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  • How long should I wash my nib to prepare it before use?
    Rinse your nib under running tap water for around 30 seconds while rubbing it to remove the protective coating. Make sure you dry the nib before use.
  • What do I need to do with my nib and pen holder when I have finished practicing?
    It’s important that your nib is stored clean and dry to prevent rusting. Ideally, your nib should be kept apart from your pen holder. To remove your nib, cover with a piece of kitchen roll or a napkin, and pull the nib out of the holder. There may be a little bit of resistance, but you won’t damage the nib by removing it.
  • I have just started using a new nib, but the ink is running off the nib so I’m not able to practice my calligraphy properly, what is wrong?"
    The nib will have an invisible protective coating on it which stops it from rusting before it is used. However, this stops the ink from taking properly to the nib. This is why it’s important to properly prepare your nib before you start using it. Make sure you run it under tap water for around 30 seconds, rubbing both sides of the nib, and drying it completely before you start working with it.
  • My nib seems to be very scratchy when I practice, how can I correct this?"
    The first thing that I would suggest that you look at is the angle of your nib in relation to your paper. Imagine that your piece of paper is a clock face, your nib should always be pointing to 12 o’clock, and the top of the nib should be facing directly up (so your pen holder shouldn’t be rolling in your hand).
  • My lines seem uneven and inconsistent, what can I change to make my strokes smoother?"
    Part of the joy of calligraphy is that you need to work really slowly to create beautiful, smooth and consistent strokes. As I hope you can see from the demonstration in the video tutorial, it is important that the strokes themselves are drawn very slowly which helps to create even strokes, but it is also really helpful to pause frequently after you finish a stroke. This will allow your hand and your mind to work out the placement and direction of the next stroke.
  • My ascenders are really wide and feel quite squashed, how can I make them look more refined?"
    When I’m working with ascenders and descenders, I find it really helpful to use the dotted notepaper as a guide. I will often mark dashed lines at the dots to highlight the point that my strokes should be going up or down to which helps me to proportion each letter correctly.
  • How many times would you suggest I practice each letter?
    I have grouped the letters into shapes that make sense together rather than ordering them alphabetically. The idea is that you can practice these letters in groups as there are similarities within each group. I would suggest that you write a few lines of each letter (three or four lines) to get to grips with the strokes that make up each shape. If there is a letter that you’re particularly struggling with, I would recommend moving on to another letter in the same group and returning to the one that you were struggling with a bit later. I often find that by working on similar letters, you will iron out the problems that you were having before.
  • I feel like I am handwriting with a calligraphy pen, rather than creating calligraphy, is there something that I can change?"
    Calligraphy has more similarities to drawing than writing. It is important to work really slowly, concentrating on each and every stroke, rather than trying to form the letterforms in the way that you write your letters in your own handwriting. Your style of handwriting doesn’t actually influence your calligraphy style and trying to think of calligraphy as an entirely different skill to writing will help you develop you own style of calligraphy lettering.
  • I have seen other calligraphers who form their letters differently to you, is there a right or wrong?"
    Not at all! The joy of modern calligraphy is that there aren’t the same rules that apply with more traditional forms of calligraphy, like Copperplate. As you become more confident with your own style of lettering, your calligraphy will develop its own characteristics, particularly with your letter spacing, the way you join your letters and the proportions of your letters too.
  • Are you planning to create more video tutorials for more advanced workshops?
    Yes definitely, I will be in touch via email with more details when these are ready.
  • Can I make the video play in full screen?
    Yes, please use the player controls in the bottom right corner of the video to make it full screen.
  • The video keeps buffering, what can I do?"
    Please use the video player controls in the bottom right of the video to change the video quality from HD to SD. This should reduce any buffering but will lower the video quality. You can also try leaving the video to load for a few minutes before pressing play which allows some of the video to pre-load.


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