[Scriptoris] cutting feather quills

Hillary Greenslade hillaryrg at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 6 15:54:37 PDT 2006

I would also recommend the articles by the reenactment group 'Regia Anglorum' at: 

Also, there is a very nice article about quill cutting by Donald Jackson in the blue cover issue
of the 'Calligraphers Handbook'. If you don't have the book, let me know, I can get a copy of the
article for you. 

I've never used kitchen sheers to cut a nib, I learned by using a pen-knife, and have also used
exacto-knives;  I'd recommend even a good paring knife to sheers.   If you are using purchased
turkey feathers, the Calligraphers Handbook recommends that the feathers be soaked several hours
(I generally do overnight), to soften the barrel of the quill, which is like a fingernail, and
becomes pliable when soaked - and that may give you a better way to cut the quill without it being
brittle.  Once soaked, then you dry it in heat over a candle flame like Regia recommends, or by
sticking the quill in hot sand.  Then you cut.  I've had brittle issues with feathers if I don't
use the above process.  

For Ansteorra and Knowne World Heraldic Symposium, I'm working on having someone teach a class on
quill cutting, come this June and July.  

Cheers, Hillary

--- Jennifer Smith <jds at randomgang.com> wrote:
> You might check out this website
> http://www.redwulf.info/quill_instructions.htm for information and pictures
> of how to cut the quill. 
> -Emma>  
> > -----Original Message-----
> > On Behalf Of HL Lucia Piazetta
> > I have a quick question for this group, as I'm NOT a 
> > calligrapher by any standards:
> > I just purchased some turkey feathers to try making some 
> > feather quill pens.  I was wondering if anyone has any tricks 
> > or tips on cutting them into good pen tips.  <snip> > 
> > -Lucia

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