Woes of a Lefty Letterer.

I bought a calligraphy set a couple of months ago - I'm pretty sure for the second or third time in my life.  I remember being given fountain pens and playing around with chisel tip markers, and it wasn't until this go 'round that I figured out one big problem : the companies making these pens hate lefties.  

Take a close look someday at the angle on the tip of that pen and the angle of most calligraphy.  Matches-up right?  Right.  So when you're left-handed and you grab 'hold of that pen holder and dip the nib on ink and gracefully move your arm across the paper, here's what happens : 1) the paper tears, 2) you get one thick line, not the graceful strokes that vary from thick to thin, or 3) (this is my favorite) the nib drags or stutters across the paper and ink splatters everywhere.   The smooth curves and extensions that look like ribbons work beautifully if you're using your right wrist to drag the hand across the paper.  Being left-handed (and apparently whiny), you're shoving your hand across the paper hoping that it looks pretty.  Psh.

After some serious googling, convinced that it couldn't possibly be ME behind this mess of linework on my paper, I found a lot of calligraphers with some pretty horrendous advice, like "curve your wrist around so you're actually coming at the paper from the opposite side" or "try learning to use your right hand."  Right - the solution to pretty handwriting is to nearly break your wrist or change your dominant hand all-together.  Helpful.


Long story short (even though you've already read the long story), I bought a left-handed calligraphy set, which has been hit or miss and needs a lot more practice, and some beautiful brush tip pens to play with at whatever oblique angle I choose.  I can't put them down.  It's becoming an obsession.  

In the future I will master this - I know I will..... OR, I'll give-up, stash the set in a drawer, and buy another one a year from now once I've forgotten about this ordeal thinking, "I should try calligraphy..."