Thank you John. I do both lettering and calligraphy. Neither are a subset of anything, Craig (like you imagine). Calligraphy is best considered what comes out of the pen, brush. I see lettering as a process of drawing, touching up, amending initial strokes etc. The definitions are fluid, but the worst ones to try and define are the ones that think themselves experts. It has all been blurred by the techniques contemporary letterers and calligraphers. I do not do the same thing Jessica Hische does. Gerard Huerta and I have been acquaintances for many years and he has a totally different definition than I do, I am sure, but who cares who is right other than those who assume to know it all. Both HOWEVER, require a set of fine tuned set of hand skills and an knowledgeable eye.
Alexis, there are a ton of options to consider. Do you want dip or fountain. There is a profound difference unless you have someone "shave the fountain pen for more flexibility (Greg Minuskin in LA)." It also depends on the style you intend to write… "Spencerian or Copperplate." There are a number of practitioners here in the states and abroad who have varying opinions on what the best nib is. So, my recommendation is take a class or two and talk to as many people as you can. I've no clue where you reside so in America there is Michael Sull, Pat Blair and in Canada there is Heather Victoria Held. In England there is Rachel Yallop. A few people have passed in the last years both here and abroad. As far as nib "holder" makers there is Christopher Yoke, great quality but pricey.
I find that the intellectualizing is hindering qualitative discussion and a pursuit of creativity, at least on another "blog." It is almost as if it is a "show-off" display of typographic lexicon and overly self-absorbed academic dialog... and it gets in the way of innovative design. What once was a display of talent, creativity and facility in execution, the hallmark of a my favorite type designers, is now about coding, revisionism and serving the current trend as opposed to breaking new ground and not caring about who calls it what. And to be quite honest I found it offensive that two individuals continued to deride calligraphic efforts in type design-HP, or argue about technique,manipulation primarily, when they do not have a clue because they have never picked up a tool-WB.
You want to see Noordzij's genius... look at his lettering work from the 60's and ignore his theory. "Writing on paper" is ultimately better than "thought on paper." I found more insight in his exquisite forms than I did in his book. "In doing there is knowledge." I learned from LOOKING at Poppl, Schneider, Zapf, Hoefer, Noordzij, Brand, Koch, Schmidt and many others. Did not care for the writings that surrounded them.
As both a consumer, and producer, of type, I think Nike said it best... Just Do It :-) Sink or fail... lesson learned, let the market decide. Oh, and James... I go ductus hunting on the weekends, in season of course! :-)
Amazing! You retract your "off topic" and then try and make it look I am the culprit. Ultimately it comes down to tools that make the best forms… and those forms, whether using this mechanical technique or another (originating tool), are best informed by a good eye and understanding. I was suggesting an alternative to his "mechanical" solution… if you think that is off-topic then so be it.