Reasons to protect your work

We have all been at the point where our hobby worktable, desk  etc. is so messy and cluttered that we are continually moving the clutter around to make room for our next project, this clutter was probably caused by our time conflicts causing us to leave the clean up till later, but as we know later never comes and it is only at the time when we have a problem (spills) on our project, that we actually take the time to clear up the accumulation of the clutter. Below I have put a collection of reasons to keep your hobby area clear that I have found across various web sites.

Professional look

If you are doing calligraphy as a business, having a tidy workspace or desk sends the image that you are competent in what you do


Clearing up the clutter on your workspace or desk will increase your efficiency and by setting out the equipment/supplies required for the next day will in actuality save you time.

Space to work

Clearing up the clutter will increase the area or space available to you to work in, without any accidents (spills) etc. and en-power you to get things completed.

Improve your concentration

Having a neat workspace or desk will allow you to concentrate on the project and not worry about accidents.

Reduces stress

Messy workspaces or desks will produce distractions which could have the potential for mistakes to happen (spills etc). So by limiting items on your workspace or desk to the equipment/materials used  for your present project, you will prevent shuffling items around when you need to find something.


By keeping your workspace or desk clean you will find that you can focus more on your project which can inspire creativity in your work.

Organizing supplies

Through having a neat workspace or desk you will be able to organize your paper, pens etc in a location that will not interfere with your work at hand.

Keep your ink in screw top containers, store pens, pencils, markers and brushes in a mug or jars, store any water you are using for cleaning your nibs or brushes in a mug or jar.

Purchasing a cart on wheels can be advantageous, as you can store all your desk and hobby supplies/materials that are not immediately required for your present project on it, while still keeping them within reach.

Investing in a small trash can which can be placed near your workarea or desk, if you are like me you will have a collection of scrap paper with ideas for future projects, notes on how to do something etc. and as always they start to accumulate and become obstructive.

Have a note book available to keep any ideas or information you want to keep for future reference (this can be stored in the desk drawer, or on the rolling cart for easy access).


While writing you are aware of what your hands are doing. But what about your elbow!  Your elbow gives you mobility in your calligraphy, it is also your quickest route to accidents f(knocking over inks, beverages etc). while writing, which can be annoying or at worse messy.

Keep the area around the elbow of your writing arm clutter-free by removing anything in your elbow’s potential path, this includes items that will produce no mess when knocked over, as anything that interferes with your elbow movement could  have an effect on your writing

Let ink dry completely dry before erasing guidelines

One thing that can ruin your work is trying to erase the guidelines before the ink has completely dried. Sometime the ink will feel dry but will smudge when you try to erase the guidelines. Some inks such as India ink will dry within five minutes, where other inks will take several hours, another thing that will slow the dry time is the amount of ink you use. It is recommended that you wait overnight before attempting to erase the guidelines.

Apply a fixative to your work

What is a fixative? well basically it is a varnish style waterproofing material that is used to protect drawings etc. from moisture damage. Since inks will rehydrate over time in humid or moist enviornments this can cause the inks to smudge. below is a link to an article  at on how to waterproof paper/envelopes which I found informative.

How to waterproof paper

Using archival materials

“Archival” basically means it will last a long time and usually don t contain acids which can react with ink over time causing dicolouraration and possibly holes in the documents. If you are looking for longevity in your work then the use of inks, paper and paints that are of archival quality are recommended, but if it is just for a fun project where longevity is not a concern then just use non-archival materials..

The following statement sums up the intent of this post

” I think the very best defense against accidents is an easygoing attitude. You can take all sorts of precautions, but some things are simply out of your control! That’s part of the human experience: things not going as planned. Just try your best, and if something does happen, remember that every problem has a solution! With your creativity and a cool head, you’ll figure it out”. Lindsay Bugbee,

Protect your work video