Today I am going to write about my Fountain Pen Day acquisition, a lovely Charleston model in Blue Pearl by the esteemed Jonathon Brooks of http://www.carolinapencompany.com.
This is a little different, so hear me out! First off, while Mr. Brooks is known for his custom blanks (he makes the blanks for the Kanilea Pen Company, which, *sighs longingly*) and his custom pen craftsmanship, this is not one of those pens. On Fountain Pen Day he posted on his Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/brooks_803/) with discounts on ready-to-sell models and finishes. I’d admired his work for a while and it just so happened that it had been long enough since my last purchases that I didn’t feel too guilty about instantly messaging him and making arrangements to purchase a stunning bright blue Charleston in one of the photos.
This is not a custom pen, so I’m approaching my review as more of a look at his craftsmanship; and let me tell you, I like what I see.
The pen arrived packaged simply but securely and wore a pretty pen sleeve I’ve kept it in since I got it. I also received a handwritten note from Mr. Brooks thanking me for my purchase and demonstrating the fine JoWo nib I chose at the beginning. What really impressed me was the wax seal on the envelope with the CPC logo – as someone who seals her envelopes sometimes, I know what that entails and I really appreciate the extra step!
The Blue Pearl is one of those finishes that needs proper lighting to make it look good. Indoor or fluorescent lighting can’t capture the depth quite as well; it looks very “primary color” blue. What I mean by that is it’s not light blue, or turquoise, or teal, or ice blue: it’s just blue. But bring it into bright light or sunlight and the chatoyance flares up! It looks sparkly and translucent. That’s pretty much my aesthetic: something that looks subtle at first, but at the right angle makes you go WOW!
My favorite parts about the pen are how lightweight it is and the length of the grip. Let me explain.
I hold my pens real weird. Basically, I rest the grip on my ring finger and tripod-death-grip with my thumb and first two fingers all around the rest of the section, usually pretty close to the nib. If pens are heavy, my hand cramps up trying to counterbalance it. The Charleston is VERY light so it’s great for me. That said, it’s got a pretty solid-feeling barrel, so I don’t feel worried about squeezing it. While you can post this model, that makes it too long for me – but if it works for you, that’s an option.
Because of my tripod-death-grip, I usually end up with my fingers squeezing the threads. I’ve tried to relax my hold, but I just can’t. The Charleston has such a long grip (see below, compared to an Edison Nouveau Premier on the left and a Franklin-Christoph Model 31 on the right, which is also a very comfortable pen for me) and the threads are so far back that I don’t even touch them. This is wonderful. It is so comfy. A very good design and creation; bravo, Mr. Brooks!
It came with a converter, although I believe you can eyedropper it should that be a thing you like. I ordered a fine JoWo nib, but after confirming with Mr. Brooks (who, it must be said, is very prompt at replying to emails) I switched it out. Like Edison or F-C pens, you can unscrew the nib unit from the grip and choose a different size. My Blue Pearl now has a Franklin-Christoph Fine S.I.G., as I’ve started getting more into customized nib grinds – perhaps a custom pen is not too far off?
- Love being able to switch the nib units. And as a serial ink changer, C/C pens are my best friends.
- Love the shape and how it fits in my hand. If you hold your pens tight by the nib, this might be a consideration for you. The Charleston also has slightly pointed ends, which make it unique in my collection.
- Perhaps one day I will order a pen with his special Solar Dust finish or (should I win a lottery) an urushi pen of his. Mr. Brooks does fantastic work and is a really wonderful artisan. I highly encourage anyone to check out his website or follow his Instagram (and drool at all the pretties).