Arabic Calligraphy Tools

Arabic Calligraphy ToolsCalligraphers are the most well-known artists in Islamic culture. The art of calligraphy was transferred from master to learner, frequently within the same family members. To be able to become a master calligrapher and have a professional license, a student needed to train for years by copying models to perfect his or her expertise.

Practicing to become known as a calligrapher was a long as well as severe process. The majority of calligraphers were highly educated and some came from the upper echelons of society. Most rulers received extensive calligraphic training from the greatest court masters and finally became accomplished calligraphers in their own right. Whereas nearly all calligraphers at the time were men, some prosperous women practiced calligraphy too. Nowadays, the art of calligraphy is widely practiced by both men and women.

Arabic calligraphy tools affected the quality of the final product. Every calligrapher learned how to prepare pens, inks, and paper. Pens ( Qalam ) were frequently fashioned from reeds because of their flexibility. First, hollow reeds were
gathered and left to dry; the calligrapher then cut a tip in the shape, thickness, and angle that best matched the specific script he or she planned to utilize.

Inks were made from organic materials such as soot, ox gall, gum Arabic, or plant essences. Manuscripts were written on papyrus as well as parchment (animal skin) before paper was introduced to the Islamic world from China around the eighth century. Due to the status of calligraphy as an art form, the tools associated with it—shears, knives, inkwells, and pen boxes—were often elaborately decorated and usually made of precious and semi-precious materials.