The Pen Rest by Walden Woodworkers: A Review

The Pen Rest by Walden Woodworkers

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

Galen Leather sent me several wonderful pen items after I encountered problems with my six-pen case (reviewed here). One of those items was “The Pen Rest” by Walden Woodworkers.

Woodworkers Pen Rest.jpg

The Pen Rest is made out of a single piece of mahogany wood. It has an aged brass plate on the front with “Walden Woodworkers Istanbul” inscribed in it.

Brass Plate.jpg

The holder is carved with three slots for pens to rest lengthwise. I really like the design with its subtle curves and simplicity.

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The Pen Holder accommodates small and medium-sized pens well. I tried it with a Platinum, Sailor 1911L, and Pilot Vanishing Point, and all the pens fit and were accessible.

Platinum and all.jpg

However, oversized pens overwhelm the holder. You can fit two comfortably, but three is definitely a crowd.

Two Oversized.jpg
Three Oversized.jpg

I definitely prefer a pen holder that allows my pens to be in a horizontal position. In vertical holders, the ink sinks to the bottom, and that can lead to hard starts. That said, detail that would make this pen rest even better is felt on the bottom to protect other surfaces.

You can purchase the Walden Woodworkers Pen Rest from Galen Leather for a very reasonable $16.00.

(Galen Leather sent me this pen rest as a gift. I did not request it for review nor did they ask me to review the product.)


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Bottom Image.jpg
Posted on January 18, 2019 and filed under Walden Woodworkers, Storage.

Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen Review

Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

I can't draw or do lettering very well, so brush pens always confound me a bit. I love the feel of the way they write, but I can't wield them the way that artists do, and I certainly don't get the beautiful results. I still reach for them, though. I'm usually writing just for myself, so neatness isn't critical.

Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen

The very fine points on these Kuretake Fudegokochi brush pens give me the fun feeling of writing with a brush pen while still allowing me to write legibly. Well, as much as I ever do, anyway. The line varies from .4mm to 1.8mm, and the firm felt tip springs back so that the very fine line is maintained even as the brush breaks in.

The pens are very well made. The body is lightweight plastic. The caps and end caps are the color of the pen ink, the body is in a parchment color with a matte finish, minimal branding in Japanese text, and the grip section is clear, so the ink can be seen moving through the feed. The clip is metal, very sturdy and springy. The cap snaps securely and posts deeply. The grip is not tapered at all, but the cylinder is a good diameter and the pen is light enough that a fancy grip isn't needed.

Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen Blue Black

The ink colors in these blue-black and brown samples are lovely. They're earthy and neutral, but rich in pigment. They do feel a bit dry on the page, but there doesn't appear to be any ink starvation. It may just be the texture of the tip. The ink dries quickly and doesn't smear. I did not see any feathering on Rhodia paper, and there was no bleed-through, even when I pressed the tip to its maximum flex. It is important to note, though, that this ink is not waterproof. So, while it is great for line drawings, it should not be colored over with paint or marker (unless you want smearing and colors to run, which does look cool, if that's what you're going for).

Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen Brown

The pens are not refillable, and are a bit pricey at $4.25 a pop. The six-color pack at $20 isn't a bad deal, though, and is something I'd definitely go for if I used brush pens with any regularity (or if I used them with even a small measure of talent). Of all the brush pens I've used just for funsies, these are some of the nicest.

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


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

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Kuretake Fudegokochi
Posted on January 17, 2019 and filed under Kuretake, Brush Pen, Pen Reviews.

ensso XS Minimalist Pocket Fountain Pen Review

ensso XS Minimalist Pocket Fountain Pen Review

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

Just a few years ago, the portable fountain pen market was pretty bare. On top of that, finding something made of metal was even more difficult. Today, there are so many options available that it can be tough to make a choice. The latest of these that I've had the pleasure of using is the XS Minimalist Pocket fountain pen from ensso (stylized as ēnsso).

ensso XS Minimalist Pocket Fountain Pen

If you've ever used a pocket fountain pen before, the XS Minimalist will be very familiar. Unlike most of the pocket pens I've used, however, the XS uses a friction fit cap instead of a threaded cap system. To aid in the fit, there are small o-rings on the grip section and back of the pen to provide additional friction for the cap. It's always important that you can trust the cap will stay on a pen meant to go in your pocket or bag, and the XS delivers that secure fit.

ensso XS Minimalist Pocket Fountain Pen Barrel

The multi-faceted barrel adds even more visual interest to the pen, and also provides a nice grip when handling it. My particular idiosyncrasies mean that I always make sure the facets line up properly when capping the pen, but it looks fine when they don't line up as well.

The top of the cap and the bottom of the pen barrel both feature a nice convex dimple that reminds me of a metal spinning top. It's a visual feature that shows off the attention to detail that the designers put into this pen.

The only visible branding is a very small ensso logo on the rear of the barrel. It's tastefully done and doesn't detract from the overall design at all.

ensso XS Minimalist Pocket Fountain Pen comparison

The most direct comparison I can make regarding the size of this pen is the Kaweco Liliput. The pens are roughly the same length and diameter when open and closed. Where the Liliput is completely round, the faceted barrel of the XS sets it apart. Still, if you've used a Liliput, you can use that experience to determine if you'd enjoy the XS since the size and writing feel is so similar.

The XS rocks a steel Bock nib with a black finish. It matches the rest of the aesthetic perfectly. The EF nib on my pen is smooth and reliable, putting down a nice line with plenty of ink delivery. The great thing about using Bock nibs is that you can easily swap out the nib with another unit from ensso, or you can even replace it with other Bock nib units of the same size.

ensso XS Minimalist Pocket Fountain Pen open

The XS takes a short international cartridge, and I haven't even experimented with seeing what converters might fit just because of the minuscule size of the barrel. There are a couple of converter options, but not worth the hassle for a pen of this size and given the easy nature of cartridges. This is a pocket pen, after all — the ability to quickly throw in a new cartridge is part of the ideal use case.

The ensso XS Minimalist Pocket fountain pen is a beautiful little pen that stows away easily but opens up to be a completely useful fountain pen. The subtle aesthetic lends itself to the daily carry category and can also stand up to the various levels of abuse that everyday objects have to endure.

The aluminum finish and brass innards mean that this pen will last. Along with a sample cartridge, ensso include a couple of extra o-rings in case the installed rings come off or break over time. It's clear that ensso intend this pen to be used, abused, and cherished as it comes along with you everywhere.

The XS Minimalist is available in the black finish featured here or a silver version. The XS is priced at $59, which is a fair price for the materials used and the great aesthetic it delivers. If you're a fan of brass pens, you can also buy the XS in a completely brass model for a few bucks more.

(This pen was purchased with my own funds via the Kickstarter campaign.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

ensso XS Minimalist Pocket Fountain Pen writing
Posted on January 16, 2019 and filed under Ensso, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.