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Re: lefty's


When I was in college, I bought a printshop to make a little pocket money [the GI Bill wasn't enough to buy the beer, too]. This was a hand-set printshop. When you handset type [wonder if anyone does anymore?] you set the type upside down and backward in a contraption called a "stick," which is definitely a gadget for the right-handed. You hold the stick in your left hand, hold the type in place with your left thumb, and select and place new letters with your right hand.

After doing this for awhile, and making a tad surplus over the beer bill, I got interested in antique type and purchased two large collections--one, a font of dingbats; the other, several fonts of "Polipholus" [a type designed in the 1800 to resemble the Roman type used by Aldus Minutinus] and several fonts of the matching italic, "Blado" [which was originally designed by Aldus--it was, in fact the invention of italic. Aldus, who was basically a bookseller, invented italic so he could get more words on a page in his books and, thereby, cut the cost of paper. Apparently, the cost of paper during the Renaissance was a killer].

Cut to the chase. I can't mess about with something like type faces without having a strong desire to create one. So I purchased calligraphy pens--only to discover that I'm a real klutz with pen and ink in either hand. So your achievement, Jesse, is cool. Maybe, double cool.

On Friday, June 25, 2004, at 10:21 AM, Jesse Bell wrote:

I was ambidextrous as a kid - MAJORLY - when I colored, I had a crayon
in both hands, when I drew a picture, I had a pencil in my right hand
and a crayon in the left. When I used Play-Dough..I would shape and mold
with both hands...then I went to kindergarten. They would not allow me
to draw, write or cut with my left hand...so there ya go. Why do people
CARE? When I asked my grandfather, who did calligraphy and copperplate,
he said it was because the pens they used back then were designed for
the right hand, like scissors, and to make or convert one of the pens
for the left hand was just considered a hassle and because they used ink
in a bottle, if you used your left hand (we right from left to right) it
would smear the ink before it was dry. And penmanship was a major deal
back then. Regular handwriting was a work of art and they were graded on
it. Now that three year olds are using the computer most of that has
gone by the wayside. And...by the way...I was taught

calligraphy, Spencerian and copperplate by an 80 year old master who
used to design the diplomas that hang on the walls (he did them by hand
and had them reproduced). When I do envelopes and such, I just doodle
and use crappy old calligraphy pens...but I have some artwork and
calligraphy (illumination with 14K gold on it) that I did when I worked
with him...and one of the pieces now hangs in Morocco...in the palace.
Kind of cool, huh? LOL (just some trivial info for ya'll)

Island Jim
Southwest Florida
Zone 10
27.0 N, 82.4 W

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  • Follow-Ups:
    • Re: lefty's
      • From: "Richard T. Apking" <richa@midlands.net>
    • Re: lefty's
      • From: Jesse Bell <silverhawk@flash.net>
  • References:

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