Photo of the Day: Franklin-Christoph Pocket 20 Thomas Hall Tibaldi Edition

Photo of the Day: Franklin-Christoph Pocket 20 Thomas Hall Tibaldi Edition

I don’t often post photos of my pen stash but I’m making an exception today because this is a very special edition to my collection. I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in a small edition of Franklin-Christoph Pocket 20s utilizing rare Tibaldi Impero Celluloid that Thomas Hall had acquired and wanted to have made into pens and shared amongst his friends. Any profits earned from the manufacturing would be donated to a charity of Thomas’s choosing.

What was decided was that the pens would be created in a transparent ice Pocket 20 or Marietta 20 style (with or without clip) and the end cap would be made from the Tibaldi material in order to maximize the number of pens that could be made from the material. A total of about 85 pens would be made.

As you can see from the close-ups, my pen cap is threaded with blue and is a walnut stone color. I think it looks stunning. I had it paired with Jim Rouse’s fabulous fine S.I.G. steel nib which he smoothed perfectly for my silly southpaw writing.

I eyedropper filled it with my go-to subtle ink, Sailor Jentle Chu Shu. It’s the picture of dignity and I’m so glad to have a part of history.

Paper Review: Baron Fig Mastermind Week Pad

Paper Review: Baron Fig Mastermind Week Pad

Awhile back, I showed off the epic Baron Fig Mastermind Dot Grid pad. The Mastermind is a big freeform notepad in the spirit of the old deskpads. If you are looking for something that’s a little more structured and smaller to help streamline your work week, the new Mastermind Week Pad (3 pads of 18 sheets for $9) might be just the thing.

The Week Pad is just about the length of my MacBook Pro 13″ (measuring 11″ x 3″ with rounded corners) which means it can easily fit in front of my computer as I’m preparing a week of blog posts, meal plans, appointments or other weekly activities around the house. Since the sheet is divided into the work week with a small spot for the weekend, this was definitely designed for school or work-related planning.

The sheets are glue-bound across the top and there is no chipboard backing making it very slim. It also means the pads can get pretty floppy as you get down to the last few sheets. If you are writing on a particularly hard surface, you won’t have the cushion of a chipboard backing either which is a bit of a bummer.

The paper used is the same stock that is currently featured in the Confidant, Vanguard and other products so I don’t feel I need to go into lengthy pen testing detail other than to say that it works well with most medium-nibbed fountain pens, felt tip, rollerball, ballpoint and pencil. Since the Week Pad are only printed on the front, show through is not as much a concern though I did find myself using the back of the sheets the following week for scratch paper and grocery lists since it does hold up well. The size lends itself to flipping itself over and being that long list for the grocery store, for sure.

Since the Week Pad does not have a chipboard backing and the sheets aren’t sticky back, there is a definite impermanence to them. My weekly list ended up getting pinned to my pinboard/refrigerator and then thrown away which is a different method of working for me. But the Week Pad created a great way to share group activities/events in the house that would normally have been in my planner.

I would also like a place to put the week’s date since these little sheets can have a tendency to accumulate and it could be difficult to determine which one is for this week and which one was from three weeks ago.

Overall, its an interesting concept and I like the idea that Baron Fig is trying new ways to plan, organize and use paper and analog tools in our increasingly digital world.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Baron Fig for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

News: Shops Opening, Closing and Renaming

Notemaker is now Milligram:

Australian online stationery and lifestyle brand Notemaker has officially changed its name to Milligram. It will continue to be your go-to for pens, ink, and all your favorite stationery good but it also stocks lots of other goods as well and wants to make sure that its name reflects a wider product diversity. You can now find them across all social media as MilligramStore. Links for all the social media are at the bottom of their home page.

Writer’s Bloc is closing:

After 10 years, the online stationery shop Writer’s Bloc is retiring and closing up shop. Starting the 1st of  October, Writer’s Bloc is discounting its merchandise with plans to close completely by November. Brands like Rhodia and Clairefontaine and much more will be continually discounted as they clear their inventory.

CW Pencil Enterprise New Shop Opening:

It looks like, barring any tragedy, meltdown or unforeseen crises, the new CW Pencil Enterprise should open sometime the week of October 16 in an as yet undisclosed location.

Pen Addict has partnered with Japanese Online Magazine Mai-Bun:

With the help of stationery enthusiast and Japanese translator Bruce Eimon, the Pen Addict will now have articles posted to the Japanese site and articles from Mai-Bun will be cross-posted to Pen Addict in a content partnership. This will help expand the content and understanding of Japanese stationery world to the English-speaking stationery community and vice-versa. How exciting is that!?!

Richard Binder’s Guide to Fountain Pens available on Amazon:

Thanks to links on Inkophile, it has come to my attention that all of Richard Binder’s Guides to Fountain Pens are available as ebooks on Amazon. It’s a four volume series and each book is priced between $5.99 and $7.99 and cover restoration, filling systems, a glossary book of terms and an overview book about pens.

Pelikan M605 Transparent White and 805 Ocean Swirl:

Pelikan has announced two very appealing new models in the past few weeks. First, was the M605 Transparent White and then just moments after the Pelikan Hub event they announced the 805 Ocean Swirl.

The M605 Transparent White is from the special edition Souveran line with resin white cap and barrel with chrome-colored, rhodium-plated trim. It has alternating opaque and transparent stripes, allowing view of the ink level inside. As with other Pelikan Souveran M605 fountain pens, the white transparent comes with a 14k gold rhodium-plated nib and features a piston-filling mechanism. It can be pre-ordered with your choice of nib through Pen Chalet for $380.

The Ocean Swirl is an 805 Souveran which is a slightly larger model and features swirled teal blue and black resin with silver color trim and matching rhodium-plated 18k gold nib.The rings and clip are also rhodium-plated with a matching, rhodium-plated 18k gold nib. Each Pelikan M805 Ocean Swirl fountain pen comes in a presentation gift box. It can be pre-ordered at Pen Chalet with your choice of nib for $520.

Giveaway Winner: Baron Fig 2018 Planner

Thanks to everyone who entered the Baron Fig 2018 Planner giveaway this week. I was thrilled to see all the wonderful and aspirational goals that people were setting for themselves for 2018.

After the last few week’s of terrible news cycles, I noticed no one mentioned acts of violence, hatred or anger in their goals for 2018. There were lots of comments about wanting to spend more time with family, reflecting on life, slowing down, getting fit, taking more time to help others, being present in the moment, cooking dinners, spending time with friends and generally being all-around good people. I don’t know if that says something about the quality of the readers of the blog (I’d like to think it does) or pen-and-paper enthusiasts in general.

I hope that all your goals can be met and that each one of you continues to shine your awesome light on this world. We sure could use your positivity and light about now.

Now, to the winner of the giveaway:

Congrats to Melanie! I hope that you finish you exam with flying colors and find the job that fulfills your heart and your bank account.

Thanks to Baron Fig for providing the planner and I hope that everyone else considers using this planner (or some system) to plan all those goals. I want to see them all become realities! I want to read the books, see the photos from all the trips, dinners, walks with friends and families, crossing the finish lines, dances, and weddings and everything else. Let’s make all these dreams come true!

Friday Faves: Inktober

Every October, my Instagram feed turns into a wonderland of illustrations, doodles, and drawings from people at every level in their creative journey. Some are just dipping their toes in the water like fellow Desk contributor Laura Cameron who is taking her first forays into drawing this year to seasoned professionals like comic illustrator Mike Hawthorne who is using the Inktober challenge to spread a glob of ink on a page and use it as a way to force himself to “see” something in his Rorschach glob.

Some people work in pen and ink, some in color. I do enjoy seeing what tools people choose to use to set boundaries on the Inktober. It certainly helps to streamline the process. It eliminates one of the decisions that has to be made each day when planning your drawing and helps make the project a bit more manageable.

So I thought I’d share what I am using for my Inktober. I pared down from last year’s challenge which included learning to use Copic alcohol markers as part of my challenge. This year, I wanted to keep the challenge to black and white, though I am using some water soluble inks so that I can get some shades of grey.

Check out the hashtag #inktober2017 to see all the artists posting their work to Instagram this year. The variety is amazing.

  • Kaweco Special Black Pencil 0.7mm $50 (via Vanness Pen Shop)
  • Uni-ball Signo Angelic Color UM-120AC Gel Pen – 0.7 mm in White Ink $2.30 (via JetPens)
  • Uni NanoDia 0.7mm Color Lead in Red $3.30 (via JetPens)
  • Kyoei Orions 15cm Grid Ruler in Blue $1.80 (via JetPens)
  • Pilot Foam Eraser – Size 10 $1.65 (via JetPens)
  • Copic Multiliner SP Pen – 0.2 mm – Black $10.25 (via JetPens)
  • Platinum Carbon Black Ink (60ml Bottle) $20, also available in Platinum proprietary cartridges for $4 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Tombow Mono Zero Eraser $6 (via CW Pencil Enterprise)
  • Pentel Aquash Water Brush – Medium – Compact Body $5 (via JetPens)
  • Isabey Red Sable Travel Brush Round – Size 6 $26.40 (via Amazon)
  • Platinum Carbon Desk Pen Fountain Pen $9.60 , add a Platinum Converter for $6 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Uni Double-Sided Pocket Brush Pen – Fine & Medium $3.30 (via JetPens)
  • Nahe General Purpose Case A6 – Ivory $8 (via Amazon but I purchased mine at Wonder Fair in Lawrence, KS)
  • YStudio Classic pencil lead box €13 (€10,74 Outside EU) (via Fontoplumo)

Ink Review: Robert Oster Viola

Ink Review: Robert Oster Viola

I spent the better part of the DC Pen Show eyeballing this bottle of Robert Oster Viola ($17 for a 50ml bottle). There were only a few bottles of it but for some reason it was like a siren song calling to me. The color was something different. It’s not the same wild, crazy sheening blues and teals that everyone is going gaga for but something a little different. Some of my favorite Oster inks aren’t the Fire & Ice and Lake of Fire inks — though they are lovely, don’t get me wrong. I love Caffe Creme, Australian Opal Mauve, and Melon Tea.

What lured me to Viola was that it was a dusty purple with a bit of a soft pink undertone that did sheen blue. It was light but not too light to be legible and the blue sheen gave definition to the edges of the letterforms.

Last year, I went on a hunt for a plummy purple color and I bought a ton of inks. I wanted a complex color. I wanted something that wasn’t too royal purple or too bluish or too dark and I found some lovely colors but not THE one I was hoping for. Viola, I think, was what I wanted. It reminds me of faded velveteen. There’s a powdery quality to the color.

To compare it to some other inks, J. Herbin Poussière de Luna is much darker and both R&K Alt. Bordeaux and Oster Australian Opal Mauve are more reddish, more raspberry.

To conclude, I know that this color is probably not for everyone as it fills a very unusual color gap but if you’re looking for a more unique color, something softer but still legible that reminds you of flowers, this is definitely worth consideration.


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