Turn your writing into art with a great calligraphy set
Imagine a dozen people hunched over paper, each doing both the same thing as the others and doing something completely different. This is “A brush with silence”, a live exhibition created by artist and calligrapher Brody Neuenschwander, which brings together calligraphers who write in a range of languages and scripts. Participants can observe the many nuances between Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Cyrillic, Western and other calligraphic scripts. One of the oldest forms of visual art in history, calligraphy is an encompassing term that covers not only cultures, each with their own necessary tools, but also history. While Western calligraphy traditionally uses flat, flexible tip pens to create scripts, Eastern calligraphy tends towards brushwork, and Arabic calligraphy often uses a hollow reed pen. Today, both chisel tip and brush tip markers can be used for colored calligraphy. For the best calligraphic pen sets to achieve a range of styles, explore the following options.
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1. Complete Speedball Calligraphy Kit
Speedball offers a number of western calligraphy sets to suit different needs, but this one is the most versatile (note though that it’s best for right-handed people). In addition to the standard pen barrel, it includes an angled nib holder that makes it easy to tilt to the right for right-handers. Even if the slant barrel isn’t useful to you, this set is still a great package and includes 12 milliliters of rich black acrylic ink, pen cleaner, 1.3 millimeter marker, 50-sheet practice pad, and the complete Speedball manual.
2. Cretacolor Calligraphy Set
German art supply company Cretacolor makes an admirable no-frills western calligraphy set with high-quality materials. The sleek black pen comes with three flat tips ranging from 1.1 millimeters to 1.9 millimeters and six ink cartridges in black, blue, red and green. Unlike other sets that are designed to be discarded in favor of a more enjoyable set once the learner has mastered the basics, this one can last and grow with you. The included ink converter makes it easy to refill with the ink of your choice.
3. Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Pen Set
While Western calligraphy pens have a single plate which has two prongs, between which ink flows, Pilot reinvented the shape by using two full plates laid on top of each other, with ink flowing between they. The result is a smooth writing experience and dramatic changes in line thickness. This set comes with four pens of varying nib widths, each with a single nib and a red ink cartridge and a black ink cartridge. Included cleaning tools keep sharp pens in top condition.
4. Hajj Wafaa Arabic Calligraphy Set
There are many forms of Arabic and Persian calligraphy, but most feature dense black ink writing. A traditional tool is the kalam, which is a flat feather made from a cut and dried reed. It is also an accessible tool for all calligraphers trained in Western calligraphy pens, as it works similarly to a stiff italic nib. This kit comes with ten bamboo pens ranging from two to 15 millimeters in width, a soot black ink bottle, a sponge to control the amount of ink after dipping, a nib holder and a PU leather roller to safe transport.
5. Kuretake Bimoji Brush Pen Set
For traditional Chinese and Japanese calligraphy, a brush must be used. But today, brush pens allow much of the same experience without the need for a separate ink well. This disposable set from Japanese company Kuretake includes a range of sizes of flexible brush tip markers with velvety black ink. One of the medium brushes has a brush head with separate bristles, which takes more practice to use, but can create visible brush strokes not possible with felt tip markers.
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