31 July 2016

The Signature Pen

When I first started looking for and defining my signature pen, several people asked me, "Well, which of your pens is your favorite", or "Which pen do you use the most" almost always ending with "use THAT as your signature pen".  I have a lot of pens, so I can definitely see why someone could question my need for another. So, at the risk of sounding pedantic, I am looking for a pen whose main job is to be used for my signature... not a pen that IS my signature piece.  As horrible as it sounds, I don't know that I could make one of my current pens into a signature pen, because it would feel like I was picking a favorite child or something... gosh I hope my actual children never read this ... I love you guys :-)

I am not a famous author... or a famous... anything... for that matter, nor am I just that vain.  I have used fountain pens for over 20 years, but have only recently gotten back into calligraphy.  While the broader pens make up most of my stable, I have never really gotten into crisp italics because they do not work with my cursive, I blame Zaner-Bloser.

Enter the epic Pilot Parallels.

These little pens are what made me dig out my dip pens.  They are certainly not a replacement for dip pens, but they are sweet little things.  BUT, their greatest act was making my signature look awesome... so maybe I am a little bit vain.

I have spent the better part of the last decade as an educator, so signing my name is a common occurrence, and I did not really feel like it would be wise to carry around a Pilot Parallel all day.  I can tell you what pens I used to sign our marriage certificate, birth certificates, Baptismal records, love letters to my Wife, letters to friends (particularly after they have past), and so, as I thought about having a pen that would be used to provide uniformity to my signature and link the things I have signed, I did want it to have some presence.

While I have many pens, and have more than I should inked at any given time, I do not have any that serve only one purpose; even the pen that is filled with Iron Gall ink is not relegated to only address envelopes,  it gets a turn to stretch its legs.  For this reason, I did not want an italic nib.  I decided on a classy stub.

I toyed with a custom pen, I looked at several brands that had factory stub nibs, and (probably influenced by my recent love affair with the London Fog) I decided I wanted a Visconti to fill the void.  I was almost swayed by a few beautiful MontBlancs, and an older Pelikan.

So, whilst browsing Chatterley Luxuries to find a moderately priced stub nib, I came across the Visconti-Chatterley Desert Opera 10th Anniversary Limited Edition ST Fountain Pen.  I really do love the Desert Springs material in the Divina, so this was not a hard sell.

I messaged back and forth with Bryant about what I wanted with the pen, and he said he would find the prettiest one he had.  As an afterthought, I sent a messaged him and told him that if no7 was nice, I would love to have it.  The response I got from Bryant was wonderful... He said that when he went back to see if they had no7, his wife had already picked out the one that she thought had the best pattern, and it happened to be no7!  What are the odds.

The shipping was prompt, the pen had been tested and wrote beautifully.  I was really surprised by two things, the first was the blue enamel in the clip and the second was how well the stub wrote.  My experience, even with higher end brands, has been that when you get larger than a medium nib, they are prone to at least a little baby's bottom.... this had none.

It is a cartridge/converter, but I am not horrible bothered by that.  I felt a little better about putting Noodler's Liberty's Elysium in it because it is much easier to clean out.  Also, it is the nicest converter I have ever used.  It screws into the pen, and it aesthetically very pleasing, with the silver trim and subtle branding.

The packaging is always nice from Visconti, a grey lacquered box.  

The silver grip does not get slippery for me... although as you can see... it attracts fingerprints like nothing else.  

The desert springs material is GORGEOUS!!!  I wish I could take a picture that really captured it.  

In conclusion, I found a pen that not only suits my vanity and makes my signature beautiful, but is one that I genuinely like to write with.  The price was great, and fit in my budget from other pens I had to sell.  It is not my favorite pen, but I have no problem keeping it constantly inked and it will keep a place in my pen pouch.  I was not disappointed in the least, but I still enjoy using a regular nib for general writing... I am not saying that this is the only stub nib I will ever buy, but even if it is, I am happy I have this one.

Na ZdravĂ­!

29 June 2016

Visconti London Fog --- Get Excited

So, got this in today from Appelboom. This is not a review yet. I have only had it for an hour. I will say this is the first pen I have ever gotten that looks better in person than the stock photos. Enjoy the eye-candy!!! These are not done with the good camera.... those will come with a review.