Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Esterbrook The Journaler Nib A Great Writer for Handwriting and Journaling

Esterbrook and Custom Nib Studio have collaborated to bring us a special nib by Gena: the Journaler. 

In 1858, when Richard Esterbrook was still in the business of making dip pens and co-owner of the United States Steel Pen Manufacturing Company, he was making nibs by hand using special tool and machines, which he often had to invent. Nibs were a central feature of his business. His were revered for being versatile, long-lasting and available in many different models to fit the many styles of writing found in the general public. 

As the company moved away from dip pens to fountain pens, the newly minted Esterbrook Pen Company, solely owned by Richard Esterbrook, maintained that the grinding of nibs should remain artful in nature and the company created an interchangeable nib system that offered variety and flexibility to its growing clientele.

As we continue to tell the Esterbrook story, we wanted to continue Esterbrook’s tradition of focusing on specialized nibs. 

The Esterbrook Custom Nib Program is our way to highlight exceptional American nibmeisters and we’ve asked some of the most prominent and exceptional nibmeisters in our community to create nibs to be a part of Esterbrook’s storied legacy. Gena Salorino of the Custom Nib Studio in Los Angeles has created the first edition.

An apprentice to nibmeister John Mottishaw of Nibs.com for nearly four years, Gena’s nib work is derived from his style, but as she’s established Custom Nib Studio, her signature nibs have become well-known in the marketplace for her own trademark style and beautiful handmade quality.

In her own words, the custom nib Gena is grinding for Esterbrook is a “medium stub grind, based on the vintage Esterbrook 9314M nib. The idea is that it’s smooth and friendly enough for everyday use, gives your writing some flair, all without being too huge for practical writing”. 

Available for the Standard and Oversized Esties as well as the new Camden, Gena’s custom nib has an MSRP of $50 and your pen will come with this nib. Esterbrook Pens

I have to agree - it adds some flair but it is absolutely friendly enough for every day use. It feels like a cursive italic that leans to the stubby side, so it's easy to write quickly and it's quite forgiving. The Journaler is a great name for it⁣. If you purchase your pen with the nib, you will get a custom ground nib without having to part with your new baby! 

Esterbrook The Journaler Nib A Great Writer for Handwriting and Journaling 1 
You can see the transitions in the loops are thinner than the downstrokes but there are no catches because the corners of the nib are not sharp, thus the do not catch on the page. I wrote those loops quickly and still it was forgiving enough not to have this issue. The downstroke is broad enough that, with inks that show some shading, you will get the benefit of that characteristic. You can see it with this turquoise ink. 

It isn't a gusher and that is appropriate for a nib that is intended to be for journaling as you don't want to be waiting for it to dry or smearing the ink everywhere. 
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Would it really be a journaling nib if I didn’t journal with it? This is how I journal and this quote rings true, especially now. “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 

I used a few inks: Waterman Obsession Blue, PW Akkerman Gourmet Pens Pink (that's mine!), and Sailor Shikiori Yozakura. 
Esterbrook The Journaler Nib A Great Writer for Handwriting and Journaling 4 Esterbrook The Journaler Nib A Great Writer for Handwriting and Journaling 5 Esterbrook The Journaler Nib A Great Writer for Handwriting and Journaling 6 Esterbrook The Journaler Nib A Great Writer for Handwriting and Journaling 7 

Which one would suit your writing best?

⁣Esterbrook Estie Lilac + The Journaler nib - the easiest to write with of the bunch here. Very forgiving, still offers line variation to add some pizzazz to your handwriting. Feels something like a cursive italic.⁣ A great starting point if you're not sure if your writing is too big or too small to manage. 

Sailor 1911S Royal Amethyst + music nib - quite a stubby square music nib. Fair amount of line variation. Totally usable on the daily. Obviously it will be a wide writer, but it is pretty forgiving and if you have larger handwriting, it is not an issue. If you don't, then perhaps this is not the ideal option.

⁣Aurora 88 Satin Rose + stub nib - surprisingly sharp for a stub, so lots of line variation here.⁣

⁣Franklin-Christoph Pocket 66 Antique Glass + music nib - the widest of the bunch so not necessarily a writer for every day. No tipping so you cannot modify it further - it is what it is (personally I love it). Great for lots of line variation between downstrokes and cross strokes!⁣

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More weekend reminders from YOU! It's a great practice, to prepare the mind for goodness ahead. Thank you @writeunafraid @maassteven @notsimar for the mind candy, and everyone, please do feel free to add more below. I read them and appreciate them, and then I get to write them! 
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Get Your Esterbrook!

La Couronne du Comte
Discount code: GOURMET10

Appelboom
Discount code: friend

Pen Chalet
Discount code: GOURMET2020

Goldspot Pens

PW Akkerman Gourmet Pens Pink

Akkerman (PWA has have provided a discount code - 10% off using GOURMET10 ⁣⁣(excludes Montblanc, sadly, their Akkerman inks, discounted products, unfortunately)⁣⁣ )
Vanness Pens
Lemur Ink
Bookbinders Design
Laywine's 

I hope this has been helpful! Thank you for reading. If you enjoy and/or appreciate this type of information and you want to lend your support, please do check me out on Patreon! You can support yours truly for as little as $1. You are in no way obligated to do so, of course. I am most grateful for your readership as is.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Oddly Satisfying Handwriting Fun with Fountain Pens

Helloooo. Sometimes I just write nonsense because I like writing and zoning out with my pens and inks. It's a weird hobby. But there are weirder hobbies. I used two pens and two inks in this video.

Is there anything in particular you'd like to see? Otherwise, I'm just going to keep sharing what I like! Let me know in the comments :)

Pen + nib: Waterman 94 + Ideal #5 (vintage)
Ink: PW Akkerman Hofkwartier Groen
Buy yours at: PW Akkerman, Vanness Pens, Lemur Ink, Bookbinders Design

Pen + nib: Mabie Todd Swan SF1 + #2 nib (vintage)
Ink: Visconti Turquoise
Visit my sponsors in the sidebar to grab your Visconti ink! Many offer discount codes to sweeten the deal!

Music: YouTube
Because For Everything There Is Someone - pATCHES

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Modern Flex Fountain Pen Comparison - Montblanc 149 Calligraphy Flex vs. Aurora 88 Mottishaw Spencerian

Ever since its release, the Montblanc Meisterstück Calligraphy 149 has been pretty exciting for those of us who love flexy writers. We all wanted to know: could Montblanc really get it right? I have used three of these pens: two from personal use and one tester at a Montblanc boutique. That means I have used only three out of however many are out there, so your miles may vary. If you'd like to see the full video, check it out here.
Modern Flex Fountain Pen Comparison - Montblanc 149 Calligraphy Flex vs. Aurora 88 Mottishaw Spencerian 9
What I wanted to do here was compare the Montblanc Calligraphy nib with an Aurora 88 flex that has a Mottishaw (nibs.com) Spencerian modification on it. Before continuing with handwriting samples, I apologize in advance for my shaky writing. My hand has been unsteady for the last little while and it really shows up in hairlines.
Modern Flex Fountain Pen Comparison - Montblanc 149 Calligraphy Flex vs. Aurora 88 Mottishaw Spencerian 12
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Modern Flex Fountain Pen Comparison - Montblanc 149 Calligraphy Flex vs. Aurora 88 Mottishaw Spencerian 1
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MONTBLANC

• ~ $1000USD⁣ - this is a heck of a purchase. It's a splurge and then some.
• Large, girthy pen⁣. I find it quite thick in my grip so I don't have as much control over this pen as I do over something smaller - like the 146 or the Aurora. However, it is usable, but of all the nib options available on the 149, this one is the hardest for me to control.
• Without pressure, the nib puts down a Western fine⁣. It's not an excessively wet nib but it performs well and ink flow is consistent.
• Fairly smooth writing experience overall⁣. It's quite pleasant as a daily writer even if you choose not to use pressure. In fact, unless you have a particularly heavy hand, it can easy be used for regular writing.
• Moderate pressure gives you up to a double broad line - the softness feels like a super flex⁣ to me.
• It does not offer a whole lot of feedback when you are pushing it too far so you can railroad⁣ and run it dry. It also means it's easier to spring it so it takes some practice to get to know the nib. This is really the case for any pen with a soft nib but pay attention as you are writing and watch the tines. Look for how they're responding and if they're starting to develop a crease or something that indicates the metal is becoming fatigued.
• Snap back is a little slow but as a result, it's fairly easy to achieve smooth lines⁣ (unless you have my shaky hand).
• Line variation is decent but not Copperplate-type variation⁣. The contrast is not super crisp.
Modern Flex Fountain Pen Comparison - Montblanc 149 Calligraphy Flex vs. Aurora 88 Mottishaw Spencerian 8
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AURORA/MOTTISHAW SPENCERIAN GRIND

John Mottishaw at nibs.com offers a Spencerian modification:
The Spencerian starts from a semi-soft 14k nib and adds additional flex and a regrind to needlepoint to create a specialized writing point used for copperplate calligraphy. 
• $585USD + $130USD for mod (also available on other less expensive pens, or equally expensive pens!)⁣
• Pen size is likely more comfortable for most users⁣. The section is nowhere near as thick as the Montblanc and because the nib is smaller, I can also get closer down, which gives me more control.
• Without pressure, puts down a Western extra extra-fine⁣. It has been reground to be a needlepoint so you're really getting something precise.
• Sharp, crisp writing experience. It nears the realm of feeling scratchy and it requires a light hand.⁣ If you apply too much pressure, the nib can catch and make horrible sounds and do terrible things as you cross the page. Remember: very, very light hand. Never, ever apply pressure on the upstroke or cross stroke. When you apply pressure, make sure it is only on the downstroke and it's best to keep the tines aligned with the angle of your downstroke so the pressure is applied equally to both tines.
• Moderate pressure gives up to a generous broad - a little softer than the Montblanc⁣
• Gives some feedback - nib starts to resist when you're pushing it too far. Ideally, you'd want to stop before this resistance so as to not damage nib⁣. This nib needs to be treated with great care and attention. It's easy to spread the tines too far and even if they don't get sprung, you can inadvertently change the alignment or gap between the tines, which can make it write too wet. Your needlepoint won't be a needlepoint anymore!
• Snap back is fast so it requires careful control to achieve the variation and lines you want⁣. The result is delicious.
• Nice, crisp line variation⁣. The hairlines are exquisite and the contrast is outstanding.
Modern Flex Fountain Pen Comparison - Montblanc 149 Calligraphy Flex vs. Aurora 88 Mottishaw Spencerian 17
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Modern Flex Fountain Pen Comparison - Montblanc 149 Calligraphy Flex vs. Aurora 88 Mottishaw Spencerian 5
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I thoroughly enjoy both of these nibs. For ease of use and forgiveness, the Montblanc nib is a great choice. The major downsides are the price and the size of the pen. The Aurora (or any other option that can take the Spencerian modification) is likely to be a more usable size pen for most writers, it costs less, but it is more delicate and less forgiving. I think it's safe to say the Spencerian modification is for more experienced users. That's not to say a new fountain pen user can't use it; it just must be taken up with great care and attention.
Modern Flex Fountain Pen Comparison - Montblanc 149 Calligraphy Flex vs. Aurora 88 Mottishaw Spencerian 4
The joys of "modern flex"! The honest truth is nothing compares to a dip nib in terms of flex, versatility, and cost but a flexy nib fountain pen is just so much fun!⁣ A good rule of thumb for flex nibs: never, ever apply pressure on the upstroke or cross stroke. When you apply pressure, make sure it is only on the downstroke and it's best to keep the tines aligned with the angle of your downstroke so the pressure is applied equally to both tines.

Where to buy? I purchased my Montblanc Meisterstück 149 Calligraphy flex pen at Appelboom. The Aurora is on loan from a friend but you can get an appropriate pen for the Spencerian grind by visiting this page and seeing your options. 

I hope this has been helpful! Thank you for reading. If you enjoy and/or appreciate this type of information and you want to lend your support, please do check me out on Patreon! You can support yours truly for as little as $1. You are in no way obligated to do so, of course. I am most grateful for your readership as is.

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