Calligraphy tools are used to create unique letters. Both narrow and wide lines can be made with one stroke of the pen. Calligraphy pens may either have their own ink reservoir or need to be dipped into ink to load the colour into a specially designed tip. Homemade calligraphy pens can be made from everyday items.
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Feathers can be cut to create different sizes of calligraphy pens. The diameter of the feather shaft will determine the pen size. Strip the fluffy feather part from the shaft up 10 to 13 cm (4 to 5 inches) from the tip. This allows the shaft to be held more comfortably in the hand like a pen, without having the actual feather in the way. Temper the shaft of a feather by placing it in a pan of warm sand. The sand is heated by placing enough sand in a pan to cover the exposed shaft of the feather. Place it in an oven at 176 degrees C (350 F) for 30 minutes. Remove the sand from the oven and stick the shaft into the sand up to the point where the fluffy feathers were removed. Leave the feather in the sand until the sand is completely cooled. Remove the feather and cut the tip of the shaft to a 60 or 70 degree angle. Cut the tip to the desired point. Cut a thin 1 to 1.5 cm (3/8 to 1/2 inch) slit from the middle of the pen tip up the shaft. This slit will hold the ink and allow it to be dispersed when in use. Dip the tip in ink to load the colour. This type of calligraphy pen can be seen in many historical photographs, and is called a "quill pen."
A straight stick no larger than 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) in diameter can easily be made into a calligraphy pen. A green stick works best. Remove the bark. Cut one of the stick to a 60 or 70 degree angle. Shape the angled end to the desired tip shape for your pen. Cut a slit from the centre of the tip point up the shaft of the stick 1.5 to 4 cm (1/2 to 1 1/2 inches) long. The slit should be cut longer on larger-diameter sticks. Dip the tip into ink and begin writing.
Different-sized drinking and stirring straws can make excellent calligraphy pens. Cut one end of the drinking straw at a 60- or 70-degree angle. Shape the angled end to the desired tip shape. Cut a slit from the centre of the tip point up the shaft of the stick 0.6 to 1.5 cm (1/4 to 1 inch) long. Dip the tip into ink and begin writing.
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