Looking over my pen tray I am often struck by how many pens I have sold, only to later repurchase. You might well say: if you liked it enough to rebuy it, why did you sell it in the first place?! It’s a fair question, but I have a few answers. Sometimes (as the song … Continue reading Eight second chances to get it right
I posted back in November that I was taking an indefinite hiatus from the blog. Looking at my published posts count and traffic, that hiatus lasted several months, but I'm back with a vengeance. But things are not quite the same as they were. Here's how I'm trying to make blogging work for me, and … Continue reading What’s different now I’m back?
I tend not to bother talking about pen boxes when I write a review, unless it’s exceptional in one way or another. After all, you’re interested in the pen, not the box it comes in. The box is just to get the pen safely to you, right? Not quite. When you buy a pen, its … Continue reading Pen packaging should be…?
Pens from £70 to £2,500 or even £5,000. With steel nibs and gold. Made from aluminium, silver, brass and plastic. From truly oversized to handbag-petite. In all the colours of the rainbow — if the rainbow included black and silver. Hailing from Italy, Germany, France, England, Wales and Ireland. From one-man bands and century-old ateliers. … Continue reading Spoiled for choice
Update: the project is live. It’s called ‘Gravitas’. It's been ages since I backed a pen project on Kickstarter. I used to back loads of stuff: folding keyboards, GPS devices, knives and multitools, and, yes, pens. But I got sick of waiting 18 months or more for a pledge to be delivered (if they delivered … Continue reading Will you be backing Ben Walsh Design’s ‘Gravitas’ Kickstarter?
I am proud of how friendly and welcoming the fountain pen and stationery community is. And in my own stationery usage, I pride myself on having a (fairly) open mind. I can see the beauty in a plain black pen or one in bright swirly resin. I see the practical value of a simple converter, … Continue reading “Irreconcilable differences”, or five types of pen people to avoid at all costs
It's Sunday morning and I'm noodling on where this hobby of ours is heading. In hindsight it's always easy to see surges in popularity or big trends moving: the Gentleman Stationer just pointed out the growth in 'oversize' pens (pun intended), and anyone with an eye on the world of inks has spotted the explosion … Continue reading Six micro-trends for the rest of 2020
It occurs to me that I have written a lot recently about 'bad' nibs, and it may not be completely clear what I mean by that. Here's what I look for when I get a straightforward F or M or B nib — one with a round ball of tipping that's designed for general use. … Continue reading How do you spot a ‘bad’ nib?
There's an old truism in business that you only really earn your customers' loyalty when things go wrong. Customers (generally) accept that mistakes happen; if you step up and solve the problem, they can actually be happier with their overall experience than if no problem had happened in the first place. This week I really … Continue reading Failure is the best test
It's been going on a while, but Joost from Appelboom's 'top 3 fountain pen' video series has just landed on my radar. The premise is simple: ask pen-celebrities like Figboot, Azizah, SBRE Brown, Scrively and Brad Dowdy to record videos talking for about 15 minutes about their top three pens. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HphQ-Tqi508 I wasn't invited to … Continue reading My Top 3 pens