Does Brutalism have a place in pen design? Hands on with the Namisu Naos Ti

When I get a pen in for review, I often sit with a blank sheet of paper in front of me and freely jot down the observations or ideas that occur to me about it. With the Namisu Naos, one of the first things I wrote down was ‘Brutalist’. Its severe, angular barrel in matte … Continue reading Does Brutalism have a place in pen design? Hands on with the Namisu Naos Ti

Another look at the Onoto Magna: Victory and Shakespeare pinstripes

A reader recently told me by email that, of all their pens, the Onoto Magna would be the one to accompany them to the proverbial desert island. I cannot possibly disagree with their choice. If you were to be stuck with just one pen to write page after page, day after day, year after year, … Continue reading Another look at the Onoto Magna: Victory and Shakespeare pinstripes

Discovering Rockster Pens with the Troubleshooter 1313 Erinoid Aspen

When you're buying a kitless pen from a small maker, it's the little touches and refinements that make the difference between an OK pen that's basically a vehicle for some pretty resin, and a genuinely good product that can stand tall as a writing instrument in its own right. I'm very pleased to say that … Continue reading Discovering Rockster Pens with the Troubleshooter 1313 Erinoid Aspen

Art and alchemy: The Onoto Great Court Vitreous Enamel

Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:   The sun-comprehending glass,And beyond it, the deep blue air, that showsNothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.Philip Larkin, High Windows Few pens make me want to quote poetry (especially by my favourite poet). The Onoto Great Court Vitreous Enamel Sterling Silver is one. But let's get something … Continue reading Art and alchemy: The Onoto Great Court Vitreous Enamel

Close, but no cigar? Getting to grips with the Conway Stewart Winston

Spurred on by my discovery of Onoto and my joyful first experiences with a friend's Conway Stewart Churchill, I set off on a mission to get my own Conway Stewart. I didn't want one of the current versions from Bespoke British Pens, with their conventional 'flag' nibs... no, I wanted one from a few years … Continue reading Close, but no cigar? Getting to grips with the Conway Stewart Winston