Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nakaya Piccolo III - Update

My third Nakaya Piccolo will be residing in Japan for several weeks longer. I decided to wait until the new Super Extra Fine nib design is ready. It is a prettier nib, IMO.

Good things come to those who wait. :D

Monday, December 08, 2008

Nakaya Piccolo III

Today I heard from Nakaya - a wonderful email arrived with a photo of my latest custom pen, which is almost complete! The colours are perfect, and all that is left to do now is to decide on the most suitable nib finish.

I am leaning toward Pink Gold, but if we don't agree that is the best match, I will probably choose the two-tone nib.

Very exciting stuff! :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Iroshizuku Inks - Autumn Range

My Iroshizuku inks arrived today! Four beautiful bottles! The colours are gorgeous and bright!

Yay Pilot!

(Also posted on FPN.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

For Sale: Update

I was planning to have my pen sale ready by now, but life has gotten in the way. I suddenly have two weddings to photograph out of town (one this weekend and the other next weekend), so I will have to plan my formal FPN or eBay sale for later in November.

In the meantime, here is a tentative list of the pens I am considering for sale - I still may add more.

Pre-1950s Pens
Aikin Lambert, Capitol, olive green marble, lever, 14K F.
Duchessa (Montegrappa), Unknown, pink-red marble, lever, 14K F.
Majestic, Unknown lady-size, green stripe, lever, 14K M.
Melbi, № 6, BHR, safety, steel F.
Parker, '21', black, XF.
Redipoint, Advertising Pen (Home Insurance Co.), gold fleur-de-lis relief, lever, 14K F.
Sheaffer's, Snorkel Clipper, pastel blue, PdAg F.
Sheaffer's, Snorkel Valiant, burgundy, 14K XF.
Townsend, Ringtop, tortoise marble, lever, 14K M.
Waterman, Lady Patricia Ink-Vue, pearl grey, lever, 14K factory Account/XXF.
Waterman, № 3V, moss agate, lever, 14K B.

Post-1950 and Modern Pens
Pilot, Elite 'Kara Kara' Set, blue/aqua/pink, 14K F.
Pilot, Legno 89s, deep red cherry, 14K F.
Pilot, Penko Mini, white, steel F.
Platinum, Karakusa, gold-beige, 18K F.
Sailor, 1911 Hanshin Tigers LE, black-white stripe, 21K M.
Sailor, 1911M, red, 14K EF.
Sailor, '21' Short, pink section, 21K XF.
Sailor, 'Chequered Band' Set FP/BP/MP, stainless, 14K F.
Sailor, Sapporo Slim, black rhodium, 14K EF.
Waterman, Lady Charlotte, orange-black, steel F.
Waterman, Watermina, brown marble laquƩ, 18K BB.

If you are interested in something please email me for more information on a pen, or for prices and photos.

Monday, October 27, 2008

For Sale: Pens & Inks

Well, it's taken a few years, but it is time to have a clean-out of pens and inks from my collection!

I haven't completed the list of pens for sale yet, but if there is anything which has ever caught your eye, it wouldn't be a bad idea to drop me a line and let me know.

Some pens I will *never* part with, but with other pens I might just need a nudge to let me know someone is interested. :)

Any questions, please email me, or send a PM via the FPN.

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Pilot Iroshizuku Inks!

New Autumn colors from Pilot in the beautiful Iroshizuku range!

Such juicy and sweet colors!

Find them here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Danitrio Takumi Mt Fuji

A photo from this morning's session for my Danitrio Fuji-san:

For once, you can actually click this photo to see a bigger version!

Pen Reviews

I have been slack with my pen reviews these last months, so over the next few weeks I am focusing upon the following:

  • Danitrio Takumi 'Mt Fuji'
  • Various models from Guider Pen Works
  • Pelikan M640 Polar Lights
  • Pilot MYU M90 & MYU 701
The MYU review might be awhile away, actually... Pilot are having stock issues, so it may be some time yet before I see the pen. The Danitrio review is mostly complete, and a pen photo shoot has been planned... stay tuned. :)

Friday, October 03, 2008

October Update

No new acquisitions on the pen front at present... although Stan K. has just announced the date for his next Japanese pen sale, so things may change soon enough!

Otherwise, I'm patiently awaiting my third Nakaya Piccolo. Still not due in Australia for a few weeks yet, but I'm loving the anticipation... choosing an ink for it will be difficult, but I suspect I will turn to Sailor Red Brown. That ink will be a harmonious compliment to the colouring of the pen... :)

One thing I am still undecided on is what nib finish to choose for my Piccolo. Nakaya have suggested we wait until the pen is complete before deciding. It will be a tough choice: the sexy two-tone option, or the possibly sexier rose gold? Decisions, descions...

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Five Stages of Acquisition...

While watching an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, I was reminded of "The Five Stages of Acquisition", which according to the Ferengi, are:

  1. Infatuation
  2. Justification
  3. Appropriation
  4. Obsession
  5. Resale.
I know many folk in the fountain pen community who will identify with this. ;)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Some new arrivals...

Been swamped with work lately, so this will be brief - just a quick look at some of the pens I have received lately...

Sailor Professional Gear LE - White with Pink/Rose Gold. (Shown with my Snow White Mini and Ivory Sapporo.)

Sailor-Ujuku Professional Gear LE - Mandarin Yellow. (Shown with my Yellow Sapporo Mini and my Dandelion LE.)

This week I also received some rather lovely Indian pens, made by Guider Pen Works. I'll post more on these later, but for now, a quick group shot:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Danitrio Takumi Mt Fuji

After seven and a half months, my Mt Fuji finally arrived - and it is exquisite:

Well worth the wait! :D

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Pelikan Polar Lights

My Polar Lights arrived! Fresh from Richard Binder and with a sensational XXXF nib. Here it is beside my Tortoise-Brown M400:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

On Collecting Pens...

While updating my pen database this morning, it occurred to me how pleased I am with my pen collection at present. I am also pleased to say that I am no longer actively seeking pens for my collection. It's more along the lines of: If I see something I like, I might buy it - or I might not. I'm getting extremely specific now... it's easy to dismiss pens which once caught my eye.

I have been using fountain pens exclusively since 2004, when my collection consisted of several nice pens purchased a few years earlier and a few cheapies from my school days. One day in 2005, I put "fountain pen collecting" into Google, did some reading, and subsequently joined "Rambling Snail" (a now-defunct website which was the precursor to the FPN). When the RS domain was finally abandoned, I registered at the FPN in April 2006, having been a lurker there for several months.

Since that time, my collection has grown. Approximately ~130 pens are listed in this blog as part of my collection, but my database has something closer to 170 records, which is more correct. I have several duplicates of some pens, and then some cheapies, oddities and junkers which are not listed. Let's just say I have enough pens to occasionally 'rediscover' pens in a box or case which I completely forgotten I had.

In Q4 2007, I began drawing classes, and since January 2008 I have also been attending bi-weekly painting lessons, so both my pen collecting and my artistic pursuits have become my primary hobby - but pen collecting is slipping. I have simply lost the enthusiasm for pen collecting. I no longer make a dozen posts on the FPN a day, and also I simply don't enjoy visiting the site as much as I used to.

This is not some farewell post – I am most certainly not packing up my pens and going home, but my interest *has* shifted slightly. As an example: I have spent $6000 on art supplies this year, which normally would have been spent on pens. So yeah... a slight shift has occurred...

However, as I type, I am expecting a Pelikan Polar Lights this week, a Danitrio Mt. Fuji next week, and on top of that, a custom Nakaya will arrive at the end of the year. Along the way there will be others... (the Delta 'Aromatherapy' looks neat, for example!)

I guess I just wanted to say that if I seem absent, or if this blog goes without a post for a few weeks, it's because I'm sitting on the other side of the room, fountain pen (loaded with Sailor Kiwagura Waterproof Black) or paintbrush in hand, drawing or painting quietly. ;)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pelikan Polar Lights M640

Tonight I ordered the rather delicious 'Polar Lights' SE, the latest pen in the Pelikan Natural Wonders series. Green and black, a very sexy combination. One thing though, why do the Sahara and Niagara look so... completely blah - while the Polar Lights looks so sexy...? One of life's mysteries...

Anyway, the pen is coming from Richard Binder, complete with one of those XXXF nibs which I love so much. :)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sailor 1911 "Hanshin Tigers" LE

Here is a 1911 you won't see too often...

More details have been posted on FPN. :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sailor "Hougado" Edition Pens

Two very beautiful Sailor Professional Gear Slim pens joined my collection this week: a Hougado Brown and a Hougado Green.
Inked with Sailor-Hougado Deep Rust Black and Deep Moss Black respectively.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Pilot Gift

Last week I received a very generous gift - a 1979 Pilot Red Stripe (model name unknown, so that's what I'm calling it).

I received this lovely gift because I mentioned in passing that the pen and I shared the same date code - "1179" (November 1979).

The prized Red Stripe:
Thank you. :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Third Nakaya

I am about to sign-off on the design for my third Nakaya Piccolo!

I'm very excited about this special order... but I won't be revealing any details - all I will say is that it will feature the Chinkin / Chinkoku technique.

Happy, happy, happy!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pens Incoming...

The following pens will hopefully join my collection soon...

  • Danitrio Takumi "Mt Fuji"
  • Nakaya Piccolo Special Order
  • Sailor Pro Gear LE, "KAN"
  • Sailor Pro Gear Slim LE, "Hougado Brown"
  • Sailor Pro Gear Slim LE, "Hougado Green"
  • Sailor 1911 LE, "Hanshin Tigers"

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sailor "Dandelion" LE

Today my tenth Sailor Professional Gear arrived! This is a full-size LE called the Sailor-Mitsukoshi "Dandelion" - only fifty pens were produced.

This LE was accompanied by a bottle of Sailor yellow-green ink, specifically blended to match the colour of the pen.

The whole combination is rather sexy, IMO! :)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Paint Boxes

I love paint boxes... ever since I was old enough to have my first Crayola paint set (and then a Crayola "Caddy" once a year for several years, thereafter), I have never ceased to take delight in opening a paint box and seeing those little jewels of colour laid out within.

Earlier this year, when I took up watercolour painting again, I dug out my various paint boxes and set about preparing a field / sketch / plein air kit. Most of the artist's quality paint manufacturers make a vast array of travel and field paint boxes or paint sets, suitable for every occasion. I own several, of which Winsor & Netwon are likely the best-known brand.

I like metal paint boxes, and so I have recently been looking at buying an empty box with the idea of filling it with full or half-pans myself, but nothing had caught my eye - until I found some wonderful metal paint boxes on the Natural Pigments website!

Natural Pigments formulate artist's watercolour and oil paint using rare, traditional pigments, which make for a more subdued, classical palette (you won't find Quinacridone Magenta here). The Natural Pigments paint brand is Rublev, and I was excited to see Rublev Watercolors pre-packaged in heavy duty enamel paint boxes - here was a perfect opportunity to get the metal paint boxes I wanted, and also experiment with a different type of watercolour paint in a classical palette.

I went a little overboard and ordered three paint boxes, two are shown below:

  • J.R. Cozens Travel Palette
    A muted and warm palette comprised of 8 half-pans (box can accommodate 12 half-pans), in a black enamel Bijou-style paint box with an built-in water bottle (35ml), integrated water dish and two mixing wells inside the lid. (I was ecstatic to find this paint box, as I have admired the W&N version for some time.)
  • 18th Century Palette
    A beautiful and natural palette comprised of 12 full-pans, this large paint box has a flip-out mixing area as well as four mixing wells in the lid.
  • Introductory Palette
    An expanded natural palette comprised of 16-half pans, this paint box also has a flip-out mixing area, and three mixing wells in the lid. (Not pictured.)
All of the Rublev boxes have a thumb-loop and v-clips to secure the pans - they are very well-made and sturdy.

As I already have my W&N Bijou Box for an 8 half-pan palette, I decided to modify the Cozens palette slightly:

I replaced an earth red, plus the blue ochre and black for paints with broader mixing capabilities, as well as adding a couple of essentials.

(PS: That travel paint box really *is* as adorable as it looks!)

Sailor KAN LE

Soon I'll add the beautiful Sailor "KAN" LE to my collection - I have lusted after this full-size Pro Gear for awhile, and when a friend in Japan offered to help ship one over to me, I just couldn't refuse.

The KAN:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rhodia Webnotebooks

Yesterday I received a rather nice gift from a very kind FPN'er - a Rhodia Webnotebook! (I don't know why they are called "Webnotebooks" - but they are.)

I received one in Orange, A6 size. The design and styling is pretty darn cool, and the little logo on each corner of the page doesn't bother me in the slightest. Tragically, the paper isn't the usual Rhodia standard! (Why Rhodia, why???)

Here's my Webnotebook, along with my sexy little Montegrappa Micra, freshly inked with Noodler's Golden Brown:

All things considered, these are nifty little notebooks - let's hope that Exaclair prevail and manage to have Rhodia revisit their paper decision.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sailor Sapporo Arrivals!

It's late (10PM), which is never a good time to be shooting photos of anything, let alone nicely detailed photos of my beloved Sapporo pens. However, this blog has been a bit neglected of late, and I guess a couple of bad photos are better than no photos at all. So without further ado, I present my three latest Sailor Sapporo (Pro Gear Slim) acquisitions:

From the bottom: Dark Metallic Green, 14K F; Spring Orange, 14K F; Spring White (Ivory), 14K F; Snow White LE Mini.

There is a considerable difference between the Ivory and pure white Snow White LE - the Ivory could be better called Beige Putty, but I suppose Ivory sounds more appealing. ;)

Even though you cannot see one hint of green in the above photo, hopefully the next photo shows the colour of my Dark Metallic Green Sapporo a bit better (please excuse the appalling flash):

I have chosen to ink my beauties as follows:

  • Spring Orange - Noodler's Apache Sunset
  • Spring White - Penman Ruby
  • Dark Green - 1:1 Noodler's Zhivago and Noodler's Pushkin.
These pens only have Fine nibs (Extra Fine was not available), so I chose inks which are slightly dry-writing - when you have handwriting as small as I do, every bit helps! ;)

Monday, May 12, 2008

May Update

A brief update for today, but hopefully some photos will follow tomorrow. A few interesting pens have joined the collection these last few weeks... some fine sterling silver Sailor pens, a silver Pilot Elite and two less commonly seen inexpensive Japanese pens from the 70s featuring pretty gold sparkles... ooh.

A nice metallic Dark Green Sapporo arrived last week, followed by my Spring White Sapporo a few days later. Both have great 14K Fine nibs. The Spring Orange Sapporo should arrive this week. :)

The Spring White and Spring Orange pens were purchased from MelPens. Mel's service was excellent and the entire transaction has been a pleasure. Highly recommended!

More later. :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dillon Ang Cursive Italic - Excellent!

What a nice week it was for my mailbox - lots of exciting pens, plus my first nib from Dillon Ang ('Dillo' on FPN).

The other week Dillon offered a 14K Pelikan M400 nib unit for sale, which I promptly pounced on. I took the opportunity to have the nib ground to a special point - a 0.3mm / XXXF Cursive Italic.

I can honestly say I am delighted with this nib. It is every bit as good as my nibs from other nibmeisters - and it is very smooth. Dare I say, too smooth? (I'm actually not even sure, because as a Needlepoint user smoothness can be a foreign concept for me!)

Dillon's service was prompt, well-priced and very professional. I am proud to add his 0.3mm Cursive Italic nib to my collection - and more from him will follow it! :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sailor Excess

This is only my eleventh post for 2008 (slack of me, I know), but it is my fifth post for the year about Sailor fountain pens... I can assure you that this bias is unintentional. :P

Anyway, I am expecting the following Sailor pens to join my collection soon...

  • Mitsukoshi Dandelion (Tanpopo) LE
    This is a Limited Edition of 50 pens, Professional Gear size. Each Dandelion comes with a matching bottle of specially blended Sailor Jentle ink to match the spring yellow body colour of this demonstrator.
  • Metallic Green SE
    I already have one of these special editions in the Professional Gear size, but the Metallic Green is a rhodium Pro Gear Slim (Sapporo) model with 14K F nib. I love the colour green, so I'm looking forward to this one.
  • Spring White SE
    One of the 2008 Spring range... Pro Gear Slim (Sapporo) size. This is a creamy white colour as opposed to the pure white of my Snow White LE. The Spring White also has gold trim, which I love. I managed to arrange an F nib too!
  • Spring Orange SE
    Another one from the 2008 Spring range... Orange with gold trim - yay! Looks delicious. The Pink and Sky Blue from the Spring range don't appeal to me though... I already have enough Pro Gears with rhodium trim!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sailor "Snow White" - Part II

My Snow White arrived today! It is soooooooo pretty. :)

You can read more about it here.

This is the second pen my lovely friend Jim has acquired for me - I'm so lucky. :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sailor "Snow White"

Isn't it gorgeous?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sailor "Morita Original"

I was browsing the Ujuku Shop yesterday, noting the updated inventory, when I saw that the Morita Original was available for purchase! This is a 2007 Sailor Special Edition which was commissioned for the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth.

The pen is a pale turquoise colour, just like that of the domed roof of the Salzburg Cathedral (Dom St. Rupert), where Mozart was baptised and would later serve as organist.

The Morita Original is a variant of the Sailor Professional Gear series, and is available in three sizes: Professional Gear, Professional Gear Slim (aka Sapporo) and Professional Gear Slim Mini (aka Sapporo Mini).

I have ordered my Morita Original in the Slim Mini size.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

New Sailor!

My gorgeous YELLOW Sailor Pro Gear / Sapporo Mini arrived on Saturday - and I love it!

The Yellow just pops!

It has a sensational 14K EF nib - maybe my best Sailor EF so far. A huge thank you goes to Jim for arranging the purchase for me. :D

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Waterproof Inks - Update

A couple of days ago I received my Sailor Kiwagura ink, and so I eagerly loaded it into my Sailor "Manga/Comics" desk pen (which has a fantastic EF steel nib) and tested it. I put samples from all three of my black waterproof inks (Sailor Kiwagura, Pilot Security and Platinum Carbon) down on some Arches 185gsm Watercolour paper and also some cheap office paper, and let the ink dry for 10 minutes. Disappointingly, the Sailor Kiwagura samples released a small puff of black ink upon contact with water, while as usual the Pilot and Platinum inks did not.

Further testing is required... maybe a longer drying time is also needed for the Kiwagura ink. Any update information will be posted here.

03/03/2008 Update:
I sampled the Kiwagura further on my watercolour papers, and have discovered that paper makes a bit of a difference here (which is unusual in my experience with this kind of ink). After allowing the ink to dry for two hours or so, I soaked the paper for twenty minutes, and this time the the Kiwagura was fine, with only a barely-visible swirl of black released by the Kiwagura on the Arches 185gsm Medium. On Fabriano 300gsm and Art Spectrum 210gsm Medium papers no black was released.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Waterproof Inks

I am very pleased to report that the waterproof black inks I recently purchased have given me no trouble at all in my fountain pens! When I use watercolour paints or water-soluble pencils on sketches drawn with these inks, no black ink is released by the water and brush.

Pilot Security Black is marginally darker than Platinum Carbon Black - although this is only apparent when the inks are carefully compared side by side. I'm using Security ink in a regular DPP-100 Pilot Desk Pen, and the Carbon ink in a Platinum Carbon Pen. Sometimes the Pilot won't start on the first stroke, but that's the only thing I've noticed. Neither ink appears to settle or do anything unwanted inside the pen.

Ujuku were out of Sailor Kiwagura stock, so I should get that ink in a couple of weeks, but so far I'm thrilled - these inks have worked out perfectly!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I never thought I'd buy... electric pencil sharpener. But here I am, spending AUD$115 on one.

I own a lot of Derwent pencils, and for years I have happily sharpened them with a normal hand sharpener. Yesterday, all that changed when my Prismacolor order arrived - almost 200 pencils, and not one of them pre-sharpened! I knew this to be the case when I ordered the pencils, but I didn't realise the implications at the time...

Looking at my beautiful new pencils, I knew I had a problem: I have rotator cuff and wrist tendonitis in both arms - so there was no way on God's green earth that I would be hand-sharpening ~200 coloured pencils!

So, I am now the proud new owner of an X-Acto SchoolPro Electric Sharpener:

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Pilot Iroshizuku Ink

The end of 2007 brought five exciting new inks from Pilot - Iroshizuku Color Drops, a range of blue inks with hues derived from nature:

While blue is not my favorite color preference, the Iroshizuku inks asa-gao, ajisai and tsuki-yo have soft undertones of blue-violet and green-blue, making them quite appealing.

I hope the initial Color Drops range is a sign of things to come from Pilot - imagine a small series of this ink in beautiful reds or greens!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Welcome - 2008

Ah... 2008 is now upon us, whatever shall it bring?

Well, for starters I know 2008 will bring me the following goodies from the Ujuku Shop:

  • Platinum Carbon Ink
  • Pilot Security Ink
  • Sailor Kiwagura Ink
I'm looking forward to using these black waterproof inks on my Art Spectrum "Draw & Wash" pads, which provide a perfect feather-free surface for ink sketching.

I'm hoping the new inks won't pose too much of a flow problem with my favourite sketching pen - a Japanese WELL Eyedropper pen from the 1940's. The WELL has a rather nice flexible shiro nib, making it a much more enjoyable sketching tool when compared to the modern Sailor and Platinum desk pens usually suggested for use with these waterproof inks.