Tag Archives: Calligraphy

New Calligraphy Class – Pointed Pen with Michele Nidenoff

We’ve been pretty excited about getting this bigger space to have room and opportunity to offer calligraphy classes again!

If you’ve been keeping up with us, you’ll already know about first class – Mark Lurz will be teaching our Introduction to Calligraphy (with broad edge calligraphy) on July 18th, and you can see more information on that here.

Our next class is going to be an Introduction to Pointed Pen with Michele Nidenoff, who also is involved with the Calligraphic Arts Guild in Toronto. She has a wealth of experience in calligraphy as well as illustration and fine art, and has studied at OCAD here in Toronto. Also, she teaches calligraphy classes for the TDSB! 

Pointed Pen Calligraphy Class Workshop at Wonder Pens wonderpens.ca Toronto, Canada

The Introduction to Pointed Pen work will give you the basics of creating writing with a “pointed” or flexible nib, like the sample above. This introductory class will focus on teaching the basic strokes and patterns, and with practice, you will be able smooth, elegant strokes. This a great class to add some beauty to your everyday handwriting as well as offer a good foundation to “modern” calligraphy, wedding invitations, graphic design work and more. If you are interested in the more advanced calligraphy, such as Copperplate or Spencerian, this is the place to start.

The class includes all materials and supplies. You will be working with dip pens, nibs and ink, meaning you will be dipping your nib into your inkwell every few lines. We will be providing a wooden nib holder as well as Brause Blue Pumpkin Nibs for the class.

Ink and paper will be provided (along with treats!), and you will also receive your own nib holder and nibs to practise with and take home.

We will be offering one class in the morning from 10am to 1pm, on Saturday, August 8th, 2015 at our 250 Carlaw Avenue, Unit 105 location. The cost is $75, and you can either register online or in the shop. There is limited space in the class, and first come first served! If there’s enough interest, we may open up a second class in the afternoon.

As always, on the day of the class please feel free to come a few minutes early to help yourself to coffee or tea and treats, and to get settled in.




New Products Just In – Brass Seals, J. Herbin Ink, Calligraphy Supplies & More!

Happy weekend! I hope you started it off with some French toast, or maybe at your local cafe. Here’s hoping there will be a little less rain and a bit more sunshine this weekend. We’re working on getting a sign for the side of the building to help direct people down the south laneway to the shop, but in the meantime, we’re just using our chalkboard sign, which keeps getting washed out in all the rain!

In all the excitement with the new Noodler’s Inks Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham (which has already sold out, but we’re expecting more in the next week or so!) and Raven Black, we’re still getting other a few other new items in, and we’ve got a few other things expected over the next couple of weeks. Remember, you can always browse the Just In section of the website to see what else is new.

Sealing Wax Brass Seal J. Herbin Wonder Pens wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada

We’ve decided to carry the letters of the alphabet for the wax seals from J. Herbin regularly. It was great to see so many people interested in getting the seals, and we had been ordering them in as a special order, which meant a longer wait time. The symbols (like the Christmas tree, etc. will still be a special order). We may occasionally have one or more letters out of stock just by coincidence, but you will now be able to order them online without a wait time. If the letter you’d like is out of stock, you can sign up for the e-mail notification, and we should be restocking them regularly. The wooden handle is now also available (separately), but remember you only need one and you can switch around the brass seals.

We have two new inks – Cacao de bresil and Diabolo menthe – from J. Herbin, as well as some of their standard international short ink cartridges in their more popular colours. I have to be honest, it’s those little tin cases that got me.

J. Herbin Standard International Short Fountain Pen Ink Cartridges Toronto Canada Wonder Pens wonderpens.ca

We’ve a few new calligraphy items: a new Brause double ended nib holder, and we’re now selling Hatat nibs, designed for Arabic or Hebrew writing, individually. Look forward to more calligraphy items, coming soon!

Brause Hexagonal Double Ended Calligraphy Nib Holder Toronto Canada Wonder Pens wonderpens.ca

From Clairefontaine, we’re now carrying one of their sketch pads – the Graf it A4 Sketchpad, with 90gsm paper. Sheets are perforated and it has a nice thick backing for sketching while you’re on the subway or out in the wild.

Exacompta Soft Card Folder Wonder Pens wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada  Exacompta Soft Card Folder Wonder Pens wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada

We occasionally get people coming in asking for something to hold a few loose sheets of paper together, like a file or portfolio, and this is what we’ve found! This is a great, stiff and sturdy light card folder from Exacompta with elastic straps to hold it together. There are lightly scored lines along the folded edges, so you can hold quite a few sheets of paper. Because of the elastics and the folded flaps on the three edges, you can be sure no paper is going to slide out, even if you accidentally drop it. It’s great for organizing sheets of paper, especially if you have to tuck them into a briefcase or bag if you’re traveling or moving around, and would be perfect for an on-the-go correspondence folder as well!

We’ve got Sailor inks and pens back on the shelves, including Yama-Dori, which was out of stock for a while. We’re expecting a nice Midori order in over the next two weeks, but there won’t be any Blue Midori in on that. I am hoping for more of the Blue Midori in July! Also coming soon is Diamine, and another Noodler’s shipment with the Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham re-stocked and a few other inks as well.

Have a great weekend, everyone! If you’re in Toronto for the weekend, I’ll hope to see you at our Letter Writing Club tomorrow, from 2-4 pm. Otherwise, eat some dim sum, relax and enjoy the sun 🙂

Italic Calligraphy & Handwriting, Exercises & Text by Lloyd J. Reynolds

We are almost there, as we’ve been unpacking, cleaning, and coordinating renovations here in our new space. It’s looking a little crazy back here, but if you’ve been in our 906 Dundas West shop, you know we’re used to squeezing past boxes everywhere.

Jon and I used to joke that because our 906 Dundas W space was so small and we didn’t have space to display everything, the true pen nut customers were the ones who browsed through the website and could come in and ask for things that weren’t on display. And, every once in a while, someone would ask for something that wasn’t on display or on the website, and we actually could rummage in the back and find it! (This was pretty rare, most of the time when someone asks for something that’s not on the website, it’s because we don’t have it…)

One of the very, very few advantages of packing up your entire shop is that you’re forced to take a look at all the nooks and crannies of the shop, and you discover things that you once ordered, but never put up online, and therefore have completely forgotten about.

We discovered a pile of these wonderful calligraphy handbooks! Actually, we’ve been planning on expanding our calligraphy supplies, including new calligraphy inks, nibs, nib holders, and especially some calligraphy books. Our timeline is “sometime after we get the shop settled,” but I have my eye on a few things already, so stay tuned!

I actually have a copy of this book that’s a bit bent and dog-eared (don’t tell my librarian!), but I’m too embarrassed to show you my calligraphy skills just yet. Jon laughed at me because someone on posted a photo online of a quick note I wrote on his order, and he had to put a “translation” of what I wrote, in case people couldn’t read it 🙂 HAHA.

Italic Calligraphy & Handwriting, Exercises & Text by Lloyd J. Reynolds Calligraphy Workshop Toronto, Canada

Italic Calligraphy & Handwriting, Exercises & Text is by Lloyd J. Reynolds, and is a great book for beginners as well as those looking for a refresher. It’s an instructional manual on the basic strokes and shapes, giving very specific guidance on the order and direction of strokes. It also has some information on spacing, rhythm, size and overall presentation on the page.

With calligraphy, lettering, graphic design or even handwriting, you can really take inspiration from different examples and hands, so having the texts in front of you to try to emulate or follow can be really helpful. 

The book is a series of “lessons” with some written instructions and suggestions, followed by the examples, usually with stroke indications, etc.

Italic Calligraphy & Handwriting, Exercises & Text by Lloyd J. Reynolds Calligraphy Workshop Toronto, Canada

Italic Calligraphy & Handwriting, Exercises & Text by Lloyd J. Reynolds Calligraphy Workshop Toronto, Canada

In addition to having basic instructions, this book also offers some different fonts, as well as different “finishing strokes,” swashes, flourishes, etc. These are great for practising, and then you can use your judgement based on the words or context of your writing.

Italic Calligraphy & Handwriting, Exercises & Text by Lloyd J. Reynolds Calligraphy Workshop Toronto, Canada

Italic Calligraphy & Handwriting, Exercises & Text by Lloyd J. Reynolds Calligraphy Workshop Toronto, Canada

Italic Calligraphy & Handwriting, Exercises & Text by Lloyd J. Reynolds Calligraphy Workshop Toronto, Canada

While you can definitely use a regular fountain pen, or even a “regular” pen or pencil, you might find some good success using an italic nib, which is a nib that has a bit more of straight cut to it, rather than a rounded tip, as in indicated in the writing of the book.

You can purchase a fountain pen with an italic nib, although sometimes it’s an extra cost to upgrade the nib to an italic (for example, the Lamy Safari, or the TWSBI 580). You can also purchase just a nib alone to swap out on a fountain pen you already have. Additionally, there are pens like the Pilot Parallel pens, which are super for calligraphy and lettering.

Italic nibs typically come in either 1.1 mm or 1.5 mm, although some pens you can also get a 1.9 mm or 2.3 mm. If you’re using the pen for some handwriting practise as well as for everyday work, you may prefer the 1.1 mm nib. It will give you a bit of “character” to your handwriting, as well as still having some line variation for intentional practice of calligraphy. The wider the nib, the more variation you will see, but also the larger the writing will have to be to remain legible.

And keep in mind that here in our new space, we’ve got some calligraphy classes on the calendar! We’re pretty excited that we’ve got enough space to offer these classes comfortably, and of course we’ll have coffee, tea and treats.

Our new space is looking …well… not quite ready yet, but it’s getting there! We’re going to have more photos of the progress, but as well, I hope that you’ll come visit us when we open. We had a few visitors this past Saturday, as we originally had hoped to open May 16th, and it was great to say hi even though the shop wasn’t quite ready. I’m sure they enjoyed catching us off guard, with sawdust in my hair and the baby on my back, staring out at them! But we’re going to be ready for the real go-live in just a few days.

Our grand re-opening event is now set to this Saturday, May 23rd, and this time, we’re pretty sure of it. The last few pieces that need to fall in place are just a bit of painting, re-organizing, and lighting, so what can go wrong, right?? 🙂