What’s What 8/20-8/26
Working through our varied wants, enjoying differences, and finding fun in little places.
Inked Right Now
Graf von Faber Castell Guilloche with Herbin Lie de Thé
Pilot Custom 912 with Montblanc UNICEF
Pilot Decimo with Callifolio Gris de Payne
Platinum Desk Pen with Sheaffer Purple
Sailor Fude de Mannen with FWP Mirror of Moraine
Franklin-Christoph 20p with Montblanc UNICEF
Gone from last week: Montblanc 144 and Edison Brockton.
The 144 finally ran dry and I wanted to refill it immediately with UNICEF for another run. They’re very well suited for each other. The medium nib is big enough to show off the ink but still be usable in almost any situation. I’ll wait a while to come back to the pairing and rotate in some other pens, but it 144+UNICEF = no-brainer combination.
The Edison and Franklin-Christoph 20p had nibs swapped so I could try the Esterbrook Scribe in a different body and see if there was a difference in the writing experience. There was no difference to be had in terms of the Scribe’s writing angle being too low for me. The Edison’s longer body and section made it easier to hold at that low angle but I can’t write that way. With no need to continue using the Scribe now I emptied the pen and put the nib away. Not sure what I’ll do with it going forward. The Peyton Street architect lives on in the 20p.
I was itching to get a Decimo back online and chose Callifolio Gris de Payne to get some near-term comparison against using that ink in the Scribo. The fine Decimo nib has always written on the wet side for me, never lacking for flow. When using Gris de Payne, the ink runs darker for the first handful of words, which often happens when ink sits for a bit in a nib. Once that equalizes and I’m writing multiple sentences with continual ink flow from the cartridge, the ink stays a consistent shade and it is a drier flow than any other ink I can recall using with this nib. It never fails to write or flow properly but it feels different putting the line on the page. I don’t know if it would have problems in a drier nib. One of my old Parkers might be a good place to test that next time.
New & Exciting
I have a few bids in on eBay for some 1980s (I think) pens. Nothing flashy or expensive but pens I want to try because they should make nice everyday users.
I also need to get back on the ball sending existing pens out for nib work. The GvFC Guilloche is one of them. I just got it and it writes nicely, but when I use it something in my brain says “make this a cursive italic or stub.” The Sailor music nib, Kilk double broad, and my medium Decimo nib are all prime candidates to have work done. Time to stop talking and start shipping. Using and, if called for, improving the current collection is where we should go right now.
Using these pens back-to-back when writing out the week’s list provided a large contrast. The Desk Pen might not make the thinnest line of all my pens (Kakuno EF edges it, I think) but the sound it makes and its feel on the paper is unique. I’m not one who watches ASMR videos but this nib could star in one. The sensation it provides hits a certain spot of enjoyment that I didn’t expect when I bought it. It is precise like a perfectly sharpened paring knife, making tiny little ink cuts on the page.
The Fude can write a fine line if you need, but its calling card is the broad brush-like line that comes from laying the bent tip’s full face on the page. The feeling is carefree, like when you gather up speed sledding down the hill as a kid in the winter. You don’t feel entirely in control of the ride but you don’t care in light of the enjoyment. It comes off 100% fun. Do we remember fun? Sometimes it seems to leave us, only to be reintroduced in small ways.
Still Working On
Last week’s questions about the pen collection, bordering on hand wringing as I review them now, are something that happens every so often. I get presented with or put myself in front of the nice things and my mind naturally wonders what it would be like to have them. I start to do the research, compare prices and reviews, and think about where the pen could fit in my collection. After a few days the feeling mostly passes and I realize I won’t buy this thing.
So why do I go through the process over and over of getting myself 9/10ths of the way to another “nice” pen only to turn around and come back without it? Couldn’t my time be better spent doing other things that need to get done in life? Is there that much excitement or enjoyment in it? Something is there, pulling at me. More than just being part of the hobby, I should consider it might be a way in which I paper over something else that’s on my mind and avoid dealing with it. Maybe shopping for pens without buying them is a mechanism to cope with or convey order to a feeling of disarray or unease about another part of life. I’m getting out into the weeds of indulgent self-analysis now and asking a lot of questions of myself without answers for the reader, which is likely not the reason you stopped by today.
I appreciate your visit for whatever reason you made it. Does reading what I’m thinking about on this topic spark any useful thoughts for you?