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Re: [elfscript] Tengwar Calligrapy

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  • d_daniel_andries@webtv.net
    ... Yes, there are a number of _tegilbyr_ here at Elfscript. We re more than happy to discuss tengwar calligraphy.   ... Don t be too concerned about trying
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 14, 2004
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      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 the
      >shapes of the letter right.  I have a page from Amanye
      >Tenceli which shows the pen strokes.

      Don't be too concerned about trying to make the letters look just like
      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:
      http:my.ort.org.il/tolkien/gandalf/see.html .
      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.

      Teithant Katya:
      >I recommend Celtic Hand for similarity to standard
      >tengwar calligraphy and the Beleriand mode

      But the mode of Beleriand is a mode, not a calligraphic style. Any
      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
      (see below).

      >unless partial to the Noldorin style in which case Old
      >English

      I 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.
    • calwen76
      ... Nope :o) I began to learn Tengwar a year ago and I am still not fully satisfied with my _lambe_ and _aldo_! :o)) I have to say the beginning was really
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 16, 2004
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        --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "tmgukcatfan" <tmgukcatfan@y...>
        wrote:
        > Other than practice, practice, practice, (which I am doing), does
        > anyone have suggestions for learning to write tengwar manually?

        Nope :o) I began to learn Tengwar a year ago and I am still not fully
        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
        guide-book:

        http://www.geocities.com/tengwar2001/
        file: 4th-100.pdf

        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 of
        the 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
        handscript :o)))

        Lucy
      • Harri Perälä
        ... Do you, and others who have been writing with tengwar a lot, feel that it eventually becomes as natural as your native script? I have never tried to
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 16, 2004
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          Peter Arning wrote:
          > Surround yourself with it. The more you see it around you,
          > the more natural it will become.

          Do you, and others who have been writing with tengwar a lot, feel that
          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.

          Harri Perälä
        • machhezan
          From: Harri Perälä Date: Mon Feb 16, 2004 5:30 am Subject: Re: [elfscript] Tengwar Calligrapy ... I think your arguments are very
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 17, 2004
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            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 features
            > of Feanorian letters would become problems when writing
            > and reading large amounts of text quickly.

            I think your arguments are very debatable. You say that some of the
            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
            is important.

            ---------------------------
            j. 'mach' wust
            http://machhezan.tripod.com
            ---------------------------
          • Harri Perälä
            ... I can agree with that! ... Point taken. I guess my view is a bit narrow. ... I do not doubt that the tengwar would maintain their position in the scenario
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 18, 2004
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              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 obstacle
              > for a script to become fluently used, consider e.g. the Arabian script

              Point taken. I guess my view is a bit narrow.

              > cultural identity: The Latin alphabet is used where the catholic
              > church is important; the tengwar are used where the Elvish knowledge
              > is important.

              I do not doubt that the tengwar would maintain their position in the
              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.

              Harri Perälä
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