I don’t believe that you have to own an expensive calligraphy pen to create beautiful calligraphy. Just like with most endeavors, you can start off with cost-effective tools (like those listed in the Ultimate Modern Calligraphy Starter Kit), then treat yourself to splurges as your skill level improves. One such splurge might be a Rodger’s Pen Box (also known as RPB) calligraphy pen!
I am sure that Rodger wishes I would stop talking about his creations because he’s retired and has a busy schedule as-is. However, 80% of the calligraphy pens I own are from Rodger’s workshop, and I always marvel at their practical and innovative design — especially when it comes to his oblique pens! The shape of each pen is contoured to facilitate the perfect grip, and the flanges are thoughtfully offset and angled, allowing for just the right amount of flex as you’re writing.
I am especially grateful for Rodger’s pens when I am writing in the slanted styles in the Learn Calligraphy for a Latté series (like Kaitlin Style calligraphy, pictured below). As a right-handed person, I really appreciate a calligraphy pen that helps me to achieve a nice slant! Of course, you don’t need an RPB oblique pen, specifically — a cost-effective Ziller or Peerless oblique will also work — but I love the quality and overall feel of my wooden pens from Rodger.
It’s always fascinating to be able to see the behind-the-scenes process of how something is made, and for the longest time, I have wondered how Rodger makes his pens. Woodworking is such a big mystery to me that I couldn’t mentally grasp how someone could transform a block of wood into a slender, smooth, and contoured writing instrument.
This curiosity toward the woodworking process behind some of my most valued possessions compelled me to pay a visit to Rodger’s Albuquerque workshop. While I was there, I put my videographer hat on and captured the making of a calligraphy pen from start to finish in a series of video clips. This past week, I’ve been working on slicing and arranging the clips to show you the full process in a short, pleasant video! Even if you have no intention of ever owning an RPB calligraphy pen, it’s sort of mesmerizing to watch — I mean, he starts with a block of wood, and then BAM!, the block of wood has become a beautiful pen! You can view the video below:
(If you are unable to view Vimeo videos, you may access the YouTube version of this video by clicking here.)
I hope that you enjoyed this little show-and-tell over how some of my — and, possibly, your — favorite calligraphy tools are created! It’s just neat to know where your supplies are coming from and how they are made; it helps you to appreciate them even more.
If you are interested in purchasing a Rodger’s Pen Box pen, you’ll want to visit his Etsy shop as close as possible to 8:00 AM Mountain Standard Time (Denver, CO, USA timezone) on February 1st. Due to the amount of time required to make each pen, Rodger puts a cap on how many orders he accepts every month (usually around 50), and once that limit is reached, his Etsy shop is empty again! However, if you are located in the EU, UK-based Penman Direct maintains a stock of RPB calligraphy pens year-round. The cost of the pens currently range from $40.00-$90.00, depending on the wood used to make the pen.
I want to reiterate that today’s post was meant to show you the process behind a favorite tool of mine; however, this tool is not vital to your improvement. If an RPB pen isn’t in the budget right now, I’d recommend purchasing a metal-flanged oblique pen (such as Ziller) and following these instructions to adjust the flange to your liking! I appreciate you taking this look inside Rodger’s workshop with me, and I hope you enjoyed today’s post. 🙂 Many thanks for reading TPK, and enjoy the rest of your week!