Re: [elfscript] Tengwar Calligrapy
- Teithant Teresa:
>Are there others who write the script manually?Yes, there are a number of _tegilbyr_ here at Elfscript. We're more than
happy to discuss tengwar calligraphy.
>Although I practice, I don't seem to be able to get theDon't be too concerned about trying to make the letters look just like
>shapes of the letter right. I have a page from Amanye
>Tenceli which shows the pen strokes.
the samples by Tolkien ... or those by Måns Björkman, for that
matter. Måns's site provides a great service for those who are
teaching themselves tengwar calligraphy, but the art of calligraphy is
in developing one's own stle, not in copying the styles of others. That
would be 'technique', not 'art'. As you practice, your pen strokes will
become more fluid and you'll discover what style suits you best. Look at
the calligraphy of Tolkien and others for inspiration. Here's a page
with links to tengwar samples by J.R.R. Tolkien and others:
Ahem, allow me some shameless self-promotion: there is a link to my
Gwaith-i-Phethdain gallery on that page, I have another small gallery at
the Tengwar Feanora site; http://www.tengwar.art.pl/galeria.php .
Here's a suggestion about the pen you use: start with a dip pen or
fountain pen, not a calligraphy marker. Calligraphy markers are easier
to use, but they allow you to develop bad habits that are hard to break.
They permit you to go against the natural direction of a stroke, and
that's not a tendency that you want to acquire. Have fun exploring
tengwar calligraphy; it should be an enjoyable pasttime, not a chore.
>I recommend Celtic Hand for similarity to standardBut the mode of Beleriand is a mode, not a calligraphic style. Any
>tengwar calligraphy and the Beleriand mode
calligraphic tengwar style can be used to write in the mode of
Beleriand. As a matter of fact, the sample of this mode that actually
appears in LotR is not written in the Celtic-looking formal book hand
>unless partial to the Noldorin style in which case OldI assume you're referring to the pointed style that Dan Smith based his
Tengwar Noldorin font on. The name 'Noldorin' was an arbitrary choice on
his part, and there's nothing particularly Noldorin about this style, In
fact, the only connection between the pointed style and the Noldor that
I can see is that JRRT wrote the title line of his 'Namárië'
calligraphy in this style, and it is a poem by Galadriel, who was half
Noldorin. For a canonical example of a style employed by a Noldorin
calligrapher, see the inscription of the Doors of Durin as it appears in
FotR. It was lettered by Celebrimbor of Eregion, who was a Noldo ... and
it is written in the mode of Beleriand.
I wouldn't consider Gothic or 'Old English' to be a particularly good
exercise for learning the pointed style. Though they are both angular in
form, the strokes and pen angle are completely different.
Cuio mae, Danny.
- --- In email@example.com, "tmgukcatfan" <tmgukcatfan@y...>
> Other than practice, practice, practice, (which I am doing), doesNope :o) I began to learn Tengwar a year ago and I am still not fully
> anyone have suggestions for learning to write tengwar manually?
satisfied with my _lambe_ and _aldo_! :o)) I have to say the
beginning was really tough since I had to have the Tengwar table
constantly with me to be able to write even the simplest word. I
think the best and quickest tengwar to remember are _lambe_, _rómen_
and _tinco_ (by my experience) but you'll see that you'll be soon
able to put off the Tengwar table. Practice is probably the only way
how to get familiar with all the letters. Practice is important. Now,
if you decided to study Quenya or Sindarin you can try to transcribe
the known texts or to find out yourself what the texts in Tengwar are
in our Latin ABC :o) I did this with the King's Letters (Sauron
Defeated pg. 129-131). If you are not interessted to study Elven
languages, you can start with English :o). Here's a link to a good
The other files are also good. As already suggested, try to write
everything in Tengwar. It's fun and more - you're practicing :o)))
> Although I practice, I don't seem to be able to get the shapes ofthe letter right.
Don't worry, you just need some time :o)
> Are there others who write the script manually?Sure!!! Welcome to our club! And good luck!
We're waiting for your further questions and samples of your own
- Peter Arning wrote:
> Surround yourself with it. The more you see it around you,Do you, and others who have been writing with tengwar a lot, feel that
> the more natural it will become.
it eventually becomes as natural as your native script? I have never
tried to achieve any fluency in writing tengwar, but I would expect that
some features of Feanorian letters would become problems when writing
and reading large amounts of text quickly. I would therefore think that
the script is more suitable for the "calligraphy" than the "writing",
but now you have a chance to correct me.
The problem in reading has been noted in
http://www.zompist.com/kitlong.html#alphabet : the primary letters have
many pairs that can be confused with each other. I personally misread
tengwar quite often, but this may be just due to lack of practice.
In writing quickly, I have the hardest time with the closed bows. To
distinguish an umbar from an ando, one has to carefully close the bow,
and the hand movements required to do so are not very economical. By
comparison, lower case Latin letters can be reduced to relatively simple
and quickly drawn forms without creating confusion. For example, "m" can
be written without lifting the pen (and so can númen), but for a malta,
the writer has to lift the pen, move it back to the stem, and then draw
the closing line. The alternative way of drawing the closing line
without lifting the pen requires a back-and-forth movement I find
impractical, and the result can look messy.
All this leads me to suspect that the opposition of open and closed
bows, while a beautiful thing in calligraphic text, would be simplified
to something else in informal writing, if the tengwar really was used
for thousands of years.
- From: Harri Perälä <harri.perala@l...>
Date: Mon Feb 16, 2004 5:30 am
Subject: Re: [elfscript] Tengwar Calligrapy
Harri Perälä wrote:
> I would expect that some featuresI think your arguments are very debatable. You say that some of the
> of Feanorian letters would become problems when writing
> and reading large amounts of text quickly.
shapes are too similar to each other. I don't think that's an obstacle
for a script to become fluently used, consider e.g. the Arabian script
with many identical letters that aren't distinguished but by dots.
As for the closed bows, I have no problems about writing them without
lifting the pen, though for calligraphy, of course, I lift it.
The one point about the tengwar I find unpractical is that many
letters require a large number of movements.
However, I think it's something more important than practicalness that
decides on the use of this or that script. I think it has to do with
cultural identity: The Latin alphabet is used where the catholic
church is important; the tengwar are used where the Elvish knowledge
j. 'mach' wust
- machhezan wrote:
> I think your arguments are very debatable.I can agree with that!
> shapes are too similar to each other. I don't think that's an obstaclePoint taken. I guess my view is a bit narrow.
> for a script to become fluently used, consider e.g. the Arabian script
> cultural identity: The Latin alphabet is used where the catholicI do not doubt that the tengwar would maintain their position in the
> church is important; the tengwar are used where the Elvish knowledge
> is important.
scenario Tolkien describes. I do wonder, though, whether some letters
might develop notably different alternative forms. The Latin alphabet,
after all, went as far as to develop a full set of minuscule letters.
The starting point was quite different, of course. I am not aware that
Tolkien would support this idea, either; even in the picture of the last
page of the book of Mazarbul I have seen, the letter shapes in "they are
coming" are fairly conservative.