Diamine Shimmering Purple Pazzazz Ink Review

I have fallen hopelessly in love with shimmer inks. To heck with pen maintenance and clogged feeds with hail size pieces of gold, this stuff makes my writing come off the page. Ok not a single non-pen person has said anything about it when looking at the output but I’ve enjoyed the surprises when it dries on some paper as the gold flake can really pop out.

My favorite has been the Diamine Shimmer Cocoa so I decided my next bottle would be from the same family in the Purple Pazzazz variant. I was not disappointed with the behavior and output of the ink.

Diamine Shimmering Purple Pazzazz

  • Price: $20 for 50 ml or $.40 per ml
  • Color Family: Purple
  • Bottle opening Diameter: 5/8” which is more than sufficient for dipping any nib that I tried
  • Pen I Used: Carolina Pen Company Charleston with a steel broad nib

Bottle
Glass, round and plain with a deep profile for making it easy to get the most ink out of the bottle. Nothing really to save here or display worthy. All the money went into the ink which is fine with me. Fine with me.

Sheen & Shading
The signature of shimmer inks is the sheen and Purple Pazzazz does not disappoint. Best seen on the Col-R-Ring sample here.

I was using a wet broad nib so maybe not a characteristic of the ink but it goes on really wet so you won’t see the true character of what you’ve written until it dries. I kind of liked the surprise factor.

Conclusion
I love the ink and though I can’t consistently replicate the extreme gold sheen at will I smile when it happens. I have gone through 3 refills already. Oh and ink spiders are fun as well:

Writing Samples

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Robert Oster Fire & Ice Ink Review

Inks From Atlanta Tour Part 3. I am way late to the game on this one, the Robert Oster Fire & Ice. This is the first Robert Oster ink I have tried and it did not disappoint. I bought the first bottle I saw Friday when I arrived at the show as I mistakenly assumed supply and demand was not working in the buyers’ favor. By Saturday night it was still selling all over the place so looks like supply has caught up.

  • Price: $16 / 50 ml or $.32 per ml
  • Color Family: Blue
  • Bottle opening Diameter: 11/16”
  • Pen I Used: Kanilea Pen Co Kilauea with a Broad nib

Bottle

Robert Oster uses a small diameter bottle to hold 50 ml of ink. I would describe the container as utilitarian. Labeling is simple and clear and credit should be given to the Robert Oster camp for saving us money by not investing in more elaborate packaging. My preference is a bottle that is a little bigger in diameter for stability when I’m filling a pen with a stiff converter. My hands tend to make the pen jump around a little more than it should. Without a wide base there is more risk of an inky mess from a toppling bottle. That is in no way a reflection of the quality of the ink or the packaging, just a preference. The good part of this style is you can draw more ink out of the bottle without having to resort to syringe extraction for the last remnants.

Sheen & Shading

The blue is bright and vibrant. A strong color family resemblance to blue is an easy ID. Some have considered it a turquoise but I think it’s a bit darker than a traditional
turquoise.

Shading is prominent with my broad nib giving consistent gradual shading from dark to light, on some paper you get no defined color cut off points in the ink line. I like this gradual shading because the sharp cut off of color sometimes looks like a pen is running out of ink, again a lot of personal preference there.

Speaking of running out of the ink here is a shot of my pen running dry unintentionally but I was pretty surprised at the second tone sheen looks red in person. I never saw that coming. With a full fill I see nothing but blue.

I have several other blue inks that I like but you are probably better served with the two excellent ink side by side tools here than any comparison I could provide.

Conclusion
I’m sure there will be more Robert Oster ink in my future. I like how it performs, the color is beautiful and I can sound really cool when I tell people I only use ink that is imported from Australia. Seriously though, good ink and I’m glad I picked up a bottle.

Writing Samples

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Akkerman 28 Hofkwartier Groen Ink Review

Part 2 of the Inks From Atlanta tour I’m embarking on. This one is the Akkerman 28 Hofkwartier Groen that I’ve heard many positive reviews about. Number 28 is my first bottle of Akkermann ink and I still have it inked up from the Atlanta pen show enjoying it.

I added the bottle opening diameter because some smaller bottles will not allow certain large pens to get a full fill because the nib and section will not fit inside the bottle. That wouldn’t rule out the ink but it would force you to a syringe type fill into another container. No problem here at all with the 1″ + opening of the Akkerman bottle.

Bottle

The Akkermann bottle is beautiful, another one almost like an antiquity or art that really should be appreciated sitting out on a shelf or a desk. I need to study up on the ink exposure risk to lighting over the long haul or is it a myth that it’s harmful.

Akkerman uses a rubber washer for sealing which serves its purpose very well but I found that it sticks to the lip of the bottle and removal usually results in inky fingers. It would be less messy if it stayed with the cap which I think is the design intent. In my practice it just didn’t work.

The bottle is the type where you turn the sealed bottle upside down which fills a reservoir at the top of the bottle so your nib can go deep enough for a fill. This helps you get the nib deep enough to fill when the ink supply gets low and shallow in the bottle. Without this second reservoir some bottles are hard to fill from without resorting to a syringe to extract the last bit of ink. The Akkermann implementation of this dual chamber works great.

Sheen & Shading

The green is light and bright. You won’t mistake it for any other color. I don’t see any other tone or color coming out of it even with the big Col-o-Ring swab I brushed on. There are several good tools online to compare the color side by side.

The only other green I have is my favorite Diamine Delamere green which is much darker.

Conclusion

This is a saturated but light colored ink. I will keep it even though my personal favorite green will lean more towards the darker tones. The properties of the ink gave me no problems at all and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another bottle of Akkerman.

Writing Samples

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Diamine Cocoa Shimmer Ink Review

Readers of my little space in the blogoshpere probably don’t come here for ink reviews.  My few ink reviews are few words. I like this ink, I don’t like this ink is about the extent of it. I know there are many more properties to an ink that are important to a lot of people and I have some really esteemed colleagues that write about them and give a lot back to our community in that area. I’m publicly thanking you Inkdependence :). Today I’m typing out one of those short ink posts as I begin working on reviews of some of the treasures I picked up at the Atlanta Pen Show.

I have been intrigued throughout the past year with some of the boutique multi colored inks that sheen and shine different colors or shimmers of gold. The most talked about was probably J. Herbin’s 1670 Emerald of Chivor, though I learned researching for this post that they have a whole line in that series including Rouge Hematite, Bleu Ocean, Stormy Grey and Caroube de Chypre that sit alongside Emerald of Chivor.

I like all the J. Herbin inks I have tried but I seem to have an affinity for Diamine inks, mainly because of their color selection. I’ve never had a bad experience with ink, or at least any that could be attributed specifically to the ink.  After trying at least one bottle of all the major brands, and yes I paid $32 for Edelstein Smoky Quartz (uuugggh!), my staple inks will probably remain Diamine.

Diamine jumped into the game with their shimmer inks a little while back with what they call their shimmertastic colors. Being the Diamine fan and not being able to find a bottle of Emerald Chivor at the show I picked up a bottle of  Diamine Cocoa Shimmer from the Andersons. The Cocoa is a brownish burgundy with prominent flakes of gold showing through. There is some feedback online that says the gold flakes could cause a bit more gunking problems with the pen feeds but I didn’t find proof in any review so I’m not sure if that is speculation or if there is evidence of it happening. I have not experienced that yet but I’ve only been a user for a couple of weeks now and I’m a well disciplined pen hygienist so I’m not too worried.

First thing I noticed is all the gold flakes resting at the bottom of the bottle:

I have read about this and yielded to the tip of shaking the bottle well to disperse the flakes throughout the ink so some of it gets into the pen.  I suspect these heavier flakes would be some of the basis for the gunking concern since they are particles that have a tendency to separate themselves from the liquid part of the ink.  I’m watching it closely in my pen.

Here’s the bottom of the bottle after shaken and dispersed:

I inked up my Ryan Krusac Legend with a full fill and I’ve enjoyed seeing the gold show through on almost anything I write on.  This is not a big shading ink despite the wide wet nib I was using but the character REALLY comes out with the gold flakes and especially when you move the paper around to let the light hit it differently. I also did not experience any more feathering or bleed through than normal. Overall a well behaved ink that gives me something more than just a new color shade. I’m enjoying it. Here are the samples I did:

For my next purchase I may try J.Herbin’s entry with the Purple Pizzazz. I’m a deep bright purple ink kind of guy so that one intrigues me. Until then I need to write more and enjoy all this ink.

What about you?  Any shimmering, glittery inks in your collection?

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Atlanta Pen Show Haul Mini Reviews

I had a great show in Atlanta this year and though I didn’t really have a budget to spend going in I did have a well thought out list of things to see. I saw most of them and changed my mind on quite a few. They just didn’t speak to me and I don’t buy stuff for the sake of ownership and checking off a list. In the end I am happy with my haul.

My social acumen was better this year. I know a lot of people talk about this phenomenon, or borderline fear, but I have never had one bad experience interacting with other pen people at shows. Granted not every conversation takes off into an all night gab fast but we’re all different. I’m hoping I continue to mature in this area with the more shows I’m able to attend. This year I met some new friends and connected with others I only get to see in person at pen shows.  I was very fortunate to score a late Saturday spot for nib work by the great Mark Bacas @nibgrinder.  He does incredible work and I have a better writer because of it. Thanks Mark as always.  My only regret from the whole show is missing my good friend @gentlemenstationer. We were even in the same room together, how do we do this GS?. The loss was mine.

Below is my haul from a couple of hours on Friday and a full day on Saturday. I missed Sunday due to travel home but my wallet protested when I tried to delay departure and sneak one more round of the show floor in.  I plan to do full reviews of a some of these new treasures in the future but until then here are my first impressions:

Franklin-Christoph Notebook Covers – Starting at the top left I picked up two fabric notebook holders from Franklin Christoph. Always love their stuff and these are a nice break for me from my usual leather products. I got the pocket notebook cover and an A5 journal cover, both in Linen Brown Fabric. Also got a set of the pocket notebooks and the A5 notebook itself has a nice cover that might be a shame to cover up.

Robert Oster Fire & Ice – This is my first Robert Oster ink and I had a bit of FOMO when I saw a bottle of it. I like the blue hue and with the broad nib on the right paper the ICE portion does pop out.

Akkermann # 28 Green Ink – I have a green ink l really like but Brad and Mike talk about #28 so much that I had to try it.   This does rank as the prettiest ink bottle I have ever seen though. I so much want to put it on display.

Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz – Late last year I sold my one partial bottle of brown ink, Caran D’ Ache Grand Canyon.  I loved the color but the small bottle made it such a pain to refill the larger size pens that I prefer.  I never replaced it so I set out at this show to get another brown ink. The Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz landed in show bag. In hindsight I think I was more enamored with it’s status as ink of the year and there was probably something else that would have worked for less money.  Lesson learned but it’s still a very nice color and well behaved ink.

Diamine Cocoa Shimmer – I have a lot of Diamine ink and the brand has never disappointed me so I had to get their version of the glittery en-sparkled ink.  Andersons Pens had a good selection and I landed on the Cocoa Shimmer. It needs the right paper to really see it’s shimmer but when you do it’s really something. I have read different reports on what this glittery stuff will do to your pen but I will watch it closely and flush soon just in case.

Col-O-Ring – I have tracked my ink samples on index cards for several years now. I always knew the big box stores’ index cards would not perfectly depict the ink color but it has worked for comparing two similar shades.  The Col-O-Ring is a bunch of small very fountain pen friendly cards held together with a ring. I’ve only been back from Atlanta for a couple of days and I have had a lot of fun opening up all my inks and spilling big blotches on Ana’s creation. Ana Reichert of Well Appointed Desk may not have invented the idea but she did perfect it with her version.

Story Supply Pocket Notebooks – I love love love what Vito and Gabe are doing with their company, giving back to kids. Read about their goals here.  I’m always on the hunt for new pocket notebooks with fountain pen friendly paper. My quick test filling up a page says these are a home run.

Nock Co Dot Dash cards – I originally bought some of the Dot Dash index size cards to really support Nock. With the pack sitting on my desk I found myself using them for more and more little tasks until now I’m hooked on them.  I got a refill of the 3 x 5 size and picked up the new business card petite size.  I plan to use the business card size for making notes to put in the boxes of stuff I buy that shows when, where and how much for the item.

Ryan Krusac Legend #16 Fountain Pen – I wanted an all wood pen and I got a beautiful all wood pen. Ryan’s a cool guy, a talented artist and was a joy to talk with and deal with. He has several models in a variety of wood species. I liked the 16 mm diameter version of his new Legend series.  He has a slightly smaller 14 mm diameter model as well.

Kanilea Pen Company – In a short couple of years Hugh and Carol have really made an impact on the custom pen market and our community.  Their designs, company focus, packaging, conversational exchanges and everything about them carries a Hawaiian vibe.  This was a purchase I was on the fence on, for me the price of entry was stiff for an unknown brand, again, unknown to me. I read many positive reviews on their product and everyone said go see it in person.  I went to see them as my first stop when I got to the show on Friday. Hoping for the best  selection.  I can confirm the best photography cannot prepare you for what you experience in person. Within 30 seconds I fell off the aforementioned fence and knew I was going home with one. The harder part was picking which one.  Especially as they sold two others while I was standing there!  The model that took me awhile to decide on was the Kilauea.  It’s a stunning orange, grey and red swirls. Everyone I have show in to loves it and by mid Saturday all the Kilaueas they brought had been sold. I scored!

Carolina Pen Company – The now famous Jonathon Brooks @brooks_803 creates some of the most beautiful and creative use of color in resin pen blanks available today. So much so that several other custom pen manufacturers use the blank resins that Jonathon makes. He is also a very accomplished pen maker himself. I got a Charleston model fountain pen in a beautiful off-white color with some grey swirls and gold specks that you can see when you spin the pen. A very interesting finish. Jonathon also gets credit for the best line at the whole show “I own lots of women’s makeup”.  It brought the house down at the live Pen Addict podcasts.  He was referring to how he gets much of the color into his pen blank creations but you can imagine the context of the comment.

Wrap up

I brought home more than I expected to. I will need a better plan for DC or restrict my visit to fly in grab what I can in 15 minutes, hug Brad and leave.  I already look forward to next year and I might even do the weekend trader pass!  If you have a show in your area or have the means to get to one I encourage you to make all efforts to go. If you’re not a big social person that’s ok, you WILL still enjoy the show. If you like chatting with other pen nerds, count on learning something and gaining new friends in this wonderful community.

The links above are for reference only. I tried to link to the product and dealer that I bought from at the show. I would purchase from all of them again but there is no affiliation other than that. Pricing should not be assumed the lowest available.

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Cognitive Surplus Journal Review

I am in a comfort zone with paper. I have my brands that I like but I’m always open to try new things. Cognitive Surplus is a company that offers recycled paper journals in some really cool covers and 4 different configurations. Besides being a unique name I had not heard of them before as a force in the paper or journal space. I’m glad they found me. They were kind enough to send over a couple of their journals for me to try out. A Hypothesis and an Experiment. I love the names and they offer two other variants as well called Test and Theory. See the whole line here.

I hope you’ll stay a minute and read about my experience with these two.

Size

Both of my review samples are slight variations of the A5 size. The hard cover is a little bigger than the paper itself and the soft cover is flush with the paper measuring in at 6 ¾” x 8 7/8”.

The soft cover Experiment is 112 pages coming out to ¼” thick and the hardcover Hypothesis with 192 pages pushes out to 5/8” thick.
Price

  • $18.95 Hard cover Hypothesis
  • $10.95 Soft cover Experiment

Covers

I’m not a flashy guy and typically I don’t buy printed cover journals but I’m glad the Cognitive Surplus team jolted my norm a little bit. They have a big selection of attractive covers with a wide appeal that does not really cater specifically to a masculine or feminine style. I would have a hard time selecting just one from their selection but I will admit to an affinity to bicycles from fond memories of my youth. Nice catch here. My other cover was Crustaceans & Echinoderms with an ocean theme in a pleasant greenish blue tone. They don’t do plain and now that I have carried the Bicycle version around for a couple of days I recall some comments from others about me stepping up my fashion game a bit. Although if you’ve seen my wardrobe you would have doubts, but a cool looking journal can’t hurt.

Construction, fit and finish are excellent and I tested the advertised waterproofness on the hard cover Hypothesis. The small puddle of water I put on the cover and let sit for a minute or two wiped right off with no trace.

Binding

The Hypothesis is a classic book bound style. It’s promoted as lay flat and it lays as flat as any similarly bound journal that I have used. Don’t expect spiral notebook type lay flat with any of them.

The Experiment soft cover model is 4 groups of pages folded over then those groups looked to be glued together. This type of binding construction helps it lay flatter I’m sure. You also get a little slimmer and lighter weight journal with the soft cover if space and carry weight is a consideration.

Paper

Cool covers are nice but the paper is where any journal has to deliver for me. I like purchasing recycled products in multiple consumer product categories but writing on recycled paper usually is not pleasant with anything wetter than a ball point.

Cognitive Surplus says their product is fountain pen friendly and I would agree. They suggest, with printing on the vertical belly band packaging, For best results use a small to medium tip fountain pen. That’s a good suggestion but by no means a requirement. You can see in my writing sample everything worked very well. The only ghosting I got was from my fire hose writing broad Faber-Castell Ondoro. Some thicker paper has fallen victim to it before so I will give kudos to Cognitive Surplus for their 80 GSM choice. Common with recycled paper is the off-white color. No surprises here and the tone is pleasant enough.

An additional feature of the paper is it’s FSC-Certified. The (FSC) Forest Stewardship Council is an organization that promotes and educates in the area of maintaining sustainable forestry. There are different levels of certifications within the FSC and I applaud Cognitive Surplus for their environmental contribution.

My review samples came with college ruling with 9/32” spacing. The line printing is consistent all the way to the edges and they looks like a medium shade of a forest green. It’s pleasing to the eye and well defined. The Experiment is lined on the front and the back. The option I tried on the Hypothesis is lined on the right, blank on the left.

Writing

Cognitive Surplus has done their research and produced the best recycled paper I have ever written on. The paper they have chosen has texture and you can feel it when you write, not nib drag or friction but a tactical feel that’s different from some of the popular brands’ coated paper. I liked it, coated paper is nice for its slickness and near impenetrability but drying time almost always suffers. The drying time for the Hypothesis and Experiment, with no smudging, was at 15 seconds. I have waited minutes for coated paper.

Conclusion

Thank you Cognitive Surplus for sending me out of my comfort zone with a splash of color in a quality journal. If environmental support is a passion for you I don’t think you’ll do any better with a recycled paper product that these. If the recycled thing is not a hot button for you I would still encourage you to give these a try. A quality product, at a fair price, with a wide array of cover choices and just enough customization on the inside to help you work like you want to.

Thanks again to Cognitive Surplus, I am still enjoying my time with the Hypothesis and Experiment.

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Kaweco Traveler Case Review

Besides great pens Kaweco continues to venture out with accessories and products for the writer in all of us. Most of us don’t carry just a single pen so we end up with some type of pen case. The Kaweco Traveler Case I recently tried out proved to be a quality participant.front-closed

  • Weight 5.5 oz.
  • Depth: 1.5”
  • Length: 4.5”
  • Width: 6.25”
  • Price: $115

CONSTRUCTION

The leather construction is typical Kaweco high quality and surrounds a well-executed design case. The finish and feel is rich and should hold up well. The light color will probably show some daily travel patina but your pens will stay healthy inside. The zippered closure on three sides allows the case to open completely flat

back-closed

branding

flapWHAT’S INSIDE

Inside there are 6 elastic loops to hold a good collection of daily carries securely. The loops are close together and to fit 6 pens in a compact footprint your pens are snug. That’s good but if you are particular about your pens rubbing and you carry clipped or larger diameter pens you might consider taking a little bit of time in positioning each pen. Not a big deal or a negative of the case just a design consideration. A leather flap adds further protection in the event you want to stuff the case with other supplies.

full-openThe mesh pocket on the inside front cover is perfect to add that one other pen you need, ink cartridges or other small items that might help you prevent carrying another case or reducing the load in your pockets.

mesh-pocketIN USE

6 Kaweco Sports look great in this case and Kaweco was smart, they kept a small profile product that will carry other small to medium size pens in this case. The largest I see fitting is a Karas Kustoms Retrakt. That covers a broad selection of pen brands and model sizes to meet your daily carry needs.

6-kawecos-no-flap 6-kawecos-with-flap 6-other-pensCONCLUSION

Kaweco has put together a quality leather case that should stand up to daily wear very well. If your needs are carrying 6 pens or less, a compact design and a classy look and feel the Kaweco Traveler’s Case would fit you very well. Thanks Kaweco for sending this loaner over for me to try out.

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Galen Leather Moleskine Cover

Overall FrontI have never traveled outside the United States. My leisure time and resources available usually keeps my travel focused on many places in the US that I still want to visit. I know that limits my outlook and experiences and nothing proves that more than the pen hobby that many of us share. Such an international scope of enthusiasts of all things writing related. Recently a brother and sister team of leather artisans that make beautifully products under the Galen Leather name contacted me from Turkey. I was elated they found my little spot on the internet.

I became a fortunate recipient of their recent marketing blitz to promote their products that they have marketed through various outlets for several years. I have one of their Large Moleskine Covers that I would probably call a notebook cover as it works with any A5 5×8’ish notebooks that I tried.

  • Made from veg tanned bridle leather
  • Available in 13 colors, yes one three!
  • Overall Size is 6.7 x 9.1 inches and more on that later
  • $65.00

Packaging

Galen Leather went an extra mile on the packaging. They subscribe to giving the customer a wow moment as you open up any of their products. Gifting of a Galen Leather product would be a great experience for the receiver and giver. You get a little bit of the company’s story and a card filled out with the information on your product. All in a heavy weight box with tasteful printing on the outside that gives you the first impression that Quality is on the inside. That first impression is right.

box1box2Overall Construction Fit and Finish

Galen Leather uses thick leather, really thick. I was surprised that even as thick as it is it’s not stiff or rough. This is not a minimalist notebook cover, you know what your holding is built to last. The finish is beautifully uniform, the stitching is even and matches the strength you feel in the overall notebook. Burnished edges give a very finished look to the cover.

edge1edge2stitichingIn use

The Galen Leather website gives some great examples of what they were thinking when they were designing the cover. Inside pockets are well designed and functionally placed to store business cards, other small notebooks or just scraps of notes that usually get accumulated with daily use. Even the iPad mini or similar sized devices are figured into the design. The pen loop is nice and stretchy to hold big pens if that’s your fancy and I like the big pens.

inside1inside leftinside rightThe belly band is a vertical orientation in a complimenting color and quite stretchy. On the inside it goes through the back cover of your A5 sized notebook of your choice. I’m using it with my current daily journal by Shinola. The other side of the band can be used to stretch over the front and keep the notebook safely closed during travels. As mentioned above the heft of this notebook could survive a lot of traveling around while protecting the inside. I don’t use the band to keep the cover shut so I enjoy the full beauty of the leather cover sitting on my desk.

backI did find the wide spine a little unusual at first but now I think I have picked up on a great design feature. Looking at the cover it’s 6.7” x 9.1”. Not a lot of extra space on the height but the width really gives you room for other paper and notebooks you may like to carry or a big pen will ride easily in the large spine area. Most of the other notebook covers I own fit the traditional A5 size almost perfectly and that’s fine but it limits other things you might find yourself carrying outside your notebook. The Galen Leather just has more capacity, even some examples on their website with a tablet.

Conclusion

I like it, I really like it. I have been using it mated up to my daily journal and slowly finding other things to carry along with it. The construction gives a rich look and I’m sure a long useful life.

Visit Galen Leather and see their whole product line, I don’t think you will be disappointed with any of their products.

Other blogger Reviews

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Visconti 3 Pen Case Review

A pen hobby can only be enjoyed if you have pens with you. Depending on your activities during waking hours many of us will have different needs for pen carry. This could be a shirt pocket, pants pocket, bag or purse or any number of options for a single pen. Being pen nuts most of us carry more than 1 pen so besides integrated pen sleeves in a briefcase or bag the pen case business is growing with many options for us.

I have eyed the Visconti line of cases for several years now but never pulled the trigger. I recall once even adding it to my online cart but before checkout something else got priority funding and I went without this Italian version of a classy carry.

Recently The Pen Company sent over a 3 pen version for me to try out. Now my daily commute is quite utilitarian so my pen carrying needs have been adequately cared for with an open pen case that my sister made me some time ago. I go from my house to the car, drive to my office and have very few needs to leave the office until the end of my work day

I have been carrying the Visconti case now for a few weeks and I have really grown to like it.

Front

  • Available in Black, Black or Black
  • Available in 1, 2, 3 or 6 pen capacity models
  • $73 (3 pen model)
  • 2 7/8” wide
  • 6 3/8” long
  • 1 1/8” thick

My Shawn Newton Shinobi, Visconti Home Sapien Maxi and Visconti Divina, all larger pens, are currently in residency. The Shinobi is probably the biggest pen I would carry in it. Coming in right at 6”, I consider it a big pen. I think you get a tiny bit more room from the middle slot due to the slight corner curves in the body of the case. The Shinobi will fit in all three slots but I reserve the middle slot for it. Toothpick not included.

Hood Open Space AvailableConstruction Fit and Finish

Visconti never disappoints here. A smooth black leather outside with a tight black felt on the inside for all surfaces that touch your pens. The interior has three slots with two full height dividers that keep all three pens away from each other. The clip on your pen is not utilized for the encasement..

InsideA chrome zipper pull, chrome V medallion on the front and the Visconti logo embossed on the back of the case wrap up a very attractive package for work or play. Tasteful without being in your face gaudy.

SIde Front2 Back LogoIn Use

The zipper is smooth and extends about 2/3rds of the way down both long sides and across the top. Fully unzipped your access to the pens is easy without requiring any balancing act to prevent any of the pens from falling out.

The opening is the coolest part to me. Visconti has creased the front cover somehow to make a natural bend point in the case and it opens almost like a car hood. After opening the hood the pens are easy to remove and even easier to put back in. Here again the 6” Shinobi is probably the maximum you want in here. 6 1/8” would probably fit but the removal is going to get slowed down with anything over 6” as the pen needs to be angled slightly to get it out.

Hood Open2Conclusion

Many thanks to The Pen Company for sending this great case over for review. I will probably own a 6 pen version one day as I find myself wanting more than 3 pens inked up at a time. I lasted a month carrying a single pen but I find more enjoyment throughout the day with a variety.

Remember: Write something nice……

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Friends of Type Postcards Review

Cover

I’ve been on a postcards kick lately as my inventory of stationery has dwindled and my discretionary income has been mostly allocated to the Christmas season. In the past I would pick up a batch of vintage Florida postcards from eBay or a few antique shops I’ve been in sell them as well. Usually the linen stock is good for the ink and pen options I choose. A postcard send I like is when I meet someone new I will ask them where they are from or even where they live currently if they are visiting from out of state. I go over to eBay and invariably there will be a vintage postcard from that city or town. I order it and in a couple of weeks I get a call from my new acquaintance about how much they enjoyed the postcard. A bit more expensive than the required $.36 stamp but generally a bargain to put a smile on somebody’s face. Plus if it’s a business or networking connection, they will remember you.

Besides the slight difference in postage I find my message is different sometimes too with postcards. My words are a little more guarded since the audience is potentially wide open. It also makes getting a card or two off quickly easier when I may not have the time for a longer letter. I still think it beats an email for the personal touch.

MY NEW COLLECTION

Listening to a recent Pen Addict podcast I heard about this batch of postcards sold as a set from Friends of Type. Friends of Type is a group of designers that got together, I believe on a casual basis, and in their spare time they doodle these works of art using creative typefaces. They blog over at friendsoftype.com .

Some of the cards are fun phrases, others are sentimental and some are just a single word. A really great variety that I find myself thumbing through frequently to think about how to tie in a complimenting thought or story to send to someone I’ve been thinking about for one reason or another.

Samples

Back

The paper stock they chose is fountain pen friendly which is nice. I think it’s coated with something so expect, and plan, for a little bit of an extended dry time with wet writers. I usually compose it and then just leave it on my desk to dry instead of taking it direct to the post box.

The cards come in an attractive storage box that has since become home to a few other miscellaneous post cards I had waiting to be used. The Friends of Type team organized them into categories which saves you a little time picking one out.

  • Salutations
  • Optimism
  • Audio / Visual
  • Affections
  • Strong Language
  • Correspondence
  • Introspection
  • Encouragement
  • Destination
  • Just For Fun

Tabs

The strong language editions I could have done without but the work is still beautiful, I’m just probably an overly conservative crotchety old man. I’ll give these away to the first interested party that responds (they have been spoken for).

CONCLUSION

With 100 cards under $20, fountain pen friendly stock, famous designers and an excuse to exercise your brain to match your quips with theirs. What’s not to love ?

Get you a set at the Friends of Type store or from Amazon here

So are you a postcard sender?

Remember: Write something nice……

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