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Gaiman On Bowie And Other Links

01/17/2016

Some weeks are longer than others. This was one of them, but there were a few memorable links…

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Speedball Elegant Writer Is A Cheap Thrill

01/15/2016

Playing with the Speedball Elegant Writer is a lot of fun. Just grab a wet brush and make it dance around the paper. The more water the better so a paper of at least 150gsm will make the best surface and yield the most satisfying results, but Midori and Tomoe River paper like it, too. Four pens for less than $10 makes this an inexpensive tool for journal decorating or mixed media art. I predict much doodling ahead.

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Leuchtturm1917 Ink And Watercolor Tests

01/12/2016

Pen friends are great! One of mine sent a Leuchtturm1917 Squared Notebook that she thought I might enjoy. She was right. The soft surface of the paper is kind to nibs as well as my hand. The pale gray grid on ivory paper is even easy on the eyes. All to the good. However, a reader mentioned that he was having trouble with bleeding so I put my dozen ink rotation to the test.

Four of the twelve inks bled and showed slightly stronger marks than the photo. Iroshizuku tsuki-yo and Diamine Merlot left dots behind on almost every paper and remained true to form here. Great colors, but disappointing performance except with the finest of nibs. Earlier in the year, I wrote pages with Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu, Pelikan Violet and Iroshizuku yu-yake without bleeding. In order to use both sides of the paper, I have to be a bit selective with using free-flowing ink in a wide nib. Not a big deal since I love the paper’s texture and the size of the notebook.

The mild Moleskine-like feathering is only visible on close inspection and is not a deterrent for my purposes. The show-through was not offensive and in line with the 80gsm paper.

The surprise was that a light wash of watercolor did not exhibit any feathering or bleeding and so little buckling that the reverse can be written on with a fountain pen. That last is impressive and very convenient for my tendency to write about all kinds of things in my journal.

The form factor, paper texture, grid size and color, make the Leuchtturm1917 Squared Notebook a worthy contender for your affection. It may not be perfect, but it’s good enough for me.

 

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Pen, Pencil And Ink Links

01/10/2016

It was an on-topic week…

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Taming Paper With The Right Ink

01/08/2016

Proof positive that Noodler’s Black deserves its #1 ranking on my list of favorite inks.

The paper is Greenroom recycled from Target. Made in Taiwan, it feathers and bleeds exactly like Moleskine. However, it is inexpensive and pencils do very well on it so the composition book has a use in my work flow. No significant show-through with pencil and amazingly little with Noodler’s Black. Any wonder I always have a pen loaded with it?

Perhaps a comparison of inks that tame naughty paper is in order. Which inks would you nominate for this list?

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Links From Calligraphy To Pencils To Nibs

01/03/2016

Time to kick off 2016…

A year later and these are still some of my favorite things.

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Short List Of Time-Tested Inks

12/26/2015

At year end making a list of new favorites is easy and there were some beauties in 2015. However, old favorites deserve recognition as well so I made a quick list of the inks that have been in my rotation the longest, some for more than ten years.

  • Noodler’s Black – Good for any use including with watercolors.
  • Waterman Blue-Black – Safe in vintage flex nibs and good at shading.
  • J. Herbin Lie de The – A relatively neutral brown with lovely shading.
  • J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune (old formula) – Pretty color and good for flex.
  • Diamine Emerald – Muted green that shades very well.
  • Diamine Mediterranean Blue – Cheerful color that is outstanding at shading.
  • Noodler’s Apache Sunset – The ultimate ink for flex writing.

On reviewing the list, I was surprised to find the group represented the color spectrum so well. All write well on a variety of papers so no worries on that score. Though my notes mention flex and shading, all of these inks perform well with italic nibs. This is simply a group of well-rounded inks that have made the transition from extra-fine nibs to wide nibs as my preferences have evolved. Next time a fresh rotation is in order, this group would make a versatile and reliable foundation.

Matching each to its favorite pen might cause some conflict since the Namiki Falcon is everyones preferred partner. Can’t you just hear the bickering? WBBk doesn’t participate in the competition since its usual mate is the Waterman’s 54. Who am I to argue with perfection?

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