Certificate Core: The Truly Flexible Pointed Pen

Certificate Core: The Truly Flexible Pointed Pen
with Rick Paulus

Type West Certificate Program
Workshop at Letterform Archive
Sat, Feb 16, 2019
10:00am–5:00pm PDT

Extend the range of your pointed pen’s potential as we break away from traditional pointed pen hands and explore the full power of this amazing little pen nib. Following an analysis of historical models as well as the work of contemporary masters, we will put our pens to paper and systematically develop new pointed pen styles out of formal broad-edge hands such as foundational, italic and uncial. The methods and skills acquired in this workshop will give participants the tools they need to further their reach with the pointed pen in infinite ways.

Note: This workshop is only open to students enrolled in the Type West Certificate Program in Type Design.

Required Materials
  • Slant board/desk that slants up to 45 degrees.
  • Any stiff board, even two pieces of Foamcor taped together, measuring at least 18” x 20” (Masonite works best, plexiglass works well also)
  • Oblique pen holder. Note: participants are encouraged to purchase pen holders with adjustable brass flange and to avoid the much simpler, yet poor-performing rigid plastic flange. If money is not such an obstacle, you will find the wood pens much more enjoyable to hold and work with! If you know that a straight pen is preferred for you, please feel free to use a straight pen.
  • Flexible Pointed Pen nibs: Suggest Leonardt Principal Gillott 303, Zebra G or your favorite.
  • Ink — Black ink. Your favorite (Sumi Moon Palace recommended)
  • Paper
  • Marker Layout paper (Canson Pro Layout Marker or Borden and Riley #37
  • Boris Bright White Layout Visual Bond, etc........either 9X12, or 11X14)
  • 1 sheet, high-quality, smooth paper. (Arches Hot Press, Mohawk Drawing, Arches Text, Bristol, Canson Mi-
  • Tientes recommended, or your favorite. Can be cut to 1/4 size
  • Tracing Paper. (12” roll is preferred and most cost effective). Tracing paper pads are acceptable.
  • Pencil — .05, HB in a mechanical pencil. Other pencil’s acceptable providing you can keep them sharp.
  • Erasers — Clean plastic eraser such as Staedtler/Mars, Tombow, or clean kneaded eraser.
  • Ruler — Metal will give you more accurate measuring and a good, straight, sharp edge.
  • Tape — Artist tape, or removable scotch tape, 1/2” or 3/4” roll.
  • Water container and paper towels or clean up cloths
  • Text from which to work: suggestions: One short poem/passage (10-15 words) and one long poem/passage (8 line poem, 40-50 words)
Optional Materials
  • T square
  • Triangle — 90 degree plastic triangle recommended, but not required
  • Scissors
  • Extra Brushes
  • Xacto knife — #11 blade (The sharp, pointed blade)
  • Pigment — Gouache, watercolor, ink stone, etc.
  • T square
  • Triangle — 90 degree plastic triangle recommended, but not required
  • Scissors
  • Extra Brushes
  • Xacto knife — #11 blade (The sharp, pointed blade)
About Rick Paulus

Rick Paulus has been a calligrapher and a teacher for over forty years. Rick apprenticed for several years at the legendary Tolley Studios, in Washington, DC, before becoming the engrosser for the US State Department. In 1998, he was appointed chief calligrapher of the White House, where he remained for two presidents. Today, in addition to enjoying calligraphic explorations from his studio nestled in the coastal hills of Sonoma County, Rick is dedicated to sharing the knowledge gained through many years of studio production and experimentation to students young and old alike.

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