Northern Exposure

By Northern

Remember these?

The Ruling Pen may be a bit of an outdated tool but we seem to be gathering a small collection.

This one is my Mum's, she was a draftswoman and a tracer and she recently gave me this one from a set which she has had since the early 60s. It is very 60s, sleek lines, simple white handle even a bright orange box. We have others, Steven's aunt was also a tracer and some of the ones we inherited from her are very ornate.

At college we were taught how to use them for designing type and applying colour to visuals. Once you get the hang of them they are lovely to work with. Still got one from that era, very hi tech - swivelly bits and other do das. Very 80's! Isn't it odd how such a simple object that hasn't really changed at all can take on the character of when it was made?

I may have used them a bit in my early working years but it certainly wasn't an essential tool by that point. And I'm afraid as far as work goes for me now they are an oddity on my shelf replaced by a much easier, faster, cleaner, more expensive... but not quite so romantic, tool.

Mind you, at least I don't have the fine black tattoo lines that my Mum has on her hands from wiping the excess ink from the nibs before putting pen to paper.

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