Saturday, June 11, 2011

DIY writing instruments

Remember I promised I'd share my experiments cutting my own feather quills?

Well, like so much else in life, it turned out to be rather more involved and adventurous than I'd imagined.

Shall we try it together?

First gather your feathers. Grab some small but strong scissors, a craft knife, and a pair of tweezers.

Now, using the scissors, cut the extreme angle in one straight line.  For me, the scissors worked better than the knife.

Use the tweezers to pull out the center junk (see it above, lying above the discarded tip.)

Cut the sides to a gently curved angle.

Now use the knife to slit the center line.
Take your time and be super accurate. You don't want to end up with the lopsided mess I did, split widely and crooked, too.
But if you mess it up you can try again from the beginning, moving a bit upward on the shaft.
Below you see what you DON'T want to end up with! It should be even and smooth.

If you've gotten to this point successfully, it's time to pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath, and dip into the ink!

I had to try it a few times before I had one that worked as you can see from this failure. But it's fun and free so why not experiment and enjoy the process?

I made pens from old cans, feathers, and even reeds the other day. 

I love the rough effects you get with hand made nibs! 
The odd orange and brown thing is a nib I made from a can and oh boy, I love the scrapey letters it makes.

But I do keep coming back to the fine fine pointed metal nibs I love best, as you see above.

Why not get out there and splash in inks using your own hand made lettering tools?


Mrs. Santos said...

How wonderful! I have bookmarked this page for my children and I to do this together. We are going camping this summer where lots of geese roam leaving feathers all over the place. Can't wait!

Have a good day and thank for this beautiful project.

Marqueta (Mar-keet-a) said...

Dear Sharyn,

Ooh, how fun! I had no idea you could make nibs of tin cans! We'll have to tuck this one away for a rainy day activity. :)



p.s. Your writing is beautiful!

p.s.s. The word verification is "bobidi"; must be magic! :)

Anonymous said...

OOOHHH!!! This is soooo cooool!!!
I love it!!!!
Hugs, Diane