Posted on January 20, 2011 by Nick 5 Comments

I have about fifteen or twenty regular readers on this blog, and I hardly know any of you! But, I have something to ask of you readers, have any of you tried out calligraphy? How do you like it? How long did it take for you to learn it? Do you enjoy it? Do you recommend it?

I just got a Sheaffer Calligraphy set to start out with and a book called Learn Calligraphy by the seemingly legendary Margaret Shepherd.

So, please answer these questions if you can:

  • How do you like it?
  • How long did it take you to get “decent” at it?
  • What pen set would you recommend I upgrade to, once I’m comfortable getting a new set?
  • Any books you’d recommend?
  • Any techniques you’d recommend?
  • I’m not artistic, could I still become good at it?


The Book has not arrived yet, but, the Calligraphy set did arrive like right an hour and a half ago. I spent this time writing nonsense and trying to mimic alphabets which I did horribly. But, I think I kind of know how to use and put together the pen now. That’s a start, right? I don’t know how to do serifs or these “feet” things yet. And I don’t get the curves exactly write, so hopefully Learn Calligraphy would help me with that. I REALLY, REALLY want to learn this skill. It would be awesome just to know it, ya know?

Here’s me writing Stars in Silence’s name.


  • Dillon says:

    Well, I’ve dabbled, but I’ve never gotten far. I just didn’t have the patience to really practice setting everything up and getting the ink just right. Part of that was probably because I focused mainly on dipping inks instead of ink cartridges (not sure of the terms, but think quill pen as opposed to fountain pen). I really enjoyed the dipping process, but it made my work more uneven. I imagine it is easier to start with cartridges instead.

    Once you get the hang of it, the whole process of setting up and writing is relaxing. Just be sure to start short and move on to longer passages when you’re comfortable with what you are doing. (My mistake was trying to do too much all at once, so I got frustrated. But I still have all my stuff in case I decide to give it another shot.)

    And definitely don’t worry about not being artistic. You’ll probably start out learning lettering styles and techniques. As you progress, you can find examples of formatting and embellishments, and you’ll start to acquire those skills. By virtue of your writing skills, I’d say that you are, in fact, artistic in a way. You’re just learning a new medium for your creativity.

    Even though I stopped, I’d still definitely recommend calligraphy. It really is relaxing, and it gives you time to think and unwind. Plus, it can be a very inspirational art form, if you can find the right words.

    Well, I hope that gives you a little help, or at least encouragement! 🙂

    • Ashkir says:

      Thank you Dillon! My pens arrived just recently, I updated with an image. And I went through several papers scribbing on them, trying to get a feel for the curbs and sizes, and movements. I started with the cartridge pens. I want to do the dip ones, but they’re costly, and I’m a klutz. So I think I’d like to “graduate” into them.

  • Dr. Skeptic says:

    Hmm… I am good at it, in fact, I am bleeding brilliance. Somehow, that has given the Pharmacist high blood pressure and episodes of manic outrages, which I can only assume are inspired by sheer jealousy of my skills…

    No, seriously…

  • tiallarising says:

    Hey Nick…

    Ok so I’ve never tried calligraphy myself, but I’d love to! Does that count?? I actually do have a calligraphy set with like 10 different ink colors…but I’m not very good at it.

    Keep trying!


  • lesleehare says:

    Hi, Ashkir!
    I’m guessing that a geek interested in calligraphy might be interested in this program:
    the link takes you to a pretty dorky page, but this is a wonderful program that you can use to turn your calligraphy into a font!

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