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Re: lefty's

Well, thanks Jim. It's all in how you hold the pen...which is why people
were strict about using your right hand...the angle "makes" the letter.
Hard to do that with your left hand. It can be done, but it is a LOT
more difficult to do.

james singer <jsinger@igc.org> wrote:

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 

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)
> Jess
Island Jim
Southwest Florida
Zone 10
27.0 N, 82.4 W

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