Posts Tagged ‘Platinum Pens’

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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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The Need To Ink

11/23/2015

If we can only wield one fountain pen at a time, why do we ink so many? Variety in pen style and nib shape might justify a few, but not the huge number some of us wind up with despite the best of intentions. Is ink the true seductress?

These days, my activities rarely require more than one or two pens for daily writing and seldom more than three for an extended session. Once my choice has been made and the words flow, it’s full steam ahead with whatever is in hand. That hardly explains the number typically inked in the tray on my desk.

Often my fascination with color overrides my common sense and a quick dozen pens get filled before I put on the brakes. Add that to my core rotation and presto there are twenty at the ready. That is far and away too many, but it is incredibly satisfying.

But if I ink only one or two, would the other pens get sad or feel neglected or even jealous? The cacophony coming from the pen drawer would be downright distracting and might drive poor Macy crazy with her canine ear for the tiniest sound. A fly two rooms away makes her head flip around with astonishing speed. She already chatters more than any dog ought to and the jabbering of the pen crew would no doubt set her off all too easily. Now if she would just bark, growl and mutter in vermillion, aubergine and cornflower blue, I would be delighted to encourage her antics. In neutral tones, not so much.

How do you cope with the need to ink and the excess on your desk? Do your pens shout for attention or do you have a complacent crew?

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Pen And Ink Links

09/20/2015

The photo of Macy was a lucky catch as she zoomed around the room getting dry after her bath. By the time she winds down, she looks like a puff ball and feels wonderfully silky.

Japanese ink and pens caught my eye this week while I worked on a long pen review. Working on the photos today. Unfortunately, the coloring book doesn’t work with fountain pens so colored pencils will have to do. Even so, it’s a relaxing way to spend a little down-time.

Macy after her Saturday night bath.

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How Did This Happen?

11/16/2014

Times certainly have changed. My rotation of mostly black pens has been invaded by demos sporting jewel toned inks. How did this happen?

The term demo or demonstrator comes from pens with clear barrels that were used years ago to reveal or demonstrate the inner workings of a fountain pen. Stores might have had a few, but not customers. In the past ten years or so, clear pens have become available from a few manufacturers and have caught the fancy of many collectors.

I used to avoid demos thinking the potential for stains would make them high maintenance and only good with low maintenance inks. While that may hold true for some pens, those in my collection tolerate a variety of inks and have shown no signs of staining with normal pen hygiene.

The Lamy Vistas don’t get much use due to inconsistent flow so they are semi-retired. But thanks to the generosity of Luxury Brands USA, a Platinum Nice M (pink gold), a Nice Pur B (rhodium), and a Noodler’s Ahab Flex have nudged aside more mundane black pens. With three grades of nibs, I hardly need anything else. Well, except for the Platinum #3776 music nib. When I want a bold line, nothing is quite as sweet.

Seeing colorful ink at a glance is a gentle reminder of what’s in store when a pen is put to use. The Nice is inked with Waterman South Sea Blue and the Ahab is inked with Noodler’s Apache Sunset. The Pur is awaiting a fill. What do you think would be luscious from that broad nib pen?

Demos haven’t overwhelmed my rotation so far, but the more somber black pens aren’t happy to be displaced. Do you suppose they will be exceptionally well-behaved to maintain their dominance? Now wouldn’t that be a nice turn of events.

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Fountain Pen Day

11/07/2014

Many aficionados are marking Fountain Pen Day by posting images of their favorite pens and/or written remarks about the day. Some especially lucky ones will win prizes in the many giveaways ending today. All of us will enjoy using our pens just as we do every day of the year.

Besides putting a few to use, I’m giving fourteen neglected pens a thorough cleaning before going into storage for a well earned vacation. That will leave two Platinums, two Reform 1745s, one Noodler’s and a Lamy on my desk. After a good cleaning the Platinum #3776 music nib will return to active duty. That’s more than enough variety to keep this fountain pen lover happy.

Do you have plans for Fountain Pen Day?

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Want the Platinum Chartres Blue Fountain Pen? Here’s The Deal!

12/29/2012

Just so you won’t have to, I did some shopping around after receiving one of those year-end what a great deal emails. The item with the 20% discount looked very appealing so I decided to check prices with online retailers who make great deals an everyday occurrence. Well, not only is the Platinum #3776 Century Chartres Blue Fountain Pen well priced elsewhere, but you can get it shipped free at least for now. So if this pen is on your wish list, I Sell Pens or Goldspot Luxury Gifts  will take your order. Go on. Hop to before they run out.

A Blue Screen And The Platinum Century Chartres Blue Pen has my initial impression of the pen to which you can add two new remarks . One is that under low light it looks black. That makes the pen a chameleon depending on lighting conditions. The second is that the broad nib is turning out very well for me. However, I’ve set it aside to see how Platinum Pigment Ink flows after days of no use. That’s frustrating because I want to write with it – not watch it. See what I do for you ink and pen lovers!

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Does Inkophile Owe You One?

12/06/2012

The year is drawing to a close and it has been a roller coaster ride to be sure. My office is jammed with work, art supplies, pens, ink, and tons of paper products. This week Christmas arrived early when Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands sent a huge box of Noodler’s Ink, Noodler’s Pens, and Platinum pens for review. Color me gobsmacked at his generosity and consider my wishlist fulfilled.

Certainly, it is a lot of product to test and write about but I also want to handle any unfinished business. So if I owe you a review, please let me know. My log shows that I have caught up but it could be mistaken. Not that a log would ever lie but…

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