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Archive for the ‘Ink’ Category

I had doubts using the word “loot” as a category, since I am aware that it can have negative connotations. Sometimes, making finds on Tradera and Ebay, I almost feel like a looter, getting amazing stuff for next to nothing. Just almost, though. I am content with the fact that I buy to use and that I take care of my things according to their proper value (e g not letting them rot away somewhere dark and dusty).

This is from my latest netlooting:

Ink: Burma Road Brown (same as the blog header, BTW. The header is scanned and the above image is obviously a photograph. BRB is a chamelon ink!). My penmanship is a bit shaky since I spent about 10 minutes trying to separate the section from the barrel before making the text sample.
Pen: Mabie-Todd Blackbird Self Filling pen. The cap, the section, the feed and the barrel are all marked “blackbird” with a fine imprint. The black hard rubber parts are faded, but nicely coloured still, I think. No clip. Lever not gold, I think this is the original furniture. Sac perished, of course.
Nib: Nib 14ct, not numbered. Seems to be a medium with some flex. Standard (but oh, so wonderful) fare for these pens (just like the Moore L-92 I wrote about earlier this year).
Spectacles: one of my other obsessions that has not appeared on this blog before. I collect them. These were a good find. They are genuine, in very good shape and will do nicely in the spring. I have another similar pair but I like having a second pair in reserve.
Shameless boasting: I paid about 6 dollars for the pince-nez and 15 dollars for the lot containing the Blackbird (an enourmous lot with, among other things, Caran D’Ache leads, two antique lead sharpeners (pics a-coming) and eight (8!) old drafting compasses). Making finds like this is obviously one of my greatest talents.

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Real Life (TM) has recently intruded on my intrest in fountain pens. Too much work. No time to practise calligraphy, no time to purchase and investigate repair equipment, etcetera. Contributing to this fact is also that I haven’t been able to make any good finds lately. I am not sure if this is because I have had bad luck, if there has been an increase of informed and financially secure people manically bidding on the pens I like, or if I am simply less likely to enter bidding wars lately, having had much else to occupy my time with.

With that said, the other week I lackadaisically bid on a brown (black) hard rubber Moore FP at the Swedish auction site Tradera. Just throwing in a low bid of app 8 dollars to see where it would end up. The two photographs (cap on, cap off) of the pen were a little blurry. Imprint, nib status and such not really clear. A bit of a gamble. To my great surprise, I won the pen. Could have been that the auction ended on a weekend before seven O’clock in the morning… Anyway, I am glad I got ahold of it.

Manufacturer/model: Moore fountain pen, a BCHR L-92. Not by any means the most fancy Moore model, but a classic shape.
Body and Section: Strong imprint: Nice wave-chasing with a tiny bit of symmetric fading at the top of the cap.
Cap: Cap closes firmly with one and a half turns.
Nib and feed: Nib says “The Moore Pen 2” I would call it a medium with good flex. Butter-smooth.

Furniture: No brassing at all! Clip yellowish gold, lever is a more reddish golden hue (maybe not original?). I love how the ball on the clip is folded together, see pic (click to enlarge).
Internal organs: J-bar intact. No sac.
Age: 1910s-20s
Scent: Classic BHR scent, a little metallic, a little burnt.
Verdict: A super nice user for a great price. I am tempted to use this pen in experimenting with recoloring the rubber back to black with the special colors available for this purpose. I do like the look of the old hard rubber pen however. In fact, I appreciate this colour more than black, but there is also tempting to restore a pen to look more like it did when it was brand new.
In other news: I have made one other nice find since starting to prepare this post. A Penol Ambassador, a very nice classic shaped black fine writer. Also from Tradera, from another collector. Post about this pen probably coming up in a while.

More pictures, close-up on back of nib and a writing sample below: (more…)

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As I already wrote about in the post For the Love of Monsters, I admire the writings of China Miéville. Perdido Street Station is his second book and the first one I read about 2-3 years ago.

Title: Nightmare Cityscape, New Crobuzon interpretation.
Size: 20×17.5 cm
Equipment: I mainly grabbed what pens I could find as I went along. Lamy 2000, Parker 51, Pentel Brush Pen, sable hair brush, Pentel aquash pens with ink washes. I had to toss one of the aquash pens, as Noodler’s black and the water had become a slimy sludge inside it. Too early for ink to monsterize even before it has left the brush… It was probably contaminated water that destroyed it.
Inks: Rome Burning (yellow-brown), Burma Road Brown (brownish green), Diamine Damson (purple) and black (Noodlers and Pentel brush pen black). Add waterwashes and there you go. The gray is all Noodlers black in washes. I like how the black stays black-gray and does not go toward blue or any other colour when diluted.
Computer alteration: Contrast heightened a bit.
Paper: The paper is too porous to expose to Rome Burning effects, adding water at this point would dissolve it. Clairefontaine 90g sketch paper. Better planning (any planning) and I would have used another paper for this water-heavy experiment. It does take a lot of water for a sketch pad, though. Right now it is my favourite paper.
Inspiration: This drawing grew like something organic sprouted out of the paper. I started out drawing the mouth at the left. As it grew, I came to realise that it was New Crobuzon on the night when the nightmares arrive. The eye-helicopters are my interpretation of potential nightmares. To me a giant eyeball merged with a helicopter seem like nightmare-stuff. Foucault meets Argus meets Stephen King. And where would we be without tentacles? Not on this blog, that is for sure.
Important notice: The inside of my brain probably look a bit like this.
Notes: I did not use the colour changing effects available by washing out Rome Burning in this drawing due to too soft paper. But still, used it in art and I do like the light yellow it becomes when carefully waterwashed without “cleaning off” the yellow pigment. Look at this tentacled man-in-the-moon:

And behind the cut is another detail: (more…)

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My little Griffin came on pen-and-ink-rewarding place in the Noodler’s Art Competition. I was really happy to recieve the fantastic letter with the custom sticker depicting my own contribution, the burgundy Konrad flex pen, and a bottle of Rome Burning ink. I am in the middle of another move, but broke it out of the box immediately yesterday (it took a couple of extra days to reach me, overseas, recent address change and above the Arctic Circle).

Here is the video with an introduction, all the entries and Mr Nathan Tardif showing off the properties of Rome Burning.

Here is my prize (ink bottle not shown) and a writing test (and a very small monster, for propriety’s sake).

Konrad pen, Rome Burning ink

There is some shading, more clearly visible in the scanned writing sample below. Right-click images to make them bigger.

Scanned. Konrad flex pen.

I also experimented using a dip pen. See behind the cut for (more…)

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Ah well. As the year rapidly draws to an end I manage to produce something that has been on my mind almosts the whole year. An entry to the Noodler’s Artist Prize. As I finished my entry I discovered that the original has to be sent in by snailmail and thus, I believe I am too late to enter the competition. So, I’ll post my drawing on the blog instead, but I am still not too proud to send a message to Noodler’s Ink by their Contact Page informing of this post.

Why?

1) I love Noodler’s ink and I am happy informing everyone of this.
2) I appreciate the incentive of this competition. It has moved my muse, of which I am grateful. I’d like those responsible to know this, even if I can’t participate in the contest.
3) I’d like to show you my Noodler-Griffin.

Now, to the drawing:

Title: Noodler’s Griffin
Size: about 10×10 cm (I tried to make a bigger one, I really tried!)
Inks: (all Noodler’s inks) Zhivago (which is great as a black-with-only-a-hint-of-green in a pen but really shows its large capacity when used in water washes), Apache Sunset (also great shading alone as well as in washes). For the pillow the majestic Purple Martin and for the tassle Red Rattler and Lexington Gray.
Pens: Noodler’s brush pen. Noodler’s flex pens.
Paper: Seawhite of Brighton.
Computer alteration: Scanned and cut, heightened brightness as well as contrast a little.
Inspiration: Mythical creature meets Catfish. I had several other ideas as well, but this one inspired me the most today.
Notes: I think this went rather well, although the griffin is a tad more youngish than intended. Maybe the holiday spirit made me veer off from the regular scary-monster theme. I blame Christmas. But approach this little one with caution, it could very well bite your head off.
In Other News I must confess that I wish there were an Artist Prize of 2012 as well…

Apache Sunset

Noodler's Zhivago - Can you believe this came from ONE bottle of ink?

Happy New Year!

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When I was in 6th grade I decided to learn the Morse-code. About a year later, my school decided that all students should be obliged to write journals (that would be left in the classroom during the school year). The teachers told us that the journals would be private for each student, that nobody besides ourselves would read them. I did not trust the teachers. In a silent protest I wrote my entries in Morse-code. I got told off for it, especially after sweetly asking why they cared which alphabet I was using if they weren’t sneaking looks at what I wrote. Thankfully, I changed schools a short time after this incident. As an adult, I wonder what in the world the teachers, just a little older than I am right now, were thinking assigning this “journal-project” and handling my protest the way they did.

Like many other bullied little kids without any friends I had an active fantasy life and read a LOT. Of course I had read Tolkien, repeatedly, by 6th grade. What changed everything was a book named ”The Languages of Middle-Earth” that I got my hands on a year or so after I moved. Tengwar, Tolkiens elvish alphabet, among several of his constructed languages and a bit general lingustics if I remember correctly. For me aged 13-14ish it was an epiphany. I promptly got inspired by ways to shorten the longish morse code characters and invent ways to shorten words and sentences. I also made a foray into various shorthands. (Still looking for a good book about shorthands, any tips?).
What you see is the rather impractical but somewhat pretty result. Unfortunately it takes too long to write to be practical for everyday use. Sometime I use it to remember codes or initials that I don’t want others to see, like when noting passwords etc. I’d like to work with it more. There are more advanced versions as well, I might post some in the future.

Note the flourishes that indicate capital character and punctuation. Also, the Tengwar-inspired diacritics. The ink is J. Herbin Cacao du Bresil, the pen is the Edward Todd Wet Noodle. A great combination, I love the greyish brown.
In the detail below (from another writing example) you can see the nice shading of this ink and the almost magical flex capabilities of the pen.

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Well, I have a thousand ideas on blogposts. I need to write more about London, books I’ve read and great fellow artists and artisans (note to self, look up the difference of those words) that I have found lately. I have several such posts planned and I thought I was going to write one of them today. My muse thinks differently. Apparently.

In London I bought some other colours of Daler-Rowney acrylic ink. Despite them being almost half-price in London at CASS art than in Sweden I pranced around the Islington flagship shop acting like a skint idiot, not buying stuff I actually could afford. Yes, I have a giant, monstrous neurosis about money after being a student for so many years. Maybe I should make a drawing of it? But I digress. After much unnecessary angst, I decided on the rather unusual colour combination of these: (Note my unprofessional bloggerness, not being able to arrange the bottles prettily in a row with the label turned to the front)

Daler-Rowney Acrylic Ink in Light Green, Gold, Silver Moss and White 011

Anyway. I had my lovely Seawhites of Brighton that I fell in love with last time I was there. Very inexpensive, great for drawing, the perfect surface and colour, etc. They have a black “jacket”. Here is a pic:

So, they all look alike and I bought plenty. I wanted a way to differentiate between the several medium sized (A4) I bought. Ergo:

The “1” and “2” are made with the shimmering inks “Silver Moss 129” and “Gold (imit) 701” respectively (the gold I find to be more like bronze in colour, or maybe rose gold as when gold is mixed with copper). The “3” is made with the amazing, cthulhuish (sic, happily) “Light Green 348”.
Here is a close-up of the “1”:

I did the translucent shading by blending the colour with different water-washes and mixing with opaque white. Used several different brushes, all synthetic. I especially like the glittering effect of the shimmering inks in “1” and “2”.

I have exciting things planned for the bigger (A4 and A3) Seawhites. The secret, gory, sunshine-yellow drawing and the sketch of the swamp elf I have planned to sculpt in the future for example. It’s all on its way, I promise. Also, eyeballs deluxe, coming up shortly.

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Pen: The Noodler’s flex pen became a great success when released as it provides good flex for a modest price. There isn’t really any other modern pen in the same price-bracket with flex like this. I was eager to try one for myself. Actually I ordered two of them from Gouletpens, a red/green and a demonstrator (clear/see-through). They smelled a bit weird at first. The nib is slit vertically almost in half, which gives a good degree of flex although the metal in the nib itself doesn’t feel as soft as in vintage flex nibs (it’s like comparing apples and llamas anyway). There was some flow-problems in the beginning, but as I have used the pens and adjusted the feeds and nibs in the sections I believe I have reached a happy equilibrium and the line is seldom broken. For a writing sample see the “Five Reds“-post.

Why I like it: I like to be able to bring a modern, inexpensive flex pen with me everywhere and know that I can buy another one if I lose it. As of now the pens are all sold out though, so maybe I should be careful anyway. I like that the nib is very fine when not flexed, as this is good for drawing. I am especially fond of the demonstrator as I like seeing the ink inside the pen. Also, I’m satisfied with how the modification turned out on my particular pen. The other colours of the pen are nice as well, I think I’ll get a couple when they go back in stock in the middle of May.

Modification: I wasn’t satisfied with the surface finish of the pen (too glossy and some scratches inside of the barrel from the turning machine) so I decided to modify it a bit with really fine grit sandpaper. Unfortunately no “before”-picture. Here is the result:

The ink is Noodler’s Red Rattler.

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Discovering the joy of writing with different shades of ink, I’m surprised I did not discover fountain pen inks earlier. I love shades, blending, chemistry, drawing. You’d think an interest in inks would come naturally. Alas, after getting my first fountain pens I got a bunch of Diamine inks in small bottles from Nordic Pen Imports. Then I discovered Noodler’s. Now I’ve got more than 50 different inks from various makers (I know that this isn’t much compared to some, but mom, if you read this, I got most of them on sale).

At Fountain Pen Network there is an excellent Index of Ink Reviews section, a great resource. I also have to commend Goulet Pens Ink Drop, where you get several small ink samples in the mail regularly. I’m not a member myself, but I have bought small sample-bottles of ink from there. The Noodler’s Red Black below is from such a bottle.

So, on to the comparison. These are all the reds I have. Written with different pens, this is not a review per se as the ink behave different with different pens. I do not aspire to be a clean cut reviewer, I make up things as I go along. The paper is Clairefountaine Graf It Sketch pad. I plan to post this comparison in the appropriate forum at FPN so if you have come here from that post, welcome to the blog!

Detailed description and more pictures: (more…)

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The Pen: Another good find on the Internet. This one was sorted in the wrong category, so all the fountain pen nuts missed it. Except me. It is pretty, as good as new and I like it a lot. The cap is bleached by light on one side, otherwise it is practically unused. It is a piston filler, marked 60 1/2 and “M” at the bottom end.
The nib is a Warranted 14K No 4. It is the smoothest nib I have ever tried, with perhaps one exception.

The nib is likely a semi-flex but I know some sellers that would call it flex. It has a springy feeling, but soft enough that you wouldn’t have to press down with very much force to get the tines to spread. It is a wet writer. Combined with the scent of the ink, using this pen is a heady experience.

The Ink: I like the colour, very much like pecan nuts. A nice warm brown that’s rather light and has good shading. In this pen I have also used Diamine Chocolate Brown, a darker ink with almost no shading at all. I’m not always one for matching pen colours with inks, but this pen seems somehow made for brown inks. (more…)

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