Friday, June 11, 2010
NIBS, BLADDERS AND WELLS: WRITTEN HISTORY
These were some of the instruments used in my education (okay, not pictures of my actual equipment, but I'm using poetic license, here.)
In seventh grade we all had to take handwriting as a class. For this class we were required to buy and bring certain pens. We could have the pens with the bladders and our teacher would provide the ink at the back of the class to refill them or we could bring the pens with the replaceable cartridges
Mrs. Hax (dear, sweet woman who didn't live up to her name) instructed us to the precise starting points, the direction of the swoops and sweeps and finally the ending point for EACH letter. Sometimes I would try to make the letters without following the taught method and when I received my paper back, then there would be large, bold red marks correcting my paper. How she knew that I hadn't followed instructions baffled me, but somehow she could tell when I would take a shortcut.
Liquid ink pens with their nibs fascinated me and I grew to love writing with them, even at that young age. Pens were not to be shared, as each writer's pressure was different and thus nibs could be ruined.
My childhood didn't have a lot of stability and this part of my life made me feel in control, creative and responsible.
Funny how such a simple instrument could help me in such a fragile time of my life.