Posts Tagged ‘Staples ARC System’

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New Faves For 2016

12/18/2016

This past year I made some new friends. Links are to sources for the products.

Art Supplies

  • Silver Brush Black Velvet watercolor brushes – Acquired several this year. Supple, retain shape very well and hold lots of fluid.
  • Daniel Smith Prussian Blue and Transparent Red Oxide watercolors – Good additions to my transparent palette.
  • Aureolin by Winsor & Newton or Daniel Smith – Excellent yellow combined with Permanent Rose or Quinacridone Rose and Cobalt Blue for mixing a full range of colors. This has become my “Less Is More” triad and a staple for my mini kit. (h/t Pat Weaver)
  • Pentel Touch Brush Tip Felt Pen – Good at line variation whether for writing or drawing.
  • Uniball Air marker – More durable than a felt marker and glides effortlessly across the page. Makes my hand happy.
  • Buddha board – Great tool for practicing strokes without wasting ink, paint or paper.

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Hey, That Isn’t A Fountain Pen!

09/17/2016

Not every writing tool on my desk uses fountain pen ink, but all write well in Staples Arc notebooks, my paper mates for the next couple of months. Moving pages from one notebook to another is working out very well for my work flow. Staples paper liked every tool tested and the junior size is just right for my small work space.

My main writing instrument remains a fountain pen, but lightweight felt tips and rollerballs have their charms. Do you ever stray from fountain pens? If so, with what?

Links to buy the tools:

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Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen

09/02/2016

A summer project provided the opportunity to test an inexpensive, reliable, sturdy fountain pen with a medium nib. The Pilot MR Metropolitan seemed a good fit for the purpose. So I popped one into an Amazon order along with dog biscuits and vitamins. Macy was very excited when she first sniffed the package. “Mom, this one’s for me!” She was not impressed by the dark gray pen box, but was tail-wagging happy about the food.

Here is how the Metro stacks up.

For a metal pen, the Metro is surprisingly light-weight. Even writing with the cap on the end, the weight remains within my range if a trifle overbalanced. The brass barrel should take plenty of everyday knocks and abuse. This is a sleek baby that feels quite comfortable in the hand.

The Metro writes every time without hesitation which is impressive considering my inconsistent use of it. The snap on cap seals solidly which may prevent or at least reduce ink evaporation. That may account for the easy starts. It also means jostling won’t loosen the cap, perfect for an everyday carry pen.

Unlike most fountain pens, the Metro allowed me to pause in thought for an unusually long time without concern for ink drying in the nib. Not something everyone needs, but it is helpful for a pensive mood. I really wanted to write longer just to experience the satisfaction of putting down words so easily.

Initially filled with Pilot Blue-Black, the pen and ink are perfectly suited. The color may be rather ordinary, but the flow and lubrication are just right for the stainless steel nib. It glides without a hint of drag. Staples Arc notebook paper completed a pen, ink, paper threesome that is a pleasure to use.

The Metropolitan comes in several styles and an array of colors. The neutral silver with a zig zag pattern was a practical choice. Maybe next time, a colorful Retro Pop will land in my cart, but for now, the matte silver will have to work extra hard trying lots of different inks especially Iroshizuku, Noodler’s, and Sailor. All should write at least as well as Pilot BBk. Iroshizuku ku-jaku is angling for a spin in the Metro and that is a writing duo that will be hard to resist.

Several retailers carry the Pilot MR Metropolitan. Mine came from Amazon, but even Massdrop has offered it. This is one pen that shouldn’t be hard to find. Current prices range from approximately $12 to $15 including a CON-20 squeeze converter and a single Pilot cartridge. Converters can cost $5 purchased separately, so including one with the pen makes this a very good deal.

With a Pilot MR Metropolitan in my bag, I am prepared for anything including a rough-writing newbie who wants to see what it’s like to use a fountain pen. What a great way to make a convert!

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