Posts Tagged ‘rhodia’

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A Rohrer & Klingner Cassia Ink Review

11/26/2013

Recently, Jet Pens offered the opportunity to review Rohrer & Klingner Cassia. Several R&K inks make it into my rotation on a regular basis, but not even so much as a sample of Cassia has landed on my desk before now. Would it be as memorable as its better-known siblings Alt-Goldgrun and Verdigris?

At the price point and volume of $12.50 for 50ml, R&K is good value on the ink market. The quality and color range make it an Inkophile favorite. Solferino gets the pink slot and Morinda the red in my rotation more often than other inks. Neither has met a pen it didn’t like and that makes them especially easy to use.

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia and Waterman Purple

Then there is Cassia. It is vaguely violet under artificial light, but decidedly purple in sunlight. Waterman Purple is quite similar but doesn’t shade as well. It is not a muted color, but neither does it demand attention. This is an all-purpose purple should you only allow one or two in your collection.

Flow is good, but not lubricated enough to glide like some of the Iroshizuku inks. Paper texture communicates through the nib which is a normal part of the fountain pen experience. In my test, pens with copious flow produced feathering or at least uneven outlines. It won’t tame that beast, but will prove a good match for an average to slightly free-flowing pen.

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia Writing Sample

Mild shading and outlining with the Namiki Falcon were unexpected treats. Cassia reduced the flow of the Pilot Elite Pocket Pen to a neat fine line, and produced bold color with the Levenger True Writer medium nib. The stronger the flow, the more violet the color.

There was some show-through on Rhodia with a couple of minor dots of bleed-through from more free-flowing nibs. There were no issues on Apica 6A10 journal paper. Performance on Moleskine Volant paper was typical with feathering, irregular outlines and bleed-through. Look elsewhere if Moleskine is your vice.

I like it best with the True Writer medium nib, but then I am fond of a wider nib. The color is useful and attractive for sketching when black or brown would be too sedate. It may seem quirky, but for sketching I do prefer inks that let the paper texture participate rather than inks that make nibs skate over the surface. Cassia does not tend to glide so it works well at providing a tiny bit of feedback.

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia has made friends with the three test pens, but has yet to find her soul mate. The Pelikan M215 with the fetching silver rings and a custom italic nib is promising, but for now otherwise engaged. When he becomes available, he might be just the one to charm pretty Cassia into a lasting relationship. We shall see…

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia Water Test

Water reveals the red violet component in Cassia.

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Brush Pens Meet Fabriano and Stillman & Birn Journals

10/07/2013

Brush pens release a significant amount of ink which makes them a challenge for writing, but great fun for lettering and drawing. Over the summer, I put several to work on some of my favorite paper with satisfying results.

Brush pen in a Stillman & Birn Epsilon Journal

In the past, J. Herbin Poussière de Lune and Lie de Thé worked well in my Pentel Pocket Brush Pens. To see whether there was any difference in performance, this time Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan and Lexington Gray went in the pens. Choosing compatible colors allows me to decorate my journal and stationery with a harmonious flair. Used singly either color is perfect for a monochromatic drawing. Brown is especially nice for a sepia toned, vintage look. Nothing amiss in these choices.

Sakura Pigma Brush Pens

Then at the beginning of September, I braved the local art store – braved as in perusing new products without devastating my budget. Still enjoying the brush pen theme, I bought three Sakura Pigma Brush Pens. They are not refillable, but the ink is waterproof so it has its uses. The fiber tip isn’t as supple as the Pentel bristle tip. Line variation is limited, but lettering is easier than with the Pentel. This is a good pen for doodling, embellishing plain lettering or decorating a margin. The palette is limited, but the rose is especially pretty. The black is less saturated and dense than the Pentel, but it dries more rapidly. It isn’t a true brush, but it is fun to use.

Fabriano Venezia Journal and Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

Fabriano Venezia Journal

The Pentel pens with Noodler’s and the Sakura pens performed similarly on the three papers. Stillman & Birn Epsilon, Fabriano Venezia, and the Rhodia pad take ink differently, but there was no significant feathering and no bleed through. Lines were crisp even if my photos look otherwise. Oh, and that should be Pentel – not Pilot – in the written sample.

Brush Pen on Rhodia

I’m still exploring the possibilities, but wanted to share the recent results. Using fountain pen ink in the Pentel on S&B paper is just right. Now I’m off to have some fun with one of the little dears. The one with Kiowa Pecan is calling the most insistently…

Jet Pens stocks the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen as well as the Sakura Pigma Brush Pen. Stillman & Birn and Rhodia pads are available at a variety of retailers. Fabriano Venezia journals are less common, but there are a few sources in the U.S. as well as in the U.K.

A little more on brush pens.

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Links From Pens To Fish To Cursive

04/28/2013

Don’t even try to connect the dots but do enjoy this fresh batch of links…

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Three Noodler’s Inks – Beaver, Purple Martin, Tiananmen

02/19/2013

Nathan Tardiff, grand master of the Noodler’s realm, never ceases to invent new colors and types of inks. For that he deserves the highest marks. But the colors that have been around for years are no less worthy of note. Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands USA kindly sent three fan faves for review. What could an inkophile do but accept the opportunity and set to work.

The trio includes Beaver, Purple Martin, and Tiananmen. Brown, purple, and red are workhorse colors so they were easy to incorporate into my rotation. My Levenger True Writers leapt at the opportunity to test new inks and away we went.

Noodler's Inks Meet Levenger True Writers

Noodler’s Inks Meet Levenger True Writers

Fair warning that my scanner lamp is dimming so colors are not as they should be. For better color renditions, go to NoodlerInk.com.

Noodler's Beaver, Purple Martin, Tiananmen

Noodler’s Beaver, Purple Martin, Tiananmen

These are clean, saturated colors. No dramatic shading or other exotic properties but the flow is especially well-suited to a fine nib on smooth paper. The True Writers were perfect mates especially on Rhodia Bloc No 16 paper. My Apica 6A10 daily journal was a good match, too. There was a small amount of feathering on Staples (pineapple) bagasse paper and in a Mead composition book with Tiananmen. Moleskine performed as expected. The full-sized image of the Mead composition book shows feathering with a number of inks. Caveat emptor on that one.

Noodler's Ink Test On Rhodia Paper

Noodler’s Ink Test On Rhodia Paper

Noodler's Ink Test On Staples Bagasse Paper

Noodler’s Ink Test On Staples Bagasse Paper

Noodler's Ink Test On Moleskine

Noodler’s Ink Test On Moleskine

Mead Comp Book Ink Test

Mead Comp Book Ink Test

Should you be as silly as I was this past month and forget that Beaver was in a pen that got no use, well, it might not start up instantly. All it took was priming the flow to get it back on track. No damage noted.

My three-pen leather case stocked with these new friends and a pad of paper would carry me through any day. Brown for work, purple for personal notes, and deep red for edits that don’t scream. Now if I could just find that pen case…

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On My Desk To Start The New Year

01/01/2013

A neat desk is a good way to start the new year. I reckon I will have to wait until 2014 for that bit of holiday joy.

The top section of my list comprises only the pen related items.

  • 14 pens including three Platinum #3776 pens at various stages of testing, three Levenger True Writers and a Namiki Falcon B nib filled with Noodler’s Inks for testing,  four Lamys and a Kaweco Sport filled with inks from previous tests, and two pens that are in regular rotation, a True Writer Cursive Italic and a Pelikan M215 Cursive Italic.
  • The inks in those pens are Platinum Pigment Blue, Diamine Sepia, Noodler’s Golden Brown, Tiananmen, Beaver, Purple Martin, Australian Roses, 54th Mass., Q’E-ternity, Air-Corp BBk, Ottoman Azure, plus Montblanc Racing Green, and Kaweco BBk.
  • An Apica 6A10 Note Book, a Daycraft Signature 2013 Diary, various Rhodia pads, several Staples sugarcane spiral notebooks, Stillman & Birn Journals, an Exacompta Sketchbook, Staples notebook paper, and a couple of legal pads.

Then there is all the stuff that is not fountain pen related.

  • Two Autopoint mechanical pencils and assorted erasers
  • Pentel Pocket Brush Pen
  • Two Chinese seals and a bottle of Chinese ink for painting
  • One magnifying loupe
  • One 6″ jade statue
  • A container of watercolor brushes and two Altoid-sized boxes filled with pans of watercolor paint
  • A container of drawing pencils and Sharpies
  • Six bottles of hand lotion (Well, a girl has to have options.)
  • One roll-on bottle of Life TIME Stopain Topical Analgesic
  • Minolta E-323 camera
  • Small TV, cable box, laptop-sized keyboard, mouse, and a large computer monitor that dominates the whole affair
  • Clock radio and a phone
  • One LED and one standard bulb flashlight
  • Three pairs of glasses

You should see what else it holds. Or maybe not. No need to traumatize you neat and tidy people.

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Canson Art Book: Inspiration – A New Cahier

11/04/2012

Yesterday I discovered a new cahier journal at Swain’s Art Supplies. It’s from Canson and not only does it work for light water media, it is good for fountain pens, too.

Canson is a very old French company that offers paper for artists under the Arches and Canson banners. This past year one of their Mix Media spiral notebooks became my testing ground for watercolors and brushes. Fountain pen ink works in it, too. I had high expectations for the Canson Art Book: Inspiration and was not disappointed.

Canson Art Book: Inspiration

Canson Art Book: Inspiration

The cover is bendable and unadorned except for an unobtrusive logo embossed at the bottom of the back cover. The interior of the cover could hold a lot of data including contact info or an index. The paper is acid-free and fine grained though with an almost imperceptible tooth. It works beautifully with pencil and erases easily. This may well be its first and best use.

Canson Art Book: Inspiration Writing Samples

Canson Art Book: Inspiration Writing Samples

Other writing instruments performed well with only a few exceptions. The Sharpie Ultra Fine Point demonstrated mild show-through with the Copic and Tombow showing even more. The Copics also bled-through but a blotter (a doubled sheet of printer paper in this case) prevented damage to the succeeding page.

Canson Art Book: Inspiration Fountain Pen Samples

Canson Art Book: Inspiration Fountain Pen Samples

Just because a paper is good with a variety of media doesn’t mean fountain pens will take to it. But even writing with wide, free-flowing nibs turned out well except for the Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses that suffered a smear. There was no feathering, no bleed-through, and only the faintest hint of writing visible on the reverse. The paper might be a bit dry but that control makes this journal good for two-sided use.

There is only an unlined version so it won’t suit all writers. I tried a sheet of Rhodia with its lavender lines as a guide beneath the Art Book paper and that worked well enough under good lighting. Something with darker lines would be even better.

Canson Art Book: Inspiration Watercolor Swatches

Canson Art Book: Inspiration Watercolor Swatches

I used a fairly wet, #8 round synthetic brush for the watercolor samples using straight Daniel Smith and American Journey paints. The colors turned out suitably rich and very bright. The paper did wrinkle slightly but much less than I expected. There was no bleed-through and the blotter prevented any moisture from seeping though to the next page. Each remained pristine and ready for immediate use.

If you are a Moleskine fan, this is a fair competitor should you need a different grade of paper. It isn’t a substitute for a specific Moleskine product but rather an additional journal for certain uses.

Canson Art Book: Inspiration is targeted at artists but good for anyone. A blotter sheet between pages for tools that are very wet like the Copic brush pen tip or watercolor media is essential. That really is the only caveat.

The minimalist form and quality paper make this cahier a real treat for an urban artist. Just tuck in a small box of watercolors and a tiny bottle of water and you can discreetly catch any subject. If you are a writer, especially one who uses fountain pens, anything in your kit should work just fine. No need to match pen to paper since the paper handles most every ink and pen equally well.

Do I sound enthusiastic? Well I am. Nothing since I was introduced to Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks has hit the mark for my paper needs so well. Now there is a very portable cahier to complement my S&B hardcover journals. Color me very happy indeed.

Canson Art Book: Inspiration specifications:

Comes in a package of two journals

Sizes: 8.3″ x 11.7″, 3.4″ x 5/5″, 5.5″ x 8.5″

Contains 30 sheets of 65lb/96gsm, acid-free, heavyweight Mi-Teintes paper

Simple sewn binding

Flexible cover in four colors:

  • Cover: Indigo, inside cover: Lavender
  • Cover: Black, inside cover: Grey
  • Cover: Tobacco, inside cover: Oyster
  • Cover: Wine, inside cover: Red
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Faced with a possible disaster, what would you grab?

10/26/2012

Few of us will ever have to grab just a couple of favorites and run for the door. But if you did what would you take in an emergency?

I live in earthquake country. There is no warning that we are in danger. It just strikes. Keeping my selection to what could quickly be snatched and easily carried, that amounts to three pens. The Montblanc 220 OB, a Levenger Kyoto True Writer with a Masuyama Stub nib, and a Pelikan M-215 with a custom italic nib would fill a pocket and are always front and center on my desk. The Lamy Safari with a custom italic nib is a terrific writer but its odd size makes it an awkward fit in a small space. That one would come along only if I had extra room. A pen case to protect the lot would be nice but not essential.

Bottles of ink are more cumbersome but if I thought my inventory was going up in smoke, two discontinued favorites, Montblanc Racing Green and Parker Penman Ruby, would top my list. Just because I love the color and it would make me a little happier despite my losses, Iroshizuku ku-jaku would be number three.

If I had plenty of room, a pad of Rhodia paper would provide space to vent frustration, doodle for relaxation, or enjoy the elation of surviving a disaster.

If you had to grab your pens and run for the hills, which ones would you choose?

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