Official Press Release
Seattle cartoonist Jim Woodring, author Frank Comics and the acclaimed Weathercraft, has built a seven-foot-long pen-and-penholder, a giant version of the steel dip pen nib and wooden handle used by artists and calligraphers. The pen will make its debut in the Skinner Auditorium of Gage Academy of Art on Sunday, January 9 from 1pm to 4pm.
The nib is sixteen inches long and made of brass-pated, hand-engraved cold-rolled steel. The handle is lathe-turned poplar, painted with black lacquer. The ink is a specially formulated acrylic blend. A vase functions as an inkwell.
When this project was announced earlier this year it was met with heavy skepticism. Many felt a pen this size could not function because the relationship between scale and fluid dynamics. Woodring was convinced it could be done and the nib has performed well in tests with prototypes. This will be the first public demonstration of the finished product.
Woodring will be making large ink drawings (up to 4 x 6 feet) on a specially built drawing board and conversing with the audience as he works. Regulation pen-and-ink supplies will be on hand for interested audience members to use; members of Seattle’s Friends of the Nib will provide instruction for beginners.
The Giant Pen was built with finds raised through United States Artists Special Projects, 2010. Free paper, pen and ink supplies provided by Dick Blick on Capitol Hill. Special thanks also to Saint Mark’s Cathedral.