Quills were a simple writing tool that was easy to use and easy to make (well, for shorter texts). We’ve chosen to dedicate this blog post to quills. We will explain what they are and provide instructions on how to use a quill pen by making your own.
What’s a pen made from quills?
The quill pen is made from a feather taken from the bird’s wing. The turkey, the goose, and the swan were some of the most common sources of feathers at the time the quill was invented. Large feathers from large birds resulted in a better quill.
It is not known when the quill was first popularized. However, some Dead Sea Scrolls were written using a feather quill pen around 2 BC. This year was also known as the Year of Augustus and Silvanus.
The popularity of the quill pen soared in western countries by the 15th century. Quills were still popular until the introduction of the fountain pen in the 19th century.
This does not mean that feather quill pens are no longer in use. In fact, they can still be found in the United States Supreme Court when it is in session.
Instructions to make a feather quill pen
You might be interested to learn how to make your own feather quill pen after learning more about them. It is easy to make a feather quill pen. All you must do is follow these steps.
Source A Feather
You have many options to acquire feathers for this purpose. If you own a large bird, you might be able collect the feather. You can also go to large bird habitats and pick up a feather there.
It is important to confirm that the feather you are purchasing online was not accidentally shed by an animal. The methods used to extract feathers can sometimes be extremely cruel.
Wash And Dry Your Feather
Even though your feather looks spotless, there may be bacteria in it. Therefore, make sure to wash it thoroughly and scrub it with soapy water. You don’t have to worry about feather damage. They are far more resilient than you might think. It will look fluffy again if it is allowed to dry.
Create The Nib
It is difficult to cut the quill pen’s nib because the hollow shaft of a feather, also known as the calamus, is very resilient and curvy. This is an important fact to remember.
Although it is possible to soften the tip of your calamus by soaking it in water for a whole night, it can still be difficult.
You will first need to trim the tip of your calamus to get started. You should be careful as the hollow shaft could easily crack, making the quill ineffective for its intended purpose. Next, hold the feather as if you were holding a pen. Mark the shaft’s end with a shape similar to a nib.
You can avoid any unintended damage by slicing small sections of the Calamus with a sharp craft knife and a mat. The final cut is a slit in the middle of your nib. This will create two tines. Make the final cut once you have found a nib shape you like. Now your quill pen can be used as intended.