I have found a new favorite thing… dip pens. Yes, they are completely impractical by modern standards and you have to get used to the rhythm of stopping to dip your pen every couple of lines, but there is something about the scratching sound on the paper and the grace of the delicate nibs that captivate me.
I recently bought the D Leonardt & Co Drawing & Mapping set and it comes with a nice wooden nib holder, a small tin for storing nibs, and five nibs made for drawing and mapping (as opposed to calligraphy nibs.)
It’s a great set and I’m hooked. Now, I’m on the hunt for antique dip pens, inkwells, and nibs.
I actually had an antique inkwell with a sterling lid that belonged to my great-grandmother. I didn’t know it was a inkwell until I started searching for antique ones on Etsy and eBay. I always thought it was a little pill box or something. It’s a nice little size, but it’s not very heavy and I could see the ink spilling if I’m not careful, so I wanted to find one that was a little heavier and the ink sat lower in the well. (I polished up the lid since this picture and it looks even better!)
When I went shopping in Cannon Falls, an inkwell was on my list. It was actually a fun thing to hunt for, because I had an excuse to peruse the locked cases. I don’t usually bother too much, because it’s kind of a pain to have the case unlocked and I’m not usually looking for the things that are locked in the cases. We found a bunch of old ink bottles and ink wells without lids and desk sets, but nothing that was quite right.
I finally spotted this heavy glass inkwell with a nice brass lid for $12 and it was a winner.
While trolling the glass cases, I also found an antique divider…
It is in perfect working order (it tightens and the spring still works, etc.) and it’s a nice size. I have a new divider, but it’s smaller and I find it’s sometimes too small for what I’m working on. The point of a divider is to measure something you’re trying to draw. So, I can take a measurement on the divider of, say, the width of a subject’s mouth, and then I can use that as a measurement to check the rest of the face.
Anyway, it was a great find and something I’ll actually use. I think it was $14.
I also bought a small tin ($8) to hold art supplies and it’s just the right size for my gouache tubes…
And I couldn’t pass up these vintage Windsor & Newton varnish and oil bottles. They were $4/each.
I don’t know if I’m actually going to try to use them or just keep the bottles as decor…
I’m so tempted to open them up and give them a try! Doesn’t that rich amber color just beckon to be used?
I’m definitely going to be more of a case-hunter from now on!
I also thought I would share some of my favorite art supplies I’ve acquired in recent weeks…
I bought this brush roll by Vensk off of Etsy and it is so beautifully made. I was even able to get the size customized, so it will accommodate my long-handled oil brushes. And, of course, it’s fun when anything has your name or monogram on it!
Calvin watched as I unwrapped it and he asked if he could have it for his brushes. I told him he couldn’t have it, because it has my name on it. He agreed that he didn’t want a brush roll with my name on it!
The leather and workmanship are both gorgeous. I loved it so much that I ordered a pencil roll as well.
Even with the size adjustment, a few of my brushes are still a little too long, because of the length of their bristles. This will fit almost all of my brushes, though, and will be great for traveling and plein air painting.
I also bought a small backpack from a local store. The bag is by What Daisy Did, but I wasn’t able to find this exact one online. It’s a gorgeous leather and I love all of the pockets and buckles. It’s a perfect size to carry around some basic art supplies and the necessary contents of my purse.
As far as art supplies, I have been testing out some new sketching mediums. One that I’ve enjoyed is these Cretacolor artist leads and wooden holder. The leads come in different colors and materials from graphite to charcoal to conte crayons.
The holder “opens”, so the lead can fall inside, protecting it when it’s in a pencil pouch, which is nice. The texture of the crayons takes a bit of getting used to, but I like the strong values I can get with it.
Can you tell how much I love art supplies?! It’s a whole world to discover and I’m thoroughly enjoying the expedition…