Category Archives: Products

Dinky Dips now available from Blots

Blots Screw Top Tiger Stripe Dinky Dips_sm

Blots have started making a range of wooden dinky dips. There are several designs to fit jars or buddy cups with a choice of caps. The Tiger Stripe Dinky Dip is particularly striking and is made from separate strips of hard and soft wood. It is available pre-drilled to fit screw top jars or push on caps.

Blots’ Acrylic Pen Rest


Blots’ clear acrylic pen rest: compact 100x16mm (4″x5/8″); the three sections clip together or come apart for easy  carrying and cleaning. Low profile gives a shallow angle for the resting pen(s). Takes up minimum desk space but holds up to four pens. I have had many requests for this and criticism of existing pen rests so I designed this and have had them made. It is exclusive to Blots and should be available on the website in time for Easter. Expected price £4.25 but may well be on special offer for a limited period. (Price is for the pen rest only and does not include the nib or blots’ wooden penholder illustrated)

Blots Calligraphy Ruling Template

Our new Ruling Template now has an explanatory video to guide new users into exploring its advantages for quick ruling of pages for calligraphy. The first batch of 100 have been sold and more are due this week. Use a drawing board and T-square and ruling up a design has never been easier. Currently on Special Offer at £4.95 instead of £6.99.

Replacing Crow Quill in Reversible Penholder

William Mitchell Reversible Penholder_split_lg


William Mitchell Reversible Pen holder is a convenient pen holder with a nib unit that can be turned round and stored inside the pen holder to preserve the point from damage. The nib unit appears to be a moulded section but is in fact assembled from 3 parts (see photo). The parts can be separated and a new No.659 Crow Quill inserted in the pen. However, when the pen has been used it is likely that ink and paper have worked their way up the nib shaft and the nib itself has started to corrode. It may help to soak the nib unit for 24 hours in washing up liquid or air brush cleaner to soften the debris round the nib shaft.  Grip the nib unit and nib and twist the nib around the supporting pillar. Bear in mind that the nib unit parts are plastic and breakable. Since the nib needs replacing there is nothing to be lost by gripping the end of it with pliers. A twisting and rotating movement should enable the nib to be pulled out of its socket.The supporting pin may remain in the socket but may need to be pulled out to enable the socket to be thoroughly cleaned. Refit a new No.659 Crow Quill  and your pen is as good as new.  !!


Exciting new inks from Blots

Two new inks join our range from July

Penman Inks Liquid Gouache
Penman Inks Liquid Gouache

Penman Inks are a highly pigmented, Ph neutral ink made from egg white, honey and gum arabic. Rich in colour and tone with a subtle sateen finish, the Liquid Gouache ink range is smooth in consistency and even in flow. All colours are lighfast, water soluble and intermixable and can be applied with a pen or brush.

Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Inks
Speedball Inks

Speedball pigmented acrylic inks are waterproof, intermixable,free flowing, non toxic, acid free, permanent and archival quality with excellent lightfastness. These highly pigmented inks are ideal for drawing, calligraphy, stamping and airbrushing. The ink comes in a  2floz bottle so the price is competitive.

Blots Penholders range extended

Blots Penholder 10mm
Blots 10mm wooden penholder

Blots 8mm wooden penholders with their unique design have proved very popular. They have no metal ferrule and the fingers rest on the plain wooden shaft. The range has now been extended to include long and short penholders on a 10mm shaft. This small increase in size may prove slightly more comfortable for older fingers to grip.

Ziller Inks

Unpacking a consignment of ink from Ziller in the USA which arrived today I was struck by the beautiful colours. It is almost impossible not to unscrew the lids and load a pen with ink and be amazed at the infinite variety of effects that flow from the blade of the pen. Using a brush it is possible to load a 3a Automatic Pen with three colours and the delightful spectrum of ever-changing colour is truly spectacular. This is possible of course with many inks and paints but the viscosity of the Ziller inks seems to slow the mixing of the ink on the pen so that the mixing takes place as it flows onto the page.

If you haven’t tried colour mixing I would recommend it.

I would recommend Ziller Inks for spectacular colours and amazing results. Don’t be frightened off by the waterproof label, just rinse your pens frequently. For even easier cleaning just add a little ammonia to your rinse water.

Full range of Ziller Inks in stock – I’ve just unpacked them! No one who has tried them has been disappointed and many have fallen in love❤️



History of Automatic Pens


 Automatic pens were originally called BOXALL Pens after their manufacturer Mr FWG (Fred) Boxall who was certainly making the pens in the late 1920’s. They were originally made in brass but as this became expensive it was changed to the nickel silver still used today.

The name was changed in the mid 1950’s to Automatic Lettering Pens. At that time most show cards and posters for shops were lettered using a brush and the new pens were designed to replace the brush for large lettering and ‘automatically’ do thick lines. The company was bought in the mid 1950’s by a Geral Dupont (no relation to Dupont pens) and at the time the pens were described as ‘the Wizards of Lettercraft’. The range was more extensive than the current 13 and included an edging pen, a shading pen and a block letter pen. The prices ranged from one shilling to one shilling and three pence! (a shilling became 5 new pence).

The last owner, Mr David Ford, a very amiable and likeable, gentleman, worked for the Parker Pen Company and visited Mr Dupont,  who was by this time an elderly gentleman. Most of the workshop was inhabited by pigeons and the machinery was covered (in polite terms) by guano! He made his own penholders on a lathe and dipped them into highly inflammable paint and hung them to dry, used petrol to degrease the pens AND smoked almost constantly! After a heart attack he sold the company to David Ford in the mid 1980’s but unfortunately died before he could hand over the manufacturing.

The first ‘Ford’ Automatic Pens were produced on a trial and error basis with many ending up in the recycling bin. The pens were manufactured in Sussex, on the south coast of England. All the tooling was updated (and the guano left on the garden !) but every pen was hand made, hand ground and hand finished. The penholder was updated to a single size ABS non slip plastic for easier grip, balance and weight, easier to keep clean and using fewer trees. In the new millennium the manufacturing moved to C. Roberson & Co in London who continue to produce quality pens.

Useful tips – load the pen with a brush, separate brushes if you are using two colours, and stroke the brush across the side of the pen. You will be able to see how much ink is loaded and judge when to refill. If you are using the larger pens or two colours in the pen at the same time – place a small piece of sponge in the jaws and you will find the colour separation lasts much longer and in the larger pens the ink doesn’t fall out (as easily). Washing usually keeps them clean but if all else fails just scrape out the debris with a sharp craft knife and use a very sharp blade to clean the small serrations on the top of the pen – it breathes through here.


Automatic Pens 1990’s

Automatic Pens

The full range of Automatic Pens can always be obtained by mail order from Blot’s Pen & Ink Supplies

Copperplate Fountain Pen?

Is it beyond anyone to make a fountain pen with a Copperplate nib? Better still, can anyone make a fountain pen with interchangeable Copperplate nibs to suit different writers. I have always presumed that as such a pen is not made that there is some difficulty making it but no one has ever explained to me why. I think there used to be an Osmiroid Copperplate nib section. Can anyone give me a reason/explanation why this pen is not being made?