Ok, I'd really like to get proficient with quills for callig.
I've known how to cut a quill for years, and have a goodly supply laid in, from when I lived close to the Thames, and saw the swans and Canada geese through a moult.
Yesterday I sat down w/ 4 touched-up quills and made - a dog's breakfast. My frustration grew as I tried one after another after another, all with blotchy and uneven results.
And I'm reminded why I gave up last time I tried to use quills - I can't seem to control the ink flow the same way I can with a steel nib.
I get a huge blort of ink, and then the remaining ink doesn't last through a single letter.
In desperation I stuck a brass reservoir up a quill, and got slightly better results, but there was still far too much ink in each letter, rounding the sharp edges and generally looking pretty awful.
Some possible explainations, in retrospect:
- my quills have dried out and become brittle since they were cut. I did notice they seemed to 'chip' rather than shave when I was trimming them.
- I'm starting w/ too small a quill nib. When I learned callig, I learned with a fairly broad nib and worked my way down to something less than 1mm wide. Here I was aiming for a 1mm wide nib, but couldn't seem to trim them consistently.
SO: questions -
Has anyone else 'converted' to quills from steel nibs - or anyone gone back and forth?
What difficulties did you face?
What helped you get better (practice is a given, honest - anything else)?
Also - has anyone successfully made a reservoir for a quill, that works? How, and with what?