Thursday, October 09, 2008

Today, we went full circle in the Clear Spring woodshop. Two days ago the first and second grade students carved their writing pens, and today the 11th and 12th grade students began the same thing. They are studying Shakespeare and will write their favorite quote in ink using pens they have made themselves. So perhaps next week we'll see some calligraphy. You may have noticed yourself how hand writing degrades over time as poke and press take over from the swirly scrolls in marking our relationship with paper. Now if you get something in the mail that was actually beautifully written by a real person, it is nearly a miracle. But when you see words committed to paper using real dip in the well ink, you know that someone was giving something very vital and rare these days. Their full and undivided attention.

4 comments:

JD said...

Doug, I have been a computer/technology user for years and years...but, I've gone back to the pen and paper (and to fountain pen at that!). My mother was an avid writer--in fact, she copied the entire HOLY BIBLE in longhand! She just loved the very act of writing!

Blue Yonder said...

My boys write a handwritten letter each week to their grandparents, and get one back, without fail. It's such a treat for them to hold a real letter in their hands - and I"m pretty sure it's just as special for my folks to receive shakily scrawled love notes from their grandkids :-)

How do your students make their pens. My boys would love to take a crack at that!

Doug Stowe said...

I plan to have an article on the FineWoodworking website about making pens, so I don't want to go over all the step-by-step in the blog. Of course the only hard part is drilling the hole for the nib to fit. Nibs can be a bit of a problem. I've had to order them by the hundred from old stationery supply stock on eBay. I made a jig to hold the 3/8 in. x 3/8 in. stock vertical on the drill press, drill a 7/32 in. hole in the end deep enough to hold the nib and a 3/16 in. x 3/8 in. long dowel. I hot melt glue the dowel and nib in the hole. The carving is done with a sloyd knife. If you search the blog for "carved pen" you will see examples of the Clear Spring kids carving their pens.

Doug Stowe said...

It is wonderful that your boys will have those memories of their grandmother.