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See bottom of page for local suppliers who extend a 10% discount to Guild members.

These items will fit nicely into a tackle box.
If it doesn't fit... you own too much 'stuff'!
Plano Tackle Box Plano tackle box 2


Assorted sizes of broad-edge dip pen nibs


This is what all beginner's use in our Guild

Speedball “C” series 

Best in larger sizes. 
C-2, C-3, & C-4 are popular for beginners’ classes.
Left-handed available

http://www.speedballart.com/  (go to Art Studio - Art Lessons - Calligraphy)


Brause nib


Oblique cut, high quality nibs from Germany
Stiffer nibs with reservoir on top.  (With a bit of effort, the reservoir is also removable.)
If you have a heavy hand, these will work well.

Left-handed available


Mitchell nibs


Flexible nibs with sharp edges

When purchasing Mitchell nibs, don’t forget to  purchase the small  triangular reservoirs that fit on the  underside of the nibs. They may also be used without the reservoir.

Favourite sizes: 2 and 3 1/2


ef66 Pointed Nibs

Click here for list of nibs suitable for copperplate or pointed pen work 
Thanks to Heather Lee for providing this sheet.

Adjusting Oblique Pen holder - Yoke Pen Co. video


DappenRinky Dappen Dish (Sally Beauty Supply)
Rinky Dinks (Quietfire Design)

Terrific for dipping your pointed pen into your choice of writing fluid.

Nib Equivalency Chart - thanks to Quietfire Design for making this chart available.
Dip Pen Comparison Chart - thanks to Art Outfitters for this chart. (This chart will print to scale.)

Nib holders    -   straight for broad-edge nibs AND offset/oblique for Copperplate

Pilot Parallel Pens (optional)  - Please follow link for excellent information on these unique and useful pens.

Pen wipes 
Higgins Eternal ink

Higgins Eternal


To a new bottle of ink, add 10-12 drops of Gum Arabic 
(Ask another calligrapher to let you have the few drops from their big bottle!)

(Peter Thornton also adds a 1/4" squeeze of Black and Vermillion Gouache
Place a couple of pebbles in the bottom of the jar to aid in mixing as pigment settles.)

If you do a lot of Copperplate, add 20 drops of Gum Arabic 

Small water container   (baby food jar)
Watercolour (and gouache), and loading brush

Palette and cover

If you are new to watercolours, it is definitely worth paying the extra money for Artists' grade. (ie Winsor & Newton not Cottman)

Buy a plastic tray with a lid and squeeze a nickel-size 
glob into each section.  

Let air dry.  Use a wet brush to make liquid to load nib.

Watercolours are generally paired in cool/warm tones in primary colours.  With thanks to Peter Thornton, the following list is a good starting point.  For more colour information, see Resources.

  Cool Warm
Yellow Lemon Yellow (Cadmium Lemon) Hansa Yellow (Cadmium Yellow)
Red Alizarin Crimson Cadmium Red
Blue French Ultramarine Cerulean
Green Sap Green  

Gum Arabic  Wipe all nibs with a bit before each use.
Various sizes of black Pigma or Pitt pens   
Gold Sable Series 850   1/2" 
with clear acrylic handle    
Gold Sable Round - Series 700  - brushes  - Sizes 2-4-6
Pencils, hard and soft lead
Mars Staedtler white eraser
Kneaded eraser 
Ruler with cork backing
T-square  and perhaps a triangle    
Speedball Textbook    (23rd Edition) 
Layout paper 11" x 17" pads  (The Guild has a supply of these pads for sale)   


Dr. Martin's Bleedproof White gouache

Dr. Martin's Bleedproof White  is a water dilutable paste. When dry this ink becomes waterproof and allows other inks to be coated over it - so, your work done in error can be covered with plain white and you can re-do the area.  

As a calligraphers ink with the right amount of dilution, it makes a very good pointed nib/copperplate ink.  The results are excellent as it can be diluted to exactly the right thickness to flow correctly with thin and thick nib strokes.

Do not dilute the whole bottle.  Just add water to the top 1/4" and stir. 

Sheila Waters comments are here.
These complete instructions are from IAMPETH member Robert Hurford.

Schminke Gold Powder Schmincke gold powder gouache (tips from Georgia Angelopoulos)
Put a small amount of the powdered gouache in a palette dish, add a drop or two of Gum Arabic, mix that well so that all the bits get coated with it, then add drops of water, one by one, till you get the right consistency. You have to stir it well every time you load your nib or brush and you may need to add water as it evaporates. Some people suggest adding a drop of white or black gouache to this gold (or other gouaches/wc's), but you don't need to. You may want to try removing the reservoir on a nib to see if the flow improves (but work on a slight slope or you'll blob).  Use a piece of hosiery held in place with an elastic band to form a shaker at the top of the bottle.  Screw on cap as usual.

Good paper - 
Arches Text Wove (For journaling: takes watercolour on both sides)
Arches 90# or 140# Hot Press 
Canson Mi-Tientes - comes in about 30 colors
Rives BFK
Arches MBM

Small square of 600 wet/dry sandpaper to re-hone dulled nibs    
Toothbrush to clean nibs    
Drafting tape, repositionable glue stick, white-out pen   
Flexible curve   
Scissors, X-acto knife and cutting board 
(ice cream lid - rim removed)   
Pangram list (sentences using every letter of the alphabet)
Quote list/book   
Paper for taking notes 

Fun tools -
Homemade Folded Ruling Pen (courtesy Peter Thornton)
Rubber Band cluster