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UK handmade oblique pen holders for all calligraphy budgets

UK handmade oblique pen holders for all calligraphy budgets

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If you’re in the UK and on the hunt for oblique pen holders a step above the standard plastic Speedball oblique holder (which ain’t a bad little tool, might I add), you might feel you’re out of luck.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was scouring the web for something a little more unique, elegant and handmade (having seen the fantastic work of our US counterparts such as Unique Obliques). Finally, I’m starting to see more of a range available to UK calligraphers for varying budgets.

Here are a range of holders that I know are available at the moment. I’m sure there may be more out there, and I’ll update as I find them. Feel free to let me know of any via the comments.

*NOTE: this blog post was originally posted in 2016, and has since been updated to include other oblique holders now available in the UK.


Scribblers was the first on the scene with its US Yoke collaboration, so I put my hard earned pennies towards that. Meantime, I’ll admire Chic Oblique’s and English Pen Crafts oblique pen holders from my computer screen. Please let me know if you do buy/own any of these. I’d love to see some pictures and hear how they’re going for you.

English Pen Crafts oblique pen holder

Approx £40–£110 (buy online)

English Pen Crafts oblique pen holder

Melanie is a local UK calligrapher who has turned her hand to holder turning. They’re in demand so tough to get a hold of, but I spotted one in the hands of Rosella Garavaglia at a recent Spencerian calligraphy workshop. It was a lot lighter than I expected, with a lovely long length that reminded me of an elegant cigarette holder without the associated health hazards.

Rosella Garavaglia's English Pen Crafts oblique pen holder

English Pen Crafts holders are handmade from wood, brass and maple with reviewers highlighting how much nicer the quality wood feels as an upgrade from the plastic, and commending that they are so lovingly packaged.

Penman Direct

£44.99 (buy online)

Roger Mayeda's oblique pen holder available in the UK via Penman Direct

One of my favourite calligraphy suppliers, Penman Direct, has teamed up with US artisan, Rodger Mayeda (from Rodger’s Pen Box). This one is highly sought after, being a favourite of guru calligraphy blogger, Lindsey Bugbee of The Postman’s Knock. While it’s not a UK-made option, it’s a help to avoiding those customs taxes when it’s coming from a local UK supplier.

Scribblers Classic oblique pen holder

£54.95 (buy online)

Scribblers and Yoke Co. collaboration for oblique pen holder

Scribblers teamed up with US Yoke Pen Company to deliver this oak finished dip pen holder, Scribblers Classic. Technically not handmade in the UK, but one of the first I found available locally at least. I own this one, and definitely enjoy its smooth texture and feel, and how nice it is to move the nib about.

Chic Oblique handmade oblique pen holders

£60–£100+ (buy online)

Oblique pen holder from Chic Oblique

I got a heads up via Instagram (thanks to @metamorfosiuno) about these UK oblique holder creation from Edward Curran (@curran_calligraphy).

Currently, Chic Obliques holders are well out of my price range, but they look to be great quality and very creative and unique.

“You will receive a very unique pen … created by hand using a wide variety of materials, from exotic woods and Acrylics to everything in between. The flanges are cut and shaped by hand to fit each individual oblique pen holder.”

Tom’s Studio

£125+ (buy online)

Tom's Studio oblique pen holder featuring solid copper

All the girls go crazy for…

I found out about Tom’s Studio oblique calligraphy pen holder from a Facebook group I recently joined. I’ve seen this one posted in the group a couple of times. Personally, I’m happy enough with something that will get the job done (read: Speedball and Yoke are my go-to holders at the moment), I appreciate the appeal of this sexy little number with its sleek copper tail.

Blots Pen & Ink Supplies

£30 (buy online)

Oblique holder, nibs and ink available from Blots, Pen & Ink supplies

This teak offering from Blots, Pen and Ink Supplies is great value as a calligraphy starter kit: at £30, the holder is supplied with 10 nibs and a wide-necked jar of Blots Iron Gall ink. You can also buy the teak oblique holder on its own for £16.50, or check out all of Blots holders to see if something takes your fancy.

Share your oblique holder experience

I’m looking forward to hearing from you if you own any of these pens. Feel free to share in the comments below, or send me an email and I’ll update the with your thoughts here.

— Kate

8 comments

Scarlet

They’ve taken too long to come for me, I now can’t remember how to write with an oblique… my purse is very pleased about this.
Those Chic Obliques look gorgeous though.
Sx

    Studio Team

    I hear you, Scarlet. There’s something to be said (in a blog post all its own) for simplicity of a straight holder!

Saron

Thanks Kate,
It’s nice to know that there are now a few artisans in the UK making these, which means no more import duty.
When I started out and that was all of 6 months ago, the only thing that I could get hold of was a Speedball, but then ETSY was a turning point for me.
Oh by the way, Paul uses a straight holder for his Copperplate and like Scarlet they both produce spectacular work.

    Scarlet

    Aww… thank you, Saron, although I feel that Paul’s work is slightly more spectacular than mine!
    Sxx

Sarah

Hi!

It’s so nice that we’re starting to get a better variety of penholders. Penman direct have started selling Rodger Mayeda pens, which were previously only available in the US. It costs around £40 I think.

    Studio Team

    Hi Sarah! I’m so sorry I didn’t see your comment for an ENTIRE year! I’ve just been looking at Penman’s stock of Rodger’s holder…looks like ready to go in Feb 2017 so will definitely be adding to this page now — along with another couple I’ve found since. xx

Matthew Bowen

Hi Kate,

Great post – sorry i’m a bit late to the party! I just wanted to add that Tom Gyr (from Tom’s Studio) is now offering courses on how to make his pens via Skill Shop (https://skill-shop.com/collections/all-lessons/products/copper-or-brass-pen) giving calligraphers the option to own and work with a self-crafted and totally bespoke oblique pen holder. Give me a shout if you want more info!

Cheers,
Matt

    Studio Team

    Fantastic! Thanks for sharing this, Matt.

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