Ink Links

-- Gentlemen prefer blues: A short review of Sailor Jentle Sky High blue ink (A fool with a pen)

-- Exclusive Look at Postalco's Fall 2014 Collection (Selectism)

-- Pelikan Edelstein Wood Box Ink Set (inklode)

-- Pen Paper Ink Letter Podcast Episode #5 – “The Atlanta Pen Show 2014” (Pen Paper Ink Letter)

-- Building Routines (or, How I Became A Daily Journal Writer) (Patrick Rhone)

-- Fun Find #1: Retro 1951 Tornado Umbra Orange Rollerball (From the Pen Cup)

-- Review: Karas Kustoms Retrakt (EDC is Everyday Carry)

-- Stipula Verde Muschiato – Ink Review (Ed Jelley)

-- Uni Jetstream 4&1 4 Color Ballpoint Multi Pen and Pencil – Purple (No Pen Intended)

-- The Baron Fig Confidant notebook: Unique, well-constructed, and well-hyped (Woodclinched)

-- On My Desk: Uni-ball Jetstream RT 1.0mm (The Newsprint)

-- Parker 51 (That One Pen)

-- BIC AF Accountant Collection (My Supply Room)

-- Pilot Juice 0.38mm Blue Pen Review (The Clicky Post)

-- Pelikan M215 fountain pen review (Pens! Paper! Pencils!)

-- rotring rapid PRO: Black vs Silver (Pens And Pencils)

-- New arrival: All three Les Crayons de la Maison Caran d’Ache Edition Pencil Sets (My pencils draw worlds)

-- Stationery-Compositions: Hole reinforcements, Erasers, Pencil Sharpeners (Things Organized Neatly)

Posted on April 19, 2014 and filed under Links.

Ti2 TechLiner Pen Review

Ti2 TechLiner Grip.jpg

I first came across Mike Bond's pen designs when he sent me a prototype of the Ti2 Pen. It provided a strong, sleek housing for my favorite Pilot Hi-Tec-C refills and I found myself enjoying what he did with the pen. Mike reached back out again recently to show me his latest design - the Ti2 TechLiner Pen - and I was eager to give this pen a try, but not for the reasons you may think.

When Mike first sent me the pictures of the Ti2 TechLiner I expressed a concern to him: "What is up with the truncated nose cone? I don't think I like that." I went a little more in depth in my email and Mike explained his choices around the design. I still wasn't quite sure about it but agreed to look at a prototype. I got the pen in hand a couple of weeks ago and learned one thing very quickly. Never judge a book by its cover.

Ti2 TechLiner Tip.jpg

I am more than impressed by the Ti2 TechLiner. The build quality and design are top notch, making for a good looking, comfortable feeling product. And the nose cone design? I kind of like it. It's a feature, as they say. It gives off the look of a technical drafting pen, like various rOtrings or the Sakura Pigma Micron. I was concerned that visually and functionally it wouldn't work for me, but I was dead wrong.

Another item I was wrong about is the use of magnets to secure the cap on both ends of the pen. I've felt in the past that magnets are gimmicky, but these are strong and give off a great snap when capping and posting. They are very well done.

Mike has decided to use the Uni-ball Signo 207 as the refill model for the Ti2 TechLiner. I like this choice because one, I am a fan of the refill, and two, it is available in 0.38 mm tip sizes, my preferred ultra-fineness. Plus, there are other similar refills that should fit, like the Jetstream.

Ti2 TechLiner Grip.jpg

The best endorsement I can give a pen like the Ti2 TechLiner is to put my money where my mouth is. The Blackwash finish looks amazing but is a little out of my price range at $120. The Gonzodized, on the other hand, is a finish I don't own in any other pen and I was able to get in on the Early Bird for $75. I look forward to seeing this pen in person.

The Ti2 TechLiner has already met its funding goal with three weeks left in the campaign. If you are a fan of good design and the Uni-ball Signo 207 refill then this is a project you should check out.

Big thanks to Mike Bond for sending me this prototype for review.

Ti2 TechLiner Posted.jpg
Ti2 TechLiner Review.jpg
Posted on April 18, 2014 and filed under Kickstarter, Ti2 TechLiner, Pen Reviews.

Lamy Studio Steel Nib Fountain Pen Review

Unlike a lot of people, my first fountain pen wasn't a Lamy. I didn't try one out until my third fountain pen, after a Sailor and Kaweco. My first Lamy was a Lamy Vista with a fine nib, and it's a great pen. Since then, I've bought more pens by Lamy and have been very happy with them. The Studio follows that line of customer delight.

The Studio is somewhere between the (relatively) inexpensive Safaris and AL Stars and the timeless 2000. At less than $90, it's not a scary jump into the more costly pens, and you already know if you'll like the nib since they use the same ones.

Keep in mind that I'm reviewing the steel nib version of the pen here. Brad reviewed the gold nib version a few weeks ago, which is about twice the price.

Look and feel

First things first. Personally, I think this is a really attractive pen. I love the sleek matte finish and the polished grip section and accents. I've said it before, but I really have a soft spot for aluminum bodies, and the Studio does a great job using the metal.

I've heard people complain that the grip section is slippery because it's so smooth. There's absolutely no texture to it. I don't have a problem with the way it feels. I think it's quite comfortable, but that's just me. I do get annoyed with all of the fingerprints, though. Being a polished metal, it attracts fingerprints like pen addicts to open inkwells. That's a minor annoyance that's easily solved with a quick wipe down.

My other major complaint is with the clip. It looks really nice and sports a unique design, but it fails to serve its real purpose with any ease. It's an extremely tight clip and has been difficult with every sort of object I've tried to clip it to. Whether it's my shirt pocket, a Nock case, the front cover of a Field Notes book...it resists with an ornery stubbornness. I usually have to move the clip to the side a bit to provide a tad more room for the object to slip between the clip and the cap body. Fine. I can live with that, but there's a downside to that method as well. Sliding the clip across the cap creates a mark in the matte finish. Major bummer, but not a deal-breaker. Just be aware.

Apart from those two annoyances, this is a great pen. It feels great in my hand, has a solid but useable weight, and catches quite a few compliments. The cap posts very sturdily with a satisfying click so you know it's ready.

It's sleek, black, and understated.

Writing experience

Like every other Lamy I've used, this pen writes like a champ. Excellent flow and smooth writing right out of the box. The Studio comes with a converter (unlike other Lamys in the lower price range) that holds the same amount of ink as the regular Lamy converter. The converter included is the silver and black Z26, which I'm thinking of swapping out to use in my Vista.

One issue I've had so far is that there's quite a bit of nib creep with this particular pen. I've never seen this issue with other Lamys (not as much), so I'm wondering if it has something to do with the capping system. I'm not sure what it is, but it doesn't hinder the writing experience.

I've used this pen for long writing sessions, and it doesn't create any fatigue and it remains comfortable the entire time. It's an absolute joy to write with.

If you're a Lamy fan, this is definitely a great addition to your collection. Apart from the sultry black, there's a very refined royal blue that looks equally as classy. JetPens only offer a fine and extra fine nib with the Studio, but you can swap the nib out with any Safari nib.

(You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution, Twitter, and App.net.)

Posted on April 16, 2014 and filed under Fountain Pens, Lamy, Pen Reviews.

2014 Atlanta Pen Show: The Experience

I know those people (Image via Mark Bacas)

I know those people (Image via Mark Bacas)

My Saturday at the Atlanta Pen Show was so great I feel that it deserves it's own title. I hereby dub it "The Experience", as in my experience was so awesome I will never forget it.

My day started out early. 5am alarm, out the door at 6am from Macon, GA to Sandy Springs, where I met my friend Aaron Mahnke from Wet Frog Studios and the Home Work podcast. We try to catch up in person at least once a year and I am glad we were able to make it happen again. I always learn a lot talking with him, but the highlight of our meal was when a group of guys rolled up in a Lamborghini, a Lotus, and two Aston Martins. The fifth guy rocked a Corvette - he must have been the personal assistant.

After my fill of blueberry granola pancakes I drove the 10 minutes over to the hotel where the pen show was located. I was a little early so I checked my Twitter feed and it was go time:

Pierce (@mysticalthing) @dowdyism just got my badge and waiting for the show to start! #atlpenshow

I headed inside around 9:30, paid my $8 entry fee, got my name badge, and headed over to talk to Pierce until the doors opened at 10. While we were chatting, long-time internet friend Grey Williams joined us, and I finally got to meet Heath Cates from Pen Paper Ink Letter in person. We were chatting about Field Notes and Heath's drive up from Auburn when the doors opened and we got our pen show on!

Mike Masuyama was in his usual spot - immediately to the left when you walk in the first door. I double-checked my name on his nib work list (#2!) and headed over to see Brian and Lisa Anderson to get my #LisaHug.

Meeting with the Anderson's was one of the highlights of my 2013 show and they were great again this year. We chatted for a while, I dropped off some Nock Co. goods and they gifted me a Field Notes America the Beautiful edition after listening to Episode 101 on their long drive down from Wisconsin. Hopefully Myke and I gave them a little entertainment!

Right when I left the Anderson's table I turned around to be greeted by the one and only Jeff Abbot, aka my savior. I'm not sure where this blog would be right now without his weekly post so I was excited he made the drive over from Alabama. He and I hung out for most of the day during the show as we browsed around.

Speaking of Alabama, John, aka Bamapen called me up to handoff two new cigar box storage cases I had on order. They turned out great as usual, and I guess you could say that was my first purchase of the day.

My second purchase came from Lisa Vanness from Vanness Pens. I had put two bottles of Akkerman Inks old hold before the show via Twitter and there they were behind the table with my name on it. Lisa and Wendi were super nice and liked the Nock Co. products I dropped of to them as well. I can't wait to see them again in the future.

By this time it is almost noon and I haven't looked a pen yet. I did get my Lamy 2000 nib tweaked again by Mike Masuyama, where my favorite picture of the show was taken by Heath:

Listen here Masuyama!

Listen here Masuyama!

Business was handled, now it was time to shop! I had my list committed to memory, which was easy because it was fairly short. I picked up two secret-for-now Franklin-Christoph pens and two nibs from the F-C table. Hopefully Myke will be happy with what I got him, but it is a secret until it arrives in London.

My largest single pen purchase of the day was a Visconti Opera Typhoon, a pen I have fawned over since its release. I actually had the Visconti Wall Street on my mind as my main purchase of the day but got a deal on the Typhoon I couldn't pass up. There is always next year for the Wall Street.

Typhoon warning

Typhoon warning

I also picked up a Waterman 52 with a flexy nib, another item from the shopping list. I'm in the process of giving it a good cleaning so I haven't fully tested it out yet. It looks great though.

The full loot list:

-- Visconti Typhoon Opera, F nib

-- (2) Secret F-C pens

-- Waterman 52, flex nib

-- (2) F-C nibs

-- (2) Bottles of Akkerman ink

-- (2) Cigar box pen cases

-- Mike Masuyama nib grind on Lamy 2000

-- Pendelton Brown nib grind on Pilot Custom Heritage 912 stub

-- Bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki

-- Bottle of Organics Studio Blue Merle

-- (2) Sailor convertors

-- (2) 12000 grit nib smoothing sandpapers

Bag Dump

Bag Dump

It was an amazing show for "stuff" but nothing I bought can compare with the experience I had and the people I met. I had several people introduce themselves to me throughout the day saying they read the blog and listen to the podcast. That was humbling, and cool. I am grateful for everyone who reached out and glad you came!

Post show meet-up. Getting WILD!

Post show meet-up. Getting WILD!

The pen show ended at 5pm, but the fun continued well after the doors closed. I set up an informal meet-up in the hotel bar where we showed off our purchases, nib work, and traded pen and life stories. Mark Bacas, one of the cogs in the wheel at the pen show and a friend of mine, showed up for a drink, along with the aforementioned Grey, Heath, Jeff, and Brian and Lisa Anderson. We were also joined by @heymatthew and my Nock Co. partner Jeff and his wife Rachel. What had tentatively been scheduled to end at 7pm went on until 8:30 when I HAD to get on the road. You can see more pictures of the meet-up on the Atlanta Pen Show Facebook page.

I learned more at this pen show than the last two combined. My most important takeaway is that friends and friendship are more important than any pen I own, or will ever own. Pens are the sideshow at an event like this. The people are the real reason to be there and even if I didn't have a dollar to spend it would have been an amazingly successful day.

What an experience.

Posted on April 14, 2014 and filed under Atlanta Pen Show.