June 11, 2014

My Favorite Scribble Sheet

        Whenever I write with a fountain pen, I try to keep the writing surface of the paper clean by placing another sheet of paper over it, a surface upon which I can rest my hand as I write.  The bottom part of the writing surface can get soiled with skin oils by the time you get to it, and that can interfere with the transfer of ink to the paper.  I sometimes use these covering sheets to scribble and doodle upon, or to take notes, or to clean trapped fibers from the nib of the pen.  Hence, I refer to them as “Scribble Sheets”.  Sometimes after they have been filled with notes and scribbles, I can’t bear to throw them away because they are delightful, little calligraphic gems, albeit minor ones.  This is one of my favorites because I somehow managed to maintain the calligraphic ductus of the writing throughout the piece, and over such a long period of time, and in four directions.  You can turn it around on either side, or upside down, and it still looks good.  It’s executed mostly with Waterman’s Washable Blue in different states of concentration and dehydration in the pen, but there are also some other colors thrown in for contrast and visual effect.  You can also see the yellowing of the paper from the soiling caused by too much touching with oily fingertips.  It started off as a discarded title page from a computer print out, and some disorganized scribbles and notes centered around the upside down title, but it quickly evolved into a symmetrical doodle with rectilinear and parallel and perpendicular sides.  It was all done with my favourite numbers and letters and scribbles that I use when testing a new nib, or fountain pen, or ink, or paper.  I didn’t measure anything, and did it all by eye, and it was finished when I ran out of paper on all four sides at exactly the same time.  Here is the holograph text.  It’s written in what I like to call my Kovalingian minuscule, a cursive script written with a very fine italic nib.


George Kovalenko.