CR Blog

Jim Woodring and his Nibbus Maximus

Art, Illustration

Posted by Mark Sinclair, 5 January 2011, 15:10    Permalink    Comments (4)

Jim Woodring, creator of the psychedelic Frank comic books, recently finished work on a seven foot long ink pen and will be wielding his Nibbus Maximus this Saturday at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle...

The hand-engraved, brass-plated steel pen nib is truly a thing of inky beauty. And it really works, too. At 16 inches long it will be fixed atop a laquered wooden handle to make a rather intimidating drawing implement.

Apparently, getting the surface tension right so that the nib holds the ink and deploys it on the paper correctly proved the biggest challenge. As a result Woodring is using a specially formulated acrylic ink in order to get a good ten feet of line with each dip (a vase doubles up as an inkwell).

Here's Woodring testing an early prototype model of the pen nib. The final steel nib (above) has a much smoother, polished point but the results from this test run – essentially 11 and a half wavy lines – suggest that he'll probably be able to come up with something rather special this weekend when he works on a pad measuring four foot by six. And no doubt has a bit of practice.

As Woodring says at the end of the above clip, the test has been a "very slightly qualified success and the naysayers have been put to rout." If anyone gets down to see him draw big on January 9, then do let us know.

Via BoingBoing.

Regulation pen-and-ink supplies will be on hand for interested audience members to use; instruction will be provided for beginners by members of Seattle's Friends of the Nib. The Giant Pen was built with finds raised through United States Artists Special Projects, 2010. The Nibbus Maximus will be in action from 1pm-4pm on January 9 at the Skinner Auditorium, Gage Academy of Art, 1501 10th Avenue East, Seattle.


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Why, my American chums, do you feel the need to make larger versions of very unremarkable everyday objects; balls of string, balls of rubber bands, cowboy boots, chickens, pineapples, pens? Are you trying to compensate for something lacking elsewhere?
2011-01-06 13:35:15

@Curator - Having read that comment, it appears that all we humble Americans are lacking is a sense of vaguely douchey superiority.
2011-01-06 20:59:52

You have us there, fine sir.
I suspect it is a huge case of Monarch Envy.
2011-01-07 04:59:38

...and a sense of humour evidently, dear Amurrican chum.
2011-01-11 18:12:55

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