Thursday, November 17, 2016

Review: Brause Dip Pen Set - A Starter Dip Nib Set for Calligraphy! @NoteMakerTweets

People ask how they can get started with calligraphy pretty often, so here's a great way. Get a small set and go to town! You can also buy individual items, but sometimes it's just easier to have the items grouped together in a package for you. This drawing set is perfect for beginners and experienced calligraphers alike.
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ABOUT



CONTENTS:
1 x Brause 66 EF
1 x Brause No. 513 (blue)
1 x Brause No. 511
1 x Wooden Holder + Universal Prongs
1 x Small Brush
1 x Bottle Black Ink
1 x Calligraphy Booklet
Price: $45.72 USD
Where to buy: NoteMaker Australia


PACKAGING


Review Brause Dip Pen Set - A Starter Dip Nib Set for Calligraphy @NoteMakerTweets  1

All of these items are snugly presented and held in place in a plastic tray inside a cardboard box with a window. The calligraphy booklet is tucked under the tray inside. One of the most useful things in the booklet is not just the scripts (if you don't already have a calligraphy book or some other guide), but prep details for your nib. Brause recommends:
  1. Wash the nib with water and a little soap [dish soap].
  2. Dry the nib. Dip it in the ink.
  3. Write 2 or 3 words then dry your nib again.
  4. Your nib is ready.
This is straight forward and easy enough for a new user to pick up and figure out. Prepping a nib is also important because without removing the protective oils on the nib, ink won't stick properly and you won't get proper flow.
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APPEARANCE


Let's whip through this part, because it's not that exciting. The wooden holder is straight, wood, and has a four prong holder in a metal collar. The brush is slim, wood, and has a small brush on the end. The bottle of ink is a small, clear glass jar. The box says the ink is India Ink, but it doesn't smell like India Ink to me - maybe it is Brause's calligraphy ink?
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The three nibs are small nibs, each with a single slit and a breather hole. The name of each nib is stamped on its base.


NIB & PERFORMANCE


  • Brause 66 EF - extra-fine, agile nib
  • Brause No. 513 - hard nib with a fine point
  • Brause No. 511 - medium soft with a fine point
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Getting to know the nibs...
I prepped all three nibs before trying them out. Let's start with the 513B - the blue nib. This is a nib that feels harder, but still offers some line variation. Of the three nibs in the set, this is a good one to start out with if you have never used a dip nib before. The reason for this is that it's not so soft that it requires a lot of experience to control. You can feel what kind of pressure it needs by just touching the nib to the page and seeing how it responds. I think it gives a nice amount of line variation and is easy to work with.
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The 511 resembles the 513 in shape, but it is a little softer. It requires less pressure to achieve a little more line variation, and it may not show up in a writing sample, but you can feel it when using the nibs. The 511 is a little easier to flex than the 513.
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All three nibs are capable of some very fine lines, as well as some serious variation - 513, 511, 66, in increasing variation order.

My favorite of the bunch, but also the one that took me the longest to really get the hang of, is the tiny, very cute 66EF. It is quite soft, more than the other two, and as such, it requires a light hand. Mild pressure produces extreme, monster line variation. It's rather amazing, especially considering the size of the nib. One might not expect such flex from this!
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This is sold and marketed as a drawing set, but I don't really draw. I did play with line variation a lot, so I can see how these could be useful for artists to outline, fill, and shade, and the brush can easily be used with the ink as an ink wash. Those previous writing samples are when I was getting the hang of the nibs. See below for a more appropriate sample of each!
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I very much enjoy this trio of nibs. I experimented with some other inks - I personally enjoy Daler Rowney liquid acrylic ink the most. The ink held on to the nibs well, so I did not have to focus on the ink so much as controlling the nib. The brush has a small tip and maintains its shape quite well, but I'm not a brush expert. All I know is it was a lot of fun to do brush lettering with and it's easy to clean.
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Getting better...
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The nibs are inserted into the holder by placing the base of the nib between the prongs and the metal collar. The springy prongs hold the nib in place against the collar.
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PROS


  • A great all-in-one set for yourself (or anyone else) not only for drawing, but for hand lettering, calligraphy, modern calligraphy and/or brush lettering.
  • Includes a basic booklet that gets you started with prep and nib details.
  • Nice gift for someone who may be interested in trying out calligraphy, or for an artist.
  • Works for beginners or experienced users.
  • Fun, easy way to experiment with flexible nibs - huge line variation, more affordable than a flex nib fountain pen, and safer because if you spring it, you can replace it.

CONS


  • More nib details would be beneficial - for example, how to use a dip nib for new users. 
  • A bit pricy - the total price seems higher than the individual components.
  • Real India Ink would be, I think, easier for a new user to work with.

OVERALL



This is a great set for starting out in calligraphy, modern calligraphy, hand lettering, or brush lettering. It's also great for experienced users. It's easier to get this all in one set rather than buying individual components although I think the price is a little steep - but this would be a matter of convenience, especially for a new user. In addition, if you do want to gift this, it's nicely set up. That 66 nib is UNREAL. What a blast I've had playing with these nibs and I can't wait to improve my skills with these!

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I received this item at no charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. 

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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