Calligraphy – Batarde

“Batarde” is the French word for bastard, which is what this calligraphy hand is named.  Upon some research, it appears that many scribes, historical and modern, developed their own style of Italized Gothic.  I’ve never been a big fan of Blackletter or Gothic, but it had been a long time since I took a formal class and I knew Carol Pallesen would not disappoint me.  She did not.  What a great class.

We also developed our initials into monograms and carved them into the Staedtler Carving Block.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy carving stamps for printing and completed a likeness of my Scottie, Shylah.  This is an expression of how much energy she had and how much joy she brought prior to her untimely passing. 

The image is printed on an old German Prayer Book page and the calligraphy is done with a 3.8 mm Pilot Parallel Pen.  The ink color change is achieved by touching two pens together containing two colors of ink.  The ink from one will wick into the other producing beautiful shaded gradations.



Noodler’s Ink responded to my inquiry regarding media drying time and smudging.

“With non-coated papers, Dragon’s Napalm has a near instantaneous dry time – I’ve personally been able to slam my palm upon the line just drawn upon many recycled and drawing pad/sketch pad papers.  However, if the paper has any polymer content or was treated with any waxes/clays for density and sheen…the dry time is increased substantially because these additives to the paper prevent the ink from being able to penetrate the paper.  As the dye content is much greater than with other inks, as penetration is hindered, the dry time becomes greater than other detergent containing inks with lower dye content.  There are no detergents in Dragon’s Napalm – the dye itself is the surficant.  Likewise – along with polymer content to the page…if the humidity level of the air is above 50% the dry time increases markedly with such paper grades.

The easiest way to decrease dry time is to use a less costly grade of paper – many artist use generic card stock and sketch pads in the lower rpice range, and have found dry time to no longer be an issue.  Dragon’s Napalm dries within 3 seconds and will not smudge when pummeled with the palm of my hand when written upon the lowest cost copy/type paper from the local Walmart/Staples/Office Max…and many lower cost card stock papers.

As a general rule of thumb, the lower cost the paper, the more Noodler’s will like it…  Our black was engineered originally to write upon newsprint for use by our first customer during his morning commute on the NY subway with the daily crossword puzzle.  He complained that other fountain pen inks were “impossible” for his crossword puzzle and dared us to make an ink that would make a fountain pen a capable writing instrument with durability to the line upon less costly paper grades.  It has remained one of our ink’s requirements ever since.

Hope this helps. 

FYI – we do manufacture a “left-handed” ink that exhibits rapid penetration and instantaneous dry times for Swisher Pens, Inc. – in case a coated paper must be penetrated those inks will do so…though they will be prone to feathering if used upon non-coated or recycled paper grades.  Noodler’s tries to make an ink available for EVERY fountain pen application and utility.”

Below is my test of the Noodler’s Bulletproof Black.  Ooooooh, really nice to write with.  But again on the Strathmore Series 300 Sketch Paper and it was slow drying.  I’m anxious to try the manufacturers recommendation, “Use cheap paper”.



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