The Pen of Ages

 

During the Golden Age of Penmanship (1860-1930) masters and teachers of this art recognized that before one can effectively put pen to paper, they must first learn how to properly put hand to pen.

The proper pen grip, posture and technique were vital to the success of all penman. In fact, many devices were put in place to ensure the correctness of these factors, some of which are uncomfortable to even look at. Uncomfortable though they were, they ensured proper form and function of the hand and posture overall with the promise of beautiful execution. Studying the history of proper pen grip, I thought to myself, ‘there must be a better way,’ and thus, my dedication to improvement began.

 


The Royal Sleeve Protector

Above photos from Vintage Penmanship Gadgets compiled by Dr. Joseph M Vitolo at http://www.zanerian.com/Gadgets.html

 'Cream In My Coffee' JW Ergonomic Oblique© created from resin.

 

The performance and aesthetics of this penholder work together to create a tool for all penman looking to improve their craft and excel in the art form. Everyone who takes this pen in hand will discover three facets of this unique writing tool...

Facet No. 1

Formed to Fit the Hand

This certainly isn’t a new idea but simply an improvement upon the tools for modern penman. The pen and writer should not act as a peg-in-a-hole scenario, but rather a pen should feel custom made. The specific shape of the Jake Weidmann Ergonomic Oblique Penholder © was designed to fit the grip of any penman in the most natural way - a pen to hold that holds you back.


Upon holding this pen, the finger placement is instinctual; the
form of the pen encourages the function of the pen. The index finger is always placed on top (refer to the advertisements above and photo below), the thumb gently cradling alongside with the palm at ease, all in line and to encourage full-arm and muscular movement. With its ergonomic shape, it distributes pressure across all major contact points with the hand, resulting in less fatigue and hand-cramp, and even alleviating the symptoms of arthritic pain.

 

 

Photo retrieved from Dr. Joseph M Vitolo at Zanerian.com

'Wild Blue Yonder' JW Ergonomic Oblique© created from resin.

 

Facet No. 2

Based on the Grip of Masters

Through the process of attaining the title of Master Penman, I employed trial and error as my curriculum. Dissatisfied with the widely available calligraphy pens in the market (and believe me, I’ve tried them all), I began to concept my ideal pen, resulting in my long-developed, steadily perfected design that you see today. The dynamic ergonomic shape is derived from the stuff of legend as it dynamically emulates the grip of celebrated masters. The proper grip elevates penman to the highest level of execution. Made to perform, this pen does just that. 

 

Photo by Steve Stanton at my studio. 


Photos compiled by Dr. Joseph M Vitolo at Zanerian.com 

Facet No. 3

Pen and Writer Become One

            While the ergonomic shape elevates the execution of working penman today, it also acts as a training tool for amateurs. The ergonomic design brings the orientation of the pen and hand into alignment and gently reminds its writer where to place each finger, breeding correctness and success as it puts bad habits to death and informs the right ones.

Photos compiled by Dr. Joseph M Vitolo at Zanerian.com

JW Ergonomic Oblique© created from black and white ebony.

 

            This ergonomic oblique penholder, in its three unique facets, serve as homage to the Golden Age penmen and is the baton of tradition being passed to modern calligraphers in order that a dying art form might live to see another generation flourish and thrive in the beauty of writing by hand.

 

All of my Jake Weidmann Ergonomic Oblique Penholders © are available for purchase on Wednesdays at 9:00am MST at http://www.jakeweidmann.com/collections/penholders

 

 

 

 

A special thank you to Dr. Joseph M. Vitolo for permission of use of photographs and reference to his website, Zanerian.com


14 Comments

Roger Fahmer
Roger Fahmer

September 06, 2016

How can I become the proud owner of one of your ergonomic pen holders?

Judi L'Hommedieu
Judi L'Hommedieu

March 14, 2016

Hi, Jake. You do what I have wanted to do ever since I was a little girl and won a national handwriting award for cursive in third grade. Your pen looks like it is an answer I have been looking for. However, I am further handicapped by the fact that I am left-handed. Can you make one of these pens for a left-handed person? I look forward to hearing from you.
Shalom – Judi

Angela
Angela

January 22, 2016

Do you teach lessons to develop youth?

Aaron Albert
Aaron Albert

October 25, 2015

I have been trying to learn how to write with a dip pen for a few weeks now. I’m not doing anything right. I can’t seem to get any ink to stay in the pen (I don’t get one letter out), and I’ve gone through 12 nibs in less than half as many days. What am I doing wrong?

Bill
Bill

October 25, 2015

Will this pen work for a lefty?

ALFEL Dan
ALFEL Dan

October 14, 2015

Perfection. I want to know more about that and to write as good as you. Oh, …

Sandra Shotts
Sandra Shotts

October 03, 2015

I have 16 yo daughter who has become your biggest fan. She wants to become Master Pensman someday. Savannah was born hearing impaired. She wears hearing aides, currently has 4.0 GPA. Is interested in pensmanship. Any suggestions for college classes that will help her and are there any scholarships that you are aware of? What would be good pen, or starter kit that is not too expensive that I can possibly get her as a Christmas gift.

Lucas Nguyen
Lucas Nguyen

September 28, 2015

Hi Jake,

My name is Lucas Nguyen. I am currently a medical student at the University of Iowa. Since I was a child, my parents and especially my teacher had trained me tremendously to appreciate the value of the good handwriting, and I truly believe that a handwriting is the best indication of one’s personality.

I am always in awe when I see a great calligraphy art work, and always wanted to take a class to learn this lost art. However, as you would expected, there are not many classes available for this form of art, and the online material is not very good and efficient. Plus, with the heavy schedule of a pre-med, and now med student, I did not have a lot of time to do my own research and practice with this art. I still maintain a good handwriting and is frequently joked on by my colleagues since I dont have the signature “doctor handwriting”, hahaha, and I usually tell them I’ll be the first doctor with good handwriting.

I am currently taking anatomy at school, and it requires a lot of drawing and notating, and plus I am required to have a personal activity for relaxation. After seeing your TED talk, I thought that I could combine this art into my anatomy class to make beautiful drawing and annotation. If this work out, I planned on making this an activity at school for my fellow classmate as a stress reducer. I would like to start somewhere but I dont have any clue on how to pick out a pen holder/ink/nib. Do you have any suggestion? I would love to purchase a pen holder that you made, but it seems like they are all sold out. Do you plan to restock them so I can purchase one in the future?

Thank you very much for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.

Lucas Nguyen

Janet Peters
Janet Peters

September 24, 2015

Jake, you have a spelling error in your second paragraph… should be “devices” not “devises.”

Cheryl Mravec
Cheryl Mravec

September 24, 2015

I am in awe of your work! I share it with my art students and it always generates fear and excitement when I tell them they will complete a piece of art inspired by your work. I also have a certificate given to my grandfather when he was 15(in May of 1915) for him accomplishing the Palmer Method of Business Writing. My students are 14 and 15 and love the connection and comparisons. A question, will your pens work for a left handed writer?

June Nessler
June Nessler

September 23, 2015

I have a Jake Weidmann pen and it is a true work of art. Beautiful wood, beautiful work of art.

Dana Bradley
Dana Bradley

September 23, 2015

I would love to have this ergonomic pen. Looks so comfortable!

John Summers
John Summers

September 23, 2015

Is the penholder available in different sizes? At 6’7" I have rather large hands, and I’m sure the diminutive amongst us will have the opposite requirement.
I did notice your work in the Apple iPad Pro launch.
Thank you for being so inspiring and creative.
John

Alan Rossiter
Alan Rossiter

September 23, 2015

Looks good Jake(the JW Ergonomic Oblique“Wild Blue Yonder”)but I’m thinking it’s expensive.
Especially since I live in Western Australia and I doubt if you have selling agents here.So,I
suppose I would need to buy one direct from you,plus p&h.Break it to me gently Jake,how
much would I be up for?
Regards,
Alan.

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