And while I might not know much about the makeup of a pen, I know a fair bit about using oneI have journaled continually since I was in grammar school, nearly 40 years ago. This, I think, makes me well-qualified to assess the performance of a writing instrument and to distinguish between a mere functional object for delivering ink to paper and a delightful tool to enhance my writing experience. My recent acquisitionExcalibursquarely falls into the latter category.
After surviving eight years of penmanship rigor under the watchful eyes of my grammar school teachers, I swore I would never use a fountain pen againand for good reason. The ubiquitous instrument of the day was a leak-prone Brand-X cartridge pen. And when mine leaked, it was always in the breast pocket of one of my white uniform school shirts. Besides enduring the furor from a dedicated housewife-mom, who had no chemical in her arsenal potent enough to remove the obvious stain, writing with the Brand-X was no joy either.
The thing I remember most about the Brand-X was the annoying tendency for the nib to spread. When this happened, fibers from the paper would get pinched off and stick in the nib effectively turning the pen into a paintbrush! This in turn would yield poor penmanship results, and, despite the wide brush strokes being beyond my control, would garner me low penmanship grades from my dispassionate educators who only wanted results without excuses.
Considering my less-than-favorable experiences with fountain pens from grammar school days, it might seem illogical that I commissioned Excalibura piston-filler fountain pen. Perhaps I was too easily caught up in admiring the craftsmanship of certain other Dan Furlano pens I had seen (I am a friend of the maker). Maybe it was my nationalistic tendency to buy and use USA-made products wherever possible. Maybe it was my desire to own a functional and stylish instrument that makes a statement about its owner (only Dan Furlano and I know the significance of the Excalibur theme for this pen). But honestly, it was all of the above.
Excalibur is a pleasure to use. I had long ago forgotten that writing didnt have to create strain in my hand and wrist. I accepted these annoyances as a normal consequence of long hours spent journaling with possibly every type of commercial ball-point pen sold in the US in the last four decades.
Excalibur fits my hand well, delivers a smooth fine line, produces no noticeable skip or feeling of drag, whether writing block script or connected cursive, which I abandoned over the years with the exception of signing my name. With Excalibur, however, connected cursive is a far more efficient writing style, owing to the effortless transition of my input strokes to the written word on paper, and all of this without fatigue. Furthermore, I have no ruined shirts and fine lines are possible without paint brushing. Were I equipped with Excalibur so many years ago, I might well have gotten that elusive A in penmanship…
Beyond Excaliburs writing performance, its just cool looking sitting atop my journal! There is added satisfaction in using a functional instrument that has style, even though in the world of custom pens, Excalibur is a modestly stylish creationwhich is exactly as I wanted it to be.
While Dan Furlano makes some extraordinarily crafted instrumentscomplete with fine metal overlays on certain modelsI simply couldnt justify either the cost for such functional art, or the risk of inevitable damage to anything more ornate than Excalibur from long-term daily use. Dan built precisely the right tool for me. It is functional and rugged.
And now for you true pen aficionados, here are Excaliburs specifications:
- Custom commission, reflecting certain owner history and personality traits. It is truly a personalized pen.
- German steel fine nib
- Piston filler (I just liked how they work!)
- Silver clip; a representation of a medieval broad sword (Excalibur). This is the dominant characteristic of the pen, yet overshadowed by the dimensions and substantial feel of the pen as a whole (the pen is mightier…)
- Reservoir window with silver cutouts whose shapes reflects the sword handle clip
- Blue (actually teal) G-10 body material, on my request (I collect pocket knives and G-10 has become a popular handle material. This was the first use of G-10 by Dan Furlano Pens)
- Hammered finish silver accents
And so while I still know almost nothing about the technical aspects of a quality writing instrument, I know one when I use one. I know Excalibur from Dan Furlano Custom Pens is right for my writing.
Edited by jcbcodywy, 19 July 2012 - 14:19.