What is the proper way to hold and use a quill pen?

What is the proper way to hold and use a quill pen featured

If you’re interested in calligraphy or just love the aesthetic of old-style writing, you may have thought of using a quill pen. Quills are an ancient writing instrument made of feathers and ink, often used for fancy writing. However, holding and using a quill pen may not be as straightforward as using a modern ballpoint pen. In this article, we will explore the proper way to hold and use a quill pen.

Choosing the Right Quill

Not all feathers are created equal when it comes to quill pens. When choosing your quill, look for one with a sturdy shaft and a well-formed tip. The feather should be thick and have a full curvature, and the tip should be sharp and straight. Turkey, goose, and swan feathers are popular choices for quill pens.

Holding the Quill

The correct way to hold a quill pen is to grip the bottom of the shaft between your thumb and index finger, with your middle finger resting on the top of the shaft. Your ring finger and pinky should be curled back towards your palm. The grip should be firm but not too tight, and the angle of the pen should be roughly 45 degrees from the paper.

Loading the Pen with Ink

The ink used with quill pens is different from modern inks. It is thicker and needs to be constantly replenished on the nib of the pen. Dip the tip of the pen into a pot of ink, letting the ink flow up the nib by capillary action. Don’t overload the pen, as this will cause blobs and smudges on the paper. Instead, reload the pen frequently as you write.

Writing with the Quill

When writing with a quill pen, use a light touch. As the pen is flexible, the thickness of the lines you create will depend on how much pressure you apply. The lighter the touch, the finer the line. Remember to reload the pen regularly with ink, and keep a piece of blotting paper or a cloth nearby to help absorb any excess ink. As you write, maintain a consistent angle and pressure for best results.

Jump to section