Posts Tagged ‘Luxury Brands USA’

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Ink Links Plus Flower And Bird Photos

04/03/2016

Totally on topic this week…

Outside my kitchen window, a late blooming camellia is attracting a lot of attention especially from the hummingbirds who nest in my yard every year. The hummers were reluctant to pose hence the old photos, but the flowers were less flighty if a bit bouncy riding on the March winds.

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A Little Noodler’s On Noodler’s Action

03/23/2016

This was a Noodler’s month with a gift of three Konrads and three inks from Luxury Brands USA. The little dears went right to work quickly doubling the number of fountain pens on my desk and adding some color to a sedate, black rotation.

Just a couple of days before the shipment arrived, I almost bought an 1820 Essex Konrad, but got sidetracked. Then I was lucky enough to receive one from Carol. Happy me!

Noodler’s labels are miniature works of art. Who needs a fancy bottle when a dramatic label can say so much more?

Playing matchy-matchy for initial matings was easy except for one ink. El Lawrence is truly an odd color. Some folks say it looks like dirty motor oil. With certainty it is a chameleon looking black to charcoal in some lighting conditions and very dark green in others. It is bulletproof, eternal, highly saturated, and slow to dry from a wide or very wet nib. Diluting it with distilled water seems a natural.

Experimentation with fine nibs was in order so the ink went into a vintage Platinum Karakusa EF that brought out its paler side. Even on cheap copy paper, El Lawrence from the narrow nib performed flawlessly revealing a medium charcoal tone to best advantage. With the stingy Plat nib, the ink dried almost instantly which makes it an option for my non-FP notebooks.

Berning Red is a good match for the December 25th Konrad Flex. The ink is eternal and bulletproof and red, red, red. Unfortunately, it feathered on some brands and grades of paper with the strong flow from the Konrad. A more narrow nib and dry flow tamed it as well as improved the drying time. I am a bit hung up on Noodler’s Park Red so Bernie will have to wait for access to the red ink slot in my rotation, but its time will come.

The Essex was a whaling ship out of Nantucket, Massachusetts, that was sunk by a sperm whale in 1820. The event became the inspiration for Herman Melville’s 1851 novel, Moby-Dick. It’s an interesting back story should someone ask about your 1820 Essex. The barrel is in the teal family, though more green than blue, and so is the Dostoyevsky ink. They are quite a pair with shading here and there, as well as outlining in a Leuchtturm1917 journal. However, the heavy ink flow produced bleed through and mild feathering in the journal though not on other brands of paper. Drying time was generally good but not in all cases. With a fine or extra fine nib, that should be less of an issue. This ink and pen combination is so pleasing that they might be mated for life.

Qufu is a city in China’s Shandong province and known for being the hometown of Confucius. The Qufu Jade Konrad Flex represents dark green jade nicely with its deep color and pale swirls.

The Qufu Jade had limited ink choices with only two green Noodler’s on hand. Army looked good with both the barrel and the cap colors so I opted for that one. It’s the brighter green version that Beth Treadway sent last year. Rumor has it that the original drab yellow-green version has been reissued so if your Army doesn’t match the Qufu colors that might be the reason.

As for fit and finish, the Konrads had no manufacturing defects and the pistons slid smoothly from the first twist of the knob. All of the nibs were properly aligned and wrote well at first contact with paper. Note that two received a water bath before being filled and experienced no flow problems. The third did not get a bath and clogged after a half page. Oops.

The Konrad is made from a cellulose derivative and is biodegradable, not that you would allow yours to wind up in a landfill. But it does make the pen light-weight. Even with the cap posted on the end of the barrel, the balance is good creating a comfortable writing experience.

All three pens are rated flex. However, it takes some effort to produce varying line widths. Writing with normal pressure yields a fine-medium line. Over time it may take less effort to flex the nib, but I have found that trying to make the pen flex beyond a certain point will thereafter widen the unflexed line width. The nib isn’t as narrow as an Esterbrook 9128, but it is more smooth and useful for general writing than many of the lower-end vintage flex nibs.

Noodler’s pens have a distinctive odor that usually dissipates over time. The Essex is slightly less fragrant than the other two, but all three are much less powerful than pens from a couple of years ago. Leaving an empty pen uncapped for a time should hasten the reduction of the odor.

These latest Konrads are a great value and Noodler’s ink is no less. Add a little distilled water and that 3 ounce bottle will last ages. Whether you flex your nib or not, it’s hard to beat this bang-for-the-buck duo.

Thank you, Carol, for sending the pens and inks. My desk is now remarkably colorful and so is my writing.

 

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Ink Miser Will Grab That Last Drop Of Ink

03/06/2016

Luxury Brands has created innovative new products to get that last drop of ink from the bottle to the pen. Tall bottles will no longer be a problem and for Noodler’s fans, this is especially good news.

The Ink Miser Intra-Bottle Inkwell fits inside a bottle neck, but is deeper than the wells I’ve seen elsewhere. It is a perfect fit for Noodler’s and should accommodate even the largest nibs. It can be used to raise the ink level for small pens and make it easier to fill lever-fillers. If you like Noodler’s, this will be a very useful tool.

The Ink Miser Ink-Shot is a free-standing inkwell. Pour ink into it and fill your pen. It can also be used to soak a pen in a minimal amount of water or cleaning fluid while keeping the barrel dry. It’s a unique way to protect a vintage pen from water damage or from becoming stained by dirty water. I expect a few of these will be in constant use around here.

Seriously simple and made from durable polypropylene, both the Intra-Bottle Inkwell and Ink-Shot should last a very long time. Watch these brief videos to see them in action.

Luxury Brands announced their new products only yesterday so retailers should have inventory very soon. Pop them into your next order. You might not need one now, but you surely will in future.

 

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Fountain Pen Day!

11/06/2015

Today is the fourth Fountain Pen Day and there are lots of discounts and giveaways to celebrate. But what about your existing collection? Show them a bit of love by treating them to a cleaning and a fill of fresh ink. Or sort and organize the lot to keep your pens cozy and easily accessed.

Fourteen of the little dears jumped into the tray this morning when I mentioned taking a bath. The former sushi container makes transporting them to the kitchen easier than carrying them in my hands. It’s a lot of pens to clean at one time, but I will feel virtuous when the task is completed.

Psst. Don’t tell them, but only three will get filled today. The Platinum #3776MU, the Platinum Century Yamanaka SM and the Conklin Duragraph 1.1mm will be perfect with the five pens already set up for paper tests this weekend. Inks to be determined.

So grab a pen and give it some love. It’s the perfect day for it.

 

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Playing With Ink

10/12/2015

Some folks play with their food. Not me. I’d rather play with ink and paint.

 

Platinum Pen from Luxury Brands USA. Kuretake Waterbrush and Midori Traveler’s Notebook from Jet Pens.

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Review: Platinum #3776 Yamanaka Fountain Pen

10/11/2015

Carol at Luxury Brands sent a Platinum #3776 Century Yamanaka for review several months ago and it has been a joy in every respect. But then I am a sucker for a clear demonstrator with silver furnishings and a nib that makes writing a pleasure.

The Yamanaka was designed to “reflect the image of a ripple of the brilliant” Lake Yamanaka near Mount Fuji. It’s a beautiful medium sized, light-weight pen, well balanced and comfortable in the hand. The textured effect reminds me of rain on a window pane and makes this pen very stable in the hand. No slipping whatsoever. Posting makes it slightly less well balanced in my smallish hand. For most users that won’t be an issue.

Loaded with Platinum Mixable Silky Purple, this is one of the smoothest nibs I have ever used. With practice, the soft medium nib will produce a very fine line to a bold 0.8 line. Typical of modern soft nibs, a little effort is necessary to achieve that range. However, it is good enough to create flourishes and a unique signature. When flex writing isn’t needed, the nib offers a hint of feedback and yet a nice grip of the paper. That makes it excellent as a daily writer.

The pen is a relatively wet writer so the line is just a little wider than a typical Japanese nib though not so wide as a Western nib. Throttle back just a tad and the line can be better controlled. Even an extra fine line is possible. Loaded with Platinum Carbon Black, it would make a useful pen for drawing expressive lines whether doodles or something more artistic.

Some users claim that matching ink and pen brand can produce ideal results. Filling the Yamanaka with Platinum ink might have made a believer out of me. All I can say is WOW! Match made in heaven and my little sample bottle of Silky Purple won’t last long. In addition, the ink is gorgeous in the transparent barrel though any colorful ink will look jewel-like.

Like other Century pens, this one can rest uncapped for several minutes without the nib running dry. Brand or color may contribute to how long ink will remain fluid. If you tend to pause while considering what to write next, this could make writing a much more enjoyable and relaxed experience. If you are a casual user, the Slip & Seal cap keeps ink from drying out even when stored for extended periods of time. No burps or hard starts either.

While I like the soft medium nib, it won’t suit everyone. My experience with a Platinum medium nib has been no less satisfying and I think it’s a size many writers could enjoy. It is a little less free-flowing so the line is a bit more narrow. Both pens make excellent daily writers.

Such perfect timing. The Yamanaka review is ready to post and the pen is in need of a refill. The breeze is gently tapping the shutters against my window and the lighting at my desk is as good as it gets. Time to close my laptop and put the pen to best use writing a long overdue letter. Life is good!

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Do You Favor Any Of These Inks?

09/22/2015

Introduced mostly through mutual friends, these are the inks that have captured my fancy this year:

  • Akkerman #18 Garuda Road
  • Akkerman #24 Zuiderpark Blauw-Groen
  • Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen
  • Akkerman #26 Groenmarkt Smaragd
  • De Atramentis Cola Ink
  • Diamine Marine
  • Diamine Merlot
  • Diamine Tyrian Purple
  • Diamine Wild Strawberry
  • J. Herbin Rouge Caroubier
  • Noodler’s Park Red
  • Platinum Mixable Ink Aqua Blue
  • Platinum Mixable Ink Silky Purple
  • Platinum Pigment Rose
  • Sailor Miruai
  • Sailor Souten
  • Stipula Calamo Saffron
  • Super 5 Dublin

Two old favorites reemerged as good mates for a variety of pens.

  • Noodler’s Purple Martin
  • Stipula Calamo Verde Muschiato

Are any of these inks in your rotation? Which inks in your collection have emerged as special this year?

A big thank you to the folks who contributed to my wealth of new inks:

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