Saturday, November 08, 2014


Ten years ago I was looking forward to the Axminster Show. Sigh. Good times.

Mind you, back then I'd go online and be inspired to get into the workshop. These days I'm more likely to be inspired to throttle someone...

On which anger-management-challenged note, having finally crawled to the nice round figure of ten, I go no further and will be moth-balling this blog. The decision was up in the air for a while, but when even an on-topic post concerning a workbench goes unmolested methinks it's long past its sell by date! So thanks for your company over the years, and may your edges remain sharp but unbloodied. ;)

Au revoir.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Fountain Pen Day 2014

I believe I've mentioned this before, but you can't do this with a ballpoint.

Put the fount (and the ain) back into your life and pick up a fountain pen. Heck, a disposable one will do - they're really very good and zero maintenance. Look for Pilot V-Pens (or Varsities, if you're in 'Murrica).

Right, I'm away to drool over some inks and try not to give in and buy any. Good luck with that, I hear you perspicaciously remark...

Monday, November 03, 2014

Monday Stinks #15

In celebration of Friday's Fountain Pen Day, a brief return for Monday Stinkage. (Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the inkwell...) Evidently I still haven't got to grips with the best way to capture ink colour. Ah well.

J Herbin Café des Îles is not a remarkable ink, but a pleasant one, and it looks great on cream paper. It seems to go well in a Bedrock Flake Edison Beaumont, currently sporting a fine nib reground by moi to be a little italicised.

Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black has pretty much taken the post of everyday ink at the moment; you just don't have to worry about it, and it has a soupçon of water resistance which can be handy. Currently living in the M200 Pelikan, which boasts being one of the few pens I haven't butchered customised.

Diamine Ancient Copper does not photograph well, which is a crime. So much better in the flesh, and possibly just a bit too wet to bing out its best coming from the Indian Gama Airborne with substitute Onoto flex nib.

Diamine Bilberry I really didn't take to at first, but once you get used to more lubricated inks and sheen effects, it comes into its own. Arguably a Pilot extra-fine nib in a Kakuno is not the best way to show it off, but as writing experiences go with such a fine point, it's hard to beat.

Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki seems to be pretty much the Iroshizuku everyone ends up with (if they end up with one at all), and it's nice enough. I'm not sure that the considerably cheaper Sailor range of inks aren't just as smooth flowing and well-behaved though, just not always so widely available. The restored cobalt blue and bronze button filler of unknown parentage is currently enjoying this particular tipple, because naturally the no-name battered old thing should get the premium ink...

Finally Pelikan Edelstein Garnet, an ink I dismissed as utterly without upsides (apart from being a free gift), until it caught my eye as I was chucking out a finished scribble notebook. What gorgeous glowing red is this? I exclaimed. Deduction lead to Garnet being the only possible answer, so I gave it another chance. Once you get your head into the idea that, where Pelikan is concerned, red will aways tend towards orange, it's better. (Their 4001 "Brilliant Red" is basically a day-glo orange with a hint of red that will sear off your retinas if looked at for more than 1.03 of a second. I'd ink something up with it and show you, except Fountain Pen Day is about encouraging FP use...) But it is not a great ink, despite its fancy perfume-bottle-like presentation. Currently dwelling in a battered Parker "New" Duofold (c.1953-61) whose nib was so worn to the previous owner's hand that drastic measures had to be taken to make it usable. Purists would, probably justifiably, frown. Purists may go away and stick their heads in a bucket. Probably by Montblanc.

Anyway, there we go. So yes, the pens are still getting a workout; zibaldones are getting finished at regular three month intervals, plus I'm attempting to learn/relearn/stop-mis-remembering some French, and there's nothing like writing it down to get it sticking in the memory, non? (Je dis oui.)