Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category
My fountain pens have grown annoyed with me. They get filled with colorful inks and then languish in the summer heat for lack of use. Even after winnowing the abused few to only five or six, they get far too little playtime to remain content. In fact since acquiring a laptop, and more recently finding my enthusiasm for writing in a journal on the wane, fountain pens do not get their due.
To shake things up over the summer, I’ve dedicated a lined, Clairefontaine notebook to exercising fountain pens. Nothing special save filling pages with alphabets and nonsense though I intend to explore styles of calligraphy as the days progress. Italics and flexible nibs will get the most time in hand since they need extra practice. First up is a Namiki Falcon SF with Diamine Teal. The Waterman pens are sure to follow.
Do you change your routine during summer beyond modifying your ink wardrobe? How do you keep things fresh in the sweltering heat?
Note: The stone is from the River Jordan and quite accustomed to summer heat. In fact it remains cool no matter what goes on around it. Food for thought.
That might be a loaded question, but sometimes I wonder whether we really need anything other than black ink. Don’t get me wrong. I am hooked on color particularly those that have a cheerful lift to them or a particularly aesthetic vibe. All of that is subjective and often it is the combined effect of ink color, paper and pen that brings out the best result.
Even so, more often than not, Noodler’s Black, especially in the Pilot Prera Italic, is the first pen I grab. With black, I am more focused on writing than ink and how it looks on paper. My letter forms must stand on their own without the eye candy. The nib and paper quality become more important though Noodler’s Black writes well on most any paper and with absolutely every pen. Maybe that’s part of its charm.
But that’s a specific ink – not a color. What say you? Could you live without jewel-toned ink?
My desk is always a disheveled mess except for my fountain pens. Those I keep tidy and at the ready for whenever the muse strikes. However, with product testing, the number of inked pens can grow well beyond anything manageable, so I’m separating the lot into two groups with my Core Four Plus One the most accessible. Others employed mostly for testing purposes have a tray in which to snooze until needed.
Core Four Plus One is a name for four of my most used fountain pens plus one mechanical pencil. The four pens are the mostly likely to get used either for the ink or the fun factor of using that particular pen. The Platinum #3776 music nib is the anchor. For now the other three pens are the Noodler’s Standard Flex, the Pilot Prera Italic and the Sheaffer Taranis Medium. Those four provide a good variety of nibs and pen sizes and changing between them is good for my hand. The inks are Diamine Sepia, Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses, Noodler’s Black and Diamine Steel Blue. Again this is a good variety for maximum appeal though all of it is subject to change on a whim.
The Autopoint mechanical pencil is the Plus One. It gets more use than any fountain pen since it doesn’t need to be uncapped, can write on any paper, and is erasable, an important benefit for a fickle writer.
When I head out with pens in tow, I have a two-pen case for an intrepid duo or a four-pen case for the whole lot. An Autopoint MP is always in my handbag along with a black Sharpie Pen so I am never caught out without writing tools. A small Rhodia pad completes the ensemble. An inkophile should be prepared, yes?
Do you have something like my Core Four Plus One? If so, what’s in your primary rotation?
Pens, inks and paper make a terrific hobby, but you already know that. Writing about them is my way of sharing the fun of using these tools. You make it worth the effort and for that I thank you.
Some names and numbers…
- Growth over 2012 – 145%
- Who visited – Readers from 165 countries
- Most read post from 2013 – Moleskine Paper Meets Ink And It Ain’t Pretty
- Most read watercolor post from 2013 – A Doodle Kit Because … Fun!
- Most popular image – My Doodle Kit
- Most read post of all time – The Rhodia Webnotebook vs Moleskine Journal Showdown
- Most comments – Beth Treadway, justdaveyb, La Plume Etoile, kp
- Top referrers – penaddict.com, fieldnotesbrand.com, wellappointeddesk.com, rhodiadrive.com
- Top clicks – leighreyes.com, fountainpennetwork.com, fpgeeks.com, jetpens.com
- Product contributors – Jet Pens, Luxury Brands, Noodler’s Ink, Stillman & Birn, Paper for Fountain Pens, Paperblanks, Jackson’s Art Supplies, Sheaffer, and friends who sent gifts that clamored for recognition and review.
Thank you for the generous donations that helped keep Inkophile going last fall. My hobby has become a financial challenge. Really. Who wouldn’t want the newest colors of ink and several pricey pens every year? Sometimes retailers or manufacturers offer their newest creations or items they want to move off the shelf for review and that’s very much appreciated. When that doesn’t happen, I would like to purchase new items. Sponsorships and other sources of funding would allow me to do that. So moving forward, there will be some changes at Inkophile. Hopefully, that won’t estrange too many readers, but if you fancy an unsupported pen blog, there are plenty in the sidebar from which to choose.
As my interests have evolved, so has the content of my blog. Watercolor painting plays third fiddle to writing and using fountain pens, but painting in my journal has made it an integrated hobby. If nothing else, the addition of lively color to my wordy journal entries is a creative embellishment that is both intriguing and satisfying. More to come.
This is my favorite doodle of the year. It started as two comma shaped lines at the top and the rest was pure luck.
May your new year be filled with joyful dancing and colorful friends. Hello 2014!
As incongruous as it may seem for winter, a hummingbird appeared for all of two seconds at my window this morning. It was not one of my old friends who used to perch on a camellia branch to chat for a minute or two, but a new member of the tribe without interest in a a wingless biped. It is an understandable bias that I hope she will ignore. A nest in a nearby tree would provide much appreciated entertainment and inspiration during the overcast weeks ahead.
Come back, little one, and bathe in the admiration and appreciation I will send your way.