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.
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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Posted in Art, Ink, Other Obsessions, tagged Absence of Perspective, Book recommendation, Burma Road Brown, China Miéville, Diamine, Dragonfly, Eye-Helicopter, Eyeballs, Lamy 2000, Man in the Moon, Monster, Noodler's ink, Parker 51, Pentel Aquash, Pentel brush pen, sable brush, tentacles on May 10, 2012|
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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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Posted in Art, Musings, Other Obsessions, tagged Apache Sunset, Drollery, Lamy Safari, Landscape, Noodler's ink, Parker Rollerball, Rhodia, synaesthesia on January 4, 2012|
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I am slightly synaestethic, associating letters, words and numbers with colours. “Drollery” is a light and airy word, like sunshine on warm sand. The -ish ending makes it even nicer. “Doodle” is not as pretty, it is a more flat beige-boring yellow.
That is why I won’t have a ”doodle”-tag, I’ll call everything that dribbles out of my pen under non-controlled circumstances (when I should be writing) a ”drollery” even though it might not strictly fall in the Wikipedia definition of drollery. A sketch is a whole other story (which I too seldom associate myself with) since it is made under planned, controlled circumstances (at least more controlled than the doodle, right?). The semantics is making my head hurt, so let’s go on to the drawing:
Title: Drollerish Alien Landscape
Size: app. 15×3 cm
Equipment: Parker Rollerball with bluish black cartridge ink, partially dried and clumpy with age (also used making my Swamp Elf). Lamy Safari with broad nib. Coloured ink is Noodler’s Apache Sunset.
Computer alteration: none.
Paper: Rhodia lined notebook.
Inspiration: this calls for an explanation of the word “drollery” (see link above). I first encountered it when I was surfing on Wikipedia looking for variations on intuitive drawing. Believe me, SO much fell in to place. This is my scholarly life, people. Weird conglomerations of animals doing unspeakable things in margins of notebooks. Yep.
Notes: The broad, very smooth nib of the Lamy Safari made blending the two inks easy. Mixed, they produced a very nice yellowish green colour I wish I could reproduce. The Parker pen has kicked the bucket, have not found a suitable replacement yet.
Reading tips I own an interesting book “The Hidden Sense: Synesthesia in Art and Science”. It is edited by Crétien van Campen. The link leads to the publisher, you can also find a very extensive list of publications and other resources there. I look forward to exploring several of them myself.
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Posted in Art, Fountain pens, Ink, tagged Apache Sunset, Bird, Fish, Griffin, Monster, Noodler's Artist Prize 2011, Noodler's Brush Pen, Noodler's Flex Pen, Noodler's ink, Seawhite of Brighton on December 31, 2011|
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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.
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…
Noodler's Zhivago - Can you believe this came from ONE bottle of ink?
Happy New Year!
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I’m back and I’m full of inspiration. There is still some snow left here, but the grass is finally turning a vague shade of greenish gray. It’s awfully rainy, though, but it makes for a lovely view from my window, all great grey and white clouds simply falling down on the landscape. It looks dramatic. I have always loved the rain.
London was great, as usual. I brought about 10 kilos of Seawhite paper, watercolours (!), Aero mint chocolate (don’t ask) and several books with me home. We visited British Museum, Natural History Museum, Victoria & Alberts, Kew gardens and lots of markets and shops. Also, I think I saw one of my favourite musicians Amanda Palmer at Heathrow (of course, being too stunned to call out “I love your work!” to her). More on all that later. Now, for today’s drawing:
Title: Evil Man Under Dying Sun (Wearing No Hat)
Size: 4×4 cm
Equipment: Parker 51 BB and Parker 51 EF (Yep, I found another one. More on that pen later) with Noodler’s black. The other inks are Daler-Rowney Acrylic white ink, Noodler’s Burma Road Brown and Diamine Sunshine Yellow. The yellow looks very dark, mostly because of it being mixed with the not quite dry Noodler’s Black, I believe. The Burma Road Brown were added days later, when the black ink was completely dry and permanent, another feature I like with Noodler’s Black.
Computer alteration: Scanned and cropped.
Paper: watercolour paper that time forgot (ripped the cover off years ago). You can see the grain in the paper really well. I actually prefer my paper a bit smoother than this. The paper is a creamy white.
Inspiration: a couple of weeks ago I was experimenting with pens, brushes and ink to make a bigger drawing. This is a part of that drawing. I had to crop it, otherwise I’d spoil the surprise.
Notes: The sun is a completely incidental small spatter of ink, but perhaps the part of this drawing that I like the most. This is a heavily cropped drawing for a reason, the rest of the drawing wasn’t very good. But it was an experiment laying the ground for other work to come, so not without merit. I am very satisfied with the hat as well as the sun. The whiteness overlaying the glasses is opaque white ink from Daler Rowney, my favourite wet white media (favourite dry white media being soft pastels). The glasses are a bit small and has too little detail to begin with, so I do not think the result this time was optimal, but the next time I draw glasses I will use this technique again, hopefully getting a better result. I like experimenting with different levels of opacity.
Important Notice: I want his hat.
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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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Posted in Fountain pens, Ink, tagged Clairefontaine, Diamine, Edward Todd, Ink Comparison, J. Herbin Ink, Lamy Safari, Noodler's, Noodler's Flex Pen, Noodler's ink, Steel nib on April 24, 2011|
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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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