There's something about writing with a dip pen, that even if you usually have horrible handwriting, using one automatically makes your handwriting look good. We sent subscribers a nib holder and a Brause 361 Steno "Blue Pumpkin" nib in the November iPenBox. Dip pens are good for writing calligraphy, but even if you don't know how to do calligraphy, they are still fun to use.
I chose some of my most recent favorite colors of fountain pen ink to get started. Lately, these include all of the Diamine Shimmer inks. It's hard to decide which of the 10 shimmer inks I like the best, but right now I'm loving Red Lustre and Magical Forrest.
To get started simply push the nib gently into the nib holder. There are many different types of nibs you can use in a nib holder. In the photo above, I am using the Brause Steno #361. Writing with a dip pen is such a great hobby because it's very inexpensive. You can buy a nib holder, nib, and some ink samples to get started for under $20.
Next, go ahead and dip your pen into your ink. Try not to get ink on the nib holder, or you will get lots of ink on your fingers, which I personally don't mind, but some people do. I chose a nice pad of Rhodia paper. I like this paper because it's very smooth paper, and the ink won't bleed through or feather. You can use any paper you like.
This Brause nib is good for beginners because it has a lot of flex and it's a large nib that holds a good amount of ink. Here's the concave side of the nib. You can see it's captured the ink. If you don't flex the nib too much it should last for a sentence or two. However, if you like the variations in your lines to be quite dramatic, expect to re-dip often.
Now go ahead and relax and write. The Diamine Shimmer ink looks so lovely with all of the sparkles, doesn't it?
If you'd like to learn calligraphy, we have several calligraphy notebooks for beginners that teaches several different scripts, such as Copperplate and Italic.