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Guanleming Fountain Pen
Posted 02 June 2012 - 15:34
The Guanleming is a Chinese pen ... a calligraphy pen, actually. No, I can't do calligraphy, but this didn't stop me. When my pen arrived and I saw, first hand, that strange nib, I had my doubts that we were going to get along, but I flushed it and inked it up. I've never been able to stop the bad habit of writing very quickly and I was expecting that the combination of this funny nib and my bad habit to cause problems. To my surprise we got along right away! The Guanleming keeps up with no skipping or any other ink issue. Nice line, no coaxing or fiddling ... I was pretty impressed, especially because the Guanleming was only $5.00 USD!
If you prefer heavier/larger pens, then the Guanleming might not suit you. I prefer heavier/larger pens, but as I said, we're getting long just fine. For all of those who like to post your caps, you can do this easily and the cap stays put. The filling system is aeromatic ... the squeeze converter. I've not had it very long, but the converter seems to hold plenty of ink, at least for me. Of course, your mileage may vary. Dressed in black and gold, the Guanleming is a nice looking pen without any froo froo to make it appear more "novelty" or if someone is concerned ... feminine and could easily handle office use, however, you may get curious onlookers due to the nib.
My pen rested for a few days without use, but started right up when I took it out to play. No coaxing of any kind, no skipping, no blobs ... no issues. Along the issues line, I've used cheap Wal-Mart printer paper, Rhodia No. 18, my usual vellum and vintage onion skin, cheap index cards (Wal-Mart), 3 cents a sheet paper from my local printer, Post-It notes ... nothing too "high end" and have had no problems.
I would purchase another Guanleming, but in a different color if offered, as I'm very pleased with the one I have. For only $5.00, this pen doesn't leave much to lose, you know and it turned out to be a winner for me!
Posted 02 June 2012 - 15:55
Posted 02 June 2012 - 16:00
Nice, thanks for the review. Any chance of a writing sample?
I plan to. I have several ink reviews that I've wanted to do, but my scanning and working with my daughter's computer plus a new printer and I have been at battle. I'm going to try again tomorrow, since I have a day off.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 16:01
Posted 02 June 2012 - 16:02
I ordered one as well ... Thanks for the review now I know I didn't throw $ 5 bucks away ...
I'll be watching to see how you like it. I had doubts, but all has been well.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 18:26
Posted 02 June 2012 - 18:28
I don't have it inked up at the moment. After a few days of it sitting I did have a bit of trouble getting it started up, but then it was okay until I ran out of ink. I had PR American Blue in it and it worked pretty well with a Staples sugarcane paper composition book (some showthrough, but not too bad, and only a tiny bit of bleedthrough).
I have it flushed and sitting at the moment, simply because I have too many other pens in rotation/use.
It took a little getting used to filling (it was my first bulb filler -- I've since gotten both the 2001 and the Accountant). Writing with it is definitely an odd experience -- I've used dip pens for calligraphy in the (distant) past and most of my other pens are F or M nibs, except for the two Noodler's pens with flex nibs. I think I would like it better if i practiced more, and I definitely liked how my handwriting looked (I tend to print everything except for writing my signature for the most part).
Hmm. Maybe I should pull it out again while other pens are being flushed. Wonder how it would do with a really shading ink, or something that would do well in a broader nib (Rouge Hematite comes to mind, because I like how that works in my Noodler's Flex Piston. Or maybe Kosumosu -- I haven't tried that one yet....
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth
Posted 02 June 2012 - 21:27
Posted 02 June 2012 - 23:28
And I'm starting to like my handwriting with it more and more. I don't think the PR American Blue did it justice (much as I liked the combination) now that I'm seeing Ancient Copper in it. Especially on the sugarcane paper.
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth
Posted 04 June 2012 - 16:18
Guanleming is made by the other factory under the supervision of Hero. But it was shut down more than 10 year ago.
I think its made by the same company that makes the Jin Rong pens. I have a Jin Rong 297 with the same shape nib and feed, but without the upturned tip.
Posted 04 June 2012 - 16:23
Of all my fude, only one other model cost a mere five bucks, a Kaigalu, and that was a closeout price, and I got it from isellpens, too.
The Guanleming has a nice look to it, and you can't beat a try-me Chinese calligraphy nib for that price. I find that for a southpaw like myself they give my writing a nice look, almost like a fast flex nib.
Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:12
This nib with the upturned tip looks like an extreme case of a "Waverley" nib. Long ago the British (Scottish?) company Macniven and Cameron made upturned Waverley nibs for dip pens. Later there was an eye dropper BHR fountain pen called the Waverley Cameron that had an upturned nib too. I think these Waverley nibs were perhaps the inspiration for the upturned tips on Shaffer's vintage conical nibs. The upturned tip allowed for smoother writing as more of the tipping is in contact with the paper.
These more extreme Fude nibs I think are supposed to allow for more line variation and are intended to write upside down with a thinner line as well.
Posted 01 July 2012 - 15:10
Guanleming (or Guan Leming) is an intriguing firm for being the second pen manufacturer in Shanghai; it was an American company founded in 1926 in NYC and manufactured there, but two years later they hauled anchor and relocated to Shanghai. No existing example of NYC-built products is yet known. Soon the firm became very successful in the Chinese market, and eventually acquired by Hero.
However, there are several firms of this name still extant, involved in areas such as fine machining and such, including pen production, their main office is in Putong, the new development in Shanghai. The online trade directory there listed a website but apparently it is not active, although address, phone and fax numbers are listed. It would be quite interesting to learn more about them.
Posted 01 July 2012 - 15:46
And now that I've had it for a few days I find myself wanting to learn the best way to write with it and get the effect of changing line widths. In other words, some instruction as to how to work with it. NOT a whole course on Calligraphy (which I, like you, cannot do and do not aim at this moment to learn) but some pointers on how best to use this different nib. Any help you could give there would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Posted 01 July 2012 - 23:55
Posted 02 July 2012 - 17:07
Right side up, you get a broader line as you lower the angle of the pen. Write with it for a while and it will become natural. By turning the nib upside down, you get a hairline.
Every width you need, all in one pen.
Posted 02 July 2012 - 17:25