such a fun and small word - but in the calligraphy world, this little bad boy can be the make or break item as a calligrapher.
so...what is a nib? according to my google search, a nib ranges from crushed cocoa or coffee beans, to a black sabbath song, to the national industries for the blind (nib). but in calligraphy speak, a nib is the pointed end part of a writing instrument which distributes the ink onto the paper.
there are countless nibs for you to try - all with different styles of penmanship. some nibs are very stiff, and good for those who have a heavy hand. other nibs are great for writing on unusual surfaces like leaves and rocks. if you are just starting out as a calligrapher, my best advice would be to buy an assortment of nibs and test each one (on different papers and with different inks) to see what your hand prefers. nibs price range are between $0.50 - $1.90 each - so they are very economical to buy a handful to try.
beginner nibs are the zebra and nikko g. these nibs have a semi-stiffness to them, but still give when you press down for lovely thick downstrokes. the hairlines are pleasant too, plus they work great on most surfaces.
as for me, i prefer (and almost exclusively use) the brause ef66 (ef is short for extra fine). this little nugget of a nib is amazing!! the hairlines are super duper thin. it has a great give to it when you put pressure on it. and once you master the control on it, you can create calligraphy downstrokes that vary between think to thin. it does have a scratchy sound to it - which is one of the most noticeable characteristics of the brause ef66 - but i love that sound!
where to buy nibs? paper ink & arts is great. so is dick blick arts...and finally, john neal booksellers. and, of course - you can get anything on amazon!!
tell me...what are you favorite nibs? i always love to find new calligraphy tools, so please share!