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A very serviceable pen made out of a reed in about 10 minutes work. I noticed some bulrushes when I was out by the lake today, and remembered reading...
You need a dead bulrush or similar reed. Pull off the ragged layers until you are down to something that is firm and stiff. You only need about 8 in...
Slice it down to about 8" long. That's a well balanced length for a pen. Soak the end that will become the nib in water for at least 15 minutes, so t...
Slice into the reed to create a tapered end. Don't try to do it in one slice, progressively carve it down. Make it come to a flat before the end, bec...
Scrape out the interior flesh, leaving only the hard tube. Scrape gently, it's easy to destroy the tube.
Rotating the pen to the side, carve into the sides of the nib to form the proper nib shape. If you have ever seen a fountain or dip pen, you know what...
Hold the pen against a flat surface and press down with a sharp knife to square off the end. This forms your writing edge.
Splitting the tip forms the ink channel to allow the ink to flow properly. Put the pen flat on the table and press the knife gently into the center of...
The finer the edge, the more expressive the writing, as you can go from ultra-fine lines to hugely fat ones. You won't be getting hair-thin lines wit...
Here is a pic of the finished nib, ready to write. You can try to scrape some extra junk out of the inside as it gets drier, to make it look nicer.
It's a "dip pen" - but, DO NOT DIP IT! Dipping will overload it and blots will go everywhere. You should ink it from the back side only using some ki...
Hold the pen at a high angle to the paper. I found this gave better flow. Don't press at all, just let the ink flow - pressing will spread the tips, a...
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