Pelikan Edelstein 2017 Ink of the Year – Smoky Quartz

30 09 2017

My dudes, there has been an update to the WordPress app and now I can’t find the add caption button. Had to drag out my laptop to add this. If only I had some way of searching to access a world of knowledge that might tell me…..

Time to lay down some quick thoughts on Smoky Quartz before the dawn of spooktober, as this is a perfect ink color for the pumpkin spiced season.

Pumpkin spice scented ink, make it happen. Somebody. J Herbin, I’m looking at you

I wasn’t excited about this color when Pelikan first announced it, I will admit, but was willing to give it a shot if it came up at, say, the year’s Pelikan Hubs meetup. Well lo and behold:

I kicked Ina-ho out of one of my fall pens and replaced it with Smoky Quartz. A wise choice. I keep typing “smoky quarts” which is something entirely different, like artisinally woodsmoked small batch quantities of milk.  Perhaps not a wise choice

It’s got just enough shading when writing regularly to keep me delighted while still remaining a nice, professional, time-to-stomp-on-some-leaves-and-chug-spiced-wine brown. No real sheen to speak of, but I’m content to have nice shading. You got me, Pelikan.

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Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-ho (Rice Ear) Ink

25 06 2016

Trying out a little different format for reviewing ink. I’ve never been a fan of having to create the very detailed formulaic reviews/scientific lab reports on inks. I enjoy looking at them, but not making them

Left to my own devices, I probably would never have picked up any Iroshizuku Ina-ho ink. Maybe if I was on a quest to try all the Iroshizuku inks and 2ml samples were on sale. Shades of brown are unassuming, and do not call as much attention to themselves. But then fall comes around, and the only autumn inks I have are the same shades as those of a roaring fire. Or three colors of bright-hued flowers. Brown is necessary to distinguish the season’s colors from one another.

Fun fact: my mind decided to pronounce Ina-ho like an incredibly exaggerated Minnesotan rendition of “I know” and now I can’t undo it. Ya-noh? Eye na-ho!

Is this a brown? I suppose it is, but it has tones of greenish yellow to it. A shade of gold, perhaps? I have no concept of rice ear–as an American, the only edible ears I know are corn–but a bit of Googling shows ears of rice to be a golden-brown color, with some tints of green. An accurate color name then.

Turns out rice doesn’t grow in orange bags with “Uncle Ben’s” on the side #themoreyouknow

The biggest surprise about this ink was the unexpectedly beautiful level of shading. I love shading. Possibly my favorite ink characteristic. Ina-ho’s got it. The ink itself is an unusual color but standard enough that you might get away with it for most everyday office use that doesn’t require blue or black ink. Good to the last drop, I had no issues with flow in my Pilot Vanishing Point with architect nib.

What is the little cord for besides decoration and to match the box? What is the utility here?

The packaging of all the Iroshizuku inks is in line with the pricey nature of the ink – fancy glass bottle in a brushed-steel-looking cardboard box. The labeling on the box and the bottle corresponds to the ink color, and it’s a close but not quite match. The labeling is a smidge too warm of a brown.

Expensive but beautiful

I don’t know that I’ll keep this color inked up for the summer (as hot as it’s getting around here, it might put me too much in mind of drought-dead grass rather than a bountiful harvest). But I’m looking forward to putting this color in the rotation combination for my fall ink lineup.

Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-ho Ink at NoteMaker

(Notemaker provided this product at no charge for reviewing purposes–opinions entirely my own)





Pilot FriXion Point Erasable Gel Ink Pen – Violet (0.5mm), Blue Black (0.4mm), and Brown (0.4mm)

13 09 2011

Fun fact: the brown FriXion Point was one of the 4 pens in my very first JetPens order

In my experience with the new generation of “erasable” pens, the Pilot FriXion Point (and the Pilot FriXion Color-Pencil-Like erasable gel pens, but that’s another review) is the first pen I tried. It was so impressive and so much fun, I spent several lunch breaks writing things out, holding the paper above a lighter to erase everything, then throwing the paper in the freezer to show my coworkers the resurrected writings later.

Guess which one of these three is marketed to Americans.

Much like the Uni Fanthom, the Pilot FriXion Point is a lightweight pen made almost entirely of plastic. The design on the Japanese FriXion Points I ordered from JetPens has an enjoyable simplicity and classiness; the Pilot FriXion Point available in American stores is inexplicably covered in tribal tattoos that are vaguely reminiscent of flames. I ask again: Pilot, why do you hate America?

What is wrong with this picture? (aside from the color balance)

There is a design flaw that all models share: the eraser gets tucked securely away beneath the posted cap, protecting you from ever using it effectively while writing without taking off the cap and risking it falling off tables / into the clutches of wily domesticated animals.

What, you wanted to actually use these?

The eraser is such a BIG FREAKING DEAL, you would think it would have been impossible for this design to make it to production. I have a hard time imagining that no one at any point in the design process expressed concern about the position of the eraser. What was the reasoning that let this fly out? No one will notice? No one will want to erase anyway? No one will want to use the eraser when they can use STOVES AND FIRE to erase?

Here's something essentially useless that could have gone underneath the posted cap

Pilot has addressed this issue in other FriXion models, but would it really be so hard to fix this on the FriXion point as well? Just put the button with the tip size written on it where the eraser currently is, and vice-versa. Problem solved.

The 0.4mm pens are speaking rudely of the 0.5mm pen. The 0.5mm just wants to be one of the gang! /the 0.4mm pens have been making out or something. Is that pen makeout drool hanging between them? EW.

Aside from achieving the stupidest position for an eraser, the Pilot FriXion Point gets top marks in all other categories. It writes smooth, both fast and slow, has consistent and rich ink, and does what it claims to do—erase. Just don’t be afraid of erasing with it; erase with vigor! You have to, to generate the heat needed to set off the chemical reaction that “erases” the ink. You don’t need to erase like you’re trying to rip the page off, mind you, but you’re also not trying to erase a pencil mark off a butterfly’s wing.

Just pretend like the eraser is totally easily accessible off-screen to the right

While this isn’t my favorite FriXion model due to the much-stressed design issue, it does have the highly desirable trait of being easily available in physical big-box stores. I’ve even seen them in the likes of Rite Aid and CVS! The eraser thing is annoying, but you don’t need that particular eraser; anything that will generate friction and thus, heat, will work. You can even use your finger (though I don’t recommend it; it kind of hurts). Or leave your note on top of the toaster oven while making breakfast. Or take your note outside in Texas.

Write with all three at once for maximum inconvenience

Like I said, these are available all over the place, or, at least the 0.5mm FriXion Point and its color variants are available all over the place. If the place sells pens, there’s a good chance you can find the 0.5mm tattooed FriXion Point there. But for the 0.4mm goodness:

Pilot FriXion Point 04 Gel Ink Pen – 0.4 mm – Blue Black at JetPens

Pilot FriXion Point 04 Gel Ink Pen – 0.4 mm – Brown at JetPens