The first steel nibbed pens are historically noted as having been produced in 1803 but they may have been in use as early as 1725. Unlike a fountain pen, dip pens have no ink reservoir which means that they must be charged by continuously dipping the nibs in ink. Per Wiki: “Some illustrators and cartoonists (who are the main current users of such pens) are more likely to charge the pen with an eyedropper or a syringe, which gives them more control over the amount of ink applied.”
Did you know that Exaclair is the American distributor of Brause nibs? Brause manufactures steel nibs for writing, drawing and decorating. Since 1850, Brause has been crafting a complete set of nibs considered to be one of the best on the market by calligraphers. With over 100 years of manufacturing experience, Brause is one of the rare companies to guarantee an essential quality for its nibs: a subtle balance between relative elasticity for easier writing, and necessary resistance for clear strokes.
Top nib image courtesy of bakanekosan on Instagram.
Antique ink bottles such as this one belonging to Ryan Roossinck are simply beautiful. Take a look at the many different colors, styles and designs of vintage ink bottles at the various links below.
Until I started using a fountain pen, I’d always thought that hand cramps were the norm for long writing sessions. Turns out, what I thought was just my heavy handed writing style was probably caused in part by my use of a ballpoint pen. A ballpoint pen relies on gravity to coat the ball with ink. The ball then spins and distributes the ink as the pen is drawn across the paper. Since my preference was always for clear (and dark) writing, I used a great deal of pressure to obtain this result with my stick pen.
My hand cramps disappeared once I started writing with a fountain pen since almost no pressure is necessary for the ink to flow from pen to paper.
Are you heavy handed with your pens?
Image courtesy of kaniska_canace on Instagram
There was a time when I thought journal writing was pretentious. It seemed silly and self-absorbed and for someone who’d end up with a career as a professional writer, it’s almost comical how much I didn’t “get it.”
In the late spring of 2004, I’d find myself sitting at The Hacienda in Pasadena, California at my dear friend Lisa’s wedding. Lisa’s brother was sitting and talking with my friend Lorraine at our table about the gift of a new journal and my eyes were rolling back in my head at the thought of, “Oh no, not them too.” Back then, it seemed that no matter where I was, I kept hearing about people and their journal writing. It probably didn’t help that I was also seeing a plethora of black notebooks in the “What’s in your bag” photo group on Flickr.
But the thing that finally pushed me over the edge, and into the realm of the inky pen happened while I was watching TV. Flipping through the channels, I stopped on one of the shopping networks and they were selling, get this- a gardening journal. I watched as the host oohd and ahhd over this book like it was the greatest invention since sliced bread and I laughed out loud. A gardening journal? That’s just ridiculous!
But something about that book stuck with me that I can’t explain. I think it was a five year journal and it might have been something about being able to see things from one year to the next within the same book- a comparison of sorts, because not long after, I found myself at Blick (on Sept. 14th 2005 to be exact) standing in front of a display of black notebooks. Sitting in my car and taking the plastic off of the book, what I didn’t know then was that my entire world was forever changed in that moment – the moment I’d become a writer.
Writing has been my creative outlet, my therapy, and a big part of my career.
Back to the gardening journal – I totally get it now, because I wish I was keeping one for my first ever gardening experience this year but I just haven’t had the time. I wanted to document which seeds I bought from each company and why I’d chosen them. The dates I’d planted each seed. Which method I’d used to start them, (peat pellets or garden soil) and how long until each sprouted. Which products I’d used to prepare the garden beds. Why? Because it is exciting to describe an event or process and then look back upon it to see how it’s grown. Both literally and figuratively.
Do you keep a gardening journal?
Today we welcome guest blogger Bob Miano. All text and images courtesy of Bob.
This is a new custom-made Edison Pen Company #76 “Blow Filler.” Blow filling was one of many early means of filling fountain pens. Filling the pen involves blowing into a small hole at the end of the barrel while the nib is submerged in ink. Blowing creates pressure inside the pen that compresses the ink sac. When blowing is stopped, the pressure is released and the ink sac expands back to its original size – drawing ink into the sac. Continue Readering »
Have you had the opportunity to try J. Herbin’s latest 1670 Series Anniversary ink, Bleu Ocean?
In lieu of testing it in a fountain pen, I opted for the “everything else I could find in my studio” approach Continue Readering »
I believe one of the joys of writing with a fountain pen is being able to explore so many different options. From the various nib types to literally hundreds of different ink options in every imaginable color, this allows you to customize your experience which in turn, can make every writing task seem less of a chore and more like like something to look forward to. Rhodia and Clairefontaine papers are consistent performers when paired with these water based inks and can help make your writing experience become even more enjoyable.
Do you have a pen test page like the one above? This is always a fun way to compare which inks are your favorites in which pen. I know some people who choose famous quotations when trying out new inks. Me? I always found myself writing the alphabet or doodling with a new pen/ink.
Image courtesy of heymatthew on Instagram
From our friend Lorna Mulligan: ENCRE ET CHOCOLAT is an exhibition of contemporary calligraphic work by Les Calmars of Montreal. This is their fifth exhibition together and features a theme close to every writer’s heart… the exchanges that happen around pots of ink and the sharing of chocolate! Lorna’s piece shown above, entitled Goûte le passé is an exploration of Proust’s text, using Herbin inks and gouache on paper.
Did someone say chocolate? Rhodiarama Webbie shown in Chocolate.
A comment to a recent post mentioned the concept of “Ink it when you think it” which in it’s simplicity, seems to be an absolute golden gem of advice for capturing and retaining our fleeting thoughts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost what I thought at the time was a brilliant idea because I didn’t take the time to write it down. “Oh, that’s so good, I’ll remember that for sure!” Then POOF! It’s gone.
The frustrating thing about this is that I always have pen and paper close at hand- or at the very least, a note taking app on my phone. So I am capturing some things, but not as much as I would like. In this article by Sam Horn, she mentions the use of a small tablet or notebook carried with you everywhere which if dedicated to this particular process, might not be a bad idea for me to try. (I’m thinking Rhodia Unlimited)
How about you? What is your process for retaining your own fleeting thoughts?
Image courtesy of Kookymakes on Instagram
In yesterday’s blog post, I used an image of a Clairefontaine Triomphe writing tablet. Especially popular with fountain pen users, this extra-white 90g paper is extremely smooth- more so than regular Rhodia and Clairefontaine papers, although I think the paper in the Rhodia R tablets comes pretty close. All of the fountain pens tested (with varying nib widths) wrote true to size with no bleeding or feathering.
Because of this paper’s super smooth surface, Continue Readering »
Handmade Fonts on Behance
Why I Use Fountain Pens on FPGeeks
Embroidery on the Fashion Figure on CopicMarker.com
Music Ink in Music Nibs at Leigh Reyes My Life as a Verb
Safety Flair: Our Favorite Reflective Cycling Gear at Bicycling.com
Is Your Writing Timeless? at GoinsWriter.com
A Young Colorist, Antennas Aquiver at The New York Times
TS Eliot’s fountain pen gets first outing at Royal Society of Literature at The Guardian
This Old Notebook at Patrick Rhone
Write for Palimpsest at Palimpsest
To Do Lists at Onigiri Sama & her 21Kittens
Follow the Leaders: Faber-Castell e-motion Fountain Pen (M nib) at From the Pen Cup
Are You Honest In Your Journal? at Kaizen Journaling
New Rhodiactive Professional Business Collection – Meeting Book Review at Writer’s Bloc
Experimenting Every Time at Urban Sketchers
Talking with Tom Hanks about What Really Matters at Psychology Today
The Battle Between Japan’s Big 3 at Pentorium
Recent Acquisitions, Massive Edition at A Penchant for Paper
Anne Frank, Danville, Ohio & the Letter Writers Alliance at Pentamento
My Fountain Pen Education: The Edison Pearl at The Pen Addict
Budget Fountain Pen Showdown at The Well Appointed Desk
The letter: an abstract gift of time at The Missive Maven: Epistolary Exultation
Papeterie nouvelle: Georges & Co. thinks—& inks—differently at Felt & Wire
The Claustrophobic Notebook at Notebookism
Oh, and then this happened…
Image above of a Rhodiarama Webbie and a Nikon D5000 courtesy of Courtney Oliver, (designwinesunshine on Instagram) who also happens to design for one of our retailers – European Paper Company
Saturday & Sunday, 16-17 March 2013 Visit the 2013 Long Island Pen Show
Located at Hofstra University – Student Center Multi-purpose Room, Rm. 101
Sponsored by the Long Island Pen Club, Luxury Brands, and Exaclair Inc.
- Repairs by Ron Zorn and nib work by Richard Binder.
- Ink sampling table from Luxury Brands, distributors of Noodler’s Ink
- Sample the smooth pleasure of writing on Rhodia paper and J. Herbin ink provided by Exaclair Inc.
- New This Year: Fountain Pen Hospital, Anderson Pens and Kenro Industries
- Dozens of collectors and dealers of vintage and modern writing instruments exhibiting, pens of all kinds
- Desk sets, ads, blotters, inwells and ephemera form the golden age of fountain pens
- Displays illustrating the history of writing and the story of the fountain pen.
- Demonstratons on how to use and maintain fountain pens.
- Functional writing instruments vintage & modern by Susan Wirth
- Free pen ppraisals at the Appraisal Booth
Daily Admission is $10.00 payable at the door. Visit http://www.lipenshow.com for more details.
The 25th annual Los Angeles Pen show was last week – were you there? I was there in spirit, watching Pendemonium’s status updates on Facebook. (Image above via Pendimonium on Twitter.) I’ve yet to go to a pen show and I’m somewhat afraid to do so that my head might explode (Scanners style) at all the available inky goodness. Continue Readering »
For a Reader of Harper Books at Contrapuntalism
How does writing on good paper make you feel? at Quo Vadis Blog
Journal Writing: Stop Multitasking and Start Focusing at Personal Growth Journaling Blog
Writing Tips: Abolish the Adverbs at Writing Forward
Journaling Techniques: Writing on the Stream of Consciousness at Writing Through Life
Do You Know the 3 Steps to Journal Your Way through Difficult Situations? at Journal in a Box
Planner Pad Insta-Pocket at Plannerisms
The World’s Coolest Pen at Office Supply Geek (I want one!)
Platinum Preppy Highlighter at A Penchant for Paper
Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki Ink Review at The Pen Addict
TWSBI Diamond 50 Inkwells at Ink Nouveau
Eric’s 2013 LA Pen Show Take-Aways at FP Geeks
My new Folded Ruling Pen and Friday Favorites at Quilt or Dye
Crayola Crayon Tower as a storage solution for Caran D’Ache Neocolor II crayons at Lung Sketching Scrolls
Pens with Names at Paper in Hand
10 Uses for the Pencil at This Old House
How Small is Your Sketchbook at Notebook Stories
Namaqua Rain Frog at Real Monstrosities
Greg Minuskin offers nib retipping services to the pen collector, investor, or restorer. His years as a watchmaker for a prestigious watch brand in Beverly Hills along with his training at the Harvard equivalent of watch making schools, The WOSTEP School in Neuchatel, Switzerland, have honed his intricate skills to branch off into other areas of craftsmanship.