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Have you ever seen a Mitchell Scroll Writer Nib?

September 16, 2016

William Mitchell's Scroll Writer England_Penshot

I bought these pen nibs over in Manchester. We popped into an excellent local store – who’s name I should have written down – (someone will remind me) (edit: H.Blyth and Co) – and I picked them up on a whim. I love the dual-line they make! Great for shading twice as fast with a dipping pen :)

They’re branded William Mitchell’s Scroll Writer and come in sizes marked as 10 point increments between 10 and 50. (Not sure if that’s millimeters of gap? Whatever).

Point is – they’re a lot of fun!

William Mitchell's Scroll Writer (2) copy

You can see the effect used in the roof of this block of British council houses. I just get a kick out of the fact you get twice as many lines for ever stroke. Double your normal drawing speed! (hah).

William Mitchell's Scroll Writer (1) copy

William Mitchell's Scroll Writer (3) copy

I used them here in the shading on this bizarre piece of machinery from the Manchester Museum of Science and Technology. I didn’t even bother learning what these black iron hulks did. I only had time to sketch their crazy shapes.

William Mitchell's Poster Pen copy

William Mitchell's Poster Pen_Penshot

This one is the William Mitchell Poster Pen. Also available in a variety of sizes. This is the biggest nib I have that is not a steel brush. I can’t wait to try this out on some gesture drawing classes.

The Mancunian shop we visited sold nibs and holders al la carte. I haven’t seen these nibs around locally – but I can’t say I’ve looked too hard.

For now I see they can be had online from The Great Calligraphy Catalog – or there is a box set on Amazon (*affiliate link – thanks) that has a few scroll writers included in a grab bag selection. No doubt you’ll find them in plenty of other places as well.  Have fun trying these out if you find some!



17 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2016 7:57 AM

    I never knew there were such varied nibs. Seems you stumbled into an artist’s candy store. And your sketches are great as usual…

  2. September 16, 2016 8:30 AM

    Marc,you are definitely the master of pens, and pen and ink drawings.Your work is amazing.

  3. September 16, 2016 9:00 AM

    FYI about what the numbers mean ..

  4. September 16, 2016 4:13 PM

    Marc….thankyou for all that information……..that’s rather a nice pen holder too….the black and white marbled one…did you get that too in this store or is this in your own collection?

    • September 16, 2016 10:21 PM

      Hey Ethna – Thats a wooden nib holder marked “e+h germany”. I did get the silver marbled one in the UK, but I have a raw wood and pebbled black version purchased in Montreal, so think they’re widely available.

  5. September 16, 2016 11:26 PM

    ……and yes, of course….nib holder…not pen holder! :)

  6. September 18, 2016 11:25 AM

    Interesting usual love your sketches

  7. September 19, 2016 1:46 PM

    Marc, How do you balance your materials when you use ink while sketching on location? Spilling ink on something is far more disastrous than watercolors.

  8. Paul Sibley permalink
    September 19, 2016 3:00 PM

    Marc, I love the way you use the dual nib to sketch the roof tiles. I read you are coming to Ireland soon, there is a David Hockney exhibition in Belfast at the moment, just in case you are near. Love your loose work. Paul

  9. Dave Roberts permalink
    September 22, 2016 2:00 PM

    H. Blyth & Co. in Stevenson Square possibly?

  10. September 30, 2016 2:56 PM

    Glad to know about that nib. I inherited a ton of dip pen nibs and handles that belonged to my wife’s grandfather. Once I took a quick look, sure enough I have one like your Mitchell nib. Mine is branded a “F. Soennecken, Germany, 40” but otherwise looks pretty similar to yours. And now, I am off to try it. Thanks for the post! Best – John


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