Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ................................................................................................................painting by Katie Bergenholtz

How to Make a Quill Pen

To make your own quill pen, you need to find a feather that is about 12 inches long. First you can soak the feather in water. This will make the quill less brittle. then you put the feather in sand that has been heated in a 350 degree oven. If you skip the water soak, and go directly to this step, you quill will be stronger but more brittle.
The next step is to cut the feather's tip. Start about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the tip. Cut for about 1/4 of an inch at a 45 degree angle, then switch to a 90 degree angle for the other 1/4 of an inch.
Next, make a straight slit about 1/4 of an inch up the vein.
Now comes the hardest part-the shaping of the end or nib: using a knife, you take tiny bits off until you get a fine point at the end, flaring out from the end. This is where your feather vein make split. If it does, you will just have to start all over again.
You may need to trim off the bottom feathers to give your hand enough room to be comfortable.
You will need to use a bottle of ink. Dip you quill nib into the ink and begin writing. You will need to practice using the quill because it does take a little more skill than just using a ball-point pen. You need a steady hand, and some practice determining how much ink to get on your nib and how often to dip it back into the ink. Practicing is the fun part, however.

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