so many aspects of modern calligraphy, and also I think would be beneficial for anyone wanting to improve their handwriting, or who wants to learn cursive.
From a newbie point of view, many books are available on the market, that can leave you with more questions than answers, (well that’s my opinion only, of course).

But the book tells you about various nibs for pointed pen calligraphy, and also offers many tips on nib placement, and suggestions of what might work for you.


The book also offers a website link, for downloading practice sheets, and more suggestions of different types of paper too. Something that I had to find out for myself,when I started, it was just trial and error, and many, many mistakes, eeeekkkkk.

This book really does cover so much, it’s amazing how much the author packs into it.
Things like holding your pen, how much ink do you put onto the nib, calligraphy drills, the list goes on.


What I really like about the book, is the practice sheets, in a lighter shade, Chiara writes the letter, so it’s visible while you are practicing, and each page has a new letter.

What’s also lovely is each letter you can choose a style, so a few samples of the letter “A” and so on, in the picture below you see a page showing various ‘S’s, along with a full alphabet, there is also numbers and symbols too.


Going through the book, there are different greetings and quotes for you to use, perfect for cards for any occasion.


There really is so much packed into this little gem of a book, you can make gift tags, place settings, and in the tail end of the book there are projects to do, I can’t begin to tell you the fun things I plan on making, with inspiration from this book, it’s really super, and I think with the season of good will approaching, it would make a seriously great stocking filler for anyone of any age.


I really tried to be objective with this book, but it’s just not happening, I think it’s awesome,it’s an informative book, with lots of helpful tips, and packed full of inspiration.


Such a fabulous and helpful book, I really did enjoy reading it, and will most definitely be trying some of the ideas.


Until next time…………..Have fun

Sarah x

Steam Punk Glass Dip Pen

Hey everyone,
Today I thought I just have to write a review on my latest dip pen.
Now this isn’t just any old dip pen, it’s one of Steam Punk Glass’ creations.
Glen Godden, the owner and creator of not only dip pen holders, but all manner of wonderful glass gifts from a product called Borosilicate which I believe is a term more commonly known as Pyrex. Check out his website for the professional expert terms, just to make sure I have that right.

The dip pen arrived promptly, the Steam Punk Glass service is first rate, shipment is of lightening speed, and let’s face it, if you are like me, I order and want my parcel straight away, I’m usually far to excited to wait days for things to arrive. I want to see it.
It arrives not only fast, but in its own presentation box, nice touch I think, plus it’s a pretty box too.
Then here comes to good bit, opening the box……


I can never contain my excitement, every parcel is like Christmas, I love getting parcels.
I peek into the box, and there it sits, pure beauty. Check it out, it comes with a nib, plus you can also order extra nibs too.

What is this sorcery…


It’s magical how the glass is sculpted and manipulated into shapes, the blue wave pattern reminds me of visiting the seaside as a child, and the pen sits beautifully into my hand, the barrel isn’t too large at the nib end.


All the pens are unique, not only the colour, but the shape too, each is blown separately, so you can see that each takes on its own appearance and characteristics.


As you can see from the photographs, mine came accompanied with the Leonardt Blue nib, perfect for copperplate, Spencer’s fans which is easy to change, but the great part, the silver mechanism, which hold the nib can also be removed for cleaning and replacing too. Guess what ? Glen sells the Furrels too, so no searching to buy more, or importing them and waiting forever, did I tell you I hate waiting for things to arrive….ha ha.


It’s very hard to stop writing about the dip pen holder, I could talk forever, but seriously, if you want a gift for a pen fanatic, or for yourself, that’s unique, elegant, works well, is comfortable to use and great value, then look no further, take a trip over to Steam Punk Glass, even better you could see all the beautiful products at Covent Gardens Apple market (drop him an email for the days he’s there, so you aren’t disappointed).



Until next time…

Sarah 🙂

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