MY dear friend MARLENE MAJESKI has refered to herself as inkyphingers for a while now and she had a mug made using that title and so of course I HAD TO copy her and have one made  that said INKYPHINGERS FRIEND


According to SPLIT COAST STAMPERS… I just found out why my gel pens seem to dry out while still full of ink…. I ASSUMED that laying them flay was the best way to store them…NOT SO…they recommend that you stand them up with the tip down SO THAT THE INK STAYS AT THE TIP… apparently the gel formula seperates and dries out when left lying flat for long periods of time….aaaarrrrggghhh SHOULDN’T IT HAVE SAID THAT ON THE PACKAGE..oh well NOW YOU KNOW.  


WELL maybe not everything but some basic info anyway,,,,So my greeting seemed appropriate since I want to share with you calligraphy’s great cartridge pen and the source of most of my INKYPHINGERS in the past.  For years there have been SHEAFFER CALLIGRAPHY CARTRIDGE PENS and there are a few nib sizes but while they are fine for everyday they never gave the fine hairlines that calligrapher’s are looking for or the crisp letter forms that we get with a dip pen.. then several years ago …not sure the exact date but PAPER AND INK ARTS introduced us to PILOT PARALLEL PENS….OMG…it set the calligraphers on fire …finally there was a calligraphy CARTRIDGE pen that would give us very close to the crisp letters done with a dip nib as well as incredible hairlines.  Here are pictures of the two that I use the most.

These are the two largest sizes but there are several more and in addition they keep adding new ones…I just saw that they have not a diagonal nib in several sizes… I am going to have to find out what they use those for as I have no idea except it could work sorta like a ruling pen so this is just to let you know that calligraphers definitely love these pens.  Each pen is approximately $10 and they cartridges in a wide selection of color plus you can refill used cartridges with any ink you want I like to use the walnut ink so I have cartridges filled with walnut ink.

I also know that several people don’t even bother with the cartridges but rather just fill the pen barrel with whatever medium they are wanting to use…including gouache (opaque watercolor) acrylic paint you name it and you can probably use it in these pens.  BRENDA BROADENT ( former owner oF PAPER & INK ARTS) still teaches classes in how and what to do with these pens.  If the FISHER PEN is the astronauts pen of choice for space then PILOT PARALLEL PENS are the calligrapher’s choice to carry with them.  Because mine are often in my purse when traveling by air I am chicken to carry them without a cartridge but with the cartridge even the ones I have refilled I have never ( knock on wood ) had them leak in my purse.

There is also a book called PARALLEL WIZARDRY (spelling correction thanks to LINDA O’NEIL she told me I left out the R…lol.. thanks girl)…that you can purchase which will show you how to clean them as well as all the ways you can use them I highly recommend you get that book along with at least one pen... I like writing large so I use my 6mm (largest) one the most but the smaller ones are also fun and allow you write smaller.

The pens and the book are available at both PAPER & INK ARTS as well asJOHN NEAL BOOKSELLER.

Needless to say they are great for use with the THICK & THIN script that I posted pervious to this one.

This is a HADDA HAVE pen and if you are just getting started in calligraphy or wanting to start I would recommend this pen because while it won’t replace the dip nib for truly commerical or formal calligraphy…. it does make one less area of stress for the beginner…no dripping…no spilled bottles of ink and it drags and sticks a lot less then a dip pen… If you really just getting started the ZIG CALLIGRAPHY FELT NIB  the double ended ones with a 1mm small end and a 5mm large end are even better for not sticking or dragging and throwing out ink blots they are also becoming harder and harder to find… seems Zig decided to change to a double end that is  2mm and 3 mm… the three is ok but I really like the 5mm end…especially for a beginner.. why you ask…well learning to write a a new script is always easier if you write it as large as possible so that you can compare it with the exemplar.  While you might want to write smaller later its best to learn AND PRACTICE LARGE…Then after you feel you have the script down you can start to downsize. Also The felt on these pens is soooooo much better than any other felt out there that you can even continue to use this pen and felt nib even after its out of ink…you can just dip can also dip both the PARALLEL nibs in ink if necessary.. Again a lot of this is noted in the booklet PARALLEL WIZARDY…and again I highly recommend you order that booklet along with the pen.  You can also dip the nib even if you have ink in the cartridge with exciting results of blending colors.. Don’t forget at least one box of multiple colors cartridges , you get both a black and a red with each pen but you are going to want these other colors and be sure to save empty cartridges for refilling with your own inks, paint etc…. I am telling you these PENS are to CALLIGRAPHY what THE IPOD is to MUSIC…

They have also come up with a few variations on the original sizes I have bought one of them and I am not pleased with it..its ok but it does scratch and I don’t feel that it slides over the paper as well as the original  nibs if you are beginner I recommend you stick to the original sizes.  My favorites are the 3.8mm and the 6mm shown above.

With all the info above I decided to play with coming up with a lowercase version of the THICK N’ THINS  so here it is for better or worse… if you come up with a better idea for any of my letter forms then please e mail them to me so I can share with others…



HUGE THANKS  AGAIN TO BRENDA BROADBENT FOR FINDING AND MAKING THEM AVAILABLE TO US and continued thanks to PAPER & INK ARTS for their continued discovery of new ways to use them and new sizes and styles.   TRUST ME YOU NEED AT LEAST ONE OF THESE THEN DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT…

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY...wireheaded cyber toad…aka inkphinkers friend…aka kath



2 thoughts on “PARALLEL PENS

    • Jude sorry it took so long but if you Contact JOHN NEAL BOOKSELLER you can ask them if there are left handed parallel pens…I do know that they sill left handed nibs…but not sure about the pens…think you would just have to figure out how to write with them yourself.

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