The Scribe Nib
By Nibmeister Josh Lax
As we continue to tell the Esterbrook story, we are focused on the company’s tradition of specialized nibs. The Esterbrook Custom Nib Program is our way to highlight exceptional American nibmeisters and we’ve asked some of the most prominent and exceptional nibmeisters in our community to create nibs that are destined to become a part of Esterbrook’s storied legacy.
We are pleased to announce the second edition in our series, The Scribe Nib, crafted by New York based nibmeister Josh Lax. The Scribe is Josh’s take on an architect nib.
Historically, this nib has been bespoke: cut for an individual, their writing style and how they hold the pen. To create this nib for a wider audience, Josh was given the task of cutting these nibs in masse, keeping the integrity of an architect, while avoiding any catch on the top or bottom as one writes with it. Aside from the challenge of the mechanics of the grind, Josh also aimed to bring a new aesthetic to his nib, taking inspiration from the Near East, rather than the more common architect nibs based on European and Far Eastern styles of writing. In the depths of the Scriptorium, or writing place, the Scribe was employed to keep track of it all. Most of what we know about the history of this part of the world is because of them.
Writing in Aramaic, the scribes were drafting with characters that had spiritual meaning. And while they were often writing and copying the mundane, they were also responsible for religious and political manuscripts and for catering to the needs of the sultans as court calligraphers. Tughras, the signature of the sultans, were designed and executed by the scribes, each a complex commission. It is in these seals that we see the curves, movement and arching flourishes the scribes were so adept at.
The Scribe Nib is meant to capture these same elements and rhythms for the modern writer. It is a very specific nib that Josh has managed to make usable for everyone. It gives the writer the flexibility of fine downstrokes and broad horizontal strokes and can also be used in reverse for additional variation. Whether you are looking to add more flair to your writing style, are looking for an architect without the need for a personal grind or want to expand your calligraphy skills this is an excellent addition to your collection or as a gift for someone to treasure in theirs.