Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Yay Money!

It was my week off this week, but I've been called into work to help out on an urgent corporate re-branding project. The hours anticipated are going to be long, but at the end of three weeks I should walk away with about 4K - woohoo!

Some pen news for the week...

I bought a neat little ringtop pen from Pendemonium earlier this week - Blue celluloid, fine semi-flex nib, but no maker. The lines put me in mind of a couple of Moore ringtops I've seen... but until I get the pen in my hands I won't know for sure. Before the pen shipped out, Sam e-mailed to tell me their Stipula ink shipment had arrived, and that they could add my back-ordered Stipula 'Moss Green' ink to the package and ship the pen and ink out together. Brilliant service as always.

Yesterday I sent off two Sheaffer's Snorkels to Melbourne Vintage Pens for repairs. One is my beloved Fiesta Red Clipper with the Needlepoint nib, and the other is a Black Statesman I am going to gift someone with.

What else... oh, my Waterman Lady Patricia! It has a great flexible nib which I love, but it just wasn't writing right, and I couldn't see anything obviously wrong with the nib. I spent the better part of a day carefully trying to widen the tines to increase the ink flow, but still keep the line fine. After a lot of fiddling, I finally got the pen writing well again, but it came at the cost of my neck and upper back getting very aggravated from the hunched-over posture I kept while working on the nib.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Handwriting & Lettering

I decided to resume my abandoned handwriting improvement lessons yesterday afternoon, and my first practise session went well. I resumed with italic capitals since I had been going quite well with them previously. My handwriting has never been bad, but in high school I acquired a rather torturous four-fingered grip. Last year when the amount of writing I was doing increased, muscle fatigue and pain started to set in, so I corrected my erroneous grip and at the same time started to learn basic italic to improve legibility at speed.

In other writing news, I recently found a slender paperback called "Pens and Calligraphy: The William Mitchell Guide", which was published in 1987. I found my copy of this book on the dusty shelves of my local art supplies store. The book isn’t an instruction manual, but it has some very useful hints and solid information. All through the book are handwritten exemplars and very useful illustrations of pen angles and the type of William Mitchell nib used to form each type of lettering.

As a result of this handy book, I have ordered some new dip pen nibs and holders. Some of the nibs I have ordered are:

  • Hunt Imperial 101
  • Gillott 303
  • Gillott 404
  • Gillott 290
  • William Mitchell Copperplate Elbow
  • Brandauer Oriental 342

Regarding the WM Copperplate Elbow, Copperplate has been on my mind for some time, so I looked through the handful of lettering books I have, and found to my disappointment that Copperplate will be a very difficult hand to learn. Not that any calligraphic hand is at all easy, but rather Copperplate will be even more difficult as it is an extremely awkward hand for right handed folk, due to the very unnatural angle of the writing slant. Hopefully the elbow nib which corrects the angle for my right hand will make life a tad easier.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Damn You, Omas!

So, I'm negotiating with someone for another Omas Celluloid Princess today, which if I buy it, will make five Omas Celluloid’s.

Since there are seven colours in the classic celluloid collection, if I buy that fifth pen, the collector in me will never be able to rest until the sixth and seventh colours are obtained.

I own four Celluloid’s now, and the collector is not demanding to be appeased, but if a fifth pen is bought, a threshold has been crossed and it would pointless to stop there. Stopping at four pens is, for some reason, much more acceptable.

Unfortunately the colour is not the only colour I really lust for – Senape (Saffron) Blue. My ultimate Omas Celluloid would be a Senape Dama. (Please alert me if you have one to sell, by the way!)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Aurora Optima Mini's

While I have wanted an Aurora Burgundy Optima Mini for some time, I ended up buying the Sole Mini LE instead. I still want the Burgundy Mini, but I have also been thinking about adding the lesser-known Black Optima Mini to my collection.

The pens are identically sized, but the chrome-trim Mini's have 14K nibs, whereas the Sole Mini has an 18K nib.

While obtaining the Burgundy model is no problem, the Black model is not distributed in the US. It appears to be widely available in Japan and parts of Europe, but the exchange rate in these countries is quite bad for the Australian Dollar.

Also, getting one with an EF nib is no easy task. Such a shame...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

An Esterbrook and a FOURTH Omas

In pen news, I received my lovely Esterbrook Copper SJ in the mail today, plus a wonderful little assortment of nibs as a gift! Some people in the fountain pen community are incredibly kind. :) I also ordered two bottles of the FPN special edition ink, "FPN Galileo Manuscript Brown". I don't have a true brown in my ink collection, so I'm really looking forward to getting a nice 'bulletproof' brown. :)

In other pen news, I bought *another* Omas 'Princess' from the Celluloid Collection. This time it was the Scarlet Red colour.

That makes four Omas Celluloids.

In two months.

I think I must join Pen Collectors Anonymous.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Uh Oh - A Third Omas...

Omas addiction is a terrible thing.

Before I talk about my third Omas (which I bought today), I have good news considering my second Omas - the custom XF which was ground for me is being replaced for nothing with a genuine Omas 18K EF nib. Thank goodness. :)

Today I added a third Omas to my collection, the Omas Dama (1930 size) model from the Celluloid Collection. The Dama is like the Princess, but slightly larger and has a cap clip. As it was the last pen in the store, I had no choice in the colour, which is Pearl Grey. It does look striking with the rolled gold trim though, better than the rhodium (HT) trim looks, in my opinion.

I now have the following Omas Celluloid beauties:

• 1993 Omas Princess, Saft Green.
• 1994 Omas Princess, La Royale Blue.
• 1996 Omas Dama, Pearl Grey.

I think my Omas craving has been satisfied - for now. :)