Leonardt Dip Pens and Copperplate Nibs

I have fiiinally bought a dip pen. I got the Copperplate nibs with it, because they're the kind of calligraphy I haven't tried yet, apart from dabbling about with my Noodlers Creaper Flex Fountain Pen. I initially read that to get a variegated line with a fountain pen, you need either a fountain pen with a flex nib (hard to come by, either expensive or not a flex nib) or some dip pens because they are soft and able to flex.

When I saw these, I fell in love with them! I have been an active part of the calligraphy community on tumblr, following some great people. I've learnt a lot from them and we all seem to be having our own trials and tests and seeing what works and what doesn't. I discovered that calligraphy I want to do is Blackletter, which I still need to practice and also Copperplate which is just fancy and really nice, and also easier to do than any of the others. I just like the way it looks! So to achieve a true Copperplate, a dip pen and Copperplate nibs were needed.

Now, when I unpackaged them, I just loved it. It all felt special. The tin is so handy, so you don't lose your nibs and it's also pretty. I got out my ink and put a nib into the pen and set down to write. Little did I know, it would not work. The ink didn't flow from the nib and it was hard to do even one stroke with a full ink flow.

So I set about researching how to use dip pens properly, I thought I must be doing something wrong. I found out that dip pen nibs come coated in a laquer or oil to prevent rusting from the time it's made. There were also several different methods of getting the coating off from the nib. I tried the ones that appeared to be less risky to me. I first tried brushing it with toothpaste and rinsing and drying it. That worked a little bit, there was definitely and increase in ink flow, with the standard Copperplate nibs. I was still having trouble with the Shorthand one, so I tried the riskier method of passing it through a flame. When I tried writing again, there was a definite improvement. 

It's still not 100%, and these nibs will take some getting used to. 

 I think I was too gentle with the flaming because I was worried it would make my nib too soft. So I will attempt it again, but maybe keep it there a little bit longer. The ink still struggles to flow freely. I also saw a method of immersing them in boiling water and then in cold water, a few times, but I am yet to try this method. If this second flaming doesn't work, I'll try that.

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