Making a Calligraphy Pen from Bamboo
Pens suitable for Arabic calligraphy are made either of reed or bamboo. You can’t use pens bought at art stores because the nibs are cut in the wrong direction. Plus, walking around in marshes looking for reeds is cooler than going to Michael’s. I started with reeds but moved to bamboo because I like it more. Reeds take more work and they need to be sharpened and re-cut more frequently, but bamboo, with its hardness, keeps its shape and point longer. Sometimes with a reed it would do this annoying thing where if the reed was too wet it would scrape along the paper and split and spray ink all over.
These are the pens I use, and this is how I made the second largest from the end.
First, I use a chisel and snap-off razor to make and maintain any of the pens. The bamboo ones need to be cut with the chisel usually.
Make the first downward cut.
Now that its nicely curved and cut, its time to make the important cut, at a 45ish degree angle down from the left. I use another pen to remind myself every time I make a new one, because once I cut it the wrong direction and it was a big waste of time.
Now flip the pen over and bevel the top a bit to make the nib of the pen better for writing and less curved.
Now take the razor and trim the wings of the pen, take the flare off.
And thats it, you’re good to go.