Artisanal joys

Like a kid obsessed with a new toy, I couldn’t stop myself from experimenting with my dip pen and nibs. My writing tasks had to be temporarily shelved. The result can hardly be called calligraphy but I know I’ll get there. It’s just funny that I’m choosing to go through all the rigors of this art form when I can just grab a felt-tip pen and scribble away. But there is charm in the ceremony of it all, like serving tea, and I get a high from it. So far, my crude paraphernalia:

  1. the pen and its assortment of nibs
  2. artisanal Chinese ink bars that I searched far and wide for, only to find them at beloved Lopue’s San Sebastian!
  3. a stone to grind the ink bars with
  4. a shot glass (for the dissolved ink, mind you); so far, I don’t need a separate shot glass yet for inspiration
  5. a quill in place of a medicine dropper to transfer ink to the nib (I attempted to use a quill while I had no pen yet)
  6. a damp cloth to wipe my fingers with

Soon, I will find a more systematic way of doing things. Currently, I’m still at play school. It effectively kept me home because, apart from the solitary pleasure, it was difficult to quickly clean ink off my fingers. So, pardon the pun, I just had to soot myself.

I especially had fun doing two studies that reek of heartbreak. These show my 2010 self talking (doodles in an old diary) and I chuckle at the distant memory.

tell me where

the one that got away


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