Ink Notes: Edison Herald with Diamine Golden Brown Ink

Photo of the Edison Herald

I spent a lot of time using the Edison Herald with a fine nib and Diamine Golden Brown ink during the past week. I filled four Edison Pens with brown ink and alternated their use until I eventually gravitated to this one. I was easily the most used pen this week. Not so much because I liked it the best. Rather, it was for almost the opposite reason – I was undecided whether or not I liked the combo.

When it first hit the paper I thought the ink was too light. Golden Brown is a good name for it, with an emphasis on “Gold”. But I found it easy enough to read on the various papers I used, all of which tended to be a variation of white. While it doesn’t rise to the level of favorite, the color grew on me over time and I kind of like it. Well, at least I don’t dislike it.

As for the ink/pen combo? Hmmm. I didn’t have any actual performance issues. It wrote without hesitation or skipping from first time the nib hit the paper to the last word. The ink is a very dry ink, at least compared to other inks I’ve used, without much saturation. This does mean it dries fast. It was under 5 seconds on the paper I used, except for Rhodia where it was 5 or 6 seconds.

The ink wasn’t flowing very freely in the converter but that didn’t seem to be the cause of the dry lines. But after writing a couple pages the pen did begin to feel like it was straining to put ink on the paper and the line was even drier and lighter.

I still have some of the sample left so for its next pen I’ll pick a thicker and wetter nib and see how it handles that.

Bottom Line: The ink is nice but a little light for my personal taste. I’d also prefer a little more saturation. Maybe I’ll like it more in a thicker nib. But in any event, I don’t expect I’ll like the ink enough to invest in a bottle.

As for the pen: Like all my Edisons it writes without any problems and I like the color a lot. That iPhone picture makes it look much darker than it really is. The pen is about as small as I feel comfortable writing with. I don’t post my pens and while this is post-able I’d always be concerned the cap would eventually mar the finish if it’s posted tight enough not to fall off.

This is one pen/ink combo I won’t repeat even though the ink color complements the pen color nicely.

Additional Reading: FPN Reviews here and here

Pleasant Surprises

On Monday I wrote about my pen disappointments of 2012. Now it’s time to get more upbeat with the pleasant pen surprises of 2012. Like the disappointments I limited myself to pens I received in 2012. Like the disappointments this is completely subjective and  based on my expectations.

My first pleasant surprise came in March in the form pf an Antique Marble Edison Collier with an extra fine nib. This was my first Edison pen and while I had read good things about them I didn’t really know what to expect. What I got was a great looking, well built pen. The steel nib writes great without any issues.

That first Edison triggered an addiction and I’ve added three more Edison pens. Plus I have two more on order including a Signature Line pen.

My second pleasant surprise was in July. This time it was the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Stabilis Desk Pen with an extra fine steel nib. This was my first F-C pen so I didn’t know what to expect. There was even less info than there was about Edison, although what I found was positive about the company and their other pens. I absolutely loved the pen and reviewed it here. This pen also triggered an addiction and I added four more Franklin-Christoph pens to my accumulation.

That was it for 2012 pleasant surprises. They offset the two disappointments. Of course, now that my expectations for Edison and Franklin-Christoph pens are so high they probably won’t make this list in 2013.

What were your 2012 pleasant pen surprises?

Pen Disappointments of 2012

On the recent Pen Addict podcast Myke and Brad discussed their most disappointing pen and paper purchases. That seems like a good topic and easier than picking my favorite purchases. Although I will have to follow-up with a post about the favorites.

I limited my possibilities to pens I received this year. I was shocked to see I added 26 pens and nibs to my accumulation this year. Disappointment depends on expectations so it’s completely subjective. A disappointing pen doesn’t mean it’s a bad pen.

June was a bad month for me as both my disappointing pens were added in June. My first was a $16.50 pen so I didn’t expect much from it – a Ohto Rook. So in this case disappointing does equal bad. It’s a pocket pen that fails to write when I take it out of my pocket. Ink flow is nearly non-existent. When it does manage to write I know it will dry out in a sentence or two.

The Rook was the cheapest pen I bought this year. My other disappointment was at the other end of the spectrum. The Conway Stewart Marlborough Vintage is the most expensive pen I have ever purchased. I absolutely love the look and feel of the lever fill version I received. But at this price I had high expectations and as a writer out of the box this pen was a major disappointment. I had flow problems right away due to a feed misalignment. I could fix it myself but it was a major disappointment.

Did you have any disappointing pen purchases this year?

Sunday Ink Notes – December 9, 2012

I’ve done away with the “This Week’s Ink” Sunday posts, at least for now. There hasn’t been much turnover recently and I’ve changed the way I carry and ink my pens. I now ink more pens, but I only pick two pens in the morning to carry with me for the day. The first is always a “writing pen” with black, blue or some other business appropriate color. The second pen varies. I also keep a few Lamys at work in colors appropriate for notations so that I don’t have to carry a red or other bright colored pen just for that purpose.

Because I’m basically lazy and don’t remove the pens from my bag when I get home I carried my Franklin-Christoph Model with a medium italic nib and Waterman Florida Blue ink along with my Gate City New Postal with Pelikan Brilliant Black ink and a fine nib.

I also inked my four Edison pens with some brown inks and have been alternating their use at home. I picked the Edisons for this since their nibs are similar. Oh yea, I REALLY like writing with them which is also a good reason. I’ve been using Diamine Ochre, Private Reserve Ebony Brown and Diamine Golden Brown. Four pens, three inks? Yup, user error but I decided to go with it.

I decided to go with the Edison pen method because I just don’t have the patience to sit down and try various brown inks. Instead I need to use them in normal use. For the most part I switch pens after writing each complete page. By my own count I have samples of 14 different brown inks to run through so this will take awhile, even if I don’t decide to try a different color family along the way.

Some links around the web caught my attention recently:

Anderson Pens and Edison Pens are collaborating on a limited edition bulb filler. I really like the ebonite model but I have to show some restraint. The question is whether or not my willpower will last until January 7th when orders close.

I came across this post by Okami on the FPGeeks forum about the Levenger Circa system. She has several good pen related ideas for using the Junior version of the system. Also, I hadn’t realized that there’s now Rhodia paper for the Circa. I tried Circa long ago as a general purpose notebook but found the notebooks didn’t like the abuse I gave them while traveling. I may have to consider them for other purposes or invest in an enclosed binder.

FPGeeks is having an ink sample giveaway so check it out before December 12th. I already have too many ink samples so I didn’t enter. But the contest did make me look to see what I got this year. I have over 100 different inks listed in my spreadsheet. Not all are from this year, but I did discover samples this year. So it’s safe to say all 70 samples arrived this year. This is why I’m not renewing my ink drop membership into 2013. Too many inks, too little time. They have a second giveaway which doesn’t interest me either. Visit the site to learn about the Montegrappa Expressione giveaway.

Finally, @edisonpenco tweated a link to an article (obsolete link) about American Pen Maker Bexley. Nice article. I was surprised to read that there’s only three employees (owner included). I realize they’re a small pen maker but figured there were more people involved.

Fountain Pen Year End Wish List

I first published my fountain pen wish list back in October and there have been a couple changes since then.

The first pen on that list, the Platt Rogers Spencer Fountain Pen, has been cancelled. The main reason was problems with the durability of the modified flex nib. While I’m disappointed, without the flex nib the pen just isn’t the same. I probably wouldn’t have taken the pen without the flex nib. While I like the material (green ripple hard rubber) it wouldn’t have been enough to take the pen with a regular nib.

The second pen on my October wish list was the Pilot Vanishing Point Gun Metal with Black Trim. I added that to my accumulation last week, although with specialty nibs, not the standard VP nib.

This leaves my year-end fountain pen wish list as follows:

  1. Edison Nouveau Encore Fountain Pen – Flecked Tortoise (Limited Edition): I’ve already ordered this one. The pen is a little small since I typically don’t post my pens but it had me at the color. The flecked tortoise will be unique to my accumulation.
  2. Edison Signature Line Pen: This has always been on the burner, it just never made it to the list. I had planned to visit a pen show to be able to see the materials and pens first hand before making a decision. That’s not likely to occur until August or so of 2013. But I already have four Edison pens and have more confidence about some possible choices. I’m currently mulling over three distinct pen choices. I currently have some questions in to Brian at Edison Pens and those answers may knock one or two off this list.
    a. The large Huron Grande in a bright color scheme such as flecked-red/white/blue, striped fleck-lollipop confetti or translucent red/white/blue.
    b. Either a Huron or a #76 in black ebonite with an ink window low on the barrel. To be used as a eye dropper fill.
    c. A pen in the same green ripple hard rubber as the Spencer pen. I think this would be a Glenmont.
  3. Monteverde Invincia, in matte black: I’m not sure exactly which model, since there are several which are matte black or “stealth” which are all the same basic design and the same nib. This one keeps popping up whenever I’m browsing pens. I like the all black (including nib) and this gets generally good reviews and is the cheapest pen currently on this list. I think an acquisition is inevitable.
  4. Franklin-Christoph Models 19, 33 and 40 Pocket: These remain on the list. The Edison Nouveau atop this list preempted a year end Model 19 purchase. I’ve come close to hitting the buy button several times but have held off so far.
  5. Nibs – I really like the Gate City New Dunn pen, even with the medium nib. Still, I think adding a fine nib, or even a broad could be a nice change. The nibs are easily swapped and reasonably priced.

The Edison Signature Line pen will be my next decision. The Huron Grande is my current preference but that does change from time to time. It’s the most unlike any pen in my current accumulation, both in size and my anticipated color choice.

While I’ve seen other pens I like, none have made it to my wish list. The Taccia Savanna pen is one that caught my attention and may make its way onto the list. It’s different enough to catch my eye. And with a street price around $190 it’s one of the few pens to catch my eye and also have an attainable price.

I also liked the two newly announced Bexley 20th Anniversary and 2013 Owner’s Club pens. But they aren’t unique enough to get me to open my wallet and add them to my accumulation.

What’s on your fountain pen wish list?