I want to preface this post by saying that the Brause Rose nib is probably not the most beginner-friendly calligraphy tool in the world. It’s certainly the “fairest of them all” with its embossed rose and beautiful contours, but its flex can prove difficult if you’re new to calligraphy! If you’ve been practicing for a few months and you feel up for a challenge, however, I encourage you to give the Brause Rose a go. This post includes a few tips for using it, as well as a realistic idea of what to expect!
Availability and Nib Preparation
First of all, I haven’t seen any Brause Rose nibs available locally (Denver/Boulder, CO area), so I generally order mine from Paper & Ink Arts. As soon as I receive them, I prepare the nibs for use by washing off the manufacturer’s oils. Nib preparation is of paramount importance with the Brause Rose because doing so helps to prevent ink flow issues.
Why Use the Brause Rose Nib?
The Brause Rose nib is beloved by many due to its amazing flex. Whenever you exert pressure on the nib, the tines immediately split far apart! That characteristic renders the Brause Rose more than capable of creating dramatic contrast between its upstrokes and downstrokes. You can easily see in the Kaitlin Style comparison photo below that the Brause Rose creates downstrokes that are sumptuously thick. In fact, Brause Rose downstrokes make Brause EF66 and Nikko G downstrokes look a bit thin!
So: why the fantastic downstrokes? Well, when the tines of the Brause Rose splay apart, they make a stroke of ink that corresponds with the width of the splay.
Let’s compare that splay to the Nikko G. In the photo below, I am applying just as much pressure as in the photo of the Brause Rose above! The Nikko G’s splay here would make a stroke that is approximately half as wide as a stroke made by the Rose.
In short, this nib is lovely if you want to add dramatic stroke contrast to your lettering project. That said, it comes with a bit of a learning curve, which you’ll want to prepare yourself for!
Brause Rose Nib Troubleshooting
With great nib flexibility comes great nib headaches. The Brause Rose has been throwing users for a loop for years, but there is a lot you can do to make it work for you! In the video below, you’ll learn more about the Brause Rose, as well as troubleshooting techniques to ameliorate your experience using it:
(If you can’t see the video, you can watch it on Vimeo by clicking here.)
As I say in the video, it’s important to make sure you have a good ink to write with! I have used Walker’s Copperplate with great success, but any other iron gall ink would work just as well. You may find that thicker inks are difficult to work with; the nib tends to dump its supply of viscous inks down on the paper. To fix that, you can just dilute your ink with water — no big deal. 🙂 The other vital detail is angle: try not to hold your nib at an upright angle to the paper. The more upright you write, the more chance your (highly flexible) tines will catch in the fibers of the paper!
Best Brause Rose Nib Projects
Like all other calligraphy nibs, you can use the Rose for virtually any calligraphy-focused project. Personally, though, I love using it to make gorgeous formal envelopes! This nib paired with Janet Style calligraphy is just magnificent. The highly flexible Brause Rose nib is especially well-suited to adding a few flourishes!
It’s difficult not to admire the stroke contrast of calligraphy created with a Brause Rose nib. That renders the Rose a fantastic choice for wedding and event invitation envelopes! If there’s not a big event in your future, then you can just enjoy using this nib for mail art — that’s what I do!
I hope that this blog post serves as a helpful introduction to what may be a fun new calligraphy toy for you! If you have any questions about the nib or how to use it, please feel free to ask in the comments. Otherwise, thanks very much for reading TPK, and have a wonderful weekend!
(PS – The registration for the Tampa, Florida, TPK calligraphy workshops is live as of yesterday! You can register for workshops taking place on December 3rd or December 4th. Both will be located at The Paper Seahorse, which is Tampa’s premiere awesome little paperie. Hopefully I will see you there — yay for warm weather in the winter!)