Dip Nib: Harianawalla Ofsar Pen #1

Today I was thinking about experimenting and using 5 different dip pen nibs over the next 5 days. Simply sit in the lovely Laura Ashley Denbigh chair at the simple makeshift ’deep chipboard shelf’ desk and describe the pleasure or tribulations they exhibit. Trying to pick a suitable journal or just use this wallpaper lining paper and make a file.

Initially, a need to determine rules. Wanted to video the process. However, filmed the log fire crackling away for 1 minute as an experiment to see if it could be uploaded to here on the site. It took 15 minutes. It also took a great big chunk of Gb media memory allowance too. So rethinking external video link source at present.

The rules for each nib were:
1) Use the same 3 inks for all five nibs; an India/China ink, a shellac ink and a fountain pen ink. I have five nibs now. Chosen because three have small brass reservoirs attached and two behave splendidly out there on their own lonesome presentations.

2) Write the same small piece of a few lines of introductory prose for each nib for comparison study. And followed by the same short ‘consideration titles’ to build each individual nib a ’Profile’. For example, scratch or glide, flexible or rigid, shape, size, how many words from one dip or dropper applied, etc. This will assist the catalogue building and quick reference need. My brain needs order. A visual that says to it ’Wow! That would be a great look for the ’Oogly Boogly Noodly’ poem’. No. I haven’t written a poem with that title…….but now I might.

3) Paper with a little bit of ’fight’ about it. A GSM with enough weight and texture to apply necessary consideration to how the words have to be written. In other words deliberately and fairly slowly. Paper that allows glide produces a ‘quick get it down’ lecture note-taking feel.

The nibs bought in charity shops? A plethora of italic, script, Rotring graphos, artpen, etc. So the need to record and catalogue is going to be good for reference. The idiosyncratic qualities and quirky natures they bring to the writing experience. A poem, piece of prose or journal subject title (sometimes followed by old tippy-tappy typewriter lettering recording the thoughts) can take on a fascinating ambience all of their own when written in script.

The meanderings in the photograph are basically doodle words to seek those required little titles. Rather like an essential oil for aromatherapy considerations seeks titles to build it’s ’profile’. Picking out the Harianawalla Ofsar nib? I Googled to seek it’s story. It helps give it character and ambience. Found 3 or 4 results and immediately was entranced by the small scenario of where it was made in Birmingham and the history of the way it came to be.

In Google books, page 233 in the chapter ’The Antipodes of ’Progress’ from the book ‘The Persianate World: Rethinking A Shared Sphere’ was a wonderful little visual enhancing word description of the Harianawalla nib being made in the factory. Pages before and after 233 provided more flesh on the bones. The nib looks like it is stamped ’Ufsar’ not Osfar/Asfar described in the book chapter. And millions were made and sent Worldwide in the late 1800s.

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