Sunday, June 15, 2014

Featured Pen: Hakumin Urushi Negoro Kuro-Tamenuri

I have long been looking at the Negoro style fountain pens from Nakaya and debating the purchase of one of these beauties.

From Wikipedia: "Negoro lacquerwares were produced at the Negoro-ji temple complex in Izumi province. The red layers of lacquer on Negoro wares are intended to gradually wear away with use, revealing the black lacquer underneath. This effect has since been copied and emulated elsewhere."

The Negoro style is no longer limited to red over black, but used to describe a style which is also known as "Wabi-Sabi". From ""Wabi-Sabi" is the term used in Japanese for objects whose aesthetic value increases with use and wear. Taking this idea to its logical extreme, this pen honors the aging process even more by featuring "cracks" artfully engraved onto the surface of the cap, barrel, and gripping section. This process is particularly painstaking and time-consuming - production of these pens usually requires six months or more."

For me, the Nakaya presented two problems - first, the inner threads from the nib section to the barrel are metal which prevents filling the pen as an eyedropper and second, I am not crazy about the available colors: Negoro Shiro-tame, Negoro Nanohana-iro and Negoro Nuno kise Hon Kataji.

So, I contacted Ernest Shin of Hakumin Urushi to find out is he could make a Negoro in Kuro-Tamenuri. Kuro-Tamenuri is red under black where the red comes through. The base is (as with my other Hakumin Urushi pen) an Edison Pearl with an Edison 18kt italic nib. Just so you know this pen is comparably priced with the Nakaya and gave me exactly what I wished for in this style of pen. Thank you, Ernest! and thank you to Brian Grey for introducing the pen world to this wonderful artisan.


This was a very difficult pen to photograph and convey it's true beauty.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Carrnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper is now open

Welcome  to the May 2014 Edition of Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper. 

Pens and Markers

Hogyun Lee presents Testing Fountain Pen Dry-Out Times in Usage posted at Atramental Otaku.

Ed presents Nakaya Neo Standard Fountain Pen Review posted at

Sandra presents Review of the Copic Doodle Pack - Turquoise posted at LifeImitatesDoodles.

Azizah presents Review: Sailor 1911 Standard Clear Fountain Pen - Music Nib posted at Gourmet Pens.

Azizah presents Review: Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic Smoke & Ice - Broad Nib posted at Gourmet Pens.

Journals and Notebooks

Sandra presents Review of the Paperblanks Lindau Gospels Ultra Journal posted at LifeImitatesDoodles.

Sandra presents Review of the Paperblanks Maya Blue Ultra Journal posted at LifeImitatesDoodles.

Joe presents In Praise of the Original Field Notes posted at The Gentleman Stationer.


Lucy presents Life Drawing Dogs posted at Painting for an Expressive Living.

Holley Perry presents Click Chicks Photo Challenge: Handwriting | Destino posted at Destino.

Because of the issues with the Blog Carnival website and the compressed time to receive submissions, I went back through posts that I've read and picked a few that I thought were worthy of sharing. I hope that you agree and enjoy these.

Editor's Submissions

Scriptorium: Custom Handcrafted Fountain Pens from Renee at Scriptorium Pens.

Anyone for chocolate? A short review of Akkerman Hague Brown at A Fool With a Pen.

Don't Be Fooled By a Name from Margana at Inkophile.

J Herbin Inks and Vintage Pens from Gentian at Drawing with a Squirrel.

The Visconti Homo Sapiens Crystal Fountain Pen is now available! at FPGeeks. This pen is soooo gorgeous and I really want one sigh.

Lastly - this is not very recent but any calligraphy video from Leigh Reyes is worth viewing. You may find her at her blog: My Life is a Verb.

Thank you.We hope that you enjoyed your visit.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Calling all Pen, Pencil and Paper Bloggers - PLEASE READ

Pens Paper Inks...Whatever! is proud to be the host of the May Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper which is scheduled for this coming Tuesday, May 6.

However, we have run into a technical issue and need your assistance.

The Carnival website has been down for at least a week, possibly longer and I am not receiving submissions.

So I am asking that if you would like to participate in the May Carnival please email your submission to me at this special email address

Please include the following information:

  • Title of post:
  • Link to the post:
  • Name of your blog:
  • URL for your blog:
  • Your name:
  • Your email: 
  • Category of your post: i.e. notebooks, pens, paper, inks, other

Please submit your entry no later than 4 pm EDT on Sunday, May 4. Thank you for your understanding and participation.

Julie (O-kami)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Pen - Kaweco AL Sport - Stonewashed Black

Back in January when perusing the blogs that I follow (way too many) I came across a post at FPGeeks which caught my eye, so I proceeded to read it.

It seems that Kaweco, that wonderful producer of those pocket sized fountain pens was going to be introducing a new finish for their AL Sport - stonewashed.

I don't know why, but I am often attracted to products that have that "loved by use" look. The Japanese call it wabi-sabi: "Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble". This is the same principal that my new Hakumin Irushi pen (which has not yet arrived) is based upon.
The Sport comes in a number of options: 
  • Classic which is entirely acrylic.Tyler Dahl has written a wonderful review of the Classic here. This pen is available in eight colors.
  • Ice which features a range of translucent colors. The body of the pen is clear translucent while the cap and nib section come in 6 translucent colors. Delectable Pens has done a nice review of this model.
  • Luxe which features brass plated parts and furniture. It is available only in black. Here is a great review at PencilCaseBlog
  • AL which is the all aluminum model. The stonewashed fits into this category although the Kaweco website breaks this down into two separate categories: AL Sport and AL Stonewashed. The AL Sport is available in 5 color options and the Stonewashed in 2.
  • ART - this is the pen to get if you want more color options. This pen is also acrylic but it is offered in 8 lovely acrylics if you want to get away from basic back or a solid color.  Ed Jelley reviews the ART model on his blog
  • AC - this model is a mix of aluminum and carbon fiber. It is available in four color options and happens to be the other modern Sport that I own. You can review my review here.
  • Skyline - this is a new model. From the Kaweco website: "The Kaweco Classic Sport series gets competition soon as Kaweco launches Kaweco Sport Skyline in May [2014]. Compared with the Classic Sport, which has a gold plated nib, imprint and logo cap, the Skyline comes with silver coloured characteristics. The Skyline series is available in three basic colours. Additional to the two trend colours 2014, mint and grey, the Skyline is available in classic black as well."

The Kaweco Sport comes in a very nice little presentation tin.

Kaweco Sport History - from the Kaweco website:

"The Kaweco Sport certainly resulted from a logical progression of the Kaweco product development. You can read the following information from old documents:

1908: In a catalogue for penholders there are the first Kaweco pocket fountain pens pictured.

1911 / 1912: In price lists (1911 for Germany and 1912 for France): A Kaweco Safety pen for ladies, officers and sport guys is advertised.

1913: The short Safety pens are offered with the headline "SPORT-SERIES"- safest closure in every situation.

1925: Now, the Kaweco Safety pens with the sport series for ladies are offered.

1934: A flyer shows the first Kaweco Sport set with safety pen no. 9 and the mechanical pencil no. 17 plus the matching leather pouch. You can thus conclude that at the beginning of the 30's the Kaweco Sport had become an own special product and been consistently merchandised.

Not just in specialist shops Kaweco became a bestseller as well as in B2B business. A lot of well-known companies used the Kaweco Sport as a promotional gift. Particularly in the years 1950 to 1970. Special editions were co-developed since 1965. For instance the Kaweco Sport Set in a wooden case with "Kaweco clock" at the leather pouch or together with a Stoffels handkerchief.

In 1972 the Sport was marketed with a pendant for the Olympic Games in Munich.

From 1980 until 1994 nobody thought of the Sport until h & m gutberlet gmbh revived it."

You can read about Kaweco's revival in this interview with Michael Gutberlet at

I really love the look and feel of this pen.  It is worn, without being worn (if that makes sense).

I ordered this pen with an F nib. My AC has an EF nib. Another great feature of the Kaweco is that the nib units simply screw out, so you can acquire nibs to your taste and easily replace them.

Above is the AL Stonewashed with the AC Sport and my vintage Sport.

Above and below: Top is the vintage Sport and bottom is the AL Stonewashed.

Here is my one complaint about the Kaweco - it only takes cartridges. I don't know why Kaweco can't produce these pens as piston fill, like my vintage Sport, which I will feature in the future.

However, there are a few of solutions: first you can buy the new Kaweco Sport Converter from several sources:

But be careful, this converter does not work on some early Sports. See the review on the JetPens product page.

Another option is to make your own squeeze converter (this is what I did with my AC). Here is a link to a description of this hack Kaweco Sport Bulb Filler Conversion. This description says that he chose not to seal the sac to the cartridge, I highly recommend it though. It is still a simple task to clean both.

 If you are more adventurous you can modify a standard converter. But be sure this converter will attached to the nib unit before you spend the time on it.

Or you can convert it to an eyedropper. However, this is only appropriate for the acrylic Sport.

Oops, forgot to mention that this pen is not yet available from US sellers. I acquired it from via Amazon.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I'm still here

Honestly, I have not dropped off the face of the earth. I have just been busy, busy, busy with work and to be honest, have been going through somewhat of a slump when it comes to putting pen to paper - or fingers to keyboard.

So, to all my readers...and all the penpals that I owe letters to, one of these days (I hope) the slump will end and my pen will again hit the paper (and my fingers the keyboard).

I do have a bit of upcoming excitement, soon I hope.  Last April I caved and ordered a custom pen from Ernest Shin of Hakumin Urushi. If you are not familiar with Ernest's work, check out his website and also the collaborations that he has done with Brian Gray of Edison Pens.

So, if that is not enough of a teaser I'm sure that you are wondering what kind of a pen did I get? I have one of Ernest's pens, Koboku Shiage, which I adore and is currently, if not always in my rotation. So I decided once again to use an Edison Pearl as the base.

I couple of years ago I fell in love with a pen that I saw on Flickr - then pen belongs to and the photo was taken by Lisa Miyako - you can see it here and here on her Flickr page.

So I knew that I wanted a pen in this Negoro style.

The following photos and explanation of Negoro is directly from John Mottishaw's website:

Nakaya Urushi pens are meant to age, with the underlying color becoming more apparent as the Urushi lacquer matures. "Wabi-Sabi" is the term used in Japanese for objects whose aesthetic value increases with use and wear. Taking this idea to its logical extreme, this pen honors the aging process even more by featuring "cracks" artfully engraved onto the surface of the cap, barrel, and gripping section. The Negoro weathering process is particularly painstaking and time-consuming - production of these pens usually requires six months or more.
Nakaya Piccolo Cigar
Nakaya Piccolo Cigar


Although the Nakaya is an amazing and lovely pen, I love my Piccolo in heke-tamenuri, but I have one gripe. They are c/c only and cannot be converted to eyedropper. This is because the threads where the nib section joins the body of the pen are metal. Because I am not a fan of c/c pens and prefer either piston, eyedropper or some other filling system, I called upon Ernest to provide me with my pen.

The color of the Nakaya above is shiro-tamenuri, I chose to have my pen done in kuro-tamenuri, which is black over scarlet. This color is not one that Nakaya offers in the negoro style, which is another reason that I chose to go with Ernest.

Photo taken by Phthalo from Fountain Pen Network

Lastly, I know your wondering, what about the nib.  I chose an 18kt gold BB stub nib. YUM!

So, I am still anxiously awaiting my pen. I am praying that it arrives before we head to the Chicago Pen Show in May.  If it does and you're able to attend the show, ask me to show it to you. Unfortunately I have just discovered that we are going to be unable to attend the Chicago Pen Show this year.

Hakumin Koboku Shiage
Hakumin Koboku Shiage
Hakumin Koboku Shiage

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hobonichi Techo 2014

Happy Holidays!!

In early December I received a message from Lindsay, who worked with the online media magazine for the past year year to translate their flagship product, the Hobonichi Planner. Be sure to visit her site for the Unofficial Hobonichi Planner Guide.

So I checked out the website. Now, I don't normally have a lot of enthusiasm for paper planners, but when I saw that this one was filled with Tomoe River paper I knew that I had to try it.

The planner arrived very quickly and I was immediately impressed. The size is perfect for carrying in my handbag.

The planner packs 400 pages of awesome Tomoe River yumminess. This paper is smooth and ultrathin, allowing for a high number of pages in a compact package.  The planner begins with yearly and monthly calendars for 2014-2015, then into December 2013 with two days per page. The main portion of the planner allocates one page per day for each day of the week.

At the back of the planner is a nice section for notes and informational pages which include International Size Charts, International Country/Dialing Codes and National Holidays. This is followed by my favorite sections: A Guide to Sushi and A Guide to Sake.

My planner arrived coverless so I headed over to Hobonichi's website to find a appropriate cover. The prices for the covers range from 1,500 yen to 31,500 yen ($14USD to $300USD). I found the site easy to navigate and easy to place an order, my only complaint was that most of the covers were sold out.

I ended up purchasing the Pueblo design, I would have preferred a plain color (other than black) but all were sold out.  The cover is very nice and has an outside pocket, which is even acessible via the cover cover (lol, the materials for many of these covers are polyester and this plastic cover projects it). This extra cover also allows you to put things under it to decorate a plain cover or just hold extra stuff.

The pen loops which effectively "lock" the cover when a pen is in place, are very large and even accommodates my largest Danitrio pens.

If you are familiar with Tomoe River paper, you are aware that there is neither feathering or bleedthrough with the use of fountain pens.  However, there are two issues that you will need to learn to live with.

The first is that the ink does not dry very quickly, this paper is not very absorbent and so the ink tends to sit on top for a while.  My solution was to cut some copier paper to the size of the planner and insert it between the pages after writing to absorb the extra ink and prevent smearing.

The second issue is that because this paper is so thin there is a significant amount of show through. As you can see in the above photos you can easily see the writing through this paper.

Personally, these two issues are not a problem for me, but they could be for others.

Lastly I really love all the stuff the users in this video put into their planners.

You can see other reviews of the Hobonichi Techo at these blogs:

The Well-Appointed Desk

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Fountain Pen Day!!

In celebration, many of the pen bloggers and websites have wonderful sales and giveaways going on...

Check out the Fountain Pen Day website and don't forget to enter the contest

Here are a few more giveaways and discounts that I have come across:

Pen Paper Ink Letter is giving away five...yes...FIVE fountain pens - here Fountain Pen Day 5 Pen Giveaway!    [WAR EAGLE!!!!]

Sheila over at Does This Pen Make Me Look Fat? if giving away 5 pens and ink! Welcome to My Fountain Pen Day Giveaway!

InkOnHand is giving away - what else?  INK! Fountain Pen Day 2013 plus other assorted goodies that you won't want to miss.

Goulet Pens is having a month long Thanksgiveaway Contest