by SmiorganComments Off on Lamy Safari Dark Lilac Edition
The FP community has been asking Lamy to make a purple Safari for ages. The Safari knock-off Hero 359 came in purple, but the Safari special editions have all been unpleasant neon colours. But in 2016 the Dark Lilac Safari arrived:
The Safari is cheap and the nibs are easily swapped, and they have a really useful clip. The sections are a bit marmite. I own several but the one that’s always inked is my charcoal Safari with an EF nib because unlike every other Safari and Al-Star it’s textured ABS and feels much better in the hand. Lamy has made textured Safaris in the past (like this brown bear version) but they’re usually limited editions.
But good news! The Dark Lilac is textured.
I noticed that the new pens are rougher than my charcoal, but that’s probably because I’ve handled that pen frequently. The colour is very similar to the Diamine / Cult Pens “Deep Dark Purple” I inked it with (and I guess Lamy’s own special edition ink will be similar).
(look at the fantastic gold-green sheen on that puddle of Deep Dark Purple)
Bottom line: if you like the Safari and especially the charcoal, the limited edition will make a really good cheap beater fountain pen. We bought two, and I might get a third as a contingency because I think this one will get a lot of use.
by SmiorganComments Off on National Stationery Day 5: Bottling It
The cool thing about Waterman’s ink is the fact you can tip the bottles on their side:
This makes getting the last of the ink from the bottle fairly easy. South Seas Blue (now “Inspired Blue” after the EU made them reformulate without phenol) is the only bottle I have on the go at the moment. It’s a really nice shade of turquoise that gets very exciting with a flex nib.
Even better, if you lay it on very thick you get a fantastic red sheen at the edges:
It’s pretty but not something I would write with often. And I found that it had flow issues in an Ahab.
Waterman inks are good, cheap and generally safe. Richard Binder recommends them for vintage pens (along with Diamine). If you like their limited range of colours they’re a safe bet. But that bottle design is just great, which is why I’m hanging on to my empties.
by SmiorganComments Off on National Stationery Week Day 4: Parallel Lines
This is a pretty useless pen, but a lot of fun and a quick and easy way to get into calligraphy. Pilot Parallel pens are so called because they have two parallel plates that feed ink between them (rather than a nib or dip pen) and they work really really well. They come with a handy little booklet of different styles, and they also come in four sizes:
I recommend getting a big one to start with, just because it’s easier to use. But then of course you’ll go through a lot of paper… anyway, in a few short sessions you can realise just how easy gothic black letter is:
OK, I’m sure someone who’s actually good at calligraphy would find fault but… for the rest of us, it’s a start.
The parallel pens come with specific cartridges and no converter. I used a couple and then filled all four of my pens eyedropper style (take some silicon grease to the threads and just fill the body up; I didn’t bother with an o ring). Ink is Diamine Graphite, that never really grabbed me as much as I wanted it to until I put it in these pens.
Some day I’ll finish the alphabet for my Sabriel game…