People usually ask me what kinds of pens I use – do I use fountain pens, felt tips, etc.? I usually never use felt tips on stationery, because, well…if you go to a craft store and pick up a felt tip that says “calligraphy pen”, in the end you can tell you wrote with a marker. When working on most projects, including envelopes and place cards for formal events as well as custom projects, I use a pen with nib and reservoir, and smooth-flowing bottled ink.
There are plenty of art supply stores and pen and ink shops that sell quality calligraphy inks, but I have found a little gem of a store in the state of Iowa from which I purchase my inks online regularly. Pendemonium has always been great to work with – any supplies that I have bought have arrived on my doorstep quickly and efficiently and it seems I can always find the exact colors I need. Amazing.
Ink flow can vary greatly according to the consistency of the ink. Never use drafting or drawing ink, as it contains shellac and can harm your pen. Also, be wary of inks out there on the market that say “Calligraphy Ink” – many of these contain shellac as well. Lastly, metallic colors are tricky. Many ink brands will not even make metallics because they will damage pens. Rather than using a silver or gold that will clog the nib irreparably, find an ink color that blends well with your color scheme and go with that. Ink flow is key to beautiful letter forms!