Learning a New Script – Book of Kells

I thought it might be fun to walk everyone (crickets) through how I go about learning a new script – specifically a historical one from a specific source. In this case, it was the famous Book of Kells, an Irish manuscript of the four Gospels, currently located in Trinity College Dublin.

Now, one option is to get your tactical black turtleneck on, put your infiltration gear together and break into the College library. I would recommend the west skylights – they haven’t replaced the wiring for the alarms for quite a while and they’re unreliable at best. Rappel down quietly – quietly – and use your mirror array to deflect the lasers surrounding the Kells display. At this point, your diversion should happen – a small dry ice and water explosion set off by one of the neighborhood teens that you paid off in weed and beer, perhaps – which will allow you to break the case and take the book. Remember to carefully replace it with a bag of sand that you brought with you, so as not to set off the weight detectors.

I leave the escape from the building as an exercise for the reader.

Or, if that’s too much trouble, you can go to the Trinity College website, where they have the whole thing digitized in high resolution. If you’re lazy, that is. Here’s the page I eventually ended up working from:

Book of Kells - Page 292v

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Ink Drop for March 2016

Okay, I need to get less lazy about these, or this’ll just be an Ink Drop blog. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

The Ink Drop from our good friends at Goulet Pens this month was “Monarch Madness,” which I’m given to understand is some kind of sports reference. That aside, however, it’s a set of five royal inks, all blues and purples that should serve you well. So let’s look at ’em!

2016.03 Ink Drop

Man, that got real feathery, didn’t it? It was done on paper meant for manga art, so maybe that doesn’t sit well with fountain pen inks. We learn a new thing every day.

Most of this is Diamine, which has been on a nice streak of inks recently. I’m going to a fountain pen show tomorrow, and will probably have my scanners set for Diamine so that I can buy more inks that I technically do not need. Huzzah!

Tyrian Purple is an interesting light purple, probably not one that I would use in an everyday fountain pen. That’s mostly because I don’t really want to write in purple, but your preferences may vary. Anyway, this is a very reddish-purple that is reminiscent of the ancient purple that got made from snails. Not a bad pedigree, so you might want to use it for that alone.

Imperial Purple is closer to what I think of as Purple – closer to blue than red, and something of the color of Grimace or grape soda. If purple ink is your thing, I’d say this is the way to go.

Of the three blues, I would use any of them in an everyday pen. Regency Blue is quite dark, but still blue enough to be classy and distinct. Majestic Blue is a little lighter, but still within the realm of respectability as a blue ink, and Noodler’s Kung Te-Cheng is the kind of faded blue that you would see on your classier type of Chinese porcelain. Any of these three will do you if you’re a blue ink writer.

So, overall a nice set of inks this month. Not sure which ones are going to get used in calligraphy – probably all of them at some point – but I do know I have to use better paper.

Thanks for stopping by!