Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.


    -- Amy Lowells

Tools for Arabic Calligraphy

Arabic calligraphy requires basic tools such as paper, ink, and a pen.

Calligraphy paper needs to have a smooth glossy surface in order for the pen to glide. For practice purposes, use old News magazines with glossy pages. You can use the columns of the magazine as guidelines, or you can sketch pencil lines to guide your work. When you begin to acquire some skills, you can move to glossy or glazed calligraphy paper available in any art store. Glossy paper for laser and inkjet copiers and printers work very well. Test the paper before you buy it. If the paper is high-gloss, the pen will be skipping. 

There are a number of calligraphy pens and writing tools that you can use. Calligraphy sets, felt tip pens, markers, fountain pens, and calligraphy dip pens come normally with a flat tip (not with an oblique angle). This will not work very well with Arabic calligraphy. The tip needs to be cut or shaped at an oblique angle of about 35-40 degrees. With any tools, you want to be able to do the following shapes to make sure that the pen can work well for Arabic calligraphy.

Following is a brief description of the most common tools that calligraphers use:

1- Pencils:

The most economic and accessible tools are ordinary pencils. You can use a single pencil with a tip shaped correctly, or use a combination of two pencils at a certain arrangement,
or you can get a carpenter pencil. 

- Single Pencil:
For practice purposes, an ordinary 2H pencil can be used as long as its tip is cut (shaped) at an oblique angle of about 35-40 degrees. You need to cut the tip using a utility knife instead of a sharpener. Follow the same instructions as those for carpenter pencils below.

- Two Pencil Combination:
Put together two ordinary graphite (2H) pencils using elastic bands or masking tape. For Arabic calligraphy, the points of the pencils need to be arranged at about 35-40 degrees, or the right point is about ¼ in. higher that the left point. When using the two pencil combination, you may need to close the opening using one of the points. This tool is simple and it is useful in the learning stage specially for writing large letters.

- Carpenter Pencil:
Carpenter's pencils are available from construction supplies stores such as Home Depot. These pencils have broad and rectangular center. Harder pencils (H) are better than soft ones. To prepare the pencil, use a utility knife to sharpen the tip rather than using a sharpener. The tip needs to be shaped (cut) at an oblique angle of about 35-40 degrees to be suitable for Arabic calligraphy. 

2 - Felt Tip Pens:
These pens are available from stationary or art supplies stores. You need to select a chisel tip pen such as the one manufactured by ZIG. In the Arab World, you will find pens specially made for Arabic calligraphy by PILOT and ZIG. These pens come in 3 different nib widths: 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 mils.

3- Permanent Markers:
Chisel Tip markers such as Sharpie
COPIC Wide Extra Broad 100 (Black)

4 - Calligraphy Sets and Fountain Pens:
Calligraphy Pens such as ozmiled, Shaeffer, and Rotring calligraphy sets and pens can be used for Arabic calligraphy. The nibs of these pens need to be shaped at an oblique angle of about 35-40 degrees using sandpaper. Rotring pens come in 1.5, 1.9, 2.7 mil. See instructions for preparing nib pens below. 

5 - Bamboo/ Reed Pens:
Preparing a Bamboo Calligraphy Pen:
The following guidelines were taken from Iqra' Arabic Calligraphy Set IQRA' Book Center - 2701 W. Devon Ave. - Chicago, Il. 60659 -
From a traditional perspective, the reed pen carved from a dry bamboo stalk is certainly the essential beginner's tool. The harder or more mature the bamboo, the less trouble it will give you once carved. Soft bamboo tends to absorb the water in the ink and the nib swells out of shape. Carving the pen is an art best learned in the traditional way at the hands of a master calligrapher. Most of us ruin many pens before perfecting the art, but one can always cut away the old nib and begin further down the stalk. For the enterprising among you who have no access to a teacher, the following is a brief guide to carving your pen:
1. Drop the bamboo pen on a table or flat surface, allowing it to roll till it stops. The side which is now facing the ceiling is the side you will carve.
2. In the side of the pen which fell face up, carve a hollow that is the length of the first digit of your thumb. As you carve, shave away some of the thickness at the tip of the nib, but make sure that you do not shave away so much that the nib becomes weak or paper-thin.
3. Gently and evenly peel the two sides of the hollow from the opening to the tip of the nib so they are smooth and the tip is the approximate width you desire.
4. Make a vertical slit in the nib. Locate the slit slightly right of center, that is, closer to what will be the point of the pen. This way the right-half-nib (the nib containing the point) is thinner than the left-half-nib. This allows a free flow of ink when you use only the point of the to write delicate strokes such as the point of the jiim, the tail of the waaw, or the vowel markings fatHa, Damma, and kasra.
5. Make a small round hole at the base of the vertical slit. The hole stores ink, allowing it to flow evenly through the slit of the tip as you write.
6. Cut the tip of the nib at the desired angle (usually 35-40 degrees) as follows:
- Place the hollowed nib of the pen upon the edge of a flat table or wooden box. The back or uncarved side should be facing the ceiling.
- Position the knife on top of the nib at an angle such that the right side of the nib will be pointed.
- Press down the knife, while holding the pen steady.
7. Peel a shallow .5 cm long indentation into the smooth back of the nib all the way to the tip.
8. With gentle vertical and horizontal strokes, sand the back and front of the nib, on fine sandpaper, so the tip is smooth. Now write the letters alif, baa, waaw, nuun, and a big yaa on sandpaper as if it were paper. Don't write roughly or press down to hard! If you sense roughness or resistance when writing any of the letters, write them two or three times on the sandpaper until they can be written smoothly. When sanding a pen always hold it at the angle at which you would write the same letter.
9. Dip your pen in ink until the vertical slit and hole are covered, but no further. Wipe the nib on the cloth blotter and write. If any of the letters can't be written smoothly, gently write them two or three times on the sandpaper and text again. Repeat this process until satisfied.

The following guidelines were taken from dating sites uk "Calligraphy & Illumination" by Patricia Lovett.
Bamboo and reed pens
In historical times all scribes had to cut their own pens, or had an apprentice cut them. The advantage was that the exact shape of nib and feel of the pen could be devised, rather than having to put up with a manufactured standard. Nowadays cutting your own pen may seem like too much trouble to some, yet bamboo or reed pens and quills are the best pens of all to use. Quills are light — feather weight— and flexible enough for all sorts of letter-forms. A well-cut bamboo pen has a spring to it which even a finely sharpened nib cannot achieve. Cutting these pens often has an air of hidden mystique about it which is a pity as they are such a
delight to use. If you find metal nibs a problem, then make your own pens. 

Cutting bamboo and reed pens
Bamboo is probably easier to get hold of than reed, although any hollow or tubular stem which is reasonably firm but flexible can be used. Bamboo canes from a garden or a garden centre are equally suitable. Some stems are too thin, but any stem which is more than about a centimeter (04 in) in diameter could be used when dried. You need a short length for one pen, about 20 cm (8 in) long. Pick up the reed and bamboo and choose the canes which are the heaviest. These have more moisture and so are easier to cut. Cut or saw the bamboo into 20 cm (8 in) lengths so that the intended writing end is away from the notch in the stem. Using a heavy-duty craft knife, as bamboo is quite tough to cut, make a long scoop cut to about half way through the stem along one side of the cane at the end. This is the under side of your nib. With the point of the knife scrape out the pith. Now shape the sides of the nib. Make a cut from the side towards the centre, shallow and upwards. Place the knife where you started that cut and rotate the cane slightly clock wise so that it is on the other side of the first cut. Repeat that shallow and upwards cut so that the shape is symmetrical. You can now see the nib shape forming as you cut. Place the cane on a cutting mat or similar surface so that the underneath of the nib is showing. The nib must have a central slit so that the ink can flow through the pen on to the paper. Position the knife so that it can make this central slit and press down firmly. The slit needs to be about l—
15 cm (05—07 in). Now finish the writing end of the pen. Do this by cutting a bevel at the end of the nib you have just cut. Hold the pen firmly and with the knife at an angle of about 30°, and pull the bamboo pen back towards you; this will make a bevel cut. The tip may be a little ragged and uneven at this point. To give a good, sharp writing edge, cut straight down, trimming off about 1 mm (005 in), or at the most 2 mm (01 in). You do not want to lose the spring of the nib by making it too thick at this point. This is the last 'nib' cut. Bamboo and reed pens may take a little while to write because they soak up so much ink or paint initially. Use a watery medium to start and make a few letters before you write a best piece. Each time you use the pen it may take more ink than you think to start writing.

Summary of instructions:
Saw the bamboo into pen lengths of about 20 cm (8 in). Select the end away from the notch.
1. With a sturdy and sharp craft knife make a long scoop cut which starts about 3 cm (1.2 in) from the end and goes about halfway through the bamboo cane. Scoop out the inner pith.
2. On the right side of this scoop make another cut about l cm (0.5 in) from the tip. Rest the knife at the point where this cut started, rotate the pen clockwise and make a similar cut on the left hand side. This shapes the shoulders of the nib.
3. With the top of the pen on a cutting mat, place the free animated gay porn blade of the knife in the center of the pen tip and press down to make a slit about 1—1.5 cm (0.5 in) long.
4. Trim the end so it is cut at a left-oblique angle of about 35-40 degrees. The left point is higher than the right one (when you turn the pen over and start writing, the right point will be higher).
5. Turn the pen over and hold it at an angle of about 30°, place the knife blade on top and pull the pen upwards so making a bevel cut
6. The last "nib" cut is made by rocking the knife click here to take the very tip from the nib. 

6- Nib Pens:
Contemporary Arabic calligraphers most commonly use nib pens for their work. These pens consist of a steel nib inserted in a wood holder. Like the bamboo pens, they must be dipped in an inkpot. The nibs are available in many sizes, and you can get a much finer line than with a bamboo pen. When you buy a nib, the tip is completely flat. You must prepare it for fabulous new teen porn free tube writing by sanding a comfortable angle onto it. Once a nib has been prepared it can last for months if cleaned after every use and kept free of dried ink which stretches the nib-halves out of shape. Following are instructions for preparing the nib:
1. Insert the nib in its holder and hold the pen as if you were going to write, but press one finger or your thumb against the nib between the hole and tip, so that the two teeth do not separate and are sanded unevenly, the pen will not write properly.
2. Holding the pen at the angle at which you could write and protecting the teeth with one finger, sand the pen from right to left and left to right several times. Since the nib is flat and you wish to put an angle on it, you will initially be sanding only the left or bottom half of the nib. As you continue, the nib will acquire an angle and both top (right) and bottom (left) teeth will be sanded. Examine the sandpaper as you proceed. You will know you are done when the sound of sanding changes and the horizontal mark from sanding is the width of the full nib. If you look at the nib now, it should be angled instead of straight. When held in writing position, the right tooth should contain the point of the pen.
3. Examine the pen with its back facing you and the hollowed concave side facing away. There is a slit down the nib which separates the two teeth. The slit should be slightly off center to the right, so the right tooth (with the point) is thinner than the left tooth. If the slit is directly down the center of the nib you must turn the nib on its right side and sand the right tooth several times from right to left and left to right on the edge of your sanding block. Sand until the right tooth (with the point) is slightly thinner than the left tooth. This allows ink to flow freely to the point of the pen when it is used alone for delicate strokes that do not require the entire nib width.
4. Gently write alif, baa, waaw, nuun, and a big yaa two or three times on the sandpaper. If you sense any resistance write them again until they can be written smoothly.
5. Test the pen with ink on delicious japan sex site paper. If any letters cannot be written smoothly write the again on sandpaper. Repeat this process until you are satisfied.

Copyright (c) 2010. Fahim Somani. Innovation Beyond your Imagination. Powered by Graphic Stylus. Solutions for Small Businesses.
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