Being a calligraphy nerd, I have followed The Postman's Knock for several years. Lindsey, the owner, is an excellent source for all things pen and ink, from art projects to worksheets to supplies. When she announced that she had started carrying glass dip pens in her shop, I was intrigued. I am now the proud owner of the "Unicorn" glass dip pen (you can also get one called "Red Frost").
As you can see, it’s a beautiful piece of art in itself. There’s a bit of a galaxy effect swirled in with rainbow coloration, making it fun to gaze at even when I’m not actively using it.
I was hoping this would be a new illustration tool because I absolutely adore pen and ink drawings. After my test run tonight, it seems as though my dreams have come true. I’ll run through some of the features here:
- Classic Dip Design: This isn’t a calligraphy pen since the nib doesn’t flex to provide stroke contrast, but you dip the pen in halfway up the nib just the same. It’s really as easy as it sounds.
- Smooth Ink Flow: Unlike a calligraphy pen, this glass pen didn’t blot the entire time I was using it. The ink flows off at basically the same rate until it runs out. It also takes a really long time to run out, so you don’t have to keep stopping to re-dip the pen. I made it more than a third of the way around this wreath filling in the needles before I had to dip again:
- Comfortable Grip: The pen doesn’t look very practical, but its decorative elements actually fit very comfortably in the hand while you’re writing. It reminds me a lot of the ergonomic crochet needles I bought recently, which are equally great at relieving stress in the fingers.
All in all, practicing with this glass dip pen was a great way to relax this evening after a trying day with the munchkins. One thing I did notice is that you can’t let the ink sit on the nib at all; make sure you go straight from dipping to drawing/writing, or it dries too much to flow once you do hit paper. I paused too long a couple times and had to re-dip before I could get started again.
The end result:
I’ve never been one to turn down the opportunity to draw a bird.
If you end up trying a glass dip pen yourself, let me know what you think!