Calligraphy Tip no. 58

You are a silly old bat, Aunt Scarlet!’ Charmaine yelled down from the attic.
I frowned and considered getting some further insulation so that I couldn’t hear the girl whenever she got in a tis.
‘You don’t need a reservoir on a Mitchell broad edge nib!’ she continued, ‘All you need to do is drop some ink in the dimple on the top of the nib and it writes fine.’
I frowned some more, but I was so concerned by her revelation that I roused myself from my chaise longue and wandered into my light and airy studio to test her theory…


Dimple on the top side of the Mitchell nib.


The dimple filled with ink


It works!!!

I frowned some more. I had always wondered what that damn dimple was for. The girl was correct and the only downside to this technique was that the dimple did not hold as much ink as a conventional underside reservoir, thus it needed to be filled more often. This didn’t bother me as I believed it would be an easier for beginners who struggled with the reservoir.

‘And pray tell me Charmaine, from where did you find this tip?’ I shouted up to the attic.
‘Fink it was from Instagram… fink it was Cheryl Dyer’s feed.’

I nodded to myself as I had long been an admirer of Ms Dyer’s work [website HERE] and it didn’t surprise me that she would know such useful things about the mysteries of calligraphy nibs.
I looked around my studio and feeling inspired I sat at my desk to continue working on my own little project…


My latest masterpiece…. an extract from my favourite book.

20 thoughts on “Calligraphy Tip no. 58

    1. Scarlet Post author

      No worries, Mr Mags! This is a very short story that I am quoting from my favourite book ever. Hopefully I will have the whole masterpiece completed by next Wednesday 🙂
      Yes, you are most certainly FIRST! As always!!

    1. Scarlet Post author

      I believe my grandmothers had these contraptions too, Mr Lax! I really should have posted the completed version of this masterpiece… but it is time consuming… I will try hard to finish it and then it will make perfect sense. I promise.

  1. dinahmow

    Well, Mr. Mitchell’s dimple is very becoming (and I don’t say that to all the chaps!), but I clicked on the sewing machine link and that was it-I was off in another world, sewing my poodle skirts and can-can petticoats on just such a machine….

  2. IDV

    Hooray! Charmaine’s still in the attic! And I’m glad to see that you’re keeping her working.
    Also, it’s worth having something in the attic to cushion the blow in case that pesky steroid does hit 🙂

    1. Scarlet Post author

      Yes, she is still up there, Mr Devine… I have added an extra padlock and gagged her, so thankfully no more interruptions.
      Meanwhile, I always used to have a cushion hand for my Uncle Gideon in case he was hit by a pesky haemorrhoid. Cushions are always a necessity.

  3. Ponita

    I have seen nibs with dimples but had no idea you put ink in there! My mum did some calligraphy but she always used a fountain pen that used an ink cartridge. I’m sure it would have been much messier for her otherwise.

    And being a silly old bat is our prerogative as we get older. So be as silly as you like, Scarlet! We love you!!

    1. Scarlet Post author

      Awww… thank you, Ponita!! Yes, I started with a fountain pen, many years ago, they save a lot of bother and mess. I moved onto dip nibs because they offer so much variation; I can use gouache and water colour paint with them and I can use different nib widths… and they are cheaper!
      My next post will be very silly 🙂

  4. Leni Qinan

    Just one lil’ question Scarlett … which is you favourite book? The one from where you took the extract for your little masterpiece? I’m just curious …


    1. Scarlet Post author

      Thank you for your question, Leni! I have been mailed privately regarding the title of this book and I can reveal that it is Private Eye’s Bumper Book of Boobs. It contains the pick of the misprints and other absurdities culled from the press by Private Eye. All the cuttings are genuine; none has been altered (1962-1973).
      Whenever I am feeling a little low I pick up this book and I am chuckling away within seconds. I strongly recommend it.

  5. savannah49

    i’ve been remiss, sweetpea, and now must go back and read all i’ve missed. especially about Charmaine up in the attic. but she does sound a bit useful, darling. 😉 doing research, i mean. total aside, but i have a lamy broad nib fountain pen that i use when i have to write checks that are for large amounts of money. somehow, taking the time to write out those numbers slowly and carefully makes it seem less painful and more of an artistic experience. at least, that’s what i tell myself. xoxoxox

  6. Scarlet Post author

    Ha Ha Ha!!! This is true, Savvy!! Also, writing the cheques out slowly means that the money stays in my bank account longer… who needs PayPal and Internet banking when we can embrace this artistic form of expression.
    I’ve never tried a Lamy, but I’ve heard they’re very good.


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