Thursday, May 25, 2017

Review: YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren

Appelboom sent these two very interesting fountain pens for review, and they are a very pretty package! This is not the style of pen I would otherwise pick up for myself. They look interesting and they look clean, but I usually like resin/celluloid pens for how they feel. Usually. Not always. So I gave these pens a good go to see how I felt about them.
Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 34
Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 36

ABOUT

Body material of Classic Copper: Copper
Body material of Brassing: Brass
Trim: None
Cord material: Leather
Pen Case: Maple wood
Nib material: #5 Schimdt steel
Filling material: Standard international cartridge/converter
Cap: Snap on
Posts: No

CLASSIC COPPER
Length (capped): 138.2 mm/5.44"
Length (uncapped): 119.2 mm/4.69"
Length (posted): N/A
Length (section): 23.7 mm/0.42"
Diameter (barrel): 10.2 mm/0.40"
Diameter (section): 7.6 - 9.2 mm/0.30" - 0.36"
Length (case): 138.0 mm/5.43"
Width (case): 21.2 mm/0.83"
Weight (all): 50 g
Weight (cap): 20 g
Weight (body): 30 g

BRASSING (black)
Same length/diameter as Classic
Weight (all): 46 g
Weight (cap): 16 g
Weight (body): 30 g

Price: $126.03 USD
Where to buy: Appelboom - Brassing | Classic

Appleboom Banner
Discount code: 10% off with 'friend'

PACKAGING

The YStudio fountain pens are beautifully presented! I was not expecting such elegant packaging from solid metal pens - I was expecting something more "daily carry" style and less "super pretty". Silly assumption, of course, because the YStudio packaging is daily carry AND super pretty! Nice clean corners, finished, and put together in a great package.
Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 1
Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 2
The boxes are quite large compared to the size of the pen. The first layer is a thick paper sleeve in either black with gold writing, or white with copper writing. The sleeve has a boxed border around the print: the weight of words, portable fountain pen, classic/brassing, and the YStudio logo at the bottom.
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The box is a solid, dark wood with gorgeous striations and gold characters on the top. There is a small hole in the lid of the box which makes removing the slim lid easy. There is a rice paper pen guide inside, which is also quite elegant. The rice paper is doubled up so it is a little thicker and fairly tough, and it has a stitched binding. It gives information about YStudio, the Brassing series, nature of materials. how to use the contents, etc. Along with this, there are two leather cords (brown, black), two brass beads (one for each pen), and a maple wood case to house the pen. The Brassing pen comes with a sheet of sandpaper for removing the black paint should you wish. Whereas the copper will patina, the Brassing won't change much unless you do some work on it.
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The presentation makes me think of the Japanese pens - limited edition sailors and Pelikans, and Nakayas - which are presented in lightweight wooden boxes. They are not particularly ornate but they are very classy. These pens are made in Taiwan with great care, and I think the attention to detail is obvious in both presentation and the finishing of the pen.

APPEARACE

The YStudio Portable fountain pens are on the smaller side compared to most of the other pens I usually use. Both pens are hexagonal with distinct edges and flat, blunt ends. The top of the caps have holes for the leather strings, and for using the carry cases (or both). If you don't use the leather thongs, I think they look pretty cute as is.
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The cap and barrel snaps together with all the facets aligned, and if it doesn't, you can just rotate the cap until they match. The barrel is engraved with the logo and "YStudio". The Classic Copper pen is all copper and the Brassing is matte black with brass edges peeking out. The Classic has a copper section, whereas the Brassing has, not surprisingly, a brass section. It's a slender section that tapers slightly towards the nib. The copper is bright and shiny when it is new, and the Brassing has a matte black finish.
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The case is round and smooth, made of black wood with a screw on cap and a hole in the top for the pen cap to sit in. That's it. Simple case. The pens are also quite simple, but I like the compact, clean design. They look well made and unique, and they certainly are a different look to my pen case!

NIB & PERFORMANCE

Both pens have a gold-plated medium steel nib. The #5 nibs are made by Schmidt - they have a single slit, no breather hole, and they are engraved with "Schmidt Iridium Point" with some flourishes.
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Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 22
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Both are medium nibs and overall, they work well. Drying times are average, around 30 seconds with fairly wet ink flow. The nibs are on the firm side, they did not skip or hard start during normal writing. With a bit of pressure, a little line variation is possible. On smooth paper, I could feel a little slipping from the nibs being slightly dry - but once they were going, ink flow was consistent. Not the most amazing or unique writing experience ever - I think both nibs could use a quick tuning (made slightly wetter) but they work pretty well. I did not find them skippy mid letter, which is good. A hard starting nib is pretty easy to tune up, and it doesn't really need it, but to make them ideal, that's all it would take.
Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 41
Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 43
The converters were included and worked well. Makes inking and cleaning quick and easy. They're also pretty affordable to replace should you break or lose it.
Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 31

IN HAND

No clips here, but the whole idea of the portable system is you can either use the wooden case to carry your pen/attach your pen to things, or just attach the leather string to the hole directly, without the case. I tried using the case to tote the pens - all you do is put the pen cap through the slot in the case, tie your leather thong to whatever you want to hang your pen from, and tie it up. Then you can either carry the pen in the case with the barrel, or without the case barrel - then you just uncap the pen and you have your pen in hand!
Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 33
Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 52
You don't have to use the wooden case, of course. The pens are metal and they are pretty tough - they can easily handle being bumped and tumbled around, so they don't need to be protected by the case. I like the idea of tying my pen to my bag and always having one at the ready. I did not have any ink burps into the cap because the pen was often facing upwards. On the other hand, this meant the pen occasionally dried up a little and I had to lick the nib to get it writing quickly. (OK... I didn't HAVE to lick the nib, but I did because it's the fastest way to get it going). The pen did not randomly uncap itself and there were no inky messes. The downside is if you want to quickly remove the whole pen, you can't - you have to untie it first!
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Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 19
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The sections are slender, smooth, and feel nice because there are no threads. Even though they are slender, I found the shape comfortable and the material was not slippery. Given the width of the sections, there will probably be some out there who will find it way too thin for use.

Unposted, the pens are compact but feel comfortable in hand. Well balanced, no effort to write with. I love how the metal warms up on the Classic Copper more than the Brassing, which is smoother. They are not so big and heavy that the metal bodies feel unwieldy. The caps cannot be posted, so you have to be able to use it unposted.
Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 25
Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 26
These are metal pens and that penny smell is definitely there. I did not find it overwhelming and although the smell rubbed off on my hands while writing, it wasn't too strong. That's a good thing, for those of you who like metal pens but hate the penny smell.

The Brassing pen comes with a sheet of sandpaper in the box that you can use to remove the black paint from the surface. I like the black pen as it is so I have not experimented with taking off the black paint (it also seems like a messy affair). The copper pen has developed some patina after months of use, but it took some time to get to the stage it's at now. I've seen other copper pens that have developed a patina much faster. The copper section changed more than the brass did.
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PROS & CONS

Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 42
Classic Copper
Review YStudio The Weight of Words Portable Fountain Pen - Brassing & Classic @AppelboomLaren 44

OVERALL

These are interesting pens! They are well presented, and the packaging includes everything you need - instructions, leather cords, carry case, converter - so you get the box and you're ready to go with some ink and paper. They are quite versatile in how you can carry and use them, they write well, they are definitely durable, and I think they are interesting to look at. The biggest downside is the price - I'm not saying $126 USD is too much, but the Euro amount at 130,00 is painful! However, if you like metal pens, these are a great choice - compact, tidy, pretty.



I received these items free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

May 24. 2017 - Wordless Wednesday 1
May 24. 2017 - Wordless Wednesday 2

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ink Shot Review: Franklin-Christoph Tenebris Purpuratum @1901FC

Here is another really nice Franklin-Christoph ink: Tenebris Purpuratum. For some reason, it took me a long time to remember what this ink was actually called. Tricky thing. Gosh is it ever sexy.
Ink Shot Review Franklin-Christoph Tenebris Purpuratum @1901FC 2
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ABOUT

Ink Shot Review Franklin-Christoph Tenebris Purpuratum @1901FC 4
Color: Purple
Size: 59 ml/2 oz
Price: $12.50 USD
Where to buy: Franklin-Christoph
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PROS

  • Large, easy to fill from bottle - easily accommodates larger nibs/sections.
  • A really attractive medium purple!
  • Work appropriate.
  • Not just work appropriate, also very fun! Lovely color.
  • Shades well and looks really good in the process! Yummy.
  • Cleans up pretty easily.
  • Also available in a regular bottle.
Ink Shot Review Franklin-Christoph Tenebris Purpuratum @1901FC 10
Ink Shot Review Franklin-Christoph Tenebris Purpuratum @1901FC 11

CONS

  • Only available at Franklin-Christoph! I guess that's not a huge deal...
  • The eyedropper bottle is plastic. Some people prefer glass. I don't mind either way, and I find the eyedropper tip very useful! If you want to fill a converter, you just unscrew the tip and use it like a regular bottle! 

OVERALL

As with the Franklin-Christoph Midnight Emerald, the Tenebris Purpuratum is another hidden gem. It's a medium purple that has a dusky feel to it, which gives it a dark and mysterious touch. I really like that. It's an attractive color - not a bright popping purple, but definitely a purple. Very fair price for a great ink!

My favorite purple is usually Montblanc Lavender Purple, but I think this might take the cake.




I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Reads: May 21. 2017

Sunday Reads


Stuff I Looked At Elsewhere
Stuff I Apparently Did This Week

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: @FPRevolution Guru Fountain Pen - Steel Flex Nib Pen for Beginners

This is a review and a suggestive post! I mean, it's not suggestive in a weird way, it's just suggesting a certain pen if you are looking for a certain something.

A lot of people ask me what is the best beginner flex pen. My beginner flex pen was a Waterman 52V with a fine to triple broad, wet noodle nib. Maybe that wasn't the smartest idea, but many years later, I can recommend this pen: the Fountain Pen Revolution Guru. I've used several FPR flex nib pens and all have been pretty successful, but this one is my favorite. More on that in the review.
Review: @FPRevolution Guru Fountain Pen - Steel Flex Nib Pen for Beginners 2

ABOUT

Body material: Vegetal resin
Trim: Metal
Filling system: Piston-filler
Nib material: Steel
Nibs available on Guru model: EF, F, M, B, Stub, Flex
Ink capacity: 1.2 ml +
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Length (capped): 133.7 mm/5.26″
Length (uncapped): 115.8 mm/4.56″
Length (posted): 149.5 mm/5.88″
Diameter (barrel): 11.7 mm/0.46″
Diameter (section): 9.5 mm/0.37″
Weight (all): 12 g
Weight (cap): 4 g
Weight (body): 8 g
Price: $ 9.00 USD + $3 for flex upgrade
Where to buy: FPRevolution

PACKAGING


None, just bubble wrapped with an elastic around it. My favorite kind. Simple, nothing to keep.

APPEARANCE

Review: @FPRevolution Guru Fountain Pen - Steel Flex Nib Pen for Beginners 13
I have two colors of the FPR Guru - one clear and one solid navy blue. These are small pens, both in length and width. They are round, tapering to each end. The piston-turning knob is a rounded off point. The finial is a pointed cone - clear on the clear pen and blue on the blue pen. The metal clips are attached externally by a ring just under the threaded finial. Both pens have misaligned, poorly threaded finials, so the clips are quite wobbly and are also misaligned. The clips are simple and unmarked, with a ball at the end, sitting against the cap.
Review: @FPRevolution Guru Fountain Pen - Steel Flex Nib Pen for Beginners 8
The end of the cap has two thin metal rings spaced evenly apart. The blue pen is a solid, dark blue and the clear pen is all clear. The sections are a decent size, especially considering the pens are not all that large to begin with. They are one piece with the barrels, and are quite thin. They taper towards the nibs and end in a ridge.

These are very simple pens - not the most beautiful, not the most well put together, but they look ok. 

NIB & PERFORMANCE

These pens have # 5.5 nibs with 5.1 mm "guru" ebonite feeds. They are both single tone steel nibs - one in fine (clear), one in flex (blue). The fine nib has a single slit and a round breather hole, and is engraved with FPR and some flourishes. The flex nib has a single slit that runs up most of the nib, and there is no breather hole. It is engraved with FPR and 'flex' and some flourishes. Both nibs are on the small side but suit the pen.
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Both pens were flushed thoroughly to remove any residual oils in the feed or on the nib as this can affect ink flow. I flush first with some dilute dish soap (i.e. Dawn), and then with clean water until there are no suds coming out. Neither feed needed heat setting upon arrival, but if you find there is a gap, you can heat set quickly and easily. So far, I have not had to heat set any of my FPR pens. 

The fine nib really surprised me. Not only was the nib not scratchy, it was actually quite smooth and really nice. It put down a nice fine line that was fairly generous with ink flow. Drying times are average. The nib and feed perform quite well during normal and fast writing sessions. With pressure, the nib actually produces a surprising amount of line variation, and the feed does not dry out quickly. With or without pressure, the nib does not skip or hard start. 
Review: @FPRevolution Guru Fountain Pen - Steel Flex Nib Pen for Beginners 14
The actual flex nib was even more awesome. Not only was it smooth it did not hard start or skip with normal writing. Drying times were longer, with or without pressure, because the ink flow was increased compared to the fine nib. I love this one. Moderate pressure achieved serious line variation and the nib was quite responsive and snapped back quickly. With constant pressure, the nib and feed did run dry and railroad, but it picked up quickly with just a tap or two on the page.
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The flex nib is quite forgiving and as it is affordable, it's a great nib to practice your flex hand on, especially if you don't want to go the dip nib route. Flex on the down strokes, and apply no pressure on the upstrokes. If it runs dry, make sure the nib and feed are heat set correctly. 

I found both nibs very enjoyable, especially the flex nib. For just a few dollars, you can have a lot of fun!

IN HAND

The section is fairly slim but I do not find it slippery in use. The cap threads are noticeable, but they are not too sharp such that it was uncomfortable to hold them. Although it is slim, it's a comfortable pen for me, and it is quite light. The ridge from the section to the barrel is quite sharp and very visible - again, not the most meticulous finishing. Those with large hands may find these pens too small for longer writing sessions.
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Review: @FPRevolution Guru Fountain Pen - Steel Flex Nib Pen for Beginners 4
Review: @FPRevolution Guru Fountain Pen - Steel Flex Nib Pen for Beginners 7
Unposted, the pens are very light in the hand. I find them too light to be able to control them properly when they are unposted. The cap can be posted by friction, and it is quite snug and secure. When it is posted, it is much more comfortable to write with - longer, better balance, and a little heavier. 
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Review: @FPRevolution Guru Fountain Pen - Steel Flex Nib Pen for Beginners 11
The clip is snug and springy - easy to operate one handed, but it looks a bit wonky. I don't really use it.

PROS & CONS

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FINE NIB
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FLEX NIB

OVERALL

For the price, these are pretty decent pens - whether you want to just try out a fountain pen, try out a variety of nibs, get a fountain pen and not spend too much, try out a flex pen, whatever it may be - these are piston-fillers at a great price with a solid nib selection. The finishing leaves something to be desired but I am mostly interested in the flex nib on this model and can overlook the little details for the couple dollars it costs. 

It isn't the most amazing pen in hand, and the fine nib doesn't hold a place in my daily carry, but the flex nib sure does. I use that one for all sorts of fun lettering, scribbles, doodles, and general flexy goodness. You can expect the barrels to stain a bit, especially if you get the clear, and a funny smell from the material, but it's worth the fun.

Give the flex nib a go. It's a great place to start!




I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion.

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