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.
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.
|Subscribe online and save 29%|
|Subscribe to Creative Review and access the entire CR online back catalogue plus regular subscriber only content…|