This week, Flossie wants to tell you about her experience learning to write with a quill. The first thing she learned is that it isn’t as easy as one would think! (Of course, the quill was much longer than she, so she had difficulties with just picking it up!)
Next, she learned that the quill is an actual goose feather cut into the shape of a pen’s point, with a short slit in the quill to hold the ink. It looks similar to the metal fountain pens or calligraphy pens you may have seen. The ink would have been made of berry juice, indigo or other natural stains. In the past, a material called pounce, made of ground up cuddle fish bone or pumice stone, was used to absorb extra ink on the parchment or paper so that the letter could be folded without making blot marks. Today, we just use sand to achieve the same effect!
Flossie says that people a long time ago had to work hard to learn to write so beautifully. Penmanship was a valued skill…………..remember to practice your writing, so that one day someone may look back on a document you wrote and see what fine handwriting you had, too!