Sunday, May 28, 2006

Rohrer & Klingner Ink - Pt III

Six Rohrer & Klingner inks arrived yesterday! As expected, the colours are beautiful and unusual.

Alt-Bordeaux (Old Bordeaux)
I am currently using this ink in a Pelikan M200 with an EF (more like a Fine) nib. Alt-Bordeaux is a rather remarkable colour in my opinion - it simply looks old. This is due, from my observations, to a particular edge effect which I can best describe as 'edge darkening'.

Alt-Bordeaux shows very nice shading, and the muted red-purple hue is attractive yet subtle. On cheap office/printer paper, the ink feathers ever so slightly. (This is hardly concerning, as Pelikan's Brilliant Brown ink also feathered on this paper when I tested it.) Alt-Bordeaux is also a close match for Sheaffer's discontinued Burgundy ink.

Alt-Goldgrun (Old Golden Green)
I just filled my Pelikan M400 with Alt-Goldgrun, and find it to be a beautiful, rich and warm yellow-green colour. It shades very nicely with an EF nib, and displays the same pretty edge effect which Alt-Bordeaux does. As with Alt-Bordeaux, this ink feathers slightly on cheap paper.

Scabiosa (An Iron Gall Ink)
This ink has been loaded into my Duke 2009 with a Fine-ish nib. The Duke has a small volume piston-converter, so the ink should be used up fairly quickly. I'll probably keep Scabiosa in the pen for three or four weeks, and then rinse the pen out thoroughly.

Scabiosa is not as thin as the Alt-Bordeaux ink, and I say this only because it does not feather slightly on cheap paper. The flow of the ink from the pen is no different to any other ink the pen has held. I would have to say that so far, Scabiosa is my favourite R&K ink colour. I don't have any other ink like this colour, so it's understated and subtle lavender-grey hue seems especially unique and interesting to me.

Of my inks, all the Rohrer and Klingner colours were an instant favourite. I will likely buy the entire colour range over time. This is the first time I have ever felt inclined to own every colour from one manufacturer. I will also certainly be buying multiple bottles of Alt-Bordeaux, Alt-Goldgrun and Scabiosa.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Extra Extra Extra Fine?

I made enquiries today with Richard Binder in regard to buying a speciality nib for my Pelikan M400 and M200. I am presently looking at his "XXXF Needlepoint" nib, which has a line width of approximately 0.20mm. An ultra-fine will be a joy, as I have two 14K Pelikan EF nibs and a Montegrappa EF nib and while better than some, they are still a little on the thick side for my tiny handwriting. I should hope that Extra Extra Extra Fine will do the trick!

Thinking about such fine line sizes has reminded me of my technical drawing pens, and I have been hunting around the house all afternoon, trying to find my Rotring Rapidograph's. I found my Isograph's, but they all have large point sizes. My vintage Rapidograph pens have extremely small points - 0.12mm and 0.18mm I think. No luck finding them yet...

The PO Box was empty this morning... but there is still hope my Rohrer and Klingner inks will arrive sometime this week!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Google - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Today the Google homepage featured a wonderful logo in honor of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday:

For years I have enjoyed Google's witty logos. Logos for artists Monet and Escher as well as St Patrick's day are particular favourites, but I think the Conan Doyle logo must now be my all-time favourite.

"The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes."
Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Rohrer & Klingner Ink - Pt II

I received an e-mail from Natalie advising that my Rohrer & Klingner inks were posted yesterday! Very exciting stuff!

She did warn that Australian Customs have been on the warpath lately, but I get a fair few international parcels, and the last time one was stopped was in 1999. That was from the UK, and it was confiscated/destroyed because it was an art sculpture which unbeknownst to me, contained some kind of plant seed matter. Fair enough.

So, fingers crossed that my inks come through soon!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rohrer & Klingner Ink

I ordered six bottles of Rohrer & Klingner ink today! I am very excited about these colours, as I have been admiring them for some months now. I am awaiting:

• Alt-Bordeaux (Old Bordeaux)
• Alt-Goldgrun (Old Golden Green)
• Salix (Iron Gall)
• Scabiosa (Iron Gall)
• Helianthus (Sunflower)
• Verdigris

I think am nearing the end of my pen and ink purchases, my ink wish list has dwindled, and whilst I have many pens on my wish list, I am only seriously interested in two or three. They will come later this year, perhaps from Santa.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Grr! PenGallery!

I have e-mailed PenGallery FOUR times now in the last two and a half weeks regarding a Sailor pen, and nobody has had the damn courtesy to respond.

My last purchase there was nearly $300 dollars, so it is not like I am some time-waster. I am waiting to buy the pen, and need the question answered!

Now I am cranky.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Beautiful Journal

I have been meaning to start keeping a journal of late, and today had decided to buy an inexpensive 9x7" spiral-bound notebook to use. These 200 page notebooks are around $6, and have 'ok' fountain pen paper.

Instead, I found a beautiful little 8.5x6" Journal with a very pretty Butterfly motif on the front and back cover. The padded covers are waterproof, and the journal has 200 pages of bound, pale beige, lightly lined paper. These Journals are produced by an interesting Australian company called Sklew, and retail for $16.

The paper is the remarkable thing - it feels like standard, fine, smooth paper to the touch, but has a somewhat 'waxen' response when the ink goes on. My fountain pens lay down an incredibly fine line, with little line variation, no bleeds, and no blobs. Even my M nibs lay a very fine, rather dry trace - I find this utterly perfect. I am trying to find out a little more about the paper, as I would be devastated if it wasn't friendly to fountain pens after all!

The paper is very similar in behaviour to a rather old pad of Grumbacher's 'Calligraphy' Buff Parchment that I have.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


While I wait to see if I can get some Levenger ink to Australia, today I consoled myself by purchasing the following:

• Private Reserve, Avacado
• Private Reserve, Shoreline Gold
• Noodlers, Tiananmen
• Noodlers, Saguaro Wine

I have Avacado in cartridges, and love it. Pure deep greens don't work for me - they have to have a shot of warmth. Sherwood Green, Penman Emerald, Pelikan Brilliant Green... just not interesting enough - but Avacado is perfect! Except for the spelling.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Duke Mini Torpedo / 2007

My Duke Mini Torpedo / 2007 arrived from HisNibs today - and what a gorgeous little pen it is! I absolutely love it! The cap-posting method was easy, I got the cap posted first try - it's a push-on, tiny-twist, slight-pull motion which is quite quirky.

I filled its aerometric filler with Private Reserve's 'Fiesta Red' and it writes like a dream. The nib is finer than I expected - which is excellent; because I was worried a Medium would be a bit much for me. The nib is glorious! SO SMOOTH. This Duke nib completely put to shame the brand new Pelikan 14K EF I received recently and had to return for repair.

As described on the HisNibs site, the appointments are copper, and the pen looks black, but the cap and barrel actually shimmer with a fine deep red sparkle when the light catches it - beautiful!

Wow - for a total of $45 Australian Dollars, the Duke Mini Torpedo is the sweetest fountain pen I have bought for a long time. I had excellent service from HisNibs also - Norman wrote a lovely note to me using my pen (I had asked that he test the nib) and he so cheerfully answered all my e-mails - superb service for an inexpensive item, and that made the whole deal even sweeter.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Back Pain, Pelikan Pain

After a miserable three days, half of Thursday being spent in the hospital with my back going into acute and extremely painful muscle spasms, I thought Saturday would be a better day when a slip arrived from the Post Office, informing me my Pelikan M200 Clear Demonstrator had arrived.

I inked up the pen with Pelikan Brilliant Brown, and to my dismay found the 14K EF nib to be scratchy, dry and prone to much skipping. I compared it carefully to my M400 14K EF nib, and it is definitely the M200 nib at fault. The downstroke is very rough, and the pen writes nothing like the M400 does.

I contacted the vendor, but they were not very receptive. I persevered with the pen, but then sent a second e-mail further outlining the nib issues. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sailor or Stipula?

In about six weeks time I will be adding another fountain pen to my collection, but as yet cannot decide between a Sailor 1911M or a Stipula New 22. Comparing the pens is like apples to oranges, but each has features which appeal to me.

The 1911M is compact, at just over 5" capped - this is a perfect size. I would order this pen with the 14K Extra Fine nib - apparently the Sailor EF nib is the finest on the market - and I do love a super-fine line. The pen uses cartridges or fills via converter. The colour choices are limited, but Red would be the one for me.
(Approx: $150AU)

At 5" capped, this is another perfect-sized fountain pen. Stipula nibs seem to be highly regarded, so a 14K EF sounds divine. The pen features a piston-filler. Available in an acrylic finish, I would choose Raspberry. The packaging seems elaborate, and no doubt contributes to the higher price.
(Approx $250AU)

Each pen has one major thing going for it: For the Sailor it is the super-fine EF nib, for the Stipula it is the piston-filler.

The Stipula will be shipping soon and no doubt some new reviews will appear, and I do hope the feed issues have been resolved. Otherwise I think it may be the Sailor. That nib is beckoning to me, and the price is not too bad either.