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If you’re looking to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your business, calligraphy may be just the thing. To get started, you’ll need the right tools and materials. Here are 10 places where you can find calligraphy supplies, including fine art supplies, to help take your business to the next level. Let’s dive in!
The Modern Calligraphy and Ink Arts Market in 2022
The modern calligraphy and ink arts market experienced continued growth in 2022, with more people seeking to learn hand lettering and calligraphy for their businesses or as a creative outlet. As a result, there was a higher demand for calligraphy supplies, workshops, and tutorials, and an increase in calligraphy and ink art products on the market.
Top Places to Buy Supplies for Calligraphy
Whether you’re a seasoned calligrapher or just starting out, having the right supplies is key. From online retailers to your local art supply store, here are some top places to buy supplies for calligraphy.
Amazon offers a wide selection of calligraphy supplies, including pens, pen holders, black and white ink, paper, and more. With fast shipping and competitive prices, it’s a convenient option for purchasing calligraphy supplies.
Etsy provides a platform for independent artists and suppliers to sell unique and handmade calligraphy supplies, making it a great option for finding one-of-a-kind items not available elsewhere.
3. Blick Art Materials
Blick Art Materials offers a wide range of high-quality calligraphy supplies, from beginner to professional-level tools. Their brick-and-mortar stores and online shop make it easy to find and purchase calligraphy supplies.
Small Business Deals
Joann provides a variety of calligraphy supplies, including pens, calligraphy nibs, and ink, both in-store and online. They also offer discounts and coupons for frequent shoppers.
Michaels offers a wide range of calligraphy supplies, including pens, ink, calligraphy sets, and paper, both online and in-store. They also provide classes and workshops to help beginners get started.
6. Hobby Lobby
Hobby Lobby provides a selection of various essential calligraphy supplies at its physical stores and on its website. They offer weekly discounts and a rewards program for frequent shoppers.
7. Paper and Ink Arts
Founded by Brenda Broadbent in 1980 as Paper and Ink Books, Paper and Ink Arts has since expanded to offer a wide range of calligraphy supplies, becoming a leading source for calligraphers worldwide. The business relocated to Nashville in 2011 and continues to prioritize quality products and excellent service.
8. Tom’s Studio
Tom’s Studio was founded by Tom, a product and furniture designer who wanted to make a better calligraphy pen for his wife. They create handmade, sustainable, and high-quality calligraphy tools for creative people.
9. Written Word Calligraphy
Karla is a calligrapher, designer, and educator based in Vancouver. Written Word Calligraphy specializes in custom wedding invitations, calligraphy supplies, modern calligraphy tools, and online courses. Her business, “Written Word,” is inspired by her love for God’s Word.
10. Office Depot
Office Depot offers a limited selection of calligraphy supplies, primarily focused on pens and markers. They also provide printing and custom stamp services.
Must-have Calligraphy Supplies
If you’re looking to create beautiful calligraphy, having the right tools is essential. From sumi ink to high-quality paper, the right supplies can take your writing to the next level. Here are some must-have calligraphy supplies to help you create stunning works of art.
Water-based inks are perhaps the most commonly used in calligraphy. They are made by dissolving dye in water and often contain additives to improve flow and drying time. These inks are known for their ease of use and clean-up, as they are water-soluble. They work well with most types of paper and are ideal for beginners.
Pigment inks contain fine particles of pigment suspended in a liquid. Unlike dye-based inks, they are lightfast and more resistant to fading over time. Pigment inks are preferred for archival quality work or projects that require long-lasting color.
Iron Gall Ink
This historical ink is made from iron salts and tannic acids from vegetable sources. Iron gall ink has been used for centuries for important documents. Iron gall ink is initially pale gray but darkens to a deep black as it oxidizes over time.
India ink is a black ink traditionally made from lampblack and binders. It is known for its deep black color and its use in both calligraphy and drawing. It’s a favorite among professional calligraphers for its smooth flow and opacity.
Acrylic inks are made from acrylic resin suspended in a liquid. They are highly pigmented and offer intense colors. These inks dry quickly to a waterproof and flexible finish, making them suitable for use on various surfaces, including paper, canvas, and wood.
Gouache inks, or opaque watercolors, are similar to water-based inks but with added opacity. They are often used for calligraphy to achieve bold and vivid colors, especially on dark papers.
If you’re creating calligraphy for special occasions, adding a wax seal is a lovely touch. Sealing wax comes in a range of colors and finishes, and is easy to use with a seal stamp.
Choosing the right paper can make a big difference in the quality of your calligraphy. Look for high-quality, smooth paper that is designed for calligraphy or drawing.
Calligraphy Paper Pads
Having a dedicated paper pad for calligraphy can help you achieve the desired look for your writing. Look for paper that is smooth and absorbent to prevent ink bleeding and feathering.
For businesses creating calligraphy-based designs, light boxes can be used to easily trace designs from one paper or material to another.
Alternatively, tracing paper can be useful for transferring and duplicating artwork.
Blotting paper is a highly absorbent paper used to remove excess ink from the writing surface, preventing smudges or bleed-through. It is gently pressed against the paper to soak up extra ink, especially useful in techniques that involve heavy ink use or when working with slower-drying inks.
Guides and Templates
If you’re just starting out, using guides or templates can be helpful for getting the hang of calligraphy. They can also be useful for creating consistent spacing and letter sizes in your writing.
|Water-Based Ink||Made by dissolving dye in water, often with additives to improve flow and drying time. Easy to use and clean, water-soluble, and works well with most papers.|
|Pigment Ink||Contains fine particles of pigment suspended in liquid. Lightfast, resistant to fading, and preferred for archival quality work.|
|Iron Gall Ink||Made from iron salts and tannic acids, historically used for important documents. Starts pale gray, darkens to black as it oxidizes.|
|India Ink||Traditional black ink made from lampblack and binders. Known for deep black color, smooth flow, and opacity.|
|Acrylic Ink||Made from acrylic resin in liquid. Highly pigmented, intense colors, dries quickly to a waterproof and flexible finish.|
|Gouache Ink||Similar to water-based inks but with added opacity. Used for bold and vivid colors, especially on dark papers.|
|Sealing Wax||Comes in various colors and finishes, used to add a decorative seal to calligraphy work.|
|Paper||High-quality, smooth paper designed for calligraphy or drawing, important for ink adherence and preventing bleeding.|
|Calligraphy Paper Pads||Dedicated pads for calligraphy, designed to be smooth and absorbent to prevent ink bleeding and feathering.|
|Lightboxes||Illuminated surface used for easily tracing designs from one paper/material to another.|
|Tracing Paper||Useful for transferring and duplicating artwork, offers transparency and ease of tracing.|
|Blotting Paper||Highly absorbent, used to remove excess ink from writing surface and prevent smudges or bleed-through.|
|Guides and Templates||Helpful for beginners to get the hang of calligraphy, used for consistent spacing and letter sizes.|
Essential Calligraphy Tools for Businesses
For businesses looking to incorporate calligraphy into their branding and marketing materials, having the right tools like fountain pens is essential. Here are some essential calligraphy tools for businesses to create professional and polished writing.
A dip pen consists of a metal nib attached to a holder. The nib is dipped into ink and then used to write. Dip pens are highly favored in traditional calligraphy for their flexibility and the ability to change nibs for different styles and line widths.
A nib is the tip of a calligraphy pen, which controls the flow of ink to the paper. There are various types of nibs available, which allow different thicknesses for lines and letters.
Nibs are regularly cleaned during and after use to prevent clogging and maintain the quality of lines. This is particularly important for dip pens and fountain pens. A nib cleaner is a solution or tool used to remove dried ink and residue from pen nibs, ensuring smooth ink flow and extending the life of the nib.
Fountain pens have an internal reservoir for ink, providing a steady flow during writing. They are more convenient for extended writing sessions than dip pens since they don’t require frequent ink dipping.
Brush pens have a tip similar to a paintbrush and are filled with ink. They are excellent for creating calligraphy that mimics traditional brush strokes, with a fluid and dynamic feel. Their versatility in producing varied line widths with a single stroke makes them unique. They are particularly suited for styles like Chinese or Japanese calligraphy and modern calligraphy styles that require a more expressive touch.
Marker pens for calligraphy typically have chisel-shaped tips and come in various widths. They are filled with either dye or pigment-based ink and are very user-friendly, especially for beginners.
Glass pens, made entirely of glass, have a twisted or grooved tip that holds ink. They are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. These pens are often used for decorative writing and special occasions.
Quill pens, traditionally made from bird feathers, have a long history in calligraphy. The tip of the feather is cut and shaped into a nib. Quills offer a unique, historical writing experience.
Calligraphy brushes can produce a variety of strokes and are ideal for creating large lettering or backgrounds. Look for brushes with natural hair bristles for a smooth and consistent flow of ink.
Ink Cartridges and Refills
If you’re using a fountain pen, ink cartridges or refills are a must-have. Choose ink that is compatible with your pen and comes in a variety of colors to suit your needs.
When laying out a paper or planning your designs, a ruler ensures these lines are straight and evenly spaced.
Calligraphers can use a pencil to lightly sketch lines and layouts on the paper, which are later erased.
A soft, non-abrasive eraser is used to remove pencil marks from the paper without damaging it. Kneaded erasers or plastic/rubber erasers are commonly used in calligraphy. After the ink has dried completely, the eraser gently removes any preliminary pencil guidelines, leaving a clean, finished piece.
An inkwell is a small container used to hold ink for dip pens. Ink is transferred to the inkwell or a separate palette for easy dipping and to control the amount of ink on the pen.
A palette is used when mixing inks or using gouache or watercolor for calligraphy. Palettes are essential for blending colors and achieving the desired ink consistency.
|Dip Pen||Consists of a metal nib attached to a holder, used for traditional calligraphy. Offers flexibility and the ability to change nibs for different styles.|
|Nibs||The tip of a calligraphy pen controlling ink flow. Various types allow different line thicknesses and styles.|
|Nib Cleaner||Used to remove dried ink and residue from pen nibs, ensuring smooth ink flow and extending nib life. Important for dip and fountain pens.|
|Fountain Pen||Has an internal reservoir for ink, providing a steady flow. More convenient than dip pens for extended writing sessions.|
|Brush Pen||Similar to a paintbrush tip and filled with ink. Great for fluid, dynamic calligraphy and varied line widths.|
|Marker Pen||Typically have chisel-shaped tips and come in various widths. User-friendly and filled with dye or pigment-based ink.|
|Glass Pen||Made entirely of glass with a twisted or grooved tip for holding ink. Used for decorative writing and special occasions.|
|Quill Pen||Made from bird feathers, historically significant. The feather tip is cut and shaped into a nib.|
|Calligraphy Brushes||Ideal for creating large lettering or backgrounds. Best with natural hair bristles for smooth ink flow.|
|Ink Cartridges and Refills||Necessary for fountain pens, available in various colors. Choose compatible ink for your pen.|
|Ruler||Essential for laying out paper and planning designs, ensuring straight and evenly spaced lines.|
|Pencil||Used to lightly sketch lines and layouts on paper, later erased.|
|Eraser||Soft, non-abrasive for removing pencil marks without damaging paper. Used after ink dries.|
|Inkwell||A small container for holding ink, used for dip pens. Facilitates easy dipping and ink control.|
|Palette||Used for mixing inks or using gouache or watercolor. Essential for blending colors.|
What Supplies Should a Beginner Calligrapher Buy?
Starting in calligraphy can be an exciting journey, and having the right supplies makes a significant difference. Here’s an expanded list of essential supplies for beginner calligraphers, along with some suggestions for as they progress:
Essential Supplies for Beginners:
- Pen Holder:
- Beginners should start with a straight pen holder for its ease of use and compatibility with most nibs. It’s ideal for learning basic strokes and script styles.
- A selection of beginner-friendly nibs, such as the Nikko G, Zebra G, or a basic round nib, is recommended. These nibs are versatile, durable, and suitable for various styles.
- Black, water-based ink is a good starting point due to its easy cleanup and consistent flow. Brands like Higgins Eternal or Sumi ink are popular choices.
- Smooth, high-quality practice paper that doesn’t bleed or feather is essential. Marker layout paper or specific calligraphy practice pads are great options.
Additional Supplies as You Progress:
- Variety of Pens:
- Experiment with different types of pens, like fountain pens or brush pens, to explore various styles and strokes.
- Different Nibs:
- As skills develop, trying out different nibs, such as broad-edge or flex nibs, can help in discovering preferences for specific calligraphy styles.
- Colored Inks and Gouache:
- Introducing colored inks and gouache can add vibrancy and variety to calligraphy. These are great for projects that require a pop of color.
- Brushes, especially if interested in brush lettering or Chinese/Japanese calligraphy styles, can provide a different technique and feel.
- Light Pad:
- A light pad is useful for tracing and perfecting layouts without having to mark the paper.
- Ruler and Pencil:
- For precise lines and measurements, a good quality ruler and a mechanical pencil are indispensable.
- A soft eraser that doesn’t damage the paper, like a kneaded eraser, is important for removing pencil marks after inking.
Advanced Supplies for Continued Exploration:
- Gold Leaf or Metallic Inks:
- For adding a touch of elegance, experiment with gold leaf or metallic inks.
- Watercolors can be used for background washes or to create a blend of colors in lettering.
- Sealing Wax and Seals:
- For creating traditional seals on envelopes or certificates, which add a classic, personal touch.
Remember, the key for beginners is to start simple and not get overwhelmed by too many choices. As you practice and understand your preferences and style, gradually expand your toolkit. Enjoy the learning process, and don’t be afraid to experiment!
What Is the Best Tool for Calligraphy?
The best tool for calligraphy depends on personal preference and the type of writing being created. Some popular options include dip pens, fountain pens, and brush pens, each producing a unique look and feel.
Is There a Demand for Calligraphy Businesses?
There is a demand for calligraphy businesses, especially for special events such as weddings and corporate events. However, the market can be competitive, and businesses may need to differentiate themselves by offering unique styles or services.
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