Saturday, December 15, 2012

Vintage Pens Giveaway

I never stop collecting items associated with the history of books and writing, both for my own pleasure and to share at workshops and presentations. Recently I discovered two vintage boxes of William Mitchell's Pens in a local shop. As you can see, the top of the box is embossed and inside there are twelve nibs and a handle. I hope someone will tell me their likely production date.

So, as a token of thanks to all writing and calligraphy friends, cyberscribes, blog and website visitors, schools at which I have conducted workshops, people who I have interested... I'll give one of these boxes away (99% pristine - a small fragment of the lid's side needs reattaching). Just add a comment to go into the draw. I hope you'll also consider following this blog.

To save getting the parcel lost in the seasonal mail, I'll make the draw on Jan 1st.

I also have another promotion - this time, in association with my latest book, 'Calligraphy for Greetings Cards and Scrapbooking'.

It has an enormous amount in it to teach calligraphy skills and using them for any purpose. It's for adults and older children and covers tools and equipment, alphabets, spacing letters and words, layout and design, creative letters (cut, decorated, embossed, pop-up and more), trails and borders, mass producing and printing cards and invitations, envelope design... and there's a gallery section of inspirational work by a variety of craftspeople. It's been beautifully designed and the publisher, GMC Publications.

It's available or able to be ordered from all bricks and mortar bookstores and online retailers worldwide.

As reviews help to sell books and I’m dependent on royalties, which won’t be payable until about 2,000 more copies are sold (mid- to end 2013??), I’m doing a promotion. If anyone who visits here, or any of your friends or blog readers chooses to buy a copy, after they have added a review on the retailer’s website or in a Guild/Society/industry newsletter, teacher's or librarians' journal/newsletter or similar, I will calligraph and decorate a name of their choice and snail mail it (they email me the details to Peter (at) I’ll keep this offer open until I have 10 reviews on each website, and one in each of a large number of relevant journals and newsletters.

Enjoy celebrating your seasonal festivities and wishing you Peace, Love and Joy throughout 2013 and every year,

Peter Taylor
Writing for Children



letterlady said...

Hi, Peter! I don't think I've seen those nibs before. I'll definitely follow your blog. I took your book to my demo today as one of the references. Merry Christmas to you!

Anonymous said...

Peter, these are wonderful. I collect old tins, bottles and boxes and never cease to feel the presence of history within. Enjoy the vibration and the experience of holding these precious ones in your hands.
In France, this year, I bought a framed copperplate text from a 1915 schoolbook that the woman in the second-hand shop had had made up in a frame alongside nibs from ink quills. I love it and every time I see it hanging on my office wall, it takes me beyond my time in France and back to that school-room via the shop-owner’s story of workbooks that so fortuitously came into her hands through an elderly person in her village. From her to me and any other very lucky shopper that chanced upon them around that time. She showed me several of the original workbooks, secreted in her drawer, and I recognised them as authentic and not some mass-produced copy. My pleasure flows still beyond the tangible connection to the era of my own novel's story.
Thank you and best wishes,

Stutleytales said...

aofheek I didn't know anyone still used fountain pens until I went to see a neurosurgeon a couple of weeks ago, and he wrote all his notes and referrals with a fountain pen. His writing was still unreadable, but it sure looked beautiful :) Enjoy your pens, Peter.

sumarki said...

Good morning, Peter. Please place my name in your drawing. You are very generous. Susan Kipp

Rannie said...

Been following the remarks on design and layout as I am most interested in the topic. I have been studying Copperplate for about a year and am now getting beyond the basics of letter form and into layout and design rather than just writing for practice. I will be looking into your book, as I think it would be of value to me!

Jim Davis said...

Peter, I shall look forward to reading your book. Please add my name to the drawing. Thanks, Jim Davis

Judith Hicks said...

Hello Peter, Sure would like to be considered in your drawing. Thanks so much. Merry Christmas from So. California.

Trish Taylor said...

Peter... what a wonderful offer for you to do this. I am always looking for new nibs to add to my repertoire. I hope that I am the lucky draw. I will be following your blog, for sure. Thank you for this opportunity and Happy Holidays.... this giving spirit of yours is so noble and becoming. I just might do the same with some of my "overstock". Thank you again and again!
Austin, TX

Annabel said...

Oh, Peter, I feel slightly guilty that I adore the tin almost as much as its contents... but I do :) Still, the nibs are much more practical :)

Thanks for this offering! Please count me in for the drawing.


AndreaP said...

Peter, hello. This is what I love: I love to draw. I've been drawing with fine pens for years... one of my idols is Edward Gorey. I don't usually win things, but if I land these nibs, they will not sit idly by in a drawer.
Best thoughts for the holidays.. Andrea

June said...

Such a beautiful box of nibs! I love to use dip pens when I illustrate, though my handwriting has deteriorated since computers and emailing.... hmmm, time to get out the pens and start writing real letters on paper again :)
Wouldn't it be nice if we could all show our handwriting when making our comments... though maybe some would be too difficult to read!
Good luck with your book reviews, and best wishes for the holidays and the new year ahead.

ArtsyOne said...

These look fabulous and would make an excellent addition to the calligraphy display I am planning to show in my local library showcase in March. Hope I get lucky to win.

Neil said...

Hello, Peter. I would also like to be added to the draw, please. And I'll happily follow your blog, since it looks so approachable. I'm a perennial beginner in calligraphy, but I do want to keep at it. Maybe you'll be my inspiration.

Cheers from snowy Regina, Canada!

Rick Draffin said...

I too am a lover of aged writing materials especially nibs. Your blog looks interesting and I have your book on Practical Calligraphy and find it easy to use. cheers
Richard also in snow Canada

Peter Taylor said...

All I did was make and send the last of my Christmas cards, and now I'm way behind in replying. Thank you all so much for visiting and for your comments.

Letterlady: The number of kinds of metal nibs that were made is unbelievable. But did you know they also made throw-away quill nibs from feathers, looking just the same as the metal ones, to fit into fancy pen-holders? I found one only today in the bottom of my great-grandfather's writing box.

Oh yes, Chris, I definitely feel the connection with people who have owned things before, and their era, and I am very loathe to get rid of things that belonged to now deceased family members and especially those of generations ago that I never met. I feel a presence. But the house is looking a bit cluttered. May the words flow in writing your new novel.

And when things are written with a pliant nib, you can feel the emotion of the writer. Don't you find an attraction to books where the text, or notes in the margins,are hand written? I hope the neurosurgeon's writing gave an impression of assurance that all will be well, Studleytales.

Susan, Judith, Artsyone ...I know these will go to a good home amongst this community. Thanks for visiting and entering.

I'm pleased you are enjoying your copperplate, Rannie; and Neil - I believe that sometimes you just need to relax and enjoy the of rhythm in writing calligraphy by hand and use the skills that you have to design and produce a work full of your own imagination and feeling. Don't just practice letter shapes and straight lines of writing. In many medieval manuscripts, not all letters are a perfect shape, but the beauty comes from the overall effect.

Jim and others - I hope my new book gives many ideas for all kinds of ways calligraphy can be used, apart from cardmaking and scrapbooking, and that it will encourage people of every age and standard to experiment, try new things and have fun doing so. Many thanks for buying my other one, Rick, and for your kind comment. The publishers of the new one have done a totally amazing job in its imaginative design and printing. It's a great price at present on and if you are eligible for free delivery.

Yes, Trish, Annabel and Andrea - it's good to look at objects, and this box is wondrous, but the nibs were certainly made to use. Maximum enjoyment from a Ferrari is travelling in it, so I'm told.

Yes, June, handwriting is so interesting. Mine starts tidy, but is never maintained that way for long. Calligraphy is totally different - that's drawing letters to make each as close as possible to what is visualised as being perfect for that location.

Now, what technique shall I use to make the draw? It will be totally random - I wish I had a box of these for each of you.

Happy Christmas!

(It rained overnight but the sun is shining bright, so I guess we'll steam in Brisbane today at temperatures about 30 degrees Centigrade, feel languid as we sit in pools of sweat, wonder if we'll manage to sleep tonight, and dream of the delights of cold weather. But I've never experienced minus whatever large number you get in Canada...

terryb646 said...

The nibs are beautiful. Please throw my name in the drawing. I can't have a chance if I'm not in the drawing.
Thanks Peter and I wish you wonderful Holidays.

Peter Taylor said...

I'm just adding one more name to the mix - Josie Montano, who left a comment on my Facebook post and wants to enter.

Da, da - I'm preparing for the draw and I'll make a YouTube video of it, which should be fun.

Bear with me...

Peter Taylor said...

OK I'll cut the suspense. The video's taken and I will post it as soon as I can, but I'm waiting for my daughter's boyfriend to add a new card to my computer before I can upload it from my camera to edit it it.

The winner is AndreaP, so email me your snail mail address please, Andrea, to Peter at

...And I already have two interesting items lined up for later in the year, so stay tuned and please follow the blog.

With many thanks for visiting and taking part

Peter Taylor