Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Pilot Parallel Letters A B C D

I am not a trained calligrapher by any stretch of the imagination but I sing the praises of the Pilot Parallel Calligraphy fountain pens on the regular. In fact, I even did a Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Fountain Pens 101 video awhile back and it's - if I may toot my own horn - a great starter guide to the pens and how to use them. 

Obviously these are fantastic pens for practicing calligraphy, lettering, and alphabets in general. I like to play around with styles because before you know it, you’ve morphed several into one new style and it looks really cool. Well, usually they look terrible and wrong but sometimes it works out. That’s why messing around is fun. I typically eyedropper mine (again, instructions in that video I linked) but you can also use a Pilot cartridge/converter. Ink flow tends to be quite generous when eyedroppered and consistent with the cartridge/converter set up. I prefer the eyedropper set up because I love the super juicy, gushing type of ink flow to really make inks pop. If this applies to you, I'd say they are the best for shimmery and sheeny inks. They are just so easy to clean and maintain, they are nice and juicy, and they're affordable. 

The shape of the plates does result in having somewhat sharp corners but a light hand is all you need for these pens. If you find the corners catching on the page, you might want to lighten your pressure, ease up on the grip of the pen, but also perhaps try practicing writing with the pen in general to get more comfortable with its angles. One of the things I did over and over was learn how to rotate the nib in all directions without lifting it off the page - this helped me learn to keep a light hand when rounding the corners. 

There is no shortage of resources and guides out there if you do some quick Googling. Toronto Pen Company has released a free Gothic Batarde workbook for the first group of miniscule letters. Check it out here and get started on some Batarde practice! If you follow TPC on social media, you can stay tuned for new releases and other fun goodies. FACEBOOK   INSTAGRAM    TWITTER

Pilot Parallel Letters A B C D 1_RWM
Pilot Parallel Letters A B C D 2_RWM
Pilot Parallel Letters A B C D 3_RWM
The above three inks: Diamine Manggis for Pen Gallery
Pilot Parallel Letters A B C D 4_RWM

Friday, May 22, 2020

Montblanc Donation Pen Homage to George Gershwin Fountain Pen

The Montblanc Donation Pen Collection is honouring world-famous classical musicians of the past decades. The Donation Pen supports carefully selected cultural projects from pioneering artists the world over with a donation of 20 euros per fountain pen and 10 euros per ballpoint or rollerball. This year's edition pays tribute to George Gershwin, an American composer and pianist. The clip is in the shape of a clarinet - a tribute to the clarinet opening from Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue". Another tribute to "Rhapsody in Blue" is the ink window which features a blue colour. The cap ring is inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge to symbolise the close relationship George Gershwin had with his place of birth. The cap and barrel are made out of black precious resin combined with platinum-coated fittings. The special gift box additionally contains three prints of the Brooklyn Bridge. - Montblanc
Thanks to Appelboom for loaning me this Montblanc Donation Pen Homage to George Gershwin Fountain Pen. Get yours at Appelboom! If you use the discount code 'friend', you will receive 10% off your purchase but Montblanc excludes their products. Useless to share it on a Montblanc post maybe, but perhaps you'll see something else you like.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Lamy Safari Mango Fountain Pen and Ink

Every year Lamy releases special colours of the Safari and Al-Star and sometimes there is a matching ink.
What brings as much joy as a bagful of colourful candies - and without the sugar hit? The new Special Edition LAMY safari candy. The fresh trio, composed of violet, aquamarine and mango, is reminiscent of pop art, fruit sorbet and sugar icing. - Lamy
The trio is pretty fun but I only bought the Mango. I have several Safaris - two Neon Corals, Blue Macaron, Yellow, Pink, as well as the Lamy LX Rose Gold so I didn't really need three more. Mangoes are one of my favorite fruits and I love things - bags, clothing, brands, inks, pens, papers, anything - named after food.

I have full reviews of the Safari available for you to read if you'd like as well as a video of last year's Blue Macaron. The long story short is I am a big fan of them for many reasons and there are few things I dislike. Some of the good stuff: they're pretty affordable, they're available in many colors especially if you're considering the special edition colors per year, they are pretty solid, robust, and can handle some heavy use, they are practical and lightweight in hand, super simple to clean and maintain, and the nib range is not particularly limited. I personally like the broad (gold or steel) nib and the 1.1 mm stub calligraphy nib a lot. I always tune them to be a little wetter than when they leave the factory, but overall, I have found the writing performance out of factory quite decent. There has been some variation in tipping sizes - for example, a medium that is more of a fine and an extra-fine that is probably a medium (!), but overall they're decent. I don't have much issue because I usually lead towards the broad nib anyway.

Nibs are interchangeable and replaceable, and it's easy to do yourself even if you aren't super comfortable with this kind of thing. I think they are fairly priced to purchase a full set and keep them for all sorts of writing needs. It's a bit frustrating if you're looking for a particular tipping size and you end up getting one of those off sizes. I imagine most retailers would make sure you get the tipping you need, though. In terms of comfort, I really like the pens. Some people hate the triangular grip but it works fine for me.

I think the next Safari should be Dragonfruit with a pink body and green accents. And a white finial. What would you love to see?

I bought my Safari and ink at Take Note in Toronto.
Lamy Safari Mango Fountain Pen and Ink 2_RWM
I mean, the pen is so much more popping than the ink is, right? At least it shades so that's fun but the pen and its yellow happy goodness is really where it's at. I'm really happy with that part of the pair. The Safari is just so easy. Cap pops on and off with a satisfying snap, it posts snugly and securely by friction and it won't fly off, the clip is just super cute in its matching glossy yellow outfit, and the pen has a matte texture to it. 
Lamy Safari Mango Fountain Pen and Ink 3_RWM
This year Lamy only released the Mango ink in cartridges and bottles. It's sort of an odd choice since there are obviously two other colors they could have included is a little less orange than I was expecting but the pen is PERFECTION. I only have the cartridges because I am trying to be sensible about my ink purchases. I figured I could use up a few cartridges before a bottle (although I am known for burning through ink bottles using my Toronto Pen Company folded nibs). I feel like it's just not quite juicy enough to really be mango. It's also a bit on the dry side, which does not match up with my experience with juicy, delicious mango goodness! However, it's not totally terrible but I am glad I only got the cartridges. It's just not the right yellow-orange for moi and that's fine because goodness knows I have enough ink to last ... a year or two.

Lamy Safari Mango Fountain Pen and Ink 4_RWM
You can see from the smeary swab, which does show a range of shading, that it's not all that intense or saturated. It doesn't show any sheen but on the bright side, it is pretty easy to clean and it is well-behaved other than being a bit dry. I really only use it in a broad nib because it's just so naked looking in something finer. Looks good in a splat, though. 
Lamy Safari Mango Fountain Pen and Ink 1_RWM

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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