Investing in good tools and supplies is crucial to your learning experiance.
Use tools that work for YOU instead of AGAINST you.
Here's a list of all my favorite tools and supplies that I use on a daily basis.
From day one I have been using one of these oblique pen holders. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. You can change your nibs easily and it's very pocket friendly :)
Deuce by Yoke Pen Company - The most affordable Metal Flange Pen holder on the market and it's TWO Pen Holders in ONE - straight and oblique.
Luis Creation Moblique Holder - Moblique 2-in-1 is a budget straight & oblique penholder designed by Luis Creations. It has a compartment to hold nibs inside the body. It comes in many chic colors for you to choose from
TBLC’s Oblique Holder for Beginners - Custom-made oblique holders designed by yours truly to get you started in your calligraphy journey. (Launching soon)
We all like to upgrade every now and then, after a couple of months or years of practice, and below are a few high-end holders I absolutely love
Michael Sull wooden oblique holder - I’ll never forget the day he adjusted my flange so patiently at IAMPETH
AB Holders - Handmade wooden oblique holder with an adjustable flange made by Aqino is one of my all-time favorites.
TBLC Holders - Our very own premium holders are made in collaboration with a renowned pen maker in Italy. They’re made of hardwoods, and brass flange and give an excellent ergonomic grip.
The G series nibs are best suited for beginners which include Nikko G
, Tachikawa G, and Zebra G - these nibs are very sturdy and inflexible which is why it’s good to get started with. They also work very well on handmade paper as the tip is not too sharp so it doesn’t pick up fibres.
As you progress, you want to try out other nibs and see what works best for you, my personal favourite is Principle EF.
Principle EF. was the nib I started using and is still the one I reach for most frequently. You can achieve beautiful, thin hairline strokes as well as thick down strokes by simply adjusting the pressure applied. It’s strong, it’s sturdy, and an all-around great nib. It will take some getting used to, especially if you are just starting out, so give yourself time and grace to practice and learn how nibs work.
Hunt 101 and Hunt 22 are two of my most used nibs after Principle EF, they’re great for practice, it also works really well for addressing envelopes and working on finished pieces. They produce very fine hairlines and thick swells which gives a delicate look overall.
Gillot 303 - I’ve found it to be especially useful while creating flourishes, it just glides over the paper so easily letting us create some beautiful strokes. Super fine hairlines, and great swells.
Brause Steno aka Blue Pumpkin is an excellent nib and the best one for writing on very large X heights as it’s very flexible.
Note: What I have found very helpful over the years is setting aside a different holder for different nibs. By doing this we adjust our flange to suit a particular type of nib so we do not need to readjust it.
There are a variety of inks that can be used and over the years I have found my go to inks for practice as well as final work as given below
Sumi Ink - In my experience, it’s the best black ink available and recommended by artists across the world. My go to Sumi ink is a famous Japanese brand called Moon palace and is available with another brand called Kuretake.
Walnut ink - It’s a beautiful natural ink made from the green husk surrounding the nut of walnut. The ink comes in two forms: liquid or crystals that are mixed with water before use. I love the inconsistent shade of brown that is produced with walnut ink.
Fox and Quills are the most stunning home-brewed inks made by my dear friend Serge in California. The colors are beautiful, and vibrant and they work like a dream. We’re so proud to be their sole retailer in India.
Ziller Inks are perfect for steel pointed nibs, broad edge pens and brushes. They are a multi-faceted medium for wherever your imagination takes you. And I absolutely love the variety of shades available.
Krishna Inks are a recent discovery made by a doctor in Chennai, India. These are beautiful pocket-friendly inks, more suited for broad-edged, but on the right paper, it can be used for pointed pen too.
Higgins Eternal - It’s another favorite of mine when it comes to black ink, the consistency and shade are absolutely stunning.
Dr Ph Martins has a beautiful range of iridescent shades, they’re the finest metallic inksTheir white ink called the Bleed Proof white is hands down the best white ink available.
Windsor Newton - Inks that have been formulated with carefully chosen pigments to ensure maximum brilliance of color. The 18 colors in this range are lightfast for long-lasting results.
Quick Tip: If you feel your ink is too thick you can always add a few drops of distilled water to improve the viscosity of the ink. Alternatively, if you find that your ink is too watery, you can add a little bit of gum arabic.
Good quality paper is crucial for your learning experience. It’s important to use calligraphy friendly paper which means that it should be bleed proof and 100 GSM +
We, at the Bombay Lettering Company, have also curated our own pads, which work well with all ink types. Copperplate practice pads that comes in two different X heights - 5 mm and 9mm, Dotted and Grid Pads
TBLC Mix Media Paper - The smooth texture and premium quality of these sheets makes it our go-to paper, especially for final pieces.
TBLC Handmade Paper - Beautiful handmade cotton rag paper with a natural deckle edge, suitable for calligraphy, digital printing, and other media. With natural, delicate, and feathery deckle edges, each of these sheets is made by hand using age-old techniques from 100% cotton, making for soft, strong, and luxe paper. Available in various sizes and colors.
Fabriano - 250 GSM Acid Free paper with ultra-smooth surface, ideal for all mediums.