UK oblique pen holders for all calligraphy budgets
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.
£54.95 (Buy online)
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.
Scribblers now has a wide array of oblique holders ranging from £2.50 to £54.95, so there's a selection for many budgets.
English Pen Crafts oblique pen holder
Approx £40–£110 (buy online)
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.
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.
Russian based calligrapher, Anton, and his team, have created these bold, beautiful ergonomic oblique holders. I first gave the 'Alien' holder a try, but it was alas not the best shape for my hand. Anton kindly provided this sleek, streamlined 'Shark' as an alternative and it has fast become a favourite, especially for my modern calligraphy script with the Brause 361 Pumpkin nib.
£44.99 (buy online)
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.
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."
£125+ (buy online)
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)
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.