The assignment for this week for Deciphering Secrets is all about writing. For the assignment I cut a broad tip goose quill for a “heavy” hand and I cut a goose quill to a sharp tip (aka a crow quill) for a “light” hand. I also used a metal Speedball commercial dip pen and a Pilot Parallel calligraphy pen for the exercise. Both are broad nibs for “heavy” hands.
I wrote out the full section for the first entry in my bestiary, the Lyon de Mer in a simple Gothic hand using the broad goose quill pen and a commercial iron gall ink. The writing angle is about 90%, and is indicated on the page.
The text is entitled The Lyon de Mer:
The Lyon de Mer is the King of the Sea and fierce protector of the Barony of Lyondemere. Said to come from fabled Lyonesse, it is comprised of the fore parts of a lion and the back parts of a dolphin. This fierce beast can be seen swimming in pacific waters off the coast of fair Caid combating all enemies of Crown and Kingdom.
Then I wrote the first line of the bestiary in a half-uncial hand using the Pilot Parallel pen. The writing angle is much more shallow than the Gothic hand. It’s about 45%
After I wrote a few letters with each of the pens and did a ductus for several of the letters. In retrospect, I should have spaced them out a little further.
Here’s the full sheet of the exercise:
The crowquill pen is the lightest weight of the writing instruments I used, leaving all parts of the letter the same width. The half-unical seems the heaviest of the pens (done with the Pilot Parallel pen), the shallow writing angle of the half uncial hand making more thick than thin lines (but it’s also the darkest ink.) The broad cut goose quill appears heavier than the crow-quill but lighter than the half-uncial with the Pilot Parallel, but it’s also done with iron gall ink which will darken with time.