Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bindewerk in detail

I took some more time recently to have a more detailed look at the Bindewerk journal I purchased last week.

Bindewerk Journal, size A5

I have to say it again, the outside is flawless. The cover is made of yellow printed cloth and thick coated paper. There also is an elastic closure in a matching orange tone. It's well bound and will ly flat when opened. Bindewerk products are handmade in Southern Germany but they have a highly professional look about them, everything looks and feels perfectly in place.

At the inside there's 288 pages of 90 gsm cream colored paper. They're offering plain and ruled sheets. The paper has a slight vergé texture but it's really very subtle - I'm not a fan of papers where this effect is so strong you feel the ups and downs with your pen.

Writing samples in the Bindewerk journal - front side

Ink tolerance, sadly, is so-so. This is a quick test run with three different pens, I've done some more samples afterwards and the outcome seems to depend strongly on the ink. The first and the third sample showed some feathering and the lines appeared much broader than they really are - which might become even more apparent when I say that the first and the third pen have B nibs which don't look narrower than the O3B in the middle.

The unexpected "winner" here is Private Reserve's "Electric DC Blue" as it behaves really well on this paper, the nib writes a relatively true line and it's also less prone to bleedthrough than the other inks.

Writing samples in the Bindewerk journal - back side

Especially Waterman's Florida Blue bleeds a lot on this paper, Iroshizuku ku-jaku not so much but there are still traces of it which probably will become more prominent when the ink is used in a wetter pen. Electric DC Blue alone comes clean. As the paper soaks up the ink pretty quickly many shading effects will be lost, so will be sheen effects - on the upside the ink dries really quickly. Well...

Conclusion: You can use a fountain pen in this journal, but not any pen nor any ink. Pity! Spring is finally here though and the weather's too good to be annoyed by a journal. Better to go out. Write, read, draw. Watch the cherry blossoms tumble to the ground in the warm air. Eat ice cream. Go shopping. Whatever!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Let's go to the papeterie

... because there's hardly any paper left!

Or is there?

In my last post I rambled about how great the internet is - and I'm definitely going to stick with my opinion here, however, no online shop can be as great as your small, crammed papeterie store where you can uncover all sorts of paper goodness. A few days ago I found one of these stores nearby. It was an enchanting experience (especially since I find most large stores rather disappointing in this respect). There were, of course, notebooks, greeting cards, photo albums of all kinds, there were notepads, gift wraps, pens - even a few fountain pens (by Lindauer). There were also paper lamps and all kinds of cute little gadgets. They even had a small selection of writing paper.

Here's what I brought home:

Bindewerk A5 journal
Beautiful yellow journal by Bindewerk from Bavaria, size A5 with lined pages. Flawless look and feel, haven't gotten around to testing the paper yet but it also feels good.

Letter writing set "Insects" by Le Typographe (A5)

Note pad (A5) and envelopes by Le Typographe, Belgium. White, exquisite feeling, watermarked paper with a little insect print on top of every page and each envelope. I'll definitely be on the lookout for other products by this brand, looks very interesting to me.

Also I found more writing paper sets, one with Vergé paper and a print of princes and princesses, the other plain ruled paper and envelopes with a map print on the inside.

It's awesome to browse offline stores for these kinds of things, touch book covers, dig for treasures on the lower shelves. Thank you, real life. ;-)

Are there any such stores in your area? Do you like to shop there?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bye bye, black turtle!

Letting one of my Nakayas go...

The internet! It has made my pen collection larger and more diverse than it would ever have been without. In fact, without the internet I may never have encountered the kinds of pens I'm really into and not started accumulating any at all. You see things, you want to have them (happens to me all the time anyway), it's a curse as well as a blessing. A few days ago, however, someone posted a pen for sale which I've wanted for quite a long time - and wanted to trade for something I, incidentally, had and would not miss too much!

I like my Nakayas, but they will be here for a long time (or so I hope). I'll always be able to get a new one and there are others to play with. But getting one of those grail pens by trade, that opportunity wouldn't occur all the time.

Enough text - here's the pen which is getting a new home soon. The pictures are not of the usual quality because I only had access to a phone camera, but it should give an impression.

Nakaya Portable Writer tame-sukashi "Black Turtle"

It's a Portable Writer with a tame-sukashi design which is called the "Black Turtle". I love tame-sukashi, the subtlety of it and how you still can perceive a shimmer when moving the pen in the hand. This was my first tame-sukashi pen (I have now two left) and has become my least favorite one, mainly because of the clip. It pains me to admit it but I haven't written with that one for at least a year.

Nakaya Portable Writer tame-sukashi "Black Turtle"

The Montblanc Agatha Christie I'll be getting in return (plus something extra which I'll put to good use as well) is my first and probably only pen of that kind. It was issued years before I had an intense interest in fountain pens so of course I missed it and prices have skyrocketed since then. So I've watched it from afar... until lately.

Thank you, Internet! Offline, finding an opportunity like that would've been much more unlikely.

Agatha is currently inked with Iroshizuku yu-yake, her broad nib being a smooth and luscious writer. No pictures just yet because I'm redecorating my photo space this weekend - and not willing to ruin the experience with phone pictures again - but soon. (I also haven't forgotten about the pictures of the Pelikan Sunlight!)

Have you ever traded pens or something else? What was it? Are you still happy with it?