LAMY Aion (black)

Few weeks ago, Lamy has introduced a new pen called Lamy Aion. It’s pure and quite minimalistic look, which is is rather characteristic to Lamy in general had been achieved by British designer Jasper Morrison. When I have seen it first time at the London Writing Equipment Show in October at the Write Here desk, it really brought my attention. I like simple, but at the same time functional designs. Moreover, when I tested it, I was really positively surprised how well and smoothly EF nib it had performed.

The entire body of the Lamy Aion is made from aluminium, except clip. The surface of the entire pen is matt-black anodic coated which is nicely contrasting with glossy clip and nib. The coating gives pretty and an interesting lightly abrasive feel. Some people says that this to some extent reminds them a fine nail polish and in fact you can use it like that if you really but really need it…(please don’t!) It may give an impression that pen is not slippery, somehow similar to Makrolon® used  in Lamy 2000, but Lamy 2000 is a completely different experience (the price tag too). However, the coating on Lamy Aion is very resistant to scratches, which is great if you work in the conditions and environment which is not necessarily good for fountain pens.  Interestingly, the way the barrel and the section are brushed and coated is slightly different, which makes these two parts of the pen distinguishable.  Some people will find it not right and some would not mind at all. Personally, I am on the fences, but I understand the idea behind. However, capped it looks consistent. The grip section is slightly tapered down and is comfortable to use.

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Diamine Shimmmering inks – 2017 Edition. An overview

…Shiny…Watch me dazzle like a diamond in the rough Strut my stuff; my stuff is so… Shiny

Well, well, well….Here it is – Shimmeristic ink 2017 edition from Diamine. To be absolutely honest, I was wondering 2-3 months ago if Diamine is going to release more glittery inks this year and obviously they did. This makes now 32 shimmering inks in total, which is a lot (please check my previous reviews here and here). Is it good? well, depending on point of view. Each batch released this year and last two years offer vast selection of colours mixed with either silver or gold particles suspended in the bas ink, so everyone could easily pick favourable colour. However, if you are new to shimmering inks such large collection may be overwhelming and cause a headache if you like to pick only one.

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Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Coral Chase

I must admit, I was very lucky to get this pen at 2017 London Writing Equippment Show (LWES). This stuff was hot and all were gone quickly. You may ask, why is that? What is so cool about it that it was sold out? Well, the reason is, that on one specific stand number of Conklin pens including Duragraph, All American and Mark Twain series were on sell for £10.0 ! Yes – £10.0. This is amazing price bearing in mind that these pens are significantly more expensive (this Mark specific Twain is around £160.0). Simply, it was to silly not to buy one. I already have All American Yellowstone, which I use regularly and I was always wondering about Mark Twain series with an iconic Conklin’s ‘crescent’ filling system, which made this company famous in the past.

The model I picked is a beautiful orange Mark Twain Coral Chase.

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Shimmer and Shine, inky divine – De Atramentis Pearlescent inks

Autumn and Winter seem to be a good seasons for glittery inks. I am not sure why is that, but this is how I found it over last few years. It is almost tradition now that ink manufacturer like Diamine releases set of new shimmeristic colours around this period. This just happened making respectable set of 30+ Diamine Shimmeristic inks in totalz. J Herbin has different strategy here and they are releasing only one ink per year, but long awaited colour of 1670 series. We are almost floded with glittery shiny inks this year, but obviously it has to be a large demand for such specific inks, so another brand is trying to step in and be recognised in this field. More specyfically – De Atramentis with their collection of Pearlescent inks. Accordingly, to the De Atramentis website, they offer currently ten different colours where each of them has three variations depending on what type of flecks (silver, gold or copper) are suspended in it. This makes 30 inks already, which I personally found a lot! Cool thing about these inks in general is that different particles are changing the overall shade of the base colour, sometimes significantly. Silver particles give frosty cold appearance, whereas Gold and Copper are much warmer.

Thanks to Scribble at UnitedInkdom I received 9 of them to play: Camelien Red, Brilliant Violet, Cyan Blue and Amber Yellow.

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Is Wing Sung 698 any good?

Last week when I visited London for Writing Equipment Show, I played a little with Wing Sung 698 . I have seen many comments about this pen before, but actually I never had one in my hands (thanks Vijay!). All people who are familiar with TWSBI pens will quickly find out that Wing Sung 698 is reminiscent to TWSBI flagship model 580 Diamond and maybe a little to TWSBI Eco. I was very positively surprised by its performance, so just after LWES meeting I decided to pull the trigger and I ordered one from Ebay to give it a go.

The model I ordered is a clear demonstrator. There are other options available too. As I mentioned the first impression is: gosh this looks like TWSBI!…and indeed it does. They are not exactly the same fountain pens but striking similarities are obviously there.

Similarly, to TWSBI Diamond 580, Wing Sung is a piston fill fountain pen. This seems to be incredibly interesting aspect, because piston filling mechanism is not what you will be expecting to see in a pen which costs between £ 10.5 -14.00 (incl. shipping!). The pen is made from clear plastic material which does not feel very cheap but is still it does not feel lik TWSBI 580 or Vac 700, however is not much different from TWSBI Eco.

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London Writing Equippment Show (LWES) 2017

Similarly to the last year, 2017 London’s Writing Equipment Show (LWES) which is called by many as London Pen Show was held in Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury, Coram Street which is minutes’ walk from London Kings Cross station. Because I travel from Cambridge this location is very convenient for me. I like easy to achieve missions – Enter the train, read a book for 40 minutes, leave the train…have a 10 minutes of refreshing walk and suddenly I am at the venue…pish pash posh….

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My impressions on Platinum Classic (‘iron gall’) inks

Hello. It was very busy summer, which unfortunately is nearly finished. Due to amount of day job workflow I had,  I was a little bit quiet on ClumsyPenman site recently. But it does not mean, that I was not working on my reviews. In fact, I was working a lot and I will be posting many hopefully interesting things in next coming weeks. Today is one of them. Platinum Classic Series Inks. I hope you will enjoy it.  Here it is.

 

Earlier this year Platinum has announced and introduced set of six new inks which really brought my attention. Most of the colours in the new ‘Classic’ line are earthy and natural looking muted shades of green, brown, sepia, burgundy and yellow, which I really like. There is no secret that I love earthy colours. There is something cool about them and they usually look adorable on creamy/ivory toned paper….somehow ‘vintage’.

Another very interesting thing about this series is the fact that according to the Platinum  all of the inks are manufactured by the ‘traditional methods’ and more importantly they are gradually darkening overtime. This obviously screams – ‘Iron Gall’ inks, however Platinum never used this term on their website. I am not entirely sure how Platinum synthesize these inks but in the nut shell ‘iron gall’ inks are obtained from the chemical reaction of tannins extracted from galls (for instance oak) and aqueous solution of  iron (II) sulfate. Because formed Fe(+2) complex is quite unstable in oxygen condition the iron Fe(+2) atoms oxidise quickly to Fe(+3) which manifests by ink darkening. This effect is very similar to rust formation and corrosion we see around very often. To improve flow and other physical and chemical  properties binders such as Arabic gum, stabilisers, anti-mould reagents are often used.

This is an example how oxydation process occurs and how it is affecting the colour (note the video speed is 2x)

In general iron gall inks need to be used with caution, because their acidic pH can make an effect on metal parts of the pen (steel nib, metal section, etc). It was really a problem the past, but nowadays IG inks are significantly less ‘corrosive’, however I do not have any experimental pH data for this particular set so can not say for sure. As a general rule is rather recommended to maintain pen regularly (use and clean). It is also suggested not to use very expensive pens either. For more information about Iron Gall inks I would highly recommend to check irongall.org website.

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Robert Oster Signature – Ruthenium ink

Thanks to Roy from iZods Ink I was happy to review another Robert Oster’s ink called – Ruthenium. This is quite interesting colour, which is not that grey as you may assume keeping in mind that Ruthenium is a dark-silver metal (at certain conditions it has purplish hint).  The colour itself is rather matte purple grey, which to so me extend is resembling Robert Oster Signature – Barossa Grape ink. Therefore, Ruthenium seems to be slightly less purple and not that intense as Barossa Grape.  Interestingly in Ruthenium , purple tone is  much more pronounced  using wet nibs, whereas with finer nibs (or lighter strokes) ink looks greyish. There is a little bit of blue component. Similar inks are Herbin – Poussiere de Lune and Diamine -Damson.

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Legacy first! – Silvine Originals – a red notebook series

Silvine is a  British brand whose paper products are made in Yorkshire by well established (1837) manufacturer  – Sinclairs. The products line contains various types of notebooks, sketchpads, refill pads, writing paper, envelopes, cash books, etc. Silvine’s red notebooks line called Originals Collection  refers directly to the reinvented iconic British notebooks which had characteristic textured  red covers and were used and loved for decades by schoolchildren, artists, writers, craftsman and  shopkeepers in the UK since 1948.

Silvine Originals Collection contains five different size notebooks. This diverse collection is designed to tailor specifically different task and needs. It starts with handy Pocket notebook which can be easily kept in the shirt pocket and then increasing size gradually ending up at large Project netbook. All of them have common features, but each of them also differ from each other. I’ve already reviewed in depth ‘Pocket’ notebook (click here), so this following review is an extension to the previous one.   

Let’s start!

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Manuscript ML 1856 – Molten Lava – pen review

First time when I heard that Manuscript is working on  ‘luxury’ british-made fountain pens I was very intrigued, since I was always affiliating this company with relatively inexpensive calligraphy sets and other stationary related items you could buy here and there. Then, my curiosity raised up when I have seen first commercial pictures of the material and colours Manuscript is planning to use for these eye-candy creations. I must say – it looks very pretty.

ML 1856  is not officially released yet (May/June 2017). The retail price for fountain pen is planned to be around £ 125.0, which is not cheap but at the same time comparable with some competitor’s fountain pens in the market. There is already many discussions about this pen among fountain pen users and many of us is awaiting official release. Thanks to Manuscript I was lucky enough to put my hands on one of them before official release, test it hard and gather some ‘end user‘ thoughts.

Manuscript ML 1856 combines classic look and modern, contemporary material. ML1856 is designed for modern day-to-day penmanship. 

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