How to Fill a Calligraphy Pen Nib - scribesandcrafts

How to Fill a Calligraphy Pen Nib

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Having no ink in your pen is like having no gas in your car, making it completely useless. The last thing you want as you sit down to create beautiful lettering is to be inkless, but this leads us to the question of how to refill a calligraphy pen nib.

Many who just are starting out in the typographical art of calligraphy look at their pen as a foreign entity and simply shake their head when it comes to this process. Don’t fret though! It’s not as hard as it looks, but before we get into the step-by-step process, what on earth is a calligraphy pen nib anyway? Let’s take a look.

What is a Nib?

Understanding your tool is key when starting out. The calligraphy pen is made up of four parts — the cap, the nib, the barrel, and the ink reservoir.

The nib is the part of your pen that we are focused on. The nib is the piece of the pen that the ink flows out of and onto the paper. In fact, it is the piece that glides across the paper creating the beautiful swooshes and curls of your script.

Like with anything there are different types of nibs – broad, pointed, and stub, and each one changes the way your writing will look. Now that you know what a nib is, we can walk through the process of refilling it.

How to Fill a Calligraphy Pen Nib

Filling your calligraphy pen really depends on the make and style of the pen itself. Whether your calligraphy pen refilled by a cartridge, an ink bladder or you use a fountain pen converter we will breakdown the process below.

Step 1

You must open the pen to get the cartridge compartment. First, take off the cap and screw the barrel counterclockwise to expose the cartridge housing.

Step 2

If you are filling your calligraphy with a pen converter then you will stick the pen into the inkwell nib first until it is completely enveloped in the liquid. You will turn the converter to the right to push the air out and then turn it back to the right to suck up the ink.

Then to get the ink set you will hold the pen above the bottle and turn the converter back to the right until a drop on ink appears. Blot the ink from the tip and get to work.

Step 3

Inserting an ink cartridge starts with finding the opening. Just look for a rim or look for a little ball. You need to remove the converter and separate it gently from the nib. Insert the cartridge and push it in gently until it is firmly inserted, and you hear a click.

Step 4

How to Fill a Calligraphy Pen Nib - bladder -scribesandcrafts

Ink bladders come in two varieties — crescent and standard. Each is used to fill your pen with a few different steps, so let's look at each one individually.

Standard Ink Bladder

Stick your pen into the bladder nib first until it is completely submerged in the ink. There should be a metal bar of which you will press to collapse the bladder. Release the bar slowly to pull the ink into the pen nib.

Crescent Ink Bladder

With the crescent version of ink, you need to start by turning the locking mechanism to open it. Then place the nib into the ink well and then you will repeat the process from above until the pen is full of ink. After that, you will turn the locking mechanism back to the locked position.

Step 5

The last thing and maybe the most important step of all is to remember to replace the barrel you removed at the beginning of the process. This is done by simply twisting the barrel into the nib.

Things to Consider

Now you know how to fill your calligraphy pens nib, but there are a few things to consider ensuring a successful attempt, things like making sure you are checking whether the pen already comes with a cartridge or even making sure you have the right cartridge for the pen can save you a lot of time and frustration. 

At the back end of your creative process ensuring you properly clean the pen when changing inks can mean a longer life for your pen. But most of all, the biggest thing to consider is how much fun you are going to have now that your pen is as full as your creative juices. Happy lettering!

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