‘Black Swan in Australian Roses Charms A Noodler’s Flex Pen12/17/2010
Confused? Noodler’s does have fanciful names. This time it is a Noodler’s Nib Creaper fountain pen with Noodler’s ‘Black Swan in Australian Roses’ ink. Translation? A modern flex pen meets a lovely dark red/maroon ink.
Dave Garrett has done a good job of showing off the beauty of Black Swan so do have a look at his writing sample for a better idea of its attributes. Leigh Reyes has an elegant video of the pair at work both at writing and drawing.
The color of Black Swan is rich and elegant. It has good flow but dries slowly. Actually, I find slow drying time to be common with most deep red purple inks so no surprise there. The ink is well-behaved on good paper but inclined to spread on absorbent paper. This is one ink that should be matched to paper and pen for best results.
The Nib Creaper fountain pen has a nib that passes for modern flex and at the price point has no peer. If you ever wanted to give flex a try, this is the way to do it without making a substantial investment. The nib does not compare to vintage flex but for someone new to such things, the Creaper is a good beginner’s pen. It has a feel of sturdiness that might allow for a bit more pressure than a vintage nib can tolerate but it can still be ruined if you push it too far.
Be gentle with the nib to start and look for slightly wider lines rather than significant variation. Very quickly you will find the limits of your nib. More pressure on the down stroke with less pressure for thinner lines elsewhere will give you the nicest look.
As you can see from my first attempts with the Creaper, the ink flow can be inconsistent. That issue can be eliminated by writing more slowly. The drawback is that more ink on the paper means more time for the ink to dry. All flex nibs have this quirk so if you want to write with flex, slow down and enjoy the ride. Eventually the rhythm will find you and using a flex nib will become as easy as using your other fountain pens.
While flex is fun, the Creaper nib is solid enough to work as a regular fountain pen. With light pressure consider it the equivalent of a fine nib. If you tend to put your weight into your writing, you might get a medium line. Given the range of line widths, this pen could be excellent for some expressive line drawing especially since the piston holds a decent amount of ink.
As for the Creaper’s build, it is in line with the $14 cost. The demonstrator arrived with a distinctly unpleasant odor that seems to be fading. The body is 5 1/8″ capped and 5 1/2″ posted. It is a slender, light-weight resin pen that shouldn’t tire your hand.
The fun of any clear demonstrator is watching the ink flow and bead in the chamber and this piston filler provides an unimpeded view. Filled with Black Swan, the Creaper reminded me of a purple lava lamp as I tilted it back and forth. Simple pleasures, eh?
So there you have it. The pen is a nice bit of fun and the ink a lovely, rich color. They are a good match but lots of other inks would be, too. Think of it this way. For the price of a couple of movie tickets, you can own a Noodler’s Nib Creaper. If you skip the popcorn and soda, you can swing the Black Swan in Australian Roses, too. You know what I would choose. How about you?