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Edison Pearl Bulb Filler


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#1 mongrelnomad

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 17:49

After reading all the gushing words of praise spilled over Brian's pens, I was powerless: I had to dive in! It arrived to me in Tel-Aviv this morning - I feel it appropriate that my first custom pen should be my first review. It is, however, my first review, so please bare with me if all is not clear, concise and/or on-topic.

Here it goes...

Choosing the pen.

First and foremost, Brian deserves every word of praise for his service. A bit bemused by the options on his website and Flickr site, I picked up the phone and gave him a call; he dutifully spent nearly an hour walking me through what was possible, what was not, and where to look for inspiration. I knew I wanted an ebonite pen in his bulb filling Pearl design, so Brian dutifully pointed me towards the American Art Plastic website, and after alot of umming and ahhing, I finally settled on a yellow and black mottled rubber. I knew I wanted something young and unusual, so the pictures on the website seemed a perfect fit. Brian, however, was not quite as enthusiastic: he warned me that the material had a habit of changing on the lathe and that unless I was especially brave (or reckless), I may wish to look elsewhere. Well...

A pen is worthless without a good nib and although I was tempted to try steel (after all, Brian will replace any nib at any point for the exchange cost), Israel and Brian's workshop are quite far from each other, so I decided to order the gold nib from the start - a rhodium Extra Fine to match the trim (my exact words were "Japanese Fine"), but wetter than average.

So... after a month of waiting... what arrived?

Impressions: Design and Build

As soon as the pen was off the lathe, Brian sent me some photos. As he had cautioned, the pen in the pics looked nothing like the pen in my head. The photos were dull and olive: much closer in colour to the old olive/yellow vintage Watermans than the bright, shocking yellow I had expected. Happily, the actual pen is slightly lighter than the photos originally implied - a warm, restrained honey-yellow, very in keeping with the tactile nature of the ebonite. And what a material the ebonite is! Glossy and warm to the touch, with that gorgeous sulphuric smell when raised to your nose. Divine.


I asked for a clear ink window in the mid-section, the words: "Edison Pen Co. Pearl" clearly visible even without ink being filled.


The pen itself is about the same size as a Sailor Realo, but it does not particularly like being posted (the cap does not fit particularly happily or securely on the back), and is quite short for long hands. For me this is not a problem, but Brian also offers the Pearl in a larger size for larger hands. It is quite heavy, but well weighted in the hand.

Fit and finish is good if not great: the slightly odd-fitting cap is a disappointment and the ink window could have done with a slight clean before being sent out.

Overall, though, it is a lovely pen and very much in line with what I was expecting, and these minor imperfections can't dull its appeal.


2. Filling Mechanism

This is my first bulb filler and, whilst not my favourite filling system (I like Crescent fillers and Pistons), my god is it efficient. Dipping it in Sailor Jentle green, a few squeezes of the bulb and the ink was pouring in. The pen has such a vast capacity that I only filled it half-way - I couldn't bare to see the Sailor's level dropping so abruptly! I'm not sure how easy it will be to empty and clean: I guess that is something only time and experience will tell.

3. Nib

As stated earlier, I asked Brian for a wet "Japanese Fine" - a European Extra-Fine. Like all his pens, the Pearl was supplied with a writing sample, the ink type and details of the order. Brian must have a very light touch as my writing seems to be a bit thicker than his with the pen! I would say it is in reality mid-way between a "Japanese Fine" and a "Japanese Medium", slightly broader that I would have liked, but with a lovely flow, and a nice amount of feedback. I'm very happy with it, and can see it becoming one of my go-to pens.

4. Final Thoughts

So, this is not the pen I thought I was buying, but that does not make me any less enthusiastic. It is not cheap (after adding the gold nib, ink window, bulb filler and special-order ebonite, it came to nearly the same price as the Nakaya Piccolo I'm still waiting for), but for a handmade pen to my own specifications, I do not think it is overly expensive. If ordering again, with the knowledge I now have (above all to listen to Brian!) I still think I would ask for the same pen. Mistakes can be pleasant surprises, and so it is with the Pearl. Thank you Brian, she's a peach!

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Edited by mongrelnomad, 04 June 2010 - 20:04.

Too many pens; too little writing.

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#2 Truppi327

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 18:27

Gorgeous pen and amazing pictures. Do you have a writing sample you can share? Also, I think you did a great job on your first review.
Best,
Mike Truppi

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#3 ethernautrix

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 18:41

Ditto what Truppi said. That is a gorgeous pen! I enjoyed your review and your photos, and I'm excited for you that you're also waiting for a Nakaya Piccolo. I have a black-and-red ebonite Pearl and a solid black Piccolo. Here, let me show you. They're a lovely pair (both are in rotation currently). I hope you don't have much longer to wait for your Piccolo (I'm past the three-month point waiting for a Negoro, trying not to be impatient.)


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#4 mongrelnomad

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 19:53

Writing sample added above: as you might have guessed, my (horrific!) writing's in green, Brian's is in blue...

I'm very excited waiting for my Nakaya - I ordered a Piccolo in Aka-Tanemuri (red-red) with an elastic fine nib. If all goes to plan, this could be my holy-grail pen (although I'm heading to Tokyo in September and i fear the credit card may take a rather painful hit)...

Edited by mongrelnomad, 04 June 2010 - 19:54.

Too many pens; too little writing.

#5 Aysedasi

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 20:01

I absolutely adore that design! Gorgeous! :)

#6 watch_art

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 20:13

your thicker lines could be due to ink. my pilot with fa nib writes thicker with some inks, finer with others.

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#7 Signum1

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 20:14

Very nice looking yellow black mottle ebonite. I really liked how the swirls turned out for this pen. Fantastic pictures. Congrats!:thumbup:
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#8 ethernautrix

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 20:39

Writing sample added above: as you might have guessed, my (horrific!) writing's in green, Brian's is in blue...

I'm very excited waiting for my Nakaya - I ordered a Piccolo in Aka-Tanemuri (red-red) with an elastic fine nib. If all goes to plan, this could be my holy-grail pen (although I'm heading to Tokyo in September and i fear the credit card may take a rather painful hit)...


Aw, you're too hard on yourself about your writing. I like it.

I have a Desk Pen in aka-tamenuri, and it's a gorgeous finish -- glossy and creamy and beautiful.


I tend to choose understated colors, but that yellow-and-black of your Pearl is so... je ne sais WOW that I like it!

Will be interested to learn what pen bounty you return with from Japan.

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#9 PatientType

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 21:13

Beautiful! Brian's site is a siren's song... One's determination to resist purchasing yet another pen crashes on the rocks as one reads about the filling system, an ink chamber with clear window, the customizable nib, the quality materials hand turned to order...

#10 Lloyd

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 21:13

your thicker lines could be due to ink. my pilot with fa nib writes thicker with some inks, finer with others.



Also, you should try writing on the same piece of paper that Brian wrote on; it can take ink differently.
"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."
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#11 watch_art

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 21:27

your thicker lines could be due to ink. my pilot with fa nib writes thicker with some inks, finer with others.



Also, you should try writing on the same piece of paper that Brian wrote on; it can take ink differently.


good point. didn't think of that.

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#12 stevlight

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 21:36

Brian's work is amazing--I have a Herald grande in red/black ebonite that he should be working on any day now--can't wait--B nib --eyedropper with ink-view window.
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#13 Brian

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 23:01

Extraordinary and beautiful. Extraordinary because as a tool pen, it possesses great looks and a wonderful contrast between the yellow black and the transparency of the ink window. It is beautiful because of its superb balance in design between the modest torpedo shape, and inkview window and clip. I am really liking this pen. Congratulations.

And one more thing. For the only two Edisons I own, each is a fantastic writer and I am sure this will be as well.

Edited by Brian, 04 June 2010 - 23:03.


#14 tonybelding

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 01:31

That is so unlike any other pen that you'll ever see anywhere else. . . (and not in a bad way, either!)

I'll admit that when I first heard about Edison and looked at the website, I didn't "get it". I didn't see what the big deal was. Yet I've gone back and looked again. . . and again. . . and looked at the reviews here on FPN. . . and it gradually sunk in. You can get most anything you want!

#15 twincityskyline

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 01:56

Great pen! I really like the yellow/black ebonite - striking colors. Thanks for sharing!!
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#16 irbyls

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 02:01

Wow! I have never seen a yellow pen that I liked until now. :puddle: What an amazing choice!
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#17 DRP

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 03:04

I concur with irbyls in saying I never saw a yellow pen I liked -- until now.

If the yellow screamed any more, I suspect it would overcome the subtleties of the black/yellow combination.

It would be hard to imagine a pen which I could have disliked more in concept that I was so amazingly pleased when seeing photos of the result. My congratulations on your ability to envision a fantastic pen.

#18 mongrelnomad

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 03:33

Gorgeous pen and amazing pictures. Do you have a writing sample you can share? Also, I think you did a great job on your first review.

Thank you all for the compliments (not just about the pen, but also about popping my review cherry!). I finished my first 'assignment' with the pen last night: wrote my first two sides in a Quo Vadis Habana notebook. Two things are becoming increasingly clear: the nib writes much finer on decent paper, and it is a great writer, with exactly the right flow and feedback.

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Too many pens; too little writing.

#19 tanalasta

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 01:31

Positively beautiful review and pen. That's a lovely, honeycomb yellow ebonite.

Brian also made my pen to satisfaction :)

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#20 reprieve

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 01:50

That mottled yellow ebonite is gorgeous!






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