Sunday, November 30, 2014

Guess the mystery pen!

As Christmas is coming closer and closer it's also the season for delightful secrecy!

So like in 2012 here's a detail shot of a mystery pen. Do you recognize it?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Celluloid goodness: Omas Ogiva Vintage

Last year I've started diving into the adventure that is Omas fountain pens with an Extra Lucens, an old style Paragon and a Bibliotheque Nationale.

At the end of 2013 Omas launched the Ogiva Vintage limited editions in arco brown or saft green. As I already had the Paragon in arco brown I went for the saft green. This one moved in with me in late  spring already but only now I got around to taking photos.

Omas Ogiva Vintage in saft green

It's a cigar shaped pen, rather large - larger in fact than a Pelikan M1000 but slightly slimmer - but lightweight as I've come to expect from Omas pens. It's 23 g capped and feather light 12 g uncapped but that doesn't make it feel flimsy and I just love the way it nestles in my hand when writing.

Interestingly enough, the Ogiva Vintage are a good deal longer than my most recent addition to the Omas flock, a somewhat older Ogiva Autumno, which is a good centimeter shorter.

 Ahh! The celluloid!

It's a somewhat weird but very charming murky olive coler with lots of pearlescent hightlights. Clip, trimmings and also the nib are rosegold plated which goes really nicely together.

The nib is a factory stub. Sadly this one already made a trip to Italy because the rose gold plating was flaking off. However Omas replaced the nib very quickly so I hope that this one will be fine.

I'm also planning to show you the Autumno I've acquired recently and take a group shot of the two. As you can see I'm still right in the middle of the Omas adventure!

Monday, November 24, 2014

This week's beautiful pens: Week 48

Still sticking to the rule - more or less.

This week's 5 pens to rule them all:

Remained inked:
- Omas Ogiva Vintage in saft green, factory stub nib, inked with Diamine Red Dragon. I really like the color combination, it reminds me of a chrysoberyll ring my father used to have (though I don't recall him ever wearing it). It's a mineral that's olive green in daylight but turns dark red in lamp light.
- Nakaya Negoro shiro-tame with IB nib, inked with Noodler's Cayenne. Current journalling pen though where the Churchill was too wet for the paper this one is almost a little too dry. Well, the journal is bound to be filled one day and if I have to make a lot of bad drawings to accelerate that!
- the mystery pen

New in rotation:
- Omas Ogiva in autumno, M nib, inked with Stipula Verde Muschiato. Works perfectly with the celluloid color! The nib didn't flow too well at first but after a little tweaking it's very nice.
- Aurora Optima Nero Perla - my own one now! It has a B nib reground to an italic by Volker (pen paradise)
- Stipula Saturno in green ebonite, 0.9 italic nib, Diamine Majestic Blue.

I would've liked to enjoy the Stipula Mercury for a little longer but after a hopeful start the nib dried up and wouldn't bother to write consistently again. Seems I haven't fixed it yet. Sigh.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The magic of shu!

"Shu" means vermilion, an ancient dye made of pulverized cinnabar. Cinnabar is a mineral that has been used for decorative purposes for millennia. It has grown especially famous as "Chinese Red" as it was mixed with urushi and used for all kinds of lacquerware.

I'm not sure if modern days's red urushi is still dyed with cinnabar but I like the looks. I'm really having a hard time deciding which finish and color I like best!

Here's two shu pens, one by Nakaya (in matte, unpolished texture), the other by Namiki. Enjoy! More pictures and details to come.

Nakaya Portable Cigar shu-nurippanashi; Namiki Yukari Royal vermilion.

Monday, November 17, 2014

This week's beautiful pens: Week 47

Up to now limiting myself to six inked pens has worked pretty well. Here are this week's pens to rule them all (minus the mystery pen I mentioned last week):

They are:
- a Conway Stewart Churchill (IB) with Noodler's Habanero - same as last week, still my journalling pen though the flow is somewhat excessive for my current journal.
- a Ferrari da Varese Botticelli in white mother of pearl barrel and plain silver cap. B nib, not inked yet - couldn't decide. This crappy photo really doesn't do the pen justice, for a better look at the Botticelli models click here.
- a Nakaya Negoro shiro-tame (IB) with Rohrer & Klingner Blu Mare - as last week.
- an Omas Ogiva Vintage in saft green with stub nib. That pen only just got back from Italy because the rose gold plating on the nib was flaking off (yuck... but Omas replaced it quickly and without any hassle). Now it's back with a brand new, juicy nib. Inked with Diamine Red Dragon.
- a Stipula for Mercury (IB) with Diamine Majestic Blue, as last week.

Yes, I flushed the Pen of the Year 2004 and put it into the storage drawer. It was hard but doable. I'm proud. :-D
Also I returned the Aurora to its owner and sealed the deal for my own one which should arrive here within the week. Oh boy... Sticking to that rule will be really hard once it arrives. Maybe I need another exception for new pens?

Last week I determined that super large pens are an exception to the 6-pens-rule because they don't fit into the pen case. Another exception is the 5 year diary pen I keep at home for solely said purpose. It's always a reliable fine nibbed pen filled with iron gall ink because I don't have much space in my current 5 year diary and the paper is not too good with ink either.
At the moment this is a Sailor 1911 with maki-e butterflies, filled with Rohrer & Klingner Salix.

(I'm afraid if I keep making up exceptions I might end up with as many inked pens as before. o.O)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Six pens to rule them all?

(Belated) happy fountain pen day!

I've been mostly too busy writing with my pens (well, among other things) to find much time for writing about them but today is an exception.

Like probably a lot of you I have quite a few pens. I always estimated around 50 but a count has shown it's actually closer to 70. I like them all and love most of them and I'm currently trying to trade away or sell those which I don't love and use.

As I've always wanted to use all my pens there were times when 20 or so of them were inked at the same time. Of course most of them dried out before I could use up all their ink - even with pen pals and journalling and drawing I just don't use that much ink! So now I've cut back.

I have this beautiful and immensely handy Visconti 6 pen case which already looks a little bit battered since I've used it every day since the day I bought it. So I've determined I'll have a maximum of six pens inked at the same time.

(When you think about it's not even that easy to find use for 6 different pens. For instance I'd like my journal to be more or less consistent ink wise and I can't write a letter every day (and don't even have enough pen pals to write to that often!).

Anyway, these are my "6 pens to rule them all" for the moment!
(Yes, that's only 5 on that picture. One of them is, for now, a secret!)

And they are:
- a Conway Stewart Churchill in amber acrylic with IB nib. It is currently my journaling pen, filled with Noodler's Cayenne. It belongs to an endangered species now that Conway Stewart is no more. For a look at the whole pen click here.
- a Nakaya Negoro in shiro tame-nuri, portable size with 0.8 italic. Filled with Rohrer & Klingner Blu Mare. For a closer look at the pen click here.
- an Aurora Optima in Perla Nero celluloid. This one doesn't really belong to my collection yet but I'm evaluating whether it should become part of it. I really like that celluloid. It has a factory stub nib.
- a Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2004 (amber). That one hasn't left my rotation since I got it last year. Read more about this pen here.
- a Stipula Mercury Francois des Trixhes in stunning grey and blue celluloid with a factory italic nib. I inked this one up yesterday after it had been out of use for quite a while. The nib never really made me happy. I had exchanged its feed for a Montegrappa ebonite feed which seemed to work fine until the ink flow suddenly stopped. Since I really like the pen I inked it up with Diamine Majestic Blue and wrote an extensive letter - no problems at all and really great line variation, it really flatters my handwriting. Hope it stays that way. Read more about this pen here.

There is an exception to the 5 pen rule: Pens that don't fit in the case such as a Danitrio Genkai, Mikado, Nakaya Long Cigar or Delta Roma Imperiale.