Three Questions With Ed Jelley

I forget the first time I ran across Ed Jelley’s blog but I knew he was on to something right away. The style, the quality, the imagery - oh the pics! - all of it is makes for smart and interesting reading. My thanks to Ed for answering Three Questions.

1. What role do analog tools such as pens, pencils, and paper play in your day to day life?

I think that any notes that need to be recorded are best done with pen and paper. I have yet to find any digital note taking app or system that makes more sense / is easier to use than a pen and paper. In addition to work notes, I tend to doodle a lot. I find the process is much more enjoyable with a fountain pen and some nice paper and I find the activity to be a great stress reliever and an even better chance to let your mind go and put some thoughts on paper. On top of that, I write a fountain pen, ink, and paper review blog that a lot of my pen and paper activities are directed towards.

2. What are your favorite products you are currently using?

My favorite products that I have been using recently are the Omas Ogiva Albas that are in for review, the Quo Vadis Habana Journal, and my Nikon Df. The Omas pens are excellent writers, I especially love the standard medium nib. The colors are great and the vintage-inspired body shape is comfortable in the hand and a pleasure to write with. I'm really enjoying the size and construction of the Habana. The cover isn't as thick as that on the Rhodia Webnotebook and the 6.25 x 9.25" size is great to keep on my desk or throw in bag without taking up too much room. I've been using my Nikon Df since early August and I absolutely LOVE it. It looks like an old film camera, but has an incredible full-frame sensor. I usually have a 50mm f/1.4 lens on it. The photos are incredible and I love the classic styling.

3. What post are you the most proud of on your blog?

I'm most proud of my “Buying a Grail Pen” post. I put a lot of thought into it, and I love how the photos came out. I got a ton of positive feedback and I definitely think that it helped a few people realize that something they may have their eye on is not unobtainable. Also, I had a great time doing the podcast with you on how to start blogging. The response was great to that as well and it was super cool to see some new blogs pop up after the show.

Posted on December 20, 2014 and filed under Three Questions.

Mythgard Institute

If you are a fan of fantasy and science fiction then you must check out The Mythgard Institute. Founded on the study of J.R.R Tolkien, and with course offerings ranging from free and open to the public to a Masters program in Literature and Languages, Mythgard is the place for considered study of the likes of Neil Gaiman and Richard Adams.

My thanks to The Mythgard Institute for sponsoring The Pen Addict this week.

This post is sponsored via Syndicate Ads.

Posted on December 19, 2014 .

Pelikan M215 Blue Stripe XXXXF Waverly Nib Review

The Waverly nib is a special nib grind designed to make the tip of the nib smoother and more comfortable to write with. There is a slight upturn at the end of the nib, which hopefully you can see in the image above, and turning a standard Pelikan XF nib into something ultra fine with a Waverly grind should provide an excellent result. But it's not for me.

As my possibly flawed logic told me before even putting nib to paper, a Waverly grind should be worse in an XXXXF nib, especially on the horizontal strokes. At least with the way I grip and write with fountain pens. With the nib turned up, the sides of the nib will have a larger contact area on the page than a standard, straight XXXXF grind. Right? Writing with this nib grind confirmed just that.

If I am getting this fine of a nib grind done I want the resulting lines to be fine, sharp, and consistent. None of that happened with this nib. It wrote perfectly fine and was smooth, but the consistency was not there and it seems better suited for wider nib pens. My stock Pilot Vanishing Point EF nib fits my style more by a long shot.

My enabler Thomas loaned me this nib last year and feels similarly. I'd love to hear from anyone else with a Waverly nib grind to get another opinion and see if I am missing something. As it stands now, a standard ultra fine grind is the winner in this scenario.

Posted on December 19, 2014 and filed under Fountain Pens, Pelikan, Pen Reviews.

Cult Pens Mini Fountain Pen Black Edition Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

When Brad sent me the Cult Pens Mini fountain pen to review, the first thing I noticed was the BB nib. I'm kind of disappointed to say it's my first time writing with this size nib, but I'm glad I had the chance. It's not nearly as wide as I thought it would be, but it's so, so smooth.

Anyway, we'll get to the nib a bit later. Like I said, Brad sent me this pen to review and I was pretty excited to put it to use. So, who makes this stylish black pen? Cult Pens designed it, but it uses Kaweco nibs. In my opinion, a great combination. 29 pounds (about $47) is a fairly good price for a metal pen with a nice Kaweco nib. So, how does it stand up against other mini pens? Not bad, but it might not be for everyone.

First off, this pen really is mini. It's nearly the same exact length as a Kaweco Sport, but much slimmer. The black body and silver metal accents give it a classy, elegant look, and the small size makes it even more interesting to the eye. When you pick it up, it has a nice weight to it without being hefty. You can tell it's made of metal, but it's still lightweight and solid. The one thing that put me off initially about the look of the pen is the Cult Pens logo on the top of the cap opposite the clip. It's a bit large and the spacing between the letters seems cramped. Also, the typeface could be more elegant. It doesn't seem to match the overall style of the pen. But, those are minor niggles.

The cap screws onto the pen, and the threads feel good. No squeaking or harshness in the turns. Like most Kawecos, I can't use it without posting the cap. The cap posts solidly on the bottom of the pen, and it turns it into a decent length for writing.

Everything is good for me so far, but then it takes a major hit when it comes to the grip. Personally, I love metal grips. This is a metal grip, but it's just too thin for me. I can't get a comfortable grip on the pen because my fingers are too close together when writing. Also, I'm not a huge fan of the scoring in the grip – four rings around the grip that don't seem to help my grip problem.

This is usually a problem for mini pens – when creating a small pen, there will always be trade-offs. This won't be the pen I use to write a 5,000 word essay in class, but it is a great pen for everyday carry and jotting down quick notes. And, if you like small grips, this might be perfect for you. There's nothing wrong with the grip, it just doesn't fit my hand and writing style.

Moving on from the grip, the section unscrews from the body to reveal a nice interior. Again, this pen does not feel cheap at all. Everything is made of high-quality metal and machined precisely. Of course, it takes the same cartridges as any Kaweco, plus any international shorts or short converters.

The clip is strong, which is important for a mini pen that will likely be put in bags, pockets, purses, and so on. If you clip this pen to something, it's not coming off by accident.

Now, to the writing experience. I'm so pleased to say that this is the first Kaweco I've used that was fantastic out of the box. Being a BB nib, it's a smooth, wet line that is probably 1mm at its thickest point. Writing with this nib is a pleasure. It's a bit thick for thin-ruled notebooks, but it's so smooth that it makes up for this small problem. I've really enjoyed this nib, and I'm almost convinced that I should try out some more Kawecos – but not quite yet.

What I am definitely convinced of is that I need to get out of my rut of nib choices. I generally always go for a fine nib, which is good most of the time, but also pretty boring when every pen I own is the same tip size. Trying out the BB nib was a great experience, and I need to branch out more into medium (of which I own a few) and also purchase my first B nib. Ya know, for comparison's sake.

I wish I had a Kaweco Lilliput to compare this pen to, but I don't. I can only assume it's very similar. But, the design of the Cult Pens pen is much different, which will appeal to a different set of customers and writers. If you're into mini pens, this is a great place to start. This is a well-built pen that won't let you down.

(CultPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Posted on December 17, 2014 and filed under Fountain Pens, Kaweco, Pen Reviews.