Custom nibs for calligraphy practice?
Customizations to Formal or Cursive Italic
Experienced calligraphers generally utilize a customization to cursive or formal italic, which provides the greatest line-width variation possible. Formal Italic is generally favored by professionals, but this is also a more challenging customization for less experienced users than is the more forgiving cursive italic.
Fountain Pen Nib Widths and Flexibility
Fountain pen nibs are generally finer in measurement than most calligraphy pen nibs - the broadest stock nibs are generally in the 1 to 1.5mm range, though broader points can often be achieved through John's custom retips. Calligraphers often favor nibs that are naturally flexible to achieve added line-width variation. Examples include the Falcon Resin and Metal Falcon series pens, as well as any Nakaya brand pen, which can be fitted with semi-flexible nibs in either Fine Soft or Medium Soft.
Most 14k nibs, whether or not they already have some natural softness, can also be customized for added flexibility. And when buying a nib and pen combination for customization, remember that the broader the nib, the greater the line-width variation that can be achieved. On the other hand, some very specialized uses require a different approach - John's highly popular Spencerian customization, for instance, utilizes a combination of added flex and a regrind to a needlepoint tip to allow for copperplate calligraphy.
Still Have Questions?
Every calligrapher, whether an experienced professional or a beginning hobbyist, will have her or his own unique set of needs - feel free to call or e-mail us with any questions, and we will be happy to help guide you to the pen, nib, and customization combination that will suit you best.