Archive for the ‘Fountain Pens’ Category

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Review: A Few Chinese Fountain Pens

05/25/2022

Over a year ago, I decided to expand my collection of fude nibs. During the research phase, I ran across the Delike New Moon 2. Nothing in my collection was as fine as the Delike fude appeared to be and I was willing to gamble $20 to find out if this pen would fill that niche. In its favor was a very appealing design and color. Even the size and weight of the barrel are in my preferred range. So I plunked down my money and waited for its arrival.

When the package showed up at my door, I wasted no time and opened it immediately. First impression? Wow, what a beautiful pen! After a thorough rinsing, I filled the converter and was delighted to find that the nib was as good as the rest of the pen though it took several tries to find its best ink mate, Iroshizuku syo-ro.

More than a year later, this dynamic duo has been my daily companion completing nearly 300 pages in my journals. It has been filled dozens of times and is still going strong.

The green cracked ice pen was so enjoyable to use that I bought a blue marble so I could have two colors of ink ready to write. That pen has a tad more feedback, but otherwise is identical in performance. Rumor has it that the fudes are hand ground from Dlike extra-fine nibs and I wondered if the standard nibs were as good. So I bought a burgundy marble extra-fine that was beautiful but had a nib that was a stinker. After several emails with the seller, they decided to send a replacement nib that works perfectly.

Despite being the happy owner of three new pens, I decided to explore a little further and purchased a purple wave Moonman S1 with a fine nib. That pen had flow issues from the beginning that I addressed by widening the slit. I overdid it and the flow is a bit excessive. The build quality is not as good as the Delike New Moon 2 and feels more like a $20 pen that I could lose and not care about the loss.

Recently I noticed that Jet Pens carried the Moonman N6 though their inventory was low. I zoomed in on a photo of the nib and to my surprise the fude had the same imprint as the Delike New Moon. However, the design of the pen was quite different with no metal furnishings, not even a clip. Such a lightweight pen might be handy in my handbag or on days when my grip is uncooperative. So I ordered one along with a bottle of matching ink, Private Reserve Shell Pink, two packets of Tomoe River paper and a corner punch to make the paper look more like stationery when I want to write a letter. The pink pen came with a glass dip nib that I haven’t tried yet. Maybe someday my fascination with the fude will subside and I will swap the nibs. Or not.

Just to see what would happen, the blue fude and the burgundy extra-fine were set aside filled with Colorverse Crystal Planet and Andromeda. After seven weeks of no use, they both wrote instantly though the flow from the EF was a tad light for the first few words. Perhaps I just hit on the ideal combination of pens and inks, but it is still an impressive result.

This is not a full review because the pens have become difficult to find in the last six months and generally my reviews are about currently available products. However, I promised a review of the Delike so here it is. The bottom line is that these pens are inexpensive but the build quality varies. You might hit the jackpot as I did with my first two or you might get a stinker. If the retailer is one you can count on to back up its products like Jet Pens does, your risk is reduced. The Delike is hard to find, but there are a few at Amazon and eBay. At the price point, there are a number of other options including the Pilot Metropolitan. I have three of them and all of the nibs are good but none is a fude. The Delike fits my hand better and has more visual appeal so the Pilots are in the pen drawer. However, I am fickle so that is always subject to change.

More about the New Moon from Rupertarzeian at Early thoughts on the Delike New Moon bent nib fude pen

and More thoughts on the Delike New Moon fude nib fountain pen.

Pen Vibe: The Beginners Guide to Delike Fountain Pens

JanineScribbles: Delike New Moon fountain pens

Fountain Pen Blog: Early thoughts on the Delike New Moon bent nib fude pen.

 

 

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Favorite Pens And Inks Updated

05/24/2022

Today I updated my lists of favorite pens, inks and paper plus some of the best combinations I have used. Some items are vintage and others have been discontinued so you might not find them at your local retailer.

What are some of your favorites? Is your list subject to frequent changes or is it stable?

Favorite Fountain Pens

Favorite Inks

Favorite Paper

Favorite Matches

 

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Inkquiring Minds: TWSBI Declares WAR on Moonman and Narwhal

05/17/2022

Are you interested in a pen world controversy? This excellent video lays it out nicely and some of the comments add to the tale. If nothing else, it is a distraction from world events and the political posturing the media serves us.

Full disclosure: I am months into writing an extensive review of converter pens offered by Moonman, Delike and Majohn. A Delike New Moon 2 fude has been my #1 pen for over a year while the TWSBI 580 hasn’t been filled once. The Delike is a better fit in my hand, is very attractive and its nib is perfect for my journal paper and line-spacing. It’s my if-you-could-only-choose-one pen.

Knockoffs are a frustrating and regrettable hazard these days and certainly China is the worst offender. TWSBI considers Moonman and others to be selling copies of some of their models. Basically, TWSBI has told retailers if they sell Moonman and related pens, they can no longer sell TWSBIs. If TWSBI had a patent on their piston-filler mechanism, I would support enforcing it, but they don’t. If they haven’t filed for one, why not?

Business is business you say? Well, I don’t have to give TWSBI my business or anyone else for that matter. Make a good product and offer it at a fair, dollar-for-value price, and people will come. That’s the best way to beat the competition.

Delike New Moon 2 with a fine fude nib.

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Noodler’s And The Pen Community

05/12/2022

A few folks have gotten their knickers in a twist over pen and ink names. As a result, Noodler’s has changed the names of a number of products. Other manufacturers have given inks new names over the years ostensibly for marketing reasons though apparently the underlying formulas remained unchanged. To be accurate at representation, my policy has been to use the name on the bottle and that will continue. If I ever restock a bottle with a new name, I will make the switch but who uses up Noodler’s ink? Those bottles are huge!

For reference:

Previous Name


Noodler’s Ink

New Name

19010 Kiowa Pecan Pecan
19022 Apache Sunset Southwest Sunset
19028 Ottoman Rose Rose in the Louvre
19029 Navajo Turquoise Mesa Turquoise
19034 Tiananmen Discontinued
19035 Ottoman Azure Azure
19036 Shah’s Rose Pearl Diver Coral
19066 Bernanke Black Brevity Black
19067 Bernanke Blue Brevity Blue
19069 Rome Burning Rome (one antique coin)
19070 Q-E’ternity ($&¢) Brevity Blue-Black
19074 Park Red Discontinued
19085 House Divided Discontinued
19103 Anti-Fascist Blue (X-Feather Blue) X-Feather Blue
19104 Noodler’s 1984 Ink Discontinued
19105 Censor Red Brevity Red
19810 Nikita 4.5 oz w/Free Pen TBD
19814 Dragons Napalm 4.5 oz Free Pen Dragon’s Fire
Noodler’s Fountain Pens
14045 Apache Tortoise Konrad Flex Mesa Tortoise
15045 Apache Tortoise Ahab Mesa Tortoise
15048 Cherokee Pearl Ahab Oklahoma
15049 Comanche Ahab Brazos River
15051 Black Crow Ahab Raven
15054 Huron Ahab Lake Champlain
15055 Iroquois Ahab Lake Erie
15060 Navajo Turquoise Ahab Mesa Turquoise
15063 Pima Tortoise Ahab Canyon Tortoise
15066 Zuni Ahab Wilderness twilight
Standard Flex Nibs
17066 Zuni Std Flex Wilderness Twilight
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Matchy-Matchy In Pink

05/11/2022

Last week I ordered a replacement for a favorite ink along with a pen for a comparison review from Jet Pens. It turns out they are perfectly suited for each other in a matchy-matchy way. Sometimes you just get lucky.

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Stipula Ink Meets A Levenger True Writer

01/27/2022

Out of rotation for a long time, the duo of Stipula Verde Muschiato in a Levenger True Writer CI caught my eye recently while browsing through my photo archives. In keeping with my 2022 plan to use what’s on hand, the two were reintroduced to each other a few days ago. No wedding bells but a long-standing friendship was renewed.

Verde Muschiato ranks as my favorite yellow-green ink for its color as well as its compatibility with any pen. It does lean towards brown so it can appear dark depending on nib size and flow. Though it has had assignations with a variety of pens, the 0.7mm custom cursive italic brings out its best qualities including mild shading. True for Stipula Sapphron as well which has long been my favorite for a yellow-orange ink.

Though the plastic caps have leaked on occasion, Stipula’s 70ml bottles are reasonably priced for the volume. Just keep the bottle upright and it should be fine.

Stipula Calamo inks lack sheen, shimmer and other flashy properties, but do offer pleasing colors and solid characteristics. It’s the kind of ink I would load in an eyedropper filler with its large capacity and just write and write and write. No glitzy distractions. Just easy-to-read lettering for pages of notes or long journal entries perfect for the writer in you.

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Lessons From 2021 And Plans For 2022

12/30/2021

2021 was my year to reorganize and consolidate making the most of what was on hand. The result was a lean kit of basic tools that make writing a pleasure.

Honestly, it was pretty simple. Selling pens financed the purchase of four inexpensive Chinese models one of which has become my favorite daily writer. A contaminated bottle of a favorite ink was replaced. Paper purchases included identical replacements for completed journals along with paper for two A5 loose-leaf notebooks. Hardly adventurous, but it was satisfying to use familiar tools. All of this led to more writing and less fiddling. And that’s a good thing.

Writing more slowly improved my letter forms and my hand was less stressed during rare longer sessions. My softer touch created less drag so extra-fine nibs were less scratchy making them useful again.

Lessons from 2021 that will apply to 2022:

  • Sell pens that will never receive the love they deserve.
  • If a pen doesn’t thrill me but I am not ready to sell it, there is a drawer where pens-in-waiting can commiserate. In the future, it might be perfect for my needs.
  • Converter fillers with satisfying nibs are best for me. Keep no more than three to five filled at a time including pens for testing ink.
  • If an ink is terrific, keep using it! Iroshizuku syo-ro in a fine fude is #1 these days with eighteen refills in recent months. Platinum Classic Lavender Black is getting a lot of love, too.
  • Stick to my paper niche of Tomoe River 52gsm, a planner with MD paper, and only an occasional tryst with a new brand.
  • Write slowly with a soft touch and don’t worry about how my writing looks so long as it is legible.
  • Handwritten notes spark ideas for my websites so do it daily if only a sentence or two.

2022 plans include only one new addition, a watercolor journal. In the past, notes, swatches, sketches, palette ideas went in all kinds of places including unrelated notebooks, my personal journal, backs of envelopes, napkins. You name it and I wrote and painted on it. Time to change my ways most likely with a Stillman & Birn Beta or Zeta Sketchbook. Both have paper that will handle watercolor swatches and sketches as well as notes made with fountain pens and pencils. A single notebook is all I will need.

On a different subject, social media can be entertaining if sometimes brutal as I experienced when a narcissistic, delusional FB bully attacked me. Anyway, no one and no topic is worth being the target of that kind of abuse. The lesson here is to trust my instincts and ignore or block people sooner. I am worth it and so are you. On the plus side, this episode encouraged me to reevaluate and expand my plans in a way that I would not have done without the bully’s attack. Instead of doing less, I am doing more. Ironic, eh?

Now you know how my 2021 tool selection evolved as well as the year’s life lesson. The opposite may be better for you with lots of pens, constantly changing inks, a huge variety of notebooks and paper, and handwriting that does not need tweaking. You might even like interacting with a bully. Hey, whatever makes you happy!

Lastly, I learned that I have a namesake. Cute, eh?

Margana, the Camel

 

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