Posts Tagged ‘Waterman’

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G’bye 2013 – Hello 2014

01/01/2014

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…

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.

Copyright © 2013 Margana Maurer. All Rights Reserved.

Gene Kelly in Rose Ink

May your new year be filled with joyful dancing and colorful friends. Hello 2014!

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Links From Gold To 007 To A Giveaway

10/07/2012

Have you heard about the bacteria that poop gold? What’ll they think of next!

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Fountain Pen Nibs – It’s All Relative

04/03/2012

When it comes to nib size, fountain pen users have a multitude of choices. Recently I was doodling with the inky beauties on my desk and was struck by the differences between them. Even two from the same maker and of the same width produced varied results. Getting the perfect line size to show your writing to its best may take a little trial and error, but the satisfaction in seeing your words look their best is worth it.

I have become an equal opportunity user though I was stuck on narrow nibs for a very long time. Most fountain pen nibs are either fine or medium with a smaller number available in broad and extra-fine widths. The tip of the nib is round in shape, a bit like a ball point pen when you put it to paper. That angle of contact suits general use very well.

Moving beyond the typical nib, the sweet spot where nib meets paper becomes less forgiving and requires more care in use. If it suits your writing style, even an exotic nib should work well once you get the hang of it. Less common categories include double broad (BB), stub, italic, cursive italic, music, and Arabic. There are other exotic nibs but they are too rare for a general discussion.

If a rigid nib doesn’t thrill you, there is a unique characteristic called flex which can be an attribute of any sized nib. It is measured in degrees from a soft give that produces just a slight squish with pressure to a wet noodle that puts down ink like a paint brush.

Another quirk is that Asian nibs for the most part are more narrow than Western nibs. Add to that the interplay between nib, ink and paper as well as the rate of flow from the ink supply to the nib tip and the range of line widths can get ridiculous.

Still there is a range and that is what the image demonstrates. Size is relative.

Fountain Pen Line Comparison

Fountain Pen Line Comparison

Note that the ink scan has not be color adjusted. Take that aspect of this post with a grain of salt.

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A Little Ink History For The True Geek

02/03/2012

History really does put things in perspective. Look at the years in which some well-known companies began offering ink. To be sure this is only a partial list compared to the number of labels on the market but it is still a good sampling. Whether you like these particular brands or not, the companies are doing something right to endure. Kudos to all of them.

  • Aurora – 1919
  • De Atramentis – 1988
  • Diamine – 1864
  • J. Herbin – 1670
  • Noodler’s Ink – 2004?
  • Parker – 1931
  • Pelikan – 1838
  • Private Reserve – 1998
  • Rohrer & Klingner – 1892
  • Sheaffer – 1922
  • Waterman – 189?
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Favorite Brand Of Fountain Pen Ink – The Poll Results

01/12/2012

Remember that Favorite Brand of Ink poll from December? The poll has closed and the results are in. The top ten inks are

  1. Noodler’s
  2. Diamine
  3. J. Herbin
  4. Iroshizuku
  5. Private Reserve
  6. Waterman
  7. Sailor
  8. Pilot/Namiki
  9. Aurora
  10. Sheaffer

Noodler’s received a whopping 23% of the vote. That’s huge compared to the next three brands. Diamine at 14%, J. Herbin at 13%, and Iroshizuku at 12% are good numbers but Noodler’s reigns with Inkophile readers. Given the variety of colors offered by the top brand, perhaps the win shouldn’t be a surprise though Diamine runs a well-earned second in that regard.

Also, consider that four brands of ink garnered 62% of the vote while the next two brands received another 10% combined. That means 72% favor six companies and 28% prefer 29 other ink makers. Those top six companies are really doing something right though availability might play into preferences. The majority of you are located in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada where the top three inks are more easily purchased. Hard to love an ink you’ve never tried.

Many of the other ink brands are excellent quality and worth buying. I have lots of Rohrer& Klingner and use Solferino and Magenta regularly. When only a red ink will do, Morinda is my usual choice. Admittedly, I tend to horde my other preferred red, J. Herbin ‘1670’ Rouge Hematite. That’s one ink I do not want to be without.

That brings up another factor: cost. Noodler’s Ink is a veritable bargain compared to many brands especially since it can often be diluted without losing its best attributes. At $12.50 US, a single 3 oz./90 ml bottle can last a very, very long time. That doesn’t sway me when making a purchase but a pricey ink won’t find its way into my shopping cart except on rare occasion.

Many of my favorite individual inks like Caran d’Ache Storm and Montblanc Racing Green are made by companies farther down the list and I only discovered them through trial and error. Do keep looking if you haven’t found that perfect ink. It’s out there.

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‘Tis The Season To Simplify

12/06/2011

Ready or not ’tis the season when multitasking heads into high gear. How can you fit fountain pens into such busy days?

Simplify!

If you have a number of pens, it is all too easy to fill more than you can use. Tame that urge when pens might remain idle for many days in a row. Fill two or three from your core rotation and add a few extras for color and nib variety. That should be enough inky joy for the bustle of the season. Well, at least I hope so since that’s exactly what I’m going to do when I finish the ink and paper tests on my desk.

No time for your pens?

Unlike most hobbies and interests, fountain pens are tools that fit into everyday life so take advantage of it. Any ink will do for lists and notes and your pens will appreciate the exercise.

J. Herbin 1670 Ink Sample  The bar shows the range of shades in the written sample.

J. Herbin 1670 Ink Sample. The bar shows the range of shades in the written sample.

If you don’t have time for doodles and drawings or long missives, make even mundane writing count with seasonal or holiday colored inks. A grocery list written in vivid red or pine tree green is so much more festive than one done in basic black.

Have a leftover silver gel pen from your pre-fountain pen days? Anyone can draw stars. Add a few silvery ones to that massive “To Do” list. Sparkle and shine are good this time of year.

Uni-ball Noble Metallic Gel Ink Pen Set from Jet Pens

Uni-ball Noble Metallic Gel Ink Pen Set from Jet Pens

Make it fun!

Whatever you do with your pens, make it fun. Cut up a sheet of quality paper or stationery and use your holiday colors to leave your family silly notes or reminders to yourself. Gift tags can be made the same way and it’s a great way to show you really thought about the recipient.

Make it personal.

A brief note, letter or card could be tucked into any gift but can be especially thoughtful in a book. Card stock works well for a personalized bookmark. Write something you might never say otherwise.

No card stock on hand? You can fold fine stationery over several times or accordion style to keep your words hidden except to the person intended. Want to make it even more unique? Punch a hole at the top and thread ribbon or soft string through with a few beads laced onto the ends.  Metal bits and bobs have the added charm of making soft, clinking sounds as they tap against each other. You’ve probably seen similar bookmarks at a bookstore or card shop, but a personalized one is so much better.

1930's Waterman's '301' Fountain Pen

1930's Waterman's '301' Fountain Pen

What’s next?

Now that you’ve survived December, it’s on to January. After the bare bones rotation of the holidays, go for a color explosion to counter the gray and stormy background of mid-winter. Anyone up for summery turquoise, shocking pink, or brilliant orange? What a perfect inky way to start the New Year right.

Retro 51 Scriptmaster 2 Clementine

Retro 51 Scriptmaster 2 Clementine

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Half-Price Sale At Swisher Pens

08/02/2011

Chuck Swisher has a half-price sale on some really nice pens and other items. Anything interest you?

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