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Sunday Reads From Cognac To Moleskine

08/14/2016

For your Sunday distraction…

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Giveaway: Noodler’s Berning Red

08/13/2016

Could you use a hit of red in your ink collection? Luxury Brands USA sent a bottle of Noodler’s Berning Red to offer in a giveaway and it could be yours.

It’s simple to enter. Just leave a comment below saying how you would use this rich, red ink. This offer is open to residents of the U.S. only. One entry per person with the winner to be selected, 8/14/2016, at 7 pm PDT. The winner will have until 8/16/2016, 7 pm, PDT to claim the prize. If not, a replacement winner will be selected.

Thank you, Luxury Brands, for making this giveaway possible and allowing Inkophile to host it.

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A Good Deal On A Stealth Fountain Pen

08/11/2016

A stealth fountain pen is matte black and makes an intriguing addition to any collection. Today I discovered the Rosetta Vulcan matte black model with a steel nib which is the only shiny part of the design. Otherwise, it has a non-reflective black finish and definitely falls into the stealth category.

The nib is a JoWo #6 and should be a very smooth writer. JoWo makes nibs for a lot of manufacturers including TWSBI, Bexley, Conklin and others. My experience with their 1.1 mm steel nibs has been good and reviews of their other nibs have been positive.

The Vulcan comes in black, gunmetal and matte silver with six grades of nibs. The current price on Amazon is in line with some offers elsewhere so this isn’t a special, but it is a good deal for a 1.1 italic nib that can operate in stealth mode.

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For One Day Only FPH Has A Good Deal On A Sheaffer FP

08/09/2016

For one day only, Fountain Pen Hospital has a terrific price on a Sheaffer 300 White Dot fountain pen. This is a smart-looking, well-constructed pen. The neutral gray makes it suitable for business and compatible with any color ink if you like a little dazzle in your personal arsenal. Orange would do it for me. How about you?

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Pentel Touch Brush Tip Felt Pen

08/07/2016

Pentel has a real winner for calligraphers with the Touch line of felt tipped pens. That is something I already knew from YouTube and Instagram videos before I got my hands on one. What was a genuine surprise is how little effort it takes to make a mark with a Touch. Just skim the paper with the pen and bold lines result. Banish hand fatigue though writing large is the best I could do.

The two on my desk came from a local art store and are not equal. They were in an open display and one tip has suffered mild abuse making delicate lines elusive. The other pen has a dream tip that glides effortlessly. It is an absolute delight to use for lettering though I have no hand for true calligraphy. You should see the colorful notes all around my desk. They draw my attention to what must be accomplished today and that is a good thing.

Worthy of note is that the Touch pen did not feather and produced only a few tiny dots of bleed-through in my new squared Moleskine journal. Ghosting was its only flaw, no surprise on Moleskine. That brings up the Moleskine caveat: Their journals are possessed by fickle paper so your results may not be comparable to mine. Even printer paper suffered zero bleed-through and less ghosting than the Moleskine. My other journals handled the Touch without complaint.

The Pentel Touch is a fun-to-write-with pen that comes in a variety of colors. There are two versions so look for the brush tip if you want the one reviewed here. Amazon offers individual black and blue pens among other colors as well as a twelve color set. Local stores did not stock this pen except for the one, distant art store where I purchased my first two. The full set is on my wishlist because the Touch is so much fun to use. Plus it has all those colors and I am always a sucker for color. The notes around my desk will never look the same.

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Sunday Reads From Color To Nibs

08/07/2016

There are some odd ones in this bunch. The first one absolutely blew me away. The fourth one is a contrast in size. The last one just made me happy, no mean feat this past week…

My summer inks from 2012: Diamine Mediterranean, Sailor Yaki-Akari and Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses.

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Moleskine Surprise

08/05/2016

When it comes to journals, Moleskine has set the standard for form. Sturdy, but lays flat. Natural white paper. Ribbon marker. Elastic band and rear pocket. The size is just right in the hand. But in recent times, the paper has left much to be desired when it comes to fountain pen ink.

When I started using Moleskine some twelve years ago, my pens were quite happy with it and the few inks I owned would cozy up to the paper and leave marks with clean outlines. Extra-fine and fine nibs were perfect, especially a vintage Parker 51 fine-medium that was the pen I carried everywhere.

Skip forward a few years and the paper quality suffered. Spidery feathers bloomed from every letter and blobs of ink showed through on the backs of pages making them worthless. One-sided writing cut the value of the pricey journals by half. Moleskine betrayed my trust and I swore off for good.

To be fair, paper sources can change over time and being ever hopeful that the company had come to its senses, I tucked a squared notebook into a recent Amazon order. The wrapper says “Mix. Paper from responsible sources.” What does that mean? It also says the notebook was manufactured in China. Lots of paper comes from China, but most of it isn’t fountain pen friendly. Hoping to be surprised, I put the Moleskine to the test.

Every instrument except the fountain pens worked well enough that both sides of the paper were useful. Clean outlines and almost no feathering with only very faint ghosting from the Sharpie Pen and the Pentel Touch make the Moleskine an excellent choice.

The scan shows a new Moleskine at the upper left with a Rhodia notebook to the right. The bottom two are Moleskine journals purchased several years ago. The recent Moleskine has paper that is more white than in the past which is another indication that the paper is from a different batch.

Fountain pen ink produced mixed results. To the good, feathering has been reduced. Not gone entirely, but spidery offshoots did not happen. That is a significant improvement over the Moleskine journals I last purchased. Outlines are less jagged though under magnification still imperfect with some inks. It isn’t Rhodia quality, but it will do.

Bleed-through on the reverse proved frustrating, but ink and nib width made a difference. Noodler’s Black in a fine nib was perfect. Sailor Peach Pink did not bleed even from a Platinum #3776 Music Nib. J. Herbin Bleu Azure from a Platinum Century B Nib left only a couple of dots. Other inks in wide nibs left so many spots that the reverse was unusable at least by my standards. However, a dry nib or an extra-fine to fine nib should have less trouble. The narrow nib for many users will be more suitable for the size of the journal and the 5 mm grid spacing anyway.

The bottom line is Moleskine has improved the quality of its paper at least in the grid notebook I tested. Some pen and ink duos will work beautifully on both sides of the paper. If you only write on one side, use any pen and ink. With the feathering reduced, Moleskine is no longer off my list. Is it time to put it on yours?

 

 

 

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