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Desiderata Woodglass Flex Pen: A Quick First Impression

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59 replies to this topic

#41 pictogramax

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 21:53

Well said!



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#42 Lamyrada

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 22:02

Today I received my new WoodGlass from Desiderata Pens,  which Pierre described on his website as "the first wooden demonstrator pen". I like wood; I like demonstrators. But what I really like about the WoodGlass is that it's an eyedropper filler--the 'tank' goes all the way down into the wooden end of the barrel and holds 2.4 ml of ink. I use my flex pens for drawing, as opposed to writing, and use up ink pretty fast. If you're not familiar with Desiderata pens, the concept is simple: they're fountain pens designed to take super flexible dip pen nibs...that look and work great. The feed is designed to keep up the steady flow of ink needed to produce lines with extreme width variation. 

 

Here's a look at my WoodGlass:

16120186327_73bd474e0a_c.jpg

 

The design is simple and understated; the barrel isn't really glass, of course, it's acrylic. The walls are thick enough to help insulate the air inside from the heat of your hand, to help guard against the dreaded low-tank ink burp.

 

16305176512_99cd26eb3a.jpg

 

The crossgrain gives the ends a bit of character.

 

16118666510_2c5c6819b1_c.jpg

 

The pen came fitted with the standard chromed Zebra G-NIb, which I'll eventually change out for a titanium one; but I was too impatient for that and wanted to test it out right away. I flushed the nib and feed and greased the section threads as instructed in the included manual, then filled the tank and primed the feed with a De Atramentis Document homemix I dubbed "Blood Oath". I'm happy to report that everything is sealed perfectly, the pen doesn't leak at all; however...

 

16304250951_52f843ed35.jpg

 

...I've got to clean THIS up before anybody gets the wrong idea.

 

Anyway. I then capped the pen and let it stand nib down long enough for it to, you know...become one with itself, man. After a couple of false starts--and a few shakes from me--it got its groove on, and I took it for a spin.

 

16119885069_d2fc166931_c.jpg

 

I doodled all over an 11" x 14" sheet of Borden & Riley #234 Paris paper. The lettering is fairly large--much bigger than normal handwriting. I didn't feel I was working particularly slowly, and the ink flow kept up with all but my most extreme flexing, and even then I felt the problem was due to speed more than feed. I did experience some clogging due to the super sharp nib catching paper fibers between the tines, but that will happen with any untipped flex nib. Just pick the hairball out of the nib and you're good to go.

 

16280107606_357cc1e0db_c.jpg

 

Detail of above, showing the scale. If you're familiar with G-nibs, you know how they perform; if not, the widest 'swells' above measure between 2 and 3 mm. The nibs will flex wider than that, after a bit of breaking in, but I don't usually push them that far. 

 

16119884299_82f40d1ac8_z.jpg

 

And even after all that doodling, I still had 2/3 of a tank left!  

 

To sum it up, I feel this is going to be one of my favorite 'workhorse' pens. It does what it's supposed to; it's attractive, the nibs are easily (and inexpensively) replaced, and Pierre is easily approachable if you have any questions or concerns. The only real drawback I can foresee is that the section is a bit slim for my mutant grip--I'm most comfortable with plump pens. But that's not a dealbreaker.  I'm looking forward to finding out how the WoodGlass compares to both my vintage flex and custom flex pens.

 

 

 

 

I said i would not buy any new pens in 2015. I meant regular pens, and this is not a regular pen. I hope mine(Daedelus) is in the making-shippig to me. Yes!

 

BTW this one is not listed on his page right now, though mine is. How long did you wait?


Edited by Lamyrada, 22 January 2015 - 22:23.


#43 Linda Medley

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 00:58

And I just bought the next one! Linda and TeaHive, you should get some presents for successful marketing :-)

 

Ha! Well, I can honestly disclaim any association, etc. etc., beyond having a soft spot for independent craftspeople/entrepreneurs. Teahive's right: it seems like a rarity these days that a product lives up to the claims about it; when something does, I tend to get overexcited about it. 

 

Wow, what great writing and drawing. I was planning to write a longer review of the Mercury, but now I will be afraid to post any of my own writing samples.

 

But I agree with the conclusion. It does what it's supposed to do very well.

 

Oh, I hope you will post your samples! I think the more there is, the better. I'm sure there's plenty of pen users who can't relate to what I've shown, and would rather see more writing samples.

 

 

 

I said i would not buy any new pens in 2015. I meant regular pens, and this is not a regular pen. I hope mine(Daedelus) is in the making-shippig to me. Yes!

 

BTW this one is not listed on his page right now, though mine is. How long did you wait?

 

The Woodglass was a short-run production, Lamyrada--pre-ordering closed on Dec. 31, and I received mine last Friday, so just a little over two weeks. Pierre mentioned upthread that he's considering making more of these.



#44 Lamyrada

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 01:19

Loved the review because it covers writing and drawing. Two of my leisure time activities. Of course more samples are welcomed.



#45 Tootles

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 08:29

It's amazing what everyone is doing with these wonderful pens. I've had a gaboon ebony and maple version sat in my cart for ages but I am reluctant to commit that kind of money despite the glorious reputation (and I don't like Delrin, which is the cheaper option). It also looks so far like there will be no more all wood pens, which I think is a crying shame as they were very beautiful.



#46 Linda Medley

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 17:45



It's amazing what everyone is doing with these wonderful pens. I've had a gaboon ebony and maple version sat in my cart for ages but I am reluctant to commit that kind of money despite the glorious reputation (and I don't like Delrin, which is the cheaper option). It also looks so far like there will be no more all wood pens, which I think is a crying shame as they were very beautiful.

 

I sure hope you're wrong about that, Mr. Tube--I have the ebony and 'poundwood' sitting in my cart as well; I gave in to practicality because I knew the eyedropper-fillers are better for me, but I covet an all wood model as much as anyone else! 

 

For Polanova, I dug out these exemplars (the first shows mostly disposable pens):

 

fpn_1422034692__loomisexemplar.jpg

 

fpn_1422034800__hatterexemplar.jpg



#47 TeaHive

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 18:06

Holy crackers!! Now that is quite the pen comparison chart, and amazing artistry!! I about fell out of my chair!

 

(I also rather enjoy the ebony and poundwood Mercury model, but I got other pens to save for, lol.)



#48 Linda Medley

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 18:31

Holy crackers!! Now that is quite the pen comparison chart, and amazing artistry!! I about fell out of my chair!

 

(I also rather enjoy the ebony and poundwood Mercury model, but I got other pens to save for, lol.)

 

No fair, you already got a Mercury :bawl:  

(Kidding!)

 

Thanks, TeaHive--I had to make up sample charts because I had so many different pens around that I couldn't remember what they all did! And, I didn't do the original drawings--the Hatter is obviously Tenniel, and the little man is an Andrew Loomis pencil drawing. I'd be bored to tears if I had to ink one of my own drawings a dozen times over.



#49 Polanova

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 19:26

Wow Linda, thanks!

I have to say that I wouldn`t have that kind of patience to test my pens like you did  :notworthy1:

 

There is something to be said for NOT having too many pens for drawing  :)

Some of the line differences seem almost unnoticeable !

Ideally I`d keep it around half a dozen! With the new Desiderata & my vintage pens I think that I have now more than enough flexible nib pens.

Now I`ll just have to overcome some negative childhood programming & fight my creative blockades :angry: 

 

Just out of curiosity: Do you always use water-resistant ink for Final Art

I tend not to (& try to keep my cuppa tea at a safe distance  :) )



#50 pictogramax

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 19:32

I'm joining praises for this comparison chart - enjoyed it tremendously. Thanks! I've tried several of this tools, but never had the patience to do it properly, all on the same subject. Hats off!



#51 Polanova

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 19:36

It's amazing what everyone is doing with these wonderful pens. I've had a gaboon ebony and maple version sat in my cart for ages but I am reluctant to commit that kind of money despite the glorious reputation (and I don't like Delrin, which is the cheaper option). It also looks so far like there will be no more all wood pens, which I think is a crying shame as they were very beautiful.

 

Fortunately I don`t care much for wooden pens (I`m more of a "Celluloid Pen Man"  B) ), otherwise I might have spent even more.

So I went for the Delrin, which will end up costing me at least a 100 $! While I seriously enjoy beautiful vintage pens for writing, it`s my experience that for drawing & sketching my tools must be functional but don`t need to have great esthetic appeals. After all, my brushes don`t have ivory grips & I often use stub pencils & I like my 15 $ GraphGear 1000 Pentel pen.

 

Having said that: If you like the wood & like to use it for meditative calligraphy, than maybe you should go for the wooden version



#52 Tootles

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 19:50

Actually that's a good point. Many threads are concerned with the aesthetics of a fountain pen - as well as the nib performance of course - but I don't recall artists arguing about the aesthetics of a paintbrush, but will talk to the merits of the various bristle options and characteristics. I guess the focus of writers and artists is a little different, though no doubt overlapping in places.



#53 Linda Medley

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 21:01

Wow Linda, thanks!

I have to say that I wouldn`t have that kind of patience to test my pens like you did  :notworthy1:

 

There is something to be said for NOT having too many pens for drawing  :)

Some of the line differences seem almost unnoticeable !

Ideally I`d keep it around half a dozen! With the new Desiderata & my vintage pens I think that I have now more than enough flexible nib pens.

Now I`ll just have to overcome some negative childhood programming & fight my creative blockades :angry:

 

Just out of curiosity: Do you always use water-resistant ink for Final Art

I tend not to (& try to keep my cuppa tea at a safe distance  :) )

 

You're welcome, Polanova...I posted it so you wouldn't have to :). I don't have a lot of patience, either, but look on it as part of my job (or, maybe "occupational hazard"?) to produce things like that; and they're good practice. I also teach, and showing what a pen does is a lot easier than trying to describe it!

 

You're right, a lot of the pens produce very similar types of marks, but they come in handy when doing different scale size drawings. I admit, I don't use a lot of them regularly anymore, but keep them around in case somebody wants to try one out, or for demo purposes.

 

Nope, I don't always use water-resistant ink for finished art. Some disposable pens make marks that I really like, and they don't have waterproof ink in them. I use whatever looks best for the piece, but if I'm applying watercolor over the ink lines then, yes, it has to be 100% waterproof ink.

 

I'm joining praises for this comparison chart - enjoyed it tremendously. Thanks! I've tried several of this tools, but never had the patience to do it properly, all on the same subject. Hats off!

 

Thank you, pictogramax!

 

Actually that's a good point. Many threads are concerned with the aesthetics of a fountain pen - as well as the nib performance of course - but I don't recall artists arguing about the aesthetics of a paintbrush, but will talk to the merits of the various bristle options and characteristics. I guess the focus of writers and artists is a little different, though no doubt overlapping in places.

 

You are 100% correct. Most of my vintage pens are downright ugly; I got them for the nibs. I can appreciate the aesthetics of the really gorgeous, 'masterpiece' pens from an artistic standpoint though. I love to look at the photos of them, though I'd never be able to afford them.  



#54 pictogramax

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 21:17

I would just add that not only "a lot of the pens produce very similar types of marks" but also our own set of habits acquired over time (otherwise called style) tend to make us use various tools in a similar fashion.

 

I remember seeing in person once an artist whose work I knew well over the years, but have never seen him actually draw. I was struck by the fact that he was using the same Faber-Castell marker I have been using a lot, but his results were very different than mine. When I pointed that to him, he said "you drew that comic of yours with these F-C markers also? I could never get it to perform like that for me!" 

 

So it wasn't a similar, but exactly the same tool that performed differently due to our different personalities :-)



#55 Linda Medley

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 21:25

I would just add that not only "a lot of the pens produce very similar types of marks" but also our own set of habits acquired over time (otherwise called style) tend to make us use various tools in a similar fashion.

 

I remember seeing in person once an artist whose work I knew well over the years, but have never seen him actually draw. I was struck by the fact that he was using the same Faber-Castell marker I have been using a lot, but his results were very different than mine. When I pointed that to him, he said "you drew that comic of yours with these F-C markers also? I could never get it to perform like that for me!" 

 

So it wasn't a similar, but exactly the same tool that performed differently due to our different personalities :-)

 

EXACTLY!  I tend to 'equalize' marks towards one look, and I find it a disappointing habit. I have to remind myself to use a tool for what IT'S best at, not what I'M best at.



#56 ChemistMB

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 09:25

Very nice looking pen and love the colour of the ink.

#57 fraafreg

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 13:08

In the next several months.

I'm glad to hear this and will be ordering one when it's available.

 

It is, but you know me, I'm not thrilled with eyedroppers in my flex pens. 

While I'm happy to hear that the delrin daedalus can be used as an eyedropper, I will not be doing so as an eyedropper that doesn't let me observe the ink sloshing inside is not worth the risk :P


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#58 flummoxed

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 15:50

Wow! That is some comparison chart, Linda.

 

It is sometimes amusing to read/see very passionate arguments from practicionors about aesthetics and functions of the tools in their trades (be it writing, art, music, etc.) and then come back and read threads like this.



#59 PrestoTenebroso

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 18:31

It's amazing what everyone is doing with these wonderful pens. I've had a gaboon ebony and maple version sat in my cart for ages but I am reluctant to commit that kind of money despite the glorious reputation (and I don't like Delrin, which is the cheaper option). It also looks so far like there will be no more all wood pens, which I think is a crying shame as they were very beautiful.

So....shouldn't you get it? 



#60 Tootles

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 18:55

Probably not. I really, really liked the "all one wood' and "two wood" versions but I was far too slow to pick any of them up. The one currently in my cart only has that it is wood as a redeeming factor, I do not really like that it is made of so many small pieces. Dropping $120 - which is a small fortune for me - on something that I am not totally in tune with would be folly. It's in the cart because I am tempted.

 

 

EDIT: kinda academic as it's no longer available. Oh well, another to cross off the wish list.


Edited by Cardboard_Tube, 25 January 2015 - 09:16.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: desiderata pens, flex, zebra g-nib, eyedropper, dip nibs, drawing pen, de atramentis document ink



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