How to write using a quill

Ever wondered what it’s like to write using a quill?

quill

It might not be a thought that has often thundered through someone’s mind, but if you have children, you can give them a splash of the world of Harry Potter by introducing them to the quill.
With so much romance around the writing tool, having been used in the Western World since the 6th century, we’re in no doubt that they will simply love the opportunity to write, create and play with such an instrument.

First off, you need your quill, which you can buy online or make yourself.

If you want to save a little money, here’s how you can do that:

Instead of running around looking for dead geese, where it is the adage to take the longest three feathers from their wings, you may want to instead buy feathers quite cheaply from hobby and craft shops. Plus, hopefully, they will be much cleaner.

With the cleanest and preferably sharpest of knives, cut diagonally on each side, across the end nib of the feather. If you are hoping to write seriously with this pen, it is advised that you cut it finely. On the other hand, if you are intending it for creative use, a thicker nib is advised for calligraphy.
There is of course another way of doing this, which involves sticking the insides of a biro pen within the shaft of the feather. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this, but if you are hoping to use it with an ink well, you may want to think again.

How to write with it

If you are using the knife method (well done!), here is how you write with a quill. First of all, it is important to know what ink to use.

Though some people would assume that India ink would be best, the truth is that it would be too thick and sticky for this kind of pen, so calligraphy ink would be the best calling for a quill.

When you are writing, it is important to imagine that you are using a fountain pen at first, so that you write using a 45 degree angle. By doing this, you will make writing easier and your words will actually look more eloquent.

As you become more experienced with your pen, you may wish to use a more textured paper as you go along so that you can improve the style of your writing.

Every time that you finish using your quill, it is important to remember to rinse it out under cold water, ensuring that it is good for use next time.

Anna has been a lover of stationery since the age of three, when she got her first red spotted pencil case. Lucky enough to work part time for The Pen Company, she is surrounded by stationery; the dream of many a collector!

There is 1 comment for this article
  1. cherie at 9:15 pm

    Now this is something I should try. I may have to dig in my craft stash and find a couple of feathers with good strong quills.

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