Writing Tools of Yore

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Sometimes things just drop by the wayside, and photography has been one of them. I’ve been too busy being lazy, painting, blobbing, and sewing. A few other things, too. We all get there. The photo mojo just vanished but I decided I had to get out of my rut and think about the photography side of my life. I rather wish I was up for challenges, as I think it could be a boon, but lately the idea of obligations – as a challenge could be – might be more than I want to deal with. However, I have come up with an idea to try for a few weeks . . .

Awhile back I got a Fuji Instax Square Printer, and it is a sweet little item. It connects with my phone via an app as well as the Fuji X100V. Instant prints. It works quite well. And that is my challenge – a picture or two every day for a bit. No time frame, just a daily picture.

Above is my first photo for this challenge. I like old writing implements and tools. This is my inkwell, ca. 1810-1840. I am inclined to think it may be from the time quills were in use as there are 4 holes on the top.  Quills need to dry out between uses, so if you are writing a lot, a number of quills need to be available.  You switch between them to keep a good nib.  The inkwell to hold the ink is under the hinged lid, and in it I have my own homemade iron gall ink. And a quill – a realio, trulio quill – cut in the traditional manner so that it actually works. I used both to write my sister a letter, and sent her this print and a few others.

It is very satisfying to get out the pen and ink and write! My cursive is pretty good, and I have a light touch, as needed, to use a quill pen. No blobs of ink sullied my letter. My paper, too, was excellent, because there was no feathering of the ink nor bleeding through the paper. I did my research and am pleased to see it paid off – modern papers can be hell to use with wet ink. I am also learning English “Secretary Hand” from ca. 1600. It’s not at all like Italic, which I think later replaced it, but it is interesting to do as it is somewhere between Gothic and Italic. The benefit to learning it will be able to read documents &tc from the time period, as well as stay out of trouble.

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