Trying my hand at a calligraphy pen

I found this really inexpensive (less than $10) Manuscript brand pen set at Hobby Lobby and because the smallest nib looked smaller than the Schaeffer ones I have, I thought it might be fun to practice with. This nib is described as .85mm, as opposed to the normal 1mm or 1.1mm small nibs on  a lot of other fountain pens, so it is a little more narrow. I am slowly learning that the paper makes a lot of difference, too. Paper that is too absorbent causes the ink to bleed more and the lines to be way too bold, so I needed to find a good paper for letter writing with this pen. I used the 28# paper mentioned in the previous post and it works pretty well.

It’s inked up with a J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen cartridge instead of the black ink that came with it. I’m not all that crazy about the color of this ink, either, but it’s more fun than plain ol’ black ink. This is the ink I mentioned in a previous post - I expected more of a rose color, but this looks like fuchsia to me. The pen is made with a pretty cheap plastic, and both the cap and the barrel are threaded. It would be easy to cross thread them if you’re not careful. The benefit to the cheap plastic is that it’s very lightweight.


The set includes 3 nibs. I haven’t tried out the wider ones yet, I’m still getting familiar with the small one.


It’s a fun pen to play with and a nice way to practice with an italic nib to see if I like them, before getting into more expensive nibs and pens. I didn’t expect to have beautiful calligraphic handwriting right off the bat…well, actually I did, but it didn’t work out too well. Practicing is not my favorite thing by any means, but I realize it takes a long time to get good at this. I don’t like it, but I’ve resigned myself to it.


  1. Not bad for $10! Your writing is already pretty, you know :) It's amazing what some line variation can do for one's handwriting - mine always looks way better with a stub/italic nib!

  2. I love Manuscript pens! Maybe better than Sheaffer, actually. I like that ink too. Keep up the good work on the practice! I have found that giving yourself something to write that you like makes practicing a lot less painful. Write out your favorite Bible verses, or favorite poems, or even just some of the more interesting pangrams -- my favorite one of those is "Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs." :-)

  3. Your handwriting is already very nice! Yes, the ink leans fuschia, but I like it. One question: why do the sections loom different?

    1. I'm not sure I understand your question.