Fountain pens are frequently used for calligraphy, whether by advanced professionals or beginning amateurs. The nib customizations that John performs to increase line-width variation can make your quality fountain pen into a highly suitable instrument for creating calligraphic script.
In general, the line-width variation required for creating calligraphy with a fountain pen is achieved by modifying the nib through two distinct methods. A regrind to a sharper italic point results in a pen that will give broad down-strokes and narrow cross-strokes, making this an appropriate tool for creating traditional italic style calligraphy.
Adding flex to a nib, on the other hand, allows the user to achieve line-width variation by varying the pressure used while writing - when combined with a regrind to needlepoint, this modification is well-suited for Spencerian copperplate and similar styles.
Here are examples of firm formal italic nibs for calligraphy.
Here are some books to get you started with firm nib calligraphy. Click on the images below for more information.
Here are examples of flexible nibs for calligraphy.
We make extra flexible nibs in all widths and most styles. Most 14k nibs are good candidates for this customization. This is done with a Namiki Falcon fine with added flex. We used Pilot's Irishizuku Moonlight ink.
A customer penned this with one of our Namiki Falcons modified to our Spencerian approximation. Notice how, using greater pressure, the line width changes on the downstroke. These tips are challenging to use. To see the pen he used for this sample, click here. Nakaya are the only other pens, besides the Pilot Custom 912 with FA nib and the Pilot Falcon that are appropriate for the Spencerian approximation.
Here is a sample of writing by one of our customers, Edward Weyman, who is using a vintage dip pen which we re-tipped.
Here is a book to get you started with flexible nib calligraphy. Click on the image below for more information.