One of my favourite parts of the week is seeing the wonderful weekly posts that other pen bloggers put out. The Gentleman Stationer. Refill and Misfill from the Pen Addict. Link Love from Well-Appointed Desk. Trail Log from fpquest. Fountain Pen Love. Tom Oddo’s Ink Flight.
I don’t want to repeat their exhaustive work, but I do see a gap in my posts for something more… current. So let’s try this out. I’m calling it Uncapped.
Today and over the weekend the SF Pen Show has been filling up my feed (moreso than Sydney). It’s amazing to see a pen show that’s so vibrant, with retailers from around the world exhibiting — including the lovely Kauru from Bungubox in Japan and Galen Leather all the way from Turkey. I wish we had a pen show that was so modern, cosmopolitan and bustling.
Happily, we may do next year. Roy from Izods has spearheaded a new pen show in London called The Capital Pen Show. I’ll be somehow involved, and I’m planning a post with more details shortly. In the meantime, follow The Capital Pen Show.
One of my most popular posts of the year has been my leaks post about Montblanc’s 2019 releases. And while the Kipling launched a while ago, the Montblanc Expression flex nib is only just trickling out. Lots of fascinating discussion in this thread.
And lastly, as if I wasn’t already incredibly envious of Japan’s pen culture, I read Fudefan’s writeup of a show exclusively for inks. You read me right.
I don’t use Iguanasell as much as I used to. I find their constantly changing discount structure confusing, and their prices are not as competitive as they used to be. But I still check out their new arrivals most days, and I eagerly hunt through their periodic sales. One thing I always notice is how the same products crop up in sale after sale. They must have noticed the same thing, and have launched a permanent Iguanasell Outlet, with 40% discount. Pretty good deals. Along with Endless Pens and Pen Sachi, are we seeing a new era of discount pen shopping? Maybe these are replacements for the defunct Drop.com pen category…
On my doormat
I made an unexpected acquisition this week. I spotted (as many of you might) a pen from Leonard Slattery appearing on Virtualpenshow a few weeks ago. I got into an email chat with Leonard about a possible commission. We couldn’t make my idea work, but Leonard sent me a couple of his designs to take a look at and review. I fell in love with one, which if you’d just shown me the photos I would have been dubious about. But it’s magic in the hand. Look for a review soon.
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African blackwood and brass with a gold Bock size 6 nib. This pen turned out fantastic. It's a beautiful shape and the section is shaped to fit comfortably in the fingers. The grain on the wood is subtle but intricate. I tried something a bit different with the length of the section, it's very comfortable to write with. #pen #penaddict #ink #bocknib #handcrafted #handmade #fountainpens #fountainpen #write #analog #wood
It took me ages to hunt down Montblanc Starwalker Exploration Grey, the tie-in ink for the latest Starwalker launch. It’s only available in cartridges, for a start (the Starwalker is not a piston filler), and it’s called various things online, for example Cosmos Grey. But I bought a couple of packs of cartridges from my old faithful Wheelers, and decanted into a Nalgene bottle with a syringe.
The colour itself is a high-shading grey, with pale violet tones. Think Sailor 123, Troublemaker Abalone and Petrichor, and the current trend toward complex and subtle colours. I’m liking it a lot.
GLP has launched two new colours of The Author notebook, a navy blue and forest green. I was a big fan of the bright red and turquoise colours, and these at first glance seem a little dull. But better for the workplace, probably. Look for a review in due course!
On my credit card
Ian Schon and his Schon DSGN pens have a loyal fanbase. He’s just launched his first fountain pen, and sales went live on the 20th, in a range of fab colour splash combinations. I ordered one in silver and blue. What’s so exciting about this pen? It’s a tiny metal pocket pen — but with a full-size #6 nib. Cool.
Arco celluloid is perhaps the most famous and lusted-after fountain pen material. Made famous by Omas, but since appearing in limited releases by Oldwin, Visconti and ASC, you’re looking at a lot of money if you want to own a pen in this material. There’s a feeding frenzy for it, and sellers know it. I’ve finally succumbed, buying an ASC Gladiatore Medio from the wonderful Bryant at Chatterley Luxuries. Where this new pen differs from the other ASC pens is that it’s a normal size, with a piston and #6 gold nib. It looks comfortable. I hope it lives up to the promo photos.
I’m finding myself doing a lot more work on the pens I buy, and it was time for me to invest in a proper knock-out block for removing nibs and feeds from pens and housings. I was very pleased to stumble on The Pendragons on Etsy. A block and some micro-mesh are incoming.
On my mind
Some of you may remember that I bought my second Oldwin a while ago. I wasn’t happy with the fine nib this time around, and rather than go round the houses with Mora Stylos I sent it off to John Sorowka to work his magic. Can John win me over to the abilities of a seasoned nibmaster? Or will I end up buying a new nib? Only time will tell.
Honestly, fuck Pelikan. I recently re-bought an M400 white tortoise, with a medium nib. I should have just sent the damn thing back to Cult Pens: looking down the end of the nib with a loupe, the two blobs of tipping are noticeably different sizes, and the alignment was off. I’ve done my best with it, but it still needs some work to feel right. It’s simultaneously scratchy and overpolished, with a touch of baby’s bottom thrown in for good measure. While I’ve never had a bad nib from a new Montblanc, I think about 80% of my new Pelikan nibs have been crap. I think I’ll scratch the M1005 off my wishlist for good.
How did I miss the Nock Burton the first time around?! I’ve shot an email to Brad to see if I can get a review sample, but this looks like the perfect case for me: A5 notebook, several pens, Field Notes, padded. I’m in love.
I’m feeling special edition fatigue. Just today I got all excited about another limited edition Sailor, even though I don’t really like Pro Gears. I’ve been thinking about buying the Pelikan Star Ruby M205, even though the M200 series is tiny and plasticky. This post from TGS (which I commented on with a few additions…) really brought it home to me just how many FOMO-triggering special editions we are hit with each year.