Link Love: Atlanta Countdown Starts Today!

Link Love: Atlanta Countdown Starts Today!

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Pencil Review: Uni Dermatograph Oil-Based Pencils

Review by Tina Koyama

The only grease pencils I knew about were the white and black ones I’d seen in hardware stores. Recently a few of my urban sketcher friends shared sketches they had done with some kind of bright, opaque material on toned paper, and when I asked what they were using, the answer was Uni Dermatograph oil-based pencils. When I found them at JetPens, I decided I needed to try a few for myself. And unlike the ones I’d seen in hardware stores, they come in 12 colors.

Like traditional grease pencils, Dermatograph pencils are intended for use on non-porous surfaces. According to JetPens, they are “perfect for writing on glass, metal, plastics, ceramic, vinyl and cellophane, and marks can be removed from any non-porous smooth surface.”

I tried writing on a glass jar and its metal lid with mixed results, mainly due to the colors I chose. Black showed up best; the lighter colors were harder to see. The writing easily wiped off clean from both surfaces by rubbing with a tissue.

I didn’t have plans to use Dermatograph pencils on jars, though; I got them to sketch with, and I especially like them on toned paper. Waxy like crayons, they are very opaque. When I layered colors (as on the right side of the pear), later applications could obscure colors underneath, or the colors could be blended by using a lighter application on top. I sketched in a black Stillman & Birn Nova sketchbook, and the white, yellow and green really pop.

Sharpening these pencils is a bit of a trick. Brand new, they come with a blunt end. After the exposed core is used up, you pull the thread to tear some of the paper wrapper and peel a few coils off, exposing more of the core. But you don’t get a point that way.

I wanted to get a finer point on the yellow pencil, so I peeled some wrapper off and then took a knife to it. I’m used to knife-sharpening graphite pencils, so I bore down with the blade with too much pressure, and the soft tip broke off. Once I got the hang of the softness, it was relatively easy to get a good point on it, but it’s important to think of it as a crayon, not a pencil.

Now that I think of them as crayons for grownups, I’m having lots of fun with Dermatograph pencils. The range of colors makes them more versatile in the sketchbook as well as at the work bench, and I especially like how opaque they are on dark colored papers.

tina-koyamaTina Koyama is an urban sketcher in Seattle. Her blog is Fueled by Clouds & Coffee, and you can follow her on Instagram as Miatagrrl.


DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Giveaway: Wancher Luxury Leather Pen Collector’s Case

Giveaway: Wancher Luxury Leather Pen Collector’s Case

This week, I thought I’d give you a chance to win the Wancher Luxury Leather Pen Collector’s Case. The exterior is navy leather and the inside is ivory. It holds thirteen pens and closes with a magnetic snap.

The case will hold larger pens with clips and there is room in the pocket to hold a slim A5 notepad as well if you’re so inclined.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment here on the blog and tell me if you think thirteen is an auspicious number or an unlucky number. Or what your lucky number is and why. Only entries who play by the rules will be officially entered in the drawing.

FINE PRINT: You are entering to win the Wancher Luxury LeatherPen Collector’s Case pictured above that was used in the review here. There may be slight signs of handling but will be shipping with original packaging, dust bag and has been handled with the utmost care. All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Wednesday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your actual email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 7 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money. US and APO/AFO only, sorry.

Giveaway Winner: Baron Fig Lock & Key Set

Giveaway Winner: Baron Fig Lock & Key Set

Reading all the “lock out” stories from the entries in the Baron Fig Lock & Key Squire and Confidant giveaway this week were both heart wrenching and highly entertaining. It’s a reminder to check for your keys, assign a close friend or family member to be your “keymaster” and be sure to have a charger or back-up battery for your phone at all times.

Our random number generator chose:

as our lucky winner!

But my favorite story which made me wince and laugh out loud was:

I’ll be putting together a special consolation prize for Valerie. Maybe I should make one for my friends and co-workers too because I’ve made many of them listen to me read several of the lock out stories aloud.

Thanks to everyone who shared their stories. I recommend that you go through and read some of them. They are cringe-worthy and often funny too.

Link Love: Circus Monkeys

Link Love: Circus Monkeys

Posts of the Week:

I’m handing this award over to Matt at the Pen Habit who rigorously documented his trip to the Arkansas Pen Show in documentary style. He made a series of videos of his adventures in Arkansas that included copious footage of his forays into eateries including his maiden voyage to Waffle House.

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Pen Addict Bingo!

Pen Addict Bingo!

Thanks to the programming genius of Alexander Kramer, the hare-brained idea of having Pen Addict podcast bingo cards is a reality. So, add this page to your bookmarks tab, click the run/refresh button each week and play along while you listen to each episode.

You can print out your card or play onscreen.

If you have suggestions for more ideas to add to the pool of phrases in the pool, tweet them to @alexkramerblogs or leave them in the comments below and I can pass them along.

I’ll definitely be playing along tomorrow!

Kickstarter: Studio Neat Mark One Pen

Kickstarter: Studio Neat Mark One Pen

The guys over at Studio Neat have once again decided to enter into the fickle world of stationery products with the Mark One Pen (pledges start at$50). They launched the Kickstarter a few days ago and it was backed almost instantaneously. The Mark One is an all-metal pen covered in a ceramic coating available in black or white.

I was lucky enough to get one of the prototype pens in ceramic white with a copper click mechanism. The pen does not have a clip which makes the pen aesthetically gorgeous but it does tend to roll around a bit. I clearly must not have a level surface in my house or office because this is a bigger issue of not having a roll stop than not having a clip. Being a girl means seldom clipping a pen to anything.

The Mark One is designed to hold the well-loved Schmidt 8126/27 refill and Parker-style refills. It’s well-loved by everyone but me. Generally speaking, for note taking, grocery lists and random purse pens, I keep a few gel pens handy. None of them are Schmidt refills.

As the “refill queen,” I immediately tested several different refills with the Mark One, including a Tofty D1 adapter so that I could use a Zebra 0.4mm Gel refill. I was able to easily swap out standard ballpoint, rollerball and gel style refills from Parker, Monteverde and the coveted Moleskine 0.5mm Parker-style refills with no issues. I did repeatedly shoot the spring across the room several times though. Don’t lose it. The Mark One really likes the spring it ships with over haphazard springs culled from other pens. Trust me on this.

Compared to other non-fountain pens in my collection, the Mark One is wider but not heavier. The ceramic coating makes it smooth but not slippery. The copper click mechanism looks good next to the rose gold of the Caran d’Ache and makes it look puny. The Mark One is only slightly wider than the Baron Fig Squire. The click mechanism is notable on the Mark One. When I was putting the pens away, the Caran d’Ache and Mark One both have easy to close click mechanisms making them perfect on-the-go pens. While I love the look of the Baron Fig, the closing mechanism makes it a two-hand operation and less likely to be chosen when jotting down a quick note when I’m out and about.

So, I probably don’t have to tell you that the Studio Neat Mark One is a project worth backing if you like rollerball, ball point or gel pens. You probably backed the Panbook project or listened to the Pen Addict podcast or the most recent episode of Thoroughly Considered on RelayFM.


DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by Studio Neat for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.