Hand-Carved Oblique Nib Holders from Salman Khattak

Hand-Carved Oblique Nib Holders from Salman Khattak

Salman Khattak has made some of his beautiful and unique hand-carved oblique nib holders for us to sell in the shop, which is one of the most exciting new lines to introduce to the shop - these are all individually carved and finished, and of course, understated and gorgeous. They are truly such an elegant and unique tool to have, for calligraphers especially, beginner or experienced, but also just for folks like me who enjoy playing with inks and words on a page. You can see them online here, or come take a look in the shop. Calligraphy Oblique Nib Holder Toronto Canada Salman's oblique nib holder, Noodler's Raven Black for the quotation. These are just stunning - I am in love with the simplicity of the design and also the idea behind using a holder made by Salman, a Toronto calligrapher and woodworker. If you've followed me for any length of time, you know that I love things that come from natural materials, like paper and leather and wood, and things that are made by hand often speak volumes about the craftsmanship and thought that goes into the design and execution of it. Salman is both an expert calligrapher as well as a woodworker - you can see some of his work on his Instagram, but as is so often the case with these sorts of things, pictures don't always do it justice. His experience, though, means that he's designed these to be ergonomic and just right in the hand for writing calligraphy. They're carved from cherry wood, sanded and polished, finished with several thin coats of clear seal before carefully fitted with a flange to accommodate calligraphy dip nibs at an oblique angle. Oblique Nib Holder Toronto Canada I attended Salman's class on Carving an Oblique Nib Holder, and I was blown away by both the artistry involved in designing a nib holder to fit the shape of a human hand and the angle of writing, but also the physical nature of carving and sanding and polishing. This is a beautiful and deceptively simple design that feels light and fits perfectly in the hand, and I especially love the idea that it's been created by a Toronto artisan. It's a good weight in the hand, not too long or back heavy that you feel fatigued by holding it, and its grip shape enables your fingers to hold it more loosely, so your fingers don't have to expend a lot of energy holding it. Wood Oblique Nib Holders Toronto Canada Calligraphy Due to the nature of hand carving and the natural wood material, each holder may have slightly different variations in the wood and the colour or tone of the wood, as well as slight variations in the carving, but they all will be the same model. They will fit the popular Brause Blue Pumpkin nib along with Brause Rose, and even an EF66 Arrow nib, along with many others. I'm sure these will go fast, as we just have one batch in now, but we will be carrying these regularly. With Christmas coming up, these would make such a wonderful gift for someone learning or practising calligraphy - a tool that comes with inspiration built in. If we are sold out, you can always sign up for the in-stock notification so you can get an automatic email when we get more in, but more won't come until after Christmas, for sure, as these take many weeks in advance to make. I, of course, already have mine safely in hand, and I've already been flinging ink around. I'm sure you'll be seeing more of it on my Instagram and on the blog, and it's also great timing for Christmas cards. Sometimes I don't go through ink as quickly as I should, and it's left in my pens for longer than is safe without it starting to clog up - especially permanent inks. It's nice to be able to just dip and address envelopes with a permanent ink. Wood Oblique Nib Holders Toronto Canada Calligraphy

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This is a heart-warming addition to our shop because Salman is one of the nicest guys I know - he's even shared surprise birthday cake at our shop, for one of our staff. I know I say that a lot, and that's partially because we, Jon and I, somehow landed ourselves in Toronto and in Canada, where the pen community is incredible and we have some of the friendliest and most supportive stationery nuts in the world, but Salman really is one of my favourite people. He is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to both calligraphy and letters and so open and passionate about sharing it. We're honoured and thrilled to be carrying Salman's holders, and even more so as he has a waiting list for his custom holders three months long. He's offering these holders at truly a very, very reasonable price considering all of the work and time each one takes, along with the experience and knowledge he has in making them. Toronto Calligraphy Oblique Nib Holder Canada Salman once came to our Letter Writing Club and did free envelope addressing, and I can only imagine the reaction of people receiving the letters in the mail, as though invited to tea with the queen (although I hope, in my case, that the recipients were not then disappointed by receiving the scribbles of the proletariat). The part I liked best, though, was watching him pull out all his various inks and nibs and tools and goodies. I'm mostly just a lowly letter writer and journaler, and occasionally I make a mark on an invoice, usually just a doodle, so I can only dream of having all of these tools to make beautiful words with, and now of course, I have this gorgeous wooden nib holder.
November 23, 2016 — wonderpens

How It Went: Carving My Oblique Nib Holder

This past Saturday, we had our first Creating an Oblique Nib Holder class, which I attended, and I am now in possession of my very own oblique nib holder! The class was taught by Salman Khattak, who is a calligrapher, but who also makes and sells beautiful and ornate nib holders. We're running another class on Saturday, April 2nd, from 2-6pm -you can register online here. We're also hoping to strong-arm Salman into teaching a few calligraphy classes, so stay tuned for that as well. I was a bit nervous going into it, especially because Salman wanted us all seated in a circle so he could make sure we were all doing okay. I'm more of sit in the back corner kind of student, so I don't embarrass myself by breaking my nib holder in half or cutting off my thumb while carving the wood. It was a bit intense when we were picking up all the tools from Lee Valley and Home Depot and Canadian Tire, because the list involved utility knives and metal cutters and "round bastard files" - but once I was in the class, everything came together and made sense. It was great. It was so much fun, especially because the other students were super easy going, and of course Salman is, as always, so disarming and funny. Even though everything he teaches he can do five times as fast, he really lays it all out so we can follow along and do as he does. The class was originally scheduled for four hours, which I thought seemed like a long time, but we ended up running over! It was really great, though, to have Salman walk us through and show us exactly how to adjust things or tweak things or to help us make sure the flanges were all installed perfectly. Here are a few pictures from the day: Salman Khattak Wonder Pens Custom Oblique Nib Holder Calligraphy Supplies Toronto Canada Salman showed us some of the holders he's carved, in different shapes and sizes, and explained how each design might work in someone's hand. We got to pick our own sizes of wood, and Salman walked us through our rough plans for our own designs, and how to use the knives and files to shape the wood. After sanding it down, we cut notches to install and adjust the flange to accommodate various nibs. It sounds pretty simple when I say it like that, but trust me when I say that there's a lot that goes into making a custom oblique nib holder, and especially in fitting the flange. Oblique Nib Holder Calligraphy Supplies Toronto Canada Salman Khattak Wonder Pens Custom Oblique Nib Holder Calligraphy Supplies Toronto Canada Salman Khattak Wonder Pens Custom Oblique Nib Holder Calligraphy Supplies Toronto Canada Salman Khattak Wonder Pens Custom Oblique Nib Holder Calligraphy Supplies Toronto Canada Salman Khattak Wonder Pens Custom Oblique Nib Holder Calligraphy Supplies Toronto Canada Salman Khattak Wonder Pens Custom Oblique Nib Holder Calligraphy Supplies Toronto Canada Salman Khattak Wonder Pens Custom Oblique Nib Holder Calligraphy Supplies Toronto Canada Salman Khattak Wonder Pens Custom Oblique Nib Holder Calligraphy Supplies Toronto Canada Shaping the wood itself was maybe my favourite part of the class, but of course installing the flange to make it a complete nib holder was pretty exciting, since you really see it turn into an oblique nib holder. It was also the most complicated part, which Salman definitely had to walk us all through. It was my first time attending a class in the new studio space, and I loved it! Our new studio space for classes is just down the hall from the shop, which is super convenient when we have to move furniture around or set up the coffee and tea for the day. It was also great to have room to maneuver and stretch, especially because Caleb was in and out of the class, too. Since the class took place on a Saturday, which is typically our busiest day in the shop, Jon took care of Caleb for most of the afternoon, but dropped him off every now and again. In Jon's words, Caleb was "getting a bit unruly for the shop." And here's mine! I went for a simpler design, rather than something more ergonomic or complicated, mainly because I had no idea how it was going to go. It's slightly ergonomic in that there's a small dip near the front end for the fingers to grip into, as Salman advised, but nothing like some of the beautiful ones made by the other students in the class. Salman Khattak Wonder Pens Custom Oblique Nib Holder Calligraphy Supplies Toronto Canada

It still needs to be lacquered, so any ink splashes or spills don't soak into the wood (which would only come out with sanding it off, which could affect the shape), but of course I couldn't resist, and I've done just a bit of very careful doodling.

If you have any questions about the class, please let us know! You can see more details here, or you can  leave a comment, or e-mail us at info@wonderpens.ca.

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In other news, Monday is our grocery shopping day, so this morning we headed off to T&T, which is an Asian supermarket down by the waterfront. It's great when Caleb's sitting the shopping cart, since he just stares around as you push him up and down the aisles, but as soon as you have him out of the cart, he's a disaster. He likes to grab things and then re-stock them in alternative locations, which I guess is part of what he does in the shop here. Barely acceptable in our shop, or at least barely tolerated, but in public...we're working on it. The sadness news of all is that my favourite potato snack is no longer being carried at T&T. Or rather, they're only carrying the BBQ and spicy flavours of it. Jon has been trying to appease me by suggesting other snacks, but you know, life just isn't the same when your snacks don't hit the spot. Good thing I have a Nanaimo bar for dessert :)   (And in case you were worried that it seems like I'm basically just subsisting off unhealthy foods, I just ordered water bottles for the entire family. They're very cute glass water bottles with silicone sleeves, and Caleb's is a mini one with a straw. I may have spent 45 minutes of my life that I'll never get back deciding which ones to get.)