Ink Drop Soup: More Pens to Throw Money At

22 05 2015

Two new crowdfunding pens to throw on your radar. Will you risk your hard-earned moneydollars? PERHAPS!

winkpenFirst up, the WINKpen. It’s got nine days left and still about $17,000 to go, so I’m starting to get a little worried that I won’t get mine. But if it makes its funding goal, caps will be included now for no extra charge. It’s a glass nib fountain pen (not a dip pen), and it would give me a use for those rare times I end up with spare coffee beans. And all this wine I’ve accumulated. Yeah, it’s not just for regular fountain pen ink—the name came from being designed to use wine as ink.

Read more and/or back the WINKPen on Kickstarter

-uWyor0FH7k80xh1BGG2-uqxHipgds0GCdrpUXUt3x4

Second, on Indiegogo, only 4 days old, the Infinity Pen. I wonder why most pen projects are on Kickstarter, rather than Indiegogo. I don’t wonder hard enough to actually put any effort into researching the question, but the passing thought was there. My love of magnets will never cease, so I am intrigued by the idea of this pen. How many sections can be stacked magnetically together before the whole thing becomes unstable? How easily will these things stick to the fridge? I really want to get one and just abuse it to the limit. I don’t know why. Can I smack sections off if I bang it on a table? I NEED TO KNOW.

The body is aluminum, the special refills, if the campaign succeeds, will be manufactured by Centropen and allegedly go for $1 each.

Read more and/or throw dollars at the Infinity Pen on Indiegogo

BONUS NEWS! My United P2 Pocket Pen arrived last week. Pretty on-point for its estimated delivery time. You can see the final product below the smaller prototype.

CFZCuqlUUAIqDmpIt’s on my to-review list, once I can abuse it some first. There’s about 26 of these slightly bigger United P2 pens left, if you still want one.





Ink Drop Soup: A Couple More Kickstarters

8 04 2015

Everywhere, all the time, Kickstarters! I have a few Kickstarterized pens in the wings waiting to be reviewed, but in the meantime, here are a couple more new Kickstarter pens you can choose to throw money at and see what happens.

The Patriot Pen

Image from The Patriot Pen Kickstarter Page

Image from The Patriot Pen Kickstarter Page

Inspired by GUNS! Aside from the Space Pen Bullet pens, I don’t know too many pens with designs so overtly tributary to weapons. Are there any sword pens? Do they still make Bond-style pens that are actually guns? Would such a pen gun sticking out of my pocket be considered open carry or concealed carry?

The refill for the Patriot Pen is a Pilot Dr. Grip, which hasn’t come up much (if at all) in any other Kickstarter pens yet (but maybe I’m just not paying attention). The product description seems to walk a fine line between hyperbolic satire and needless genderization (as Bic has yet to learn, pens aren’t piloted by genitals) with lines like “the testosterone boosting power of manly gear,” “every man needs gear that not only works well, but also testifies of his complete studliness,” and “ensure that every onlooker will know you are a man with real mettle.” WILL MY GENDER CHANGE IF I USE THIS PEN??? In the name of coolness, that just might be a risk I’m willing to take.

The Patriot Pen by Dimond Point LLC on Kickstarter

*****

The Umigi Pen

Not umagi (possibly some type of anime?) or unagi (definitely a type of delicious sushi), but the Umigi Pen features a unique shaker mechanism: shake down to deploy, shake sideways to retract. All the other shaker writing utensils I’ve seen so far in my life have been mechanical pencils (shake to advance the lead, but no way of shaking to retract anything). I’m not one to normally watch many videos online (I am just weird that way and like reading things / looking at pictures), but the three 30-second shorts videos under the “fun stuff” section brought a smile to my face. And since you don’t have to change the way you’re holding the pen to deploy and retract, this apparently makes the Umigi Pen more convenient for those with physical challenges. A.k.a. making pens more accessible for everyone! The goal for the Umigi Pen is much further away, but the backing cost of getting an actual reward is WAY lower than possibly any other Kickstarter I’ve seen. The Umigi Pen (blue ink color) for $5??? It’s worth $5 just to throw down and see if it can be done.

The UMIGI Pen on Kickstarter





Ink Drop Soup: CursiveLogic

14 02 2015

Most Kickstarter projects, at their heart, are a delightfully selfish proposition. I give you money, but you give me a sweet pen, which I will then lord over everyone else in my day-to-day activities. There’s nothing wrong with that. I like that. But the CursiveLogic Kickstarter is a little different. Sure, I can give money and receive a sweet book on how to learn cursive, but that money is supporting a fantastic new system of learning the perpetually-dying art of writing by hand.

This is not your mother's rote memorization

This is not your mother’s rote memorization

Heck, you don’t even have to receive the books yourselves. You can gift them to schools. Schools full of children. Children who can learn and ENJOY cursive writing. Imagine a new army of little cursive writers. They will demand better pens to showcase their beautiful writing. The slow revival of fountain pens will explode with the force of a million tiny hands. Or give them to adult learning facilities. Though the books are colorful and fun, they don’t rely on childish gimmicks to try to force children to participate, and thus are appropriate for all ages. The draw is in the beauty and function of the writing itself.

If you're making a gift of it, I'd recommend pairing with some entry level Pelikan fountain pens, like the Pelikano or the Twist

If you’re making a gift of it, I’d recommend pairing with some entry level Pelikan fountain pens, like the Pelikano or the Twist

The CursiveLogic system for teaching the cursive alphabet makes a lot of sense—breaking it down into a few basic shapes, reinforcing with colors, catchy phrases, etc. I wish learning cursive had been like this when I was in school. Take a look at the CursiveLogic Kickstarter page, which explains the whole system a lot better. I’ve been sent an advance copy to look through and it looks great. Simple, but, dare I say, logical.

CursiveLogic: Cursive is Endangered, Together We Can Save It on Kickstarter





Ink Drop Soup: The Terror & Triumph of the Bent Nib

28 10 2014

I don’t know what happened. I don’t know how it happened. Wednesday, my Pilot Vanishing Point M nib was completely normal. Friday, I clicked the plunger and the nib came out looking like this:

You will notice this more closely resembles some sort of exotic bird than it does a proper Vanishing Point nib

You will notice this more closely resembles some sort of exotic bird than it does a proper Vanishing Point nib

Nightmare. Disaster. Catastrophe. How is this reality? I text my pen store—pen emergency, what do I do? We arrange for a replacement. With a fix lined up, there’s really no reason not to try to right this wrong. The worst that happens is everything stays exactly the same: I have one useless nib, and a new one on the way.

WARNING—I DO NOT KNOW WHAT I AM DOING. I DO NOT RECOMMEND ATTEMPTING THE RECKLESS THINGS I AM COMPELLED TO ATTEMPT. IF YOU DISREGARD THIS WARNING AND RUIN YOUR PEN IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT. NOT MINE.

Like a genie slipper. Like a sled runner. Like a very small, pointy ski.

Like a genie slipper. Like a sled runner. Like a very small, pointy ski.

To start with, I emailed the head of my local pen club—I recalled seeing a toolbox full of pen repair oddments with him at meetings and I was pretty confident that he did repairs of some kind, and would not dissuade me from my mission. I presented my case, and asked for advice. Piece of cake, he says. Get the nib off the feed and bend it back in place using fingers, a desktop, etc.

I may have improvised some additional implements

I may have improvised some additional implements

I used my fingers, the desktop, metal parts of the Vanishing Point body, and finally, surfaces of my keychain knife to bend the nib back into shape. But did it work? I had to know, but I was at work, without spare ink, without a syringe. I was able to steal a few drops of blue ink from the Caran d’Ache I had with me, and used another empty Pilot twist converter to collect enough water to add to the ink so I’d have enough liquid to write with. It worked. Smooth as ever before, no hesitations and no qualifications.

Cue celestial choir, song bursting forth in joyful noise, with trumpets.

Cue celestial choir, song bursting forth in joyful noise, with trumpets.

Did I use the most appropriate tools? Probably not. Should I be trusted with other people’s pens? Definitely not. But did I fix this pen? Heck. yes.





Ink Drop Soup: The Raleigh Pen Show

7 08 2014

Another great pen show was had! It only took me, uh, about a couple months to remember to write about it? Even though I was only able to make it for Friday and Saturday, I saw lots of cool pens, talked to lots of cool people, and tried very hard not to be the totally sleep-deprived zombie that I was. And there was chocolate!

Fancy chocolate. In strange, delicious flavors

Fancy chocolate. In strange, delicious flavors

And of course, I scored some goods.

SWAAAAAAAAAG

SWAAAAAAAAAG

A Delta Unica (which I kept calling a Delta Unicode, because I didn’t know what it was, I just let the Andersons sell it to me), J. Herbin Rollerball, 360° journal, and a Kaweco mini converter (not pictured) all from the Andersons, a little Golden Queen button-filler from Pendleton, a Hero 360 from Martin, and an Arabic/Hebrew italic nib grind from Richard Binder. Most amazingly of all, I stayed within budget. Well, within five dollars of budget. I think that’s close enough to count.

What's that? You'd like to see a random picture of my dog? Ok, here you go

What’s that? You’d like to see a random picture of my dog and her giant teeth? Ok, here you go

Hopefully next time I’ll be a little less debilitatingly sleep-deprived. Or I’ll give in and drink three coffees at a time instead of just two. As the barista pointed out, they have 4-cup trays.





Ink Drop Soup: Shout out to Michigan!

23 05 2014

If you follow my Twitter, you’d have pieced together that I recently visited Michigan. For those of you not familiar with Michigan, it is a state made up of two landmasses (one shaped like a mitten, one shaped like a shark) that borders “lakes” so large you will frequently refer to them as oceans. There are waves. There is sand. There are shells. There is water stretching out to the horizon. What more do you need to qualify as an ocean?

Is it salt? I have salt. Here, I'll give you some salt.

Is it salt? I have salt. Here, I’ll give you some salt.

I had originally planned to lobby for a Lake Michigan circle tour (or perhaps half circle tour, cutting back across the lake by ferry), with the nefarious pen-related goal of visiting the Anderson’s pen store in Wisconsin, but it was still solidly winter when we got north of the 45th parallel. There was snow. Snow in May is a terrifying prospect for a North Carolinian.

Hiiiii, random Michigan lady! I assume you are a Michigander because you were appropriately dressed for the weather. I envied your coat, as I had to double up with discount hoodies and my running windbreaker. Plus a hat and gloves I got from a hardware store in Mackinaw City. I wasn't trying to film you; you just got in the way of my southern wonderment of snow.

Hiiiii, random Michigan lady! I assume you are a Michigander because you were appropriately dressed for the weather. I envied your coat, as I had to double up with discount hoodies and my running windbreaker. Plus a hat and gloves I got from a hardware store in Mackinaw City. I wasn’t trying to film you; you just got in the way of my southern wonderment of snow.

On the pen related front and entirely related to this trip, are any quality pen makers doing anything with pen bodies and Great Lakes stones?

I have a lot more where these came from

I have a lot more where these came from

Between the fossils and the striped agates and whatnot? I’ve seen Great Lakes stone jewelry, but what about a nice fountain pen with a stone set on top of the cap? If anyone needs stones to test on and want someone to review the result, I have an excess of both rocks and opinions.

 

I’m trying to get my reviewing rhythm back up to speed (I have more responsibilities now at work, which is exciting but has curtailed my ability to work on reviews in my downtime), and we are within 10 reviews of 200! Which means a giveaway! Of lots of things I’ve acquired! Hooray! Also, the Triangle Pen Show is coming up (next week?) and I will be there (mostly Friday) so look on my Twitter and if you’ll be there, feel free to find me and say hi! That’s about all the pen news that’s fit to print for now. Soon, reviews.

 

 





Ink Drop Soup: Someone Buy Me One (HMM RULE/ONE Kickstarter)

16 05 2014

This Kickstarter for the HMM RULE/ONE is so close to almost funded with six days to go…and it looks so sweet…look at it!

It’s magnet close (a feature that was added thanks to backer feedback), and the refill is Uni 0.38! And it’s black anodized aluminum. And you can use it like a bookmark thanks to the teardrop shape. And you can put in a lanyard loop. UGH I WANT ONE. Someone else go fund this thing all the way so maybe one day I can get one when I’m not so poor.
 
EDIT: they’ve reached their funding goal! …and I went ahead and backed them anyway. Ramen dinners and cool pens ahoy!
 

HMM RULE/ONE by HMM PROJECT on Kickstarter








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