Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays

While The Connoisseurs celebrate Christmas, we know you may or may not, so here's a big, heartfelt "Happy Holidays" to you.
Santa brought Shay a new flex pen, and Nick, well, he pretty much got shafted.

Our families, however, were very kind and generous.

We are taking a bit of time off to celebrate with them, and enjoy each other and the dogs' company.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Also, Happy 2011! Can you believe it?!?!?!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Noodler's Flex Pen, AND Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses Ink

Well I can honestly say that I am thrilled with the new Noodler's Flex Nib Pen. The first time I filled it, I put the newest ink offering from Noodler's, Black Swan in Australian Roses in. Using this pen to the maximum potential took some getting used to, but WOW! I still cannot say that I know what I am doing, but the learning curve with this pen isn't bad at all. This is the first time I have ever used a flex nib, and the experience has been more than rewarding.

I wrote my review the first night I had the pen, so it is not the greatest representation of what this pen is capable of. On the other hand, I feel like this pen is kind of intended for folks who don't have a lot of experience with Flex pens, so an honest portrayal of what things are like starting out is fitting. I wasn't sure if I would like a flex nib or not. I did not want to have to alter my writing to fit one pen. I do feel that this pen can be used reasonably without having to slow down so much that it makes letter-writing or journaling a pain. When you do slow down though, oh my! The line variation between flexed and un-flexed just looks outstanding. While we here at The Poor Connoisseurs are indeed poor, I didn't feel too terrible chancing $14 on a pen I wasn't sure if I would like. Having tried it now, $14 is an ABSOLUTE STEAL! This has pretty much become my favorite pen, although my dear Sheaffer is still amazing. People seem to either love this pen or are completely unimpressed. Count me in with the former crowd. The nib does give a "rail roading" effect when it is fully flexed and moves too quickly. As I have learned to use it more, this has lessened, but I don't really mind it, and I think the effect looks cool.

The Flex pen is a piston filler, and it was also my first experience with that type of filling system. I was quite content with my cartridge/converter fill pens, because they are easy to refill and clean using the Private Reserve Syringe kit. I was not looking forward to empty/fill with water/rinse/repeat schtick to clean this Noodler's pen. I did my first routine last night, and I was pleasantly surprised! The pen came clean without too much hassle, and the nib and feed were also very easy to remove, which sped things along nicely.
I have since refilled with J. Herbin 1670, and that ink looks stunning as well. I did have a problem starting it up today, so how big of an issue that is remains to be seen. I never had a problem with Black Swan.

Which brings me to the ink! It is also a very nice offering from Noodler's! From what I gather, the intent with this ink was to shade like crazy, and that it does. This ink goes from a very dark, almost black color, to dark purple, then burgundy, then mauve. The effects with the Noodler's Flex pen are just epic. On the really dark, wet strokes, the ink does feather just a bit (even on Rhodia), but you don't really notice it unless you're examining very closely. This ink is not waterproof and the drying time is pretty long when very wet (we're talking minutes). In fact, I had written a card to my mother, and certain spots wouldn't dry at all. I had to carefully blot them with some cheap copy paper. Even with the slight "downfalls" of this ink, it is gorgeous, and I intend to purchase a full bottle (I initially only got a sample).

On Rhodia No. 18:

On HP 28lb. (My Goulet Invoice!)

And now a better picture, figuring out how to really use this thing:

And finally, with the J. Herbin 1670:


I recommend both the Flexy pen and Black Swan wholeheartedly, and both can be purchased from The Goulet Pen Company, if you are lucky enough to find these in stock before every one else snatches them up. =)

Many flexy returns,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Private Reserve Ebony Blue Fountain Pen Ink

I ordered this ink based on the rumors that it possessed a special quality. Even at the Goulet Swab Shop, you can see the rumored "red sheen". Now, I haven't quite gotten that effect very much in person, though I have gotten it to show up in SOME macro shots I have taken of this ink. I may have been disappointed in this ink because it wasn't as multi-dimensional as I had hoped, BUT... I love the color!
Most people would think "Ebony Blue" would denote a very dark blue, blue-black, or midnight blue color. I didn't find that to be the case with this ink. To me, it is a very dark teal. There is some green in this "blue", and personally, I like that. I'm a big fan of teal, but Private Reserve Blue Suede (another misnomer) is a bit too bright for me to use this time of year. Of course I say that, but I currently have Iroshizuku Tsutsuji and Noodler's Dragon's Napalm inked up, ha!
ANYWAY- This is a nice ink, despite the shyness of its red sheen. It seems a little dry in my Lamy Safari, but most inks do. It is dark enough to be used professionally, and would add a nice touch of personalization to your work. This ink screams "I am unique and came from a fountain pen". I expect that effect would be exaggerated if you could find a wet enough pen to show off the red aspect. Ebony Blue is not waterproof, but wasn't the worst performer of those I have tested.

I would most certainly recommend adding this ink to your arsenal, particularly if you are a fan of blues, greens, or blue/greens!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Technical Difficulties

Please stand by folks.
The Poor Connoisseurs are having technical difficulties.
Last night, the hub of our modest blog, our desktop PC, contracted computer rabies, and had to be put down.
Damn Facebook.
So, we are getting a new tower tomorrow, and hopefully I will be able to bring you more news soon. Unfortunately, I lost all of the scans I had loaded up and edited for ink reviews. This sets me back quite a bit, especially since a glass of water spilled on my desk and ruined most of my hard copies of written reviews! I also have more new inks coming in. Though they are mostly just samples, I can still review them! I don't know what I will get done first, or where to even begin really, but I promise I will be back with some substance before you know it.


Friday, December 3, 2010


I just wanted to say "Thank You!" to my good friend Trevor for the updated graphic. Much better, methinks!