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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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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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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‘…back to the roots’ – testing small portable notebooks – Part 5. ‘…If You Only Knew The Power Of The Dark Star’

Continuing my little journey with pocket notebooks I kindly received for testing from Pocket Notebooks (UK) I got hands finally on Dark Star notebook made by UK based company (in Wales) who creates hand made notebooks.

Dark Star offers few different designs. Pocket notebook I received is called Nomad. They are available as set of three and cost in the UK  £ 8.0.

 

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‘…back to the roots’ – testing small portable notebooks – Part 4. ‘Back to basics’

Clairefontaine notebooks pads and exercise books own reputation of  having one of the best paper around for writing and their products are well acclaimed in the world of fountain pen enthusiasts.

To celebrate the history of the brand, Clairefontaine has reinvented recently original notebook covers they made with a modern touch.  The 1951 Retro Nova series combines legacy of the original covers and beautifully smooth paper Clairefontaine is famous for, which resulted in a high quality moder-retro looking notebooks.

Clairefontaine 1951 Reto Nova pocket notebooks are available in six different colours and three vintage patterns:  ‘parallèles’, ‘nouvelle vague’ and ‘arlequin”. Notebook I kindly obtained for review from Pocket Notebooks (UK) is purple ‘nouvelle vague’.

 

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‘…back to the roots’ – testing small portable notebooks – Part 3. ‘Retro-story’ to tell

Story Supply Co. is a small stationary company based in York, Pennsylvania who creates an interesting  packet staple notebooks, sketchbooks, pencils  and other stationary related items . Basically ‘analog tools for storytellers‘ to allow capture great ideas, designs and of course stories. I like that approach.

Importantly Story Supply Co. has also an interesting ‘story’ to tell. They partner up with several organisations who support free tutoring and provide high quality programs to students in the neighbourhoods where support is really needed.  So, whenever you purchase notebooks from them, they will send a ‘Story Supply Kit‘ to a kid which might have an interesting story to tell. What a great idea! More about Story Supply Kit program you will find on their website here. Cool stuff.

OK, let’s talk about notebooks created by Story Supply Co.

The one I was kindly supplied for this review by Pocket Notebooks (UK)  is available as a set of 3 on sell under pretty good price (£ 11.0 UK or  $ 10.0 in the US directly from the manufacturer).

 

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