Ink Drops – January 2021 – Part One

Next Meeting: February 3, 2021

7:00 PM MST via ZOOM

Instructor: Suzanne Cannon

Class: Foundational Hand

Get out your water-cooled pens

as we heat up our paper with lots

of letters and words!

Suzanne is teaching Foundational

for Edmonton Calligraphic Society

next week via Zoom! 





(My apologies, I sent a notice saying I hadn’t received any submissions for this, getting mixed up—there was no theme for January! I forgot! I’ll save those sent to me and add them to the FEBRUARY newsletter! Thanks for the wonderful, humourous replies you sent…they made my day!)


Black ink on a sheet of bright white watercolour paper with just a touch of colour…so simple but so beautiful! Create a whimsical Versal on your page with a black monoline pen and fill it up using your watercolour pencils and a bit of water. Use 2 pencils held together and create a large Italic letter, outline it in black and Zentangle in or around it with your gel pens. Imagine Japanese or Chinese brush letters with a simple bright red chop in the corner. Send submissions to (Really!)


(Thanks Carolyn Wagner for this suggestion!)

This was probably not considered an inkwell when it was forged. It was a project made for gifts for their customers when the foundry was closing down. I found it in the now closed art store Dubois in Paris, France. The container tips, making it easier to dip into and fill your nib. It is very heavy! The photo also shows a couple of bottles of ink purchased there as well. I may have the only one in the calligraphy world. Bev Allen


Art Deco inkwell 1930s green Esterbrooks pen, black W.A. Schaeffer pen, pencil Carolyn Wagner Below – Grandfather’s 1930s-40s (?) brown Eagle pen, black Waterman pen…patent date of Aug. 9, 1906. Carolyn Wagner

              Above –  Brass inkwell and blotter. 

Below Carved inkwell (unknown material) Karen Jackson Wimmer received both of these as gifts but would like more info if you have it!


Below– Pauline Baynes inherited these from her mother-in-law, Dorothy Baynes, a former member of the Lettering Arts Guild in Red Deer, Alberta.

Below at top is a pen with staff of Murano glass from Venice, Italy, a gift from my niece. Other glass pens. Janis Blevins



This antique silver writing set had been presented to my great-grandfather, who was a military surgeon in India in the late 19th century. The engraving is dated January 1, 1898. I think it was given to him, a commanding officer in the British army in India.

The inkwell itself has broken somewhere along the way but I still have the lid. The other bottle still contains some of the powder that would have gone on the wet ink. Both lids have our family crest engraved. There is still the seal holder and the candle holder, including the snuffer, that would have been used to melt the sealing wax. Peggy Marce



I bought this unique inkwell at an estate auction North of Grande Prairie, Alberta. I was there buying something for work and this came up and I just had to have it. I paid $125. Carol Wilkinson


Here’s another one I have which only cost $10 – $15. It doesn’t have the same wow factor. I always look for them when I go to the antique markets. Carol Wilkinson

This was from a friend in Scotland. She found two identical in a charity shop and gave me one. I really should use it sometime. Bev Allen

All of the items below have been purchased at various antique shows. Most are from the one in Multnomah in Oregon. The Shaffer pens were bought at a couple of other shows, except the blue/gold one, which was my mom’s. My husband bought me the ivory (maybe some sellers are just guessing) ruling pen at the Multnomah show a good 10 years ago. Kathy Harney



I received this from a friend a few years ago. All glass, heavy and has great rests for the pens. No idea when this was manufactured… Violet Smythe


Below: The top 3 holders were bought at antique stores in the US and Vancouver Island. I was particularly intrigued with the ‘Dieppe’ one; I wondered where it had traveled. The bottom 4 were gifted to me. I love the silver repousse one! I believe the bottom pencil was my father-in-law’s. Below, also, are inkwells gifted to me by friends and sister. Very bottom: A variety of inkwells from antique stores in US & Canada. Gail Fournier


Janis Blevins owns all inkwells below.


Below Left The top of the large inkwell inverts to become a small inkwell. (a more appropriate size for using to dip your pens).


This inkwell and the paper weight were used by my great-grandfather at his insurance agency in Ada, Oklahoma.(It’s a “utilitarian” model).

Below: This is a traveling inkwell that seals up for traveling.

 Below: I purchased this utilitarian inkwell at an antique shop in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

 This was a personal inkwell of my husband’s family (certainly a utilitarian model)

Below An original watercolor of several inkwells from my and my friend’s collection. Janis Blevins

Below: This is a ‘vintage’ art nouveau brass inkwell reproduction made in Italy. It’s an example of an ornate inkwell desk stand and certainly useful to hold one’s nibs. Above Osmiroid Fountain pen inkwell and a Carter’s Ink Company Rubber stamp ink bottle from the 1930’s. Susan Mentis


An original Osmiroid 75 pen set. It was what we used in the 1970’s to learn the Canadian System of Handwriting as taught by Alf Ebsen, founder of the Handwriter’s Guild of Toronto in 1974, that morphed into the Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto in 1985. The Osmiroid 65 had a side lever filling mechanism but the 75 had a slimmer pen with a screen-plunger filling mechanism. Accompanying the pens was The Osmiroid Guide to Italic Handwriting. A booklet specially prepared by Tom Gourdie. Susan Mentis

Above is a copper double ink well desk set. I haven’t seen one quite like it. It’s suitable for storing one’s pen plus nibs in the middle covered bin. On it is an antique Victorian mother of pearl dip pen. The ink well bottles are missing but I use it to display and locate my favourite fountain pens. Susan

Above Right The 1948 and 1956 Speedball handbooks were gifted to me by Michelle Pfieffer, a former ECS member. She said they belonged to her grandfather. Gail Fournier



Member Projects

Bruce Jakeway
Bruce Jakeway


Glenda Uthe after Sally’s Dec. presentation.
Glenda Uthe after Leslie’s Jan. presentation.
Three cards done in separate classes with Sally Towers-Sybblis Gail Fournier

Shirley Wong
Shirley Wong
Margaret Poznansky

Violet Smythe
Violet Smythe
Valerie Akkerman
Shannon Dooling

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