Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Pen Pusher Test

I just took the pen addict test at Lion and Pen and failed miserably. That is, I had to answer "yes" to too many questions - I won't say how many, but a sufficient number to know what my "problem" is. Of course, "problem" is a relative term, isn't it? I don't think I have a problem - I have a "hobby."

At any rate, I think the Pen Addict Test needs a companion test: The Pen Pusher Test. I offer the following ten questions based on what I imagine a pen pusher might do - having no personal experience myself with such behavior:

1. Do you entice others to write with your pens?
2. Do you lovingly describe to others the joy and glory of writing with fountain pens.
3. Do you quickly become defensive against remarks like, "They're scratchy." and "They leak."
4. Do you introduce others to the best discount online pen stores?
5. Do you give/lend pen catalogs to people?
6. Do you loan fountain pens to people who are getting that fountain pen wonder in their eye?
7. Do you actually give someone a fountain pen, when you see they are weakening?
8. Are you always ready to give advice to those who are succumbing to your temptations about what they might like when they buy their first, second and third pens?
9. Do you experience smug satisfaction when co-workers run into your office to show you what the UPS guy just delivered?
10. Are you constantly looking for new victims?

I won't suggest how many of these you would have to answer "yes" to, in order to figure out whether or not you are a pen pusher. But chances are, if your heart palpitated at the thought of answering these questions . . . well, we know what you are, don't we?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Good ink for Moleskin Paper

I tend to leave too many pens inked up at one time. But I am always hoping to be able to use each and every one of them at a moment's notice. Currently, I fear I have nearly 30 pens with ink in them. It is nearly impossible to keep that many flowing well when you are working as many hours as I am now. So, periodically I find myself up until midnight cleaning, purging and refilling several pens in an effort to keep them all flowing smoothly. The more different colors of ink that I get, the more that I want to have each pen able to offer a different color of ink. Trust me - I don't have thirty bottles of ink.

Recently, I have gotten some new bottles of ink which are fantastic: One is Noodler's Black Anti-Feather. It always provides a perfect line, doesn't skip and will stay flowing even after being left for several days. And it writes extremely well on the seemingly ink resistant Moleskin paper. It won't even feather on cheap copy paper - amazing!

The second is Noodler's Burma Road Brown, which is a wonderfully rich dark brown ink. It also wites well on Moleskin paper. It doesn't feather much either.

Third is J Herbin - Gris Nuage (Grey). This is an interstingly strange ink. When it first hits the paper, it is a very dissatisfying watery black. It looks like black ink does after you have just rinsed your pen and there is still some water on the nib. But once it dries, it becomes a distinctly flat battleship grey. It is remarkable. This ink is a lot of fun to doodle with, particulalry if you combine it with black and use the grey as a sort of highlight, or as medium shadows in a sketch. I haven't used it much yet, but so far I had no feathering, skipping or drying problems. This ink also works well on Moleskin paper.

While it may appear here as though all inks work well on Moleskin, the three inks listed here are the only ones that I have that work very well on Moleskin paper. Waterman Blue/Black works fairly well on Moleskin. Other inks that are adequate on Moleskin are Levenger Cobalt Blue and Levenger Blue Bahama.