As a member of the United Inkdom I have just had the absolute pleasure of using and abusing the Manuscript 3 Nib Calligraphy Set!
Unbelievably cheap at £7.49, this nasty looking set comprises: 3 nib units (0.85mm, 1.1mm and 1.6mm), a plastic barrel, lid, and two cartridges.
Now, many pen companies produce their own versions of this BUT at three, four, five times the price or more! So, at £7.49 there was no need to be precious. I didn’t even bother to insert a cartridge, I just reached straight for the Domestos and let the abuse begin. Bearing in mind that these are only cheap and cheerful and very small width nibs I was actually quite surprised with the results. Theodoric the Ostrogoth was written in Blackletter with the 1.6mm and the extract from Born to Run was written in Uncials with the the 1.1mm in bleach on blended ink backgrounds.
Then using the 1.6mm again, I thought it would be fun to try out some abstract calligraphy using bleach and then a heavy sheen/shimmer ink. Once again, very pleasing results.
I finished off the tests using the 0.85 nib just for everyday scribbling in bleach. Top tip here, these types of calligraphy pen nibs seem to work better on top of an ink background. I don’t know why, they just glide more easily.
So what’s the verdict? Well, you wouldn’t get 2 pints of beer or 2 meal deals for that price. If you have lots of inks you won’t need to insert the cartridges just use these as dip pens as they work with all fountain pen ink types – standard, shimmer and sheen AND, it would seem, with bleach. The feeds easily draw the fluids and the flow appears to be well controlled. I know you shouldn’t use fountain pens in this way but at £2.50 a nib! Come on!
But more seriously, calligraphy, handwriting and lettering is all about expression and having fun! Pens are just tools to help us achieve this. Whether you’re just starting out or just fancy having a go at I what I got up to, this inexpensive set is ideal – just remember to wash the nibs thoroughly after every use and they should last a good while.
Thanks to Manuscript for letting me abuse your products. Click here to link their nib set: https://www.calligraphy.co.uk/calligraphy/calligraphy-sets/3-nib-calligraphy-set
AND HEY! If you’re interested to know more about how to use fountain pen inks in more creative ways – whether it’s simply to observe their chromatic behaviours, or, to recreate one of my swatch cards, or, to learn how to use them in watercolour painting, illustration and calligraphy, why not check out my online course ?