My pen nib is made of a very thin metal. It has a split running from the tip to the middle of the nip where there is a hole cut out that holds the ink allowing for multiple words to be written before another dip into the ink is needed. The split allows the ink to run down to the tip and onto the paper. The split also creates the opportunity for thick and thin lines. If I press just slightly, the tips spread and the ink spreads with it creating a thick line of ink. If I ease up on the pressure, the tips come back together giving me a hairline of ink.
Sometimes the needle-like tip catches on the texture of the paper and flecks of ink are splattered about. This inevitably happens on the last word of the address. Often tiny fragments of paper get trapped in the tip and eventually drag and spread the tip - making it impossible to get a fine line. The nib must be cleaned often.
Using a mixture of Copperplate script and Spencerian Script for my lettering, I pick and choose from each alphabet which letter versions I will use.
I am by no means a professional calligrapher, however I find great enjoyment and a calming effect as the slow graceful lines are drawn. One must not rush, one must not fret - even though this may be the last envelope in possession, and everything rests on getting this word right.
I fight the shaky hands and pounding heart as I hold my breath to begin the name. My pen nib is dipped into the ink, and I begin. No loud sounds, please. Oh, let the phone not ring in the middle of this curve. No stray thoughts, only thick and thin lines, subtle and strong curves.