My new bamboo pen

I have just finished reading a book on sketching by L.N.Stanisland, published in 1947. In it he describes how to make a simple reed drawing pen. I have not found a source of reeds locally but I shall keep my eyes peeled for any likely ponds in the area. Be that as it may, it occurred to me that the construction of the reed pen is identical to that of a bamboo pen. I therefore poked around in my garden shed and found a few bamboo canes that I occasionally use as stakes for garden flowers. I took a little fret saw and cut off a section of the bamboo from one of these canes. I then used a craft knife to shape the nib.

Self-portrait with home-made bamboo pen & plum ink, on cartridge paper

Back in the studio, I rummaged around and found a jar of plum-coloured drawing ink. I had intended to doodle on a sheet of cartridge paper to see how the pen handled, but my doodling turned into a rather scratchy and over-worked self-portrait. Still, the pen worked fine and was a pleasure to use. I can see that one would need to develop a technique for it. For example, when freshly dipped in the ink, the lines are very strong; they then gradually fade as more strokes are made and the ink is used up.

Today I have two gigs to play: one at 5 a.m. at B&Bs, and one at midday at Cascadia (both these times are SLT – the English equivalent is 1 pm and 8 pm, respectively). Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles 🙂

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