I have been contacted by my niece, Charmaine, and she is desperate to learn calligraphy for her upcoming nuptials in 2020. I offered her my services but she is adamant that she wants to address the wedding invitations herself, mostly because she considers me to be so addled and ancient that she fears I may be dead before I am needed. Charmed, I’m sure. Anyhow, with a heavy heart I have agreed to help her. Obviously she has been pouting over Pinterest and is determined to learn a modern calligraphy style, in return I have said that if she wants my instruction then she will learn my way, and that she would do well to learn several styles… I mean, who is to know what will be fashionable and slapped all over Pinterest in 2020??
She has now been here for several hours. I have locked her in the attic. It is furnished simply with a wooden desk and chair, upon the desk is a rudimentary lined notepad from Tesco’s, a straight plastic holder, a no.2 1/2 William Mitchell nib, a bottle of Higgins Eternal ink, a small paintbrush, and an old Sheaffer instruction pamphlet that includes a basic italic examplar. Before leaving her, and locking the door, I demonstrated how to insert the nib into the holder i.e. this is the nib and you shove it in the holder. I also disgusted her by sticking the new nib in my mouth and giving it a good slosh round with saliva. I did explain that this is my way of getting the protective factory coating off the nib, but she is welcome to spend time messing around with flames, toothpaste, alcohol, vinegar, etc, if she finds the saliva method too repugnant. My gob is like acid and never fails to strip a nib. Any nib. I then fitted the reservoir for her, checked the nib was writing okay, locked her in and then went up the pub.
I am back now and fixing her a bowl of gruel, which I will take up to her after I’ve finished my fag. I am excited to see how she has progressed after my in depth instruction. If all goes well then I may think about taking on a paying student as there is something comforting in having someone locked in the attic whilst I potter about. I will upload pictures of her work in my next post.