Monday, October 16, 2017

New Toy - Custom Fountain Pen

Saturday before last, my husband and I checked out a store near us that specializes in miniatures called In a Nutshell Miniatures & More.  We went in to see what they might have to go along with my miniature bears I love using as sketching models.

While in the shop, we discovered they also offer custom made pens, razors, and other items where wood and/or acrylic is turned making the barrels or handles to various objects.

I had been inquiring if anyone knew of a person who made custom pens for some time.  I even started getting a catalog that offers the materials and tools to create them hoping my oldest son would take an interest as he loves working with wood and also creates various things out of plastic.  I'm sure if he had time, he'd jump on it but his job, family, and car restoration pretty much takes up all his time.

Anyways.........totally unexpected, I walk into a shop that offers exactly what I was hoping for.

Terry and I returned to the shop this past Saturday to meet Steve Kondo (In a Nutshell Pens and Turnings, Tavares, FL), who makes these pens.  He brought several in for me to see to include extra fine nibs I prefer to use when sketching.  Once I chose a pen style I liked, Mr. Kondo put in an extra fine nib in place of the one that came with it and I really liked how it tested out on paper at the shop.

This pen is different in the way the cap fits on either end.  The cap is magnetic and I loved the pattern on the pen barrel.  What's really nice is that no two pens are alike when turning the blanks for the finished bodies.  You definitely end up with a pen that is truly unique.

The pen comes with a plunger style converter I've never seen before.  All of my converters are twist piston converters.  I thought that was unique.  Plus the pen will take ink cartridges as well.  The nib I chose is a #5 EF two toned steel nib which is from a German company.

Once I got home, I took the pen on a trial run sketching in my Stillman & Birn Beta journal.  The nib feels good on paper but may need some time "breaking in" if there is such a thing.  I didn't clean the nib before using it so it might just be oils on the nib when manufactured.  For someone like me who uses a light pressure when sketching, this nib's ink flow is hit and miss but with any pressure the ink flows nicely.  I might need to change to a lubricating ink but for right now I'll continue with the ink I like most which is the Noodler's Lexington Gray ink.

As a sketcher, the hit and miss ink flow is truly not a bad thing.  I have a tendency to forget to use lost and found lines and a nib that does it for me can only be a plus........LOL  It definitely worked to my advantage when sketching the conure head :-)

Color version using Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils dry and wet brush to blend the colors.

I've already told my husband I'd like to have a custom made ballpoint pen as I enjoy sketching in ballpoint as well.  Plus I learned today that Mr. Kondo also makes dip pen holders.  Can't wait to get these various sketching tools and show off to my sketching pals !!!!

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