Also, writing on the blank- sand it very lightly with fine sandpaper, just to give it a little tooth. Try an old fashioned dip pen and an opaque ink. If you get new nibs for the dip pen, stab them into a citrus fruit for a few minutes to remove the oil on them, and the ink will flow better.
Practice on paper to get a feel for it. Contact will make the ink flow. Pressure will expand the nib and give you a fatter line.
Ah yes, I saw a picture of a Winston rod being written on with a dip pen. I should've remembered. Thanks for the reminder and for the pointers.