Quill on Vellum Quill on Vellum

Methods & Techniques

A 'pen' can be made from almost anything- natural or manufactured. If it makes a mark then a skilled calligrapher can create something of beauty with it, as long as a pigment will flow from it's tip; the same is true of the material that is being written on.

John makes pens from natural materials such as reeds or bamboo and especially the quill, without doubt one of the finest writing implements, and when used on vellum (calfskin) or parchment (sheepskin) gives a result of unsurpassed fineness and quality. There are, of course, brushes and the steel pen in endless shapes and styles, plastics also, and not forgetting the latest fibre tip pens which all have their own particular character.

There are a myriad of papers in thousands of colours, textures and weight, add to that the inks, paints and pigments plus all of the materials such as gum, powdered metals that can be laid over the lettering, making the possiblity of having light coloured words on dark textured paper (see sample) - a technique not possible with standard printing. There is nothing quite like pure gold leaf burnished on raised lettering.