Huy Hoang Dao Oblique Holder

So this is a review that’s been on the back burner for a long time, as with my last year of community college, I just didn’t have the time to sit down and practice my Ornamental penmanship as much as I would have liked. I got this almost a year back when I was graduating from a standard plastic Speedball oblique holder. Yesterday when I was planning what to review this came up as I’ve been getting back into doing drills as a form of stress management with all the schoolwork I’m getting assigned. So without further ado, let’s get started with the review.

First of all, I would like to mention that Hoang is one of the calligraphers I admire the most. He’s massively talented, hardworking and all around a great person. While our latest interaction was nearly a year back, I still remember how seriously he took my concern that the pen had not arrived and made sure to check with his local post office on where it was just to assuage whatever doubts I had. He’s a huge inspiration to me and I really appreciate the time and effort he puts into his craft.


The pen came in a standard cardboard box that I still use to house it. It’s solid enough that it has gone through airport security and checked in baggage and come out smiling every time. Never have I once worried whether there would be any damage to the pen.


Within the box there was a handwritten note from Hoang thanking me for my order and describing the wood he used to make the holder. According to him, my specific oblique holder is made from a rare black rosewood that can only be bought every 1 in 20 wood blanks he purchases. He described the process of how he cleaned and covered the wood in a transparent lacquer to achieve the magnificent shine I see every time I use it. It really felt surreal to be holding such a beautifully handwritten letter and ever since receiving my holder, I stored the letter with it so I could use it as an exemplar of sorts.


The first time I held the pen, it was a truly sublime moment for me. To be holding something that would not only help me improve the quality of my calligraphy, but also something that will last a very long time. The sheen of the lacquer really brings the aesthetics of this pen to a new level. Every time I use it I can’t help but admire the shine, the grain patterns of the wood and all the other aspects that make this pen mesmerizing.

Overall, this is a holder that will accompany for a long time. Who knows, judging by how well it’s held up so far, it might just last long enough to make it a family heirloom. Everything about it screams quality and the amount of work put in definitely enhances this perception. While I still haven’t used this holder as much as I should have, I hope to rectify this in the coming months. Lastly, a little shout out to Hoang, I’ve been following your work on Instagram for a while now, and I just want to tell you that you are a big inspiration to me. Keep up the great work man! 🙂