Friday, December 5, 2008

Quill Pen

Quill Pen- Made from a primary flight feather of any large bird, usually a goose or turkey, but also a swan, crow, peacock, etc. The feather is soaked in water, cured (hardened) in hot sand, a small slit is made for the middle of the nib, and the quill is cut to form a pen. Some scribes prefer to omit curing and store the cut quills in water always.
The direct ancestor of the quill was the reed pen cut to a broad edge. Reeds wrote beautifully on papyrus, but as this began to be replaced by parchment around the 6th century A.D., the sharp, crisp quality of a quill better suited the silky smooth surface of the skin. Also, feathers were more plentiful in Europe than were the reeds used by Mediterranean scribes. As paper largely replaced parchment in Europe in the late 15th century, the quill remained. It was not until the flexible steel nib was developed in the 1830s that the quill began to die out as the Western World's writing tool. Nonetheless, many scribes today favor the quill for its incomparably crisp strokes and hairlines as well as its sensitive balance of strength and flexibility in writing, especially on parchment. (Rose Folsum)


mawakeley said...

Interesting information! I have always favored fountain pens and having given up on replacing the nib on my waterman that i've had over ten years, am now using Pilot's Varsity disposable pens which are really nice for stream of thought writing where the ink just flows. It also has to do with the pressure of the nib on paper which is my reason for liking the fountain pen.

I have been meaning to tell you how much I am enjoying not only the two paintings, but especially the smaller "flight" print.... it is right above my desk where I am frequently looking up in thought, and it is just so freeing and peaceful at every glance. Sometimes I find myself really absorbed in it. Thank you again, Brenda :) xx

artslice said...

I love a good fountain pen myself. I always used them in art history classes as I liked to do thumbnail sketches from the slides... especially the ones that were not in the books. I still have them and am kind of 'attached' to them.

I'm so happy you are liking the paintings and print. It makes my day to read about where you have it and how you've been looking at it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

Brad Gailey said...

I love your blog, especially when you comment in your post along with your quote. My routine is check email, read Artslice, check Grammar Girl for new podcasts, then Check the Astronomy Picture of the Day. Thanks for the kind comments you have left about my work. Brad

artslice said...

Hi Brad -
You're welcome... I enjoy your work! Thanks for your kind words as well, I'm so glad to hear I'm in your daily routine! That's helpful to know you like my own comments in postings... I don't do it very often, perhaps I'll chime in a bit more. :)

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